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Countdown with Keith Olbermann

Countdown with Keith Olbermann


“Countdown With Keith Olbermann,” the landmark news and commentary program that reordered the world of cable news, returns as a daily podcast. Olbermann’s daily news-driven mix will include his trademark “Special Comment” political analysis, the tongue-in-cheek “Worst Persons In The World” segment, and his timeless readings from the works of the immortal James Thurber. The man who turned SportsCenter into a cultural phenomenon will broaden the content to include a daily sports segment, a daily call for help for a suffering dog, and a remarkable series of anecdotes covering a career that stretched from covering the 1980 Olympic Miracle on Ice a month after his 21st birthday, to anchoring the 2009 Presidential Inauguration and the 2009 Super Bowl pre-game show in a span of just twelve days, to rejoining ESPN as a “rookie” baseball play-by-play man at the age of 59.

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    A-Block (1:44) Trump and Mike Johnson are plotting for House Republicans to somehow "overturn" Trump's convictions in the Stormy Daniels Election Interference trial.

    That was what they were SUPPOSED to talk about when Trump met with the House GOP yesterday but amid all the threats and terrorism and dictatorship and violence we forget that at his core, Trump is a moron. Whether he and Johnson actually got around to conceive some extra-constitutional scheme to enact ex post facto measure, before or after the election, who knows. All we do know is that Trump wound up insulting and enrages Milwaukee, a month and a day before the Republican Convention is supposed to open there.

    The blowback was a welcome respite. Three different Wisconsin Congressmen made up four different excuses for Trump calling Milwaukee "horrible." One of them, Bryan Steil, first said Trump said no such thing, then in a local TV interview contradicted himself and said Trump did say it, but was referring to "specific things."

    The upshot of all of this - and Trump's word salads - and Trump's manic blinking at his news conference where he couldn't handle any questions - is the ever-increasingly obvious reality that Trump is currently losing his mind. And that means for all its bravado and fealty the Republican Party is shackled to a corpse.

    B-Block (24:30) TRUMPDATE: Late breaking news about Trump's fear of going to prison and the likelihood that if he goes it'll be in a place that is halfway between New York City and ESPN (huh?) (26:14) THE WORST PERSONS IN THE WORLD: Rishi Sunak explains he grew up deprived because he didn't have the British equivalent of HBO. The downward spiral of ex-human being Mark Penn gets worse. And Lauren Boebert is caught vaping in public again and you know WHAT HAPPENED LAST TIME!

    C-Block (34:00) FRIDAYS WITH THURBER: For the first time, a chapter from Thurber's only non-fiction book "The Years With Ross." It includes a quote from a New Yorker Magazine writer that to me is one of the five or ten greatest things uttered by anybody in the history of the world.

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    Fri, 14 Jun 2024


    A-Block (1:44) SPECIAL COMMENT: I have no use for Merrick Garland, in large part because he is one of those people who would never think to do this, and never realize that his Republican counterpart would do it in a heartbeat. Found in Contempt of Congress for ignoring a subpoena, as rammed through by Jim Jordan, who BEGAN to ignore a Congressional subpoena two years and a month ago? Garland should get a grand jury to indict Jordan TODAY.

    LET THE ASS-KISSING BEGIN: Trump goes to Capitol Hill for the first time since his attempted coup. Just to ratchet up the imagery, he'll be at the Capitol Hill Club, which is where the still undiscovered terrorist left one of his/her pipe bombs the night before. 

    COULD SCOTUS DECIDE TODAY? It is to issue decisions today and tomorrow. One of them may be about Trump's imaginary "Presidential Immunity." Or not. Or maybe they'll keep it a secret. Or run it up a flag poll to see who'll salute. Another bid to make them follow SOME rules has been vetoed by Lindsey Graham.

    AND IN MEMORY OF MY FRIEND HOWARD FINEMAN: There is a tiny silver lining in Howard's story, which he honored me by sharing with me since his diagnosis and prognosis 18 months ago. He was with me from literally the HOUR my political career began through last Wednesday when his "intro" to the B-Block last ran. He was brilliant, supportive, honest, indefatigable, funny, beloved, and I will tell you why his fight made our sadness just a little easier to endure.

    B-Block (25:14) THINGS I PROMISED NOT TO TELL: So she felt she had to tell everybody to stop calling Jill Biden "Hunter Biden's mother" because she wasn't his biological mother. Someone wrote - and I could not find a clip to confirm this - that she then implied that when the President referred to his wife, and to Hunter as "their son" it was a sign of dementia.

    So we need to talk about what's wrong with Katy Tur.

    We'll start with the fact that Katy is herself the step-mother to two children. I have known that families and motherhood have been issues for her since we met in 2006, even before we lived together. But to drag this onto the air - onto news coverage - is unforgivable. It's time for MSNBC to find somebody else.

    C-Block (45:02) GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK

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    Thu, 13 Jun 2024


    A-Block (1:44) SPECIAL COMMENT: 

    Trump has now floated reinstating the Military Draft.

    He put the words in the mouth of the last of his Secretaries of Defense and that guy – Christopher Miller who sat back and watched January 6th unfold nearly as much as Trump did – dressed the draft up as “A National Service Requirement.” It seems to be targeted at 18, 19, and 20-year old American boys and girls (and maybe 17-year olds) and it would start with a mandatory military aptitude test administered BY the Pentagon IN your local high school and any kid who refused to take it might be prevented from graduating and any school that hesitated to go along with this would lose ALL federal funding.

    Trump breaking precedent and using the American army domestically to suppress protests and conceivably kill civilians is not the bottom of the plan for the military-dictatorship part of his dictatorship. Those army soldiers, and marines, and whoever else, firing on other Americans – many of them or most of them or maybe all of them, would be draftees.

    And when The Washington Post reported it, and the story got no traction and no pick-up at all, and even though the paper reported Trump had not expressly endorsed the draft, within six hours Trump posted an enraged denial reading “In fact, I never even thought of that idea” which even for him is a disastrously transparent non-denial denial. Of course HE never thought of that idea: when has Donald Trump ever thought anything about a military draft – except how to dodge it.

    Somebody ELSE thought of that idea. The somebody else is that former Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller. The Post interviewed Miller and he said a national service requirement should be “strongly considered. He described the concept as a common “rite of passage,” one that would create a sense of “shared sacrifice” among America’s youth."

    The impact this Washington Post story, could have on Trump’s campaign would be nothing short of fatal – if only it were to be handled correctly by BIDEN’S campaign:

    Trump wants to reinstate the draft.

    The. DRAFT. 

    Is there a more powerful campaign message than “Trump wants to draft your kids”? “Trump Wants To Force Your Kids To Kill Or Be Killed?” Actually there is. Because the voting age is not what it was in the ‘60s. The 18-year olds vote. There IS a more powerful campaign message and it is “Trump wants to draft YOU. Trump Wants To Force YOU to Kill or Be Killed.”

    ALSO: Trump's felony conviction means he can't own a gun in Florida. So why has he had one longer than Hunter Biden had his? And what about Washington State's law allowing any voter to challenge any candidate's ballot position if he's been convicted of a felony? And why is Alvin Bragg voluntarily appearing at Jim Jordan's hearing - the day after Trump will be sentenced?

    B-Block (25:20) THE WORST PERSONS IN THE WORLD: A Twitter follower of mine puts Chris Cillizza and Nate Silver in the same tweet just to mess with me. Jonathan Martin, who has spent a year talking about nothing but Joe Biden's age, complains that nobody has talked about Joe Biden's age (and works Aaron Sorkin into it, somehow) and the Republican who wants to be Senator from Minnesota, Royce White, explains the campaign funds may have been spent AT the all-nude strip club but that doesn't mean they were spent on STRIPPERS since they serve FOOD at all-nude strip clubs.

    C-Block (34:00) THINGS I PROMISED NOT TO TELL: As I read of Stephen A. Smith demanding that ESPN pay him more than it pays Pat McAfee, I flashed back to the days when the studio-show audiences there were way more profitable than they are now and ESPN was make $60 million a year from SportsCenter and they were paying me $300,000 and I asked for $3,000,000. Oh the look on their faces delights me to this day. How I Quit SportsCenter...

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    Wed, 12 Jun 2024


    A-Block (1:44) SPECIAL COMMENT: The polls continue to underscore it. Trump's conviction, just twelve days ago, is already half as important in voters' decision-making process as where the candidates stand on immigration. 28% tell CBS the convictions are a "major factor" for them, yet this number is dismissed because it isn't by itself decisive. A separate Morning Consult poll says Trump's net favorability is now four points below that of Biden's - because of the trial. 

    And yet the President, and his advisors, and the old men of the Democratic Party continue to contrive to keep Joe Biden from saying the truth in public. He says the impact of the convictions is for the public to decide. No! That’s for the public to decide? This isn’t an American Idol vote. This isn’t Coke versus Pepsi. This is democracy or dictatorship and most people don’t know and YOU, Mr. President, have to make the case. You don’t have to sink to Trump’s brain-damaged rhetorical level but “that’s for the public to decide?” HELP THEM DECIDE. TELL THEM THE TRUTH.

    Part of the problem is: the campaign seems to be incapable of realizing it can do multiple attacks on Trump - from criminality to dictatorship to the price of orange juice. I'll give some examples of the variety of ads they could run.

    MEANWHILE: KNOTTED BY WINDSOR. Justice Alito makes a fool of himself as my friend the investigative journalist Lauren Windsor records him agreeing that either the right or left will "win" - and he had a much better visit with her than did his wife. Martha-Ann Alito promises to get revenge against everybody, fly an anti-LGBTQ flag, and sue the bunch of them. It turns out everything we thought about them was comparatively positive.

    AND JUST FOR LAUGHS: Jonathan Turley has declared Trump "elderly."

    B-Block (34:44) THE WORST PERSONS IN THE WORLD: Alleged Democratic governor Hochul of New York, after freezing NYC congestion prices, apparently bails out on fundraiser hosted by auto dealers. Marge Barney Rubble Greene thinks electric cars run on gasoline. Politico with the typo of the year, about a fabulous "head of head."

    C-Block (40:21) FROM THE SPORTS CENTRAL CENTER NEWSDESK TONIGHT: I moved this last in case you are NOT a baseball fan of 57 seasons' duration whom the game is losing. The Athletic publishes its survey of current players and guess what! Turns out they all invented the game, and anybody who played before about 2010 was incompetent and irrelevant. Worse yet, somebody grabs my personal third rail, insulting Babe Ruth. Which means I have to go through mediocre reliever Adam Ottavino's 2018 contention that he would strike Babe Ruth out every time he faced him. If you brought Babe Ruth into baseball 2024 and gave him its tiny ballparks and elaborate video scouting and training regimens, he would hit 255 homers.

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    Tue, 11 Jun 2024


    A-Block (1:44) SPECIAL COMMENT: Timing is everything, and for once the timing was perfect. Steve Bannon has been ordered to go to prison. Ordered on June 6th. Ordered on the anniversary of D-Day, when we destroyed everything his predecessors stood for. He doesn’t get it yet. We will destroy HIM and what HE stands for. And all who stand with him. And Trump.

    And as he stood outside court - jailed by a Trump-appointed judge who once clerked for Clarence Thomas - he was boasting to the vapid press that, no, he will destroy us and his fascism will subsume America, ashe insisted no jail would ever shut him up, a protestor behind him drowned him out with shouts of "Lock Him Up!" because when all you have is noise and threats, you tend to forget that there is always somebody else with more noise and bigger threats.

    THERE IS ALSO NEW POLLING on what happens if Trump joins him in the slammer. The Reuters-Ipsos Poll says actual jail time could cost Trump 23% of his voters. That could be as much as 17,000,000 votes. Even as time and timidity wear that number down, it's a remarkable game-changer.

    PLUS: Trump glitched again at a Word Salad Rally in Phoenix, while the Democratic National Committee is actually putting up billboards near his events emphasizing "CONVICTED FELON DONALD TRUMP." And there's more from The Supreme Court: a watchdog group says Clarence Thomas may have gotten as much as $4,000,000 in gifts in the last 20 years. And Brett Kavanaugh is writing a book! Hey! Is it a book about assault?

    B-Block (24:00) THE WORST PERSONS IN THE WORLD: There's a name-that-hockey-team contest in Salt Lake City and the six final choices are all nightmarishly bad. So, Marco Rubio, Tim Scott, J.D. Vance, Doug Burgum, Ben Carson, Byron Donalds, and Elise Stefanik. You're being vetted to run with Trump? When he encouraged them to HANG the last guy? And your daily reason to fire Merrick Garland: there may be videotape of Carlson, Hannity, Ingraham and others at Fox vivisecting Trump and saying his 2020 Election claims are crap, and you are working to RETURN THESE TAPES TO FOX?

    C-Block (33:25) FRIDAYS WITH THURBER: Any time the news is full of Trump-driven drivel and MAGA conspiracies, is a good time to remember Thurber's account of the day in 1913 that the dam outside his home of Columbus, Ohio, broke and everybody fled. Only it hadn't broken - and they were running in the wrong direction anyway. "The Day The Damn Broke."

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    Fri, 07 Jun 2024
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