Don Imus slammed Rachel Maddow on his Fox Business Network show for not defending Keith Olbermann immediately after the news broke that he would be leaving MSNBC. Appearing on Bill Maher’s HBO show Friday, just after the Olbermann news broke, Maddow said “I know very little about it. All I know is that it was between Keith and the company, it didn’t involve any of the rest of us, and he was really gracious and nice when he left.”
While she would go on to praise Olbermann on her MSNBC show Monday, her appearance with Maher left Imus unimpressed.
“She is a gutless coward and I’ll tell you why,” Imus said of Maddow. “Because everybody knew what the situation was with Olbermann at MSNBC….Everybody knew what was going on with Keith. Everybody knew what was going to happen to him. For this woman, who owed her job to him…not to offer a defense of Olbermann, in spite of what you think about Olbermann, is unconscionable.”
Imus’s wife Dierdre called Maddow a “backstabber,” while Imus himself compared it to when he was fired from MSNBC for racist comments against the Rutgers women’s basketball team
“It’s like when I got fired, Sean Hannity, who works for Fox, was defending me, and I didn’t think I should be defended, that’s irrelevant,” he said. “He works for Fox and he was defending me getting fired by MSNBC. Mike Francesa and Chris Russo nearly lost their jobs because they…defended me on CBS. They told them to stop doing it. They refused. She’s awful. She’s the worst kind of coward and gutless, sniveling worm.”
Of course, on Maddow’s show Monday she praised Olbermann, crediting him with her job at MSNBC and calling him “really freaking successful” at “clearing space” for liberals to openly tout their political views on television..