So much for any scintillating future chit-chat between Rachel Maddow and Don Imus.
Imus cut loose with a withering broadside today against Maddow for what he perceived as her disloyal initial response to news of colleague and mentor Keith Olbermann's abrupt departure from MSNBC --
Having nothing to do with her politics, she is a gutless coward and I'll tell you why. Because everybody knew what the situation was with Olbermann at MSNBC. We used to work there. Tom Bowman, who's our producer, Elisha who's one of our producers, they both worked with me at MSNBC. They left there to come with me, by the way, don't look for any of Olbermann's producers to go any place with him. However, so we all know people, we still know everybody who's at MSNBC. So, 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, she's live there with Bill Maher, a lot of people watch that terribly influential program, not to offer a defense of Olbermann, in spite of what you think about Olbermann, is unconscionable.
In marked contrast, Imus added on his Fox Business Network show, to what occurred after he was fired by MSNBC in 2007 for describing the Rutgers' women's basketball team as "nappy-headed hos" --
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, but that's irrelevant. He works for Fox, he was defending me getting fired by MSNBC. Mike Francesca and Chris Russo nearly lost their jobs 'cause they worked for CBS, along with me, defended me on CBS. They told them to stop doing it, they refused. No, she's awful. She's the worst kind of coward and gutless, sniveling worm. Oh God, horrible.
As might be expected from an MSNBC pundit I compared to Eve Harrington in "All About Eve" last summer.
Maddow appeared on "Real Time With Bill Maher" Friday night within two hours of Olbermann announcing at the end of his show that he was leaving MSNBC. By going on the Maher show that evening, coincidentally or otherwise, Maddow was spared a potentially awkward transition from Olbermann's last show to hers, since Olbermann nearly always greeted Maddow each night in pass-the-baton fashion.
Here's what Maddow said on Maher's show that prompted Imus's ire --
MAHER: All right, I want to get to the issues, but right before I came out they told me Keith Olbermann was quitting.
MADDOW: Yeah. It's been a big day at MSNBC. Or at least it's been a big 15 minutes.
MAHER: Why? What happened?
MADDOW: Keith announced at the end of his show tonight that he and the company made a mutual decision that "Countdown" is done.
MAHER: Well that's always bull****.
MADDOW: It was, well, that's what, I mean, the thing is though, all I, I know very little about it, all I know is that it was between Keith and the company and it didn't involve any, any of the rest of us and he was really gracious and nice when he left.
It was at this point that Maher did not hand Maddow a tissue.
Later in the same show, Maddow was far more animated when she stood on her chair during an argument about Reaganomics with Club for Growth founder Stephen Moore, as described by NewsBuster Noel Sheppard.
On her show Monday, Maddow was effusive in her praise for Olbermann --
I wouldn't have this show without Keith directly nudging the network to give me a try, and without Keith clearing space for the liberals among us in this country to identify ourselves as such, as liberals, even on prime-time cable TV. The way Keith cleared that space was by not only voicing his own opinion, but by being really freaking successful while he did it. If you want to be a pioneer, don't just be the first person like you to do something. Be the first person like you to do it brilliantly. That's how you change the world so other people like you get chances too. We are all sorry that Keith and MSNBC decided to end his run here. I can also tell you that that decision has no effect on the editorial independence that makes it possible for me to do this work. We are here. We are not going anywhere. We're really, really glad you are here with us.
(h/t, Daily Caller, Mediaite)