Video of the Day: Rachel Maddow On Success and Being A Gay Woman in Primetime Cable News

“I’ve never done it as a straight person! I was gay the whole time!”

It might surprise pretty much everyone that Rachel Maddow considered the late Fox News mogul Roger Ailes a friend. She told Access Hollywood: “He used to tease me that he wanted to hire me at Fox so that he could then put me on ice, not putting me on air. That would prevent anybody else from putting me on the air too, which I think is his way of giving me a compliment. … My experience with him was professional and supportive and interesting.”

But with sexual harassment allegations against Ailes that led to his dismissal at Fox, Maddow acknowledged it’s “dire stuff.”

“And Fox is still coping with it,” Maddow said. “We can see it unfolding as a business story and a culture story and it’s having a big affect on this corner of the news business. But this corner of the news business, I think it’s worth noting, really was created by Ailes.”

Maddow’s show has become incredibly successful post-election, and is currently the number one cable news program. “I’ve been doing it this same way the whole time,” she said, “and for some reason, there’s more of an appetite, more of an audience right now for that approach. And I’m grateful for it, because I sort of feel vindicated that I’ve always believe this is a useful, substantive way to do it. … I don’t expect this forever but I’m gratified people are finding it useful.”

And on her being a woman and a lesbian on primetime, she says she wouldn’t know how to do it any differently: “I’ve never done it as a straight person! I was gay the whole time!”