So when Al Sharpton began his crusade to have Don Imus fired from MSNBC last week I took a strong position in support of Imus, who is one of my favorite media personalities. I rarely miss his MSNBC broadcast and I am very disappointed that I will not be able to see it any longer. However, I have reconsidered my sympathetic feelings for Mr. Imus after listening to Keith Olbermann on Dan Patrick's radio program talking about Imus as a co-worker, Olbermann also being the host of an MSNBC program, made it very clear that Don Imus was not well liked among the staff at the MSNBC New York studios. Apparently he would terrorize young female staffers, making them cry because he would call them names far worse than "nappy headed hos", which is the comment that sent the civil rights leaders into their uproar.
I have great respect for Keith Olbermann, who along with his former-ESPN colleague and Sportscenter co-host Dan Patrick made every morning worth waking up for when I was just a lad who rarely watched cable news but never missed the dynamic duo. I had never considered that Imus was actually as miserable as the on-air personality he occassionally embodies when sparing back-and-forth with his crew, but according to Olbermann, nobody on the MSNBC staff was a big Don Imus fan and they made their voices heard when the station's management was deciding what course of action would be most appropriate. I am surprised Imus was offered and signed a contract extension just recently in light of the way he was viewed by his co-workers, but I suppose the network considered nothing other than the revenue he brought to their station. In the end, it was probably this same cash-flow consideration that led the MSNBC executives to pull the plug on Imus, rather than their genuine concern for their employees and their opinions. I still don't think that Imus should have been fired, but I no longer feel so bad for him.