Michael Moore, Ken Burns Tapped for Keith Olbermann’s Show

keith olbermann, michael mooreI read with interest last week that Keith Olbermann has lined up some interesting contributors for his show ‘Countdown,’ returning on June 20, 2011 and airing each night on Current TV at 8 p.m.

As with the original incarnation of the show at MSNBC (he parted ways with the network in January 2011), this upcoming show will cover topical and political issues.

Olbermann has tapped documentary filmmakers Michael Moore and Ken Burns, comedian Richard Lewis, Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas, and Nicole D. Lamoureux, executive director of the National Association of Free Clinics, as regular contributors.

And there’s more coming, because Olbermann tweeted last week that he expects to have around 20 regular contributors in all.

I probably drive my politically-charged friends a little nuts, because I love watching all kinds of news and commentary on various networks. ‘Anderson Cooper 360,’ ‘Glenn Beck,’ ‘John King USA,’ ‘The O’Reilly Factor, ‘ ‘Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer,’ ‘Fox Report with Shepard Smith,’ and ‘On the Record with Greta Van Susteren‘ are favorites.

And when Fox News’ Megyn Kelly gets all riled up about some legal case, it makes me want to take on The Man! But only for a couple minutes, then I’m back to my complacent self.

Clearly, I like a variety of opinions, which is why I’ll be checking out all the voices on Olbermann’s show. It’s always funny for me to see Michael Moore on these shows, because I’ve interviewed him several times, and sometimes I’ll see him sitting in the back of the State Theatre here in Traverse City, calming watching a movie.

He’s something of a local hero (well, to some), because he founded the Traverse City Film Festival and led the charge to restore our vintage downtown theatre. And he’s not the guy you see on TV – he’s quite shy in person. Below is a clip of Moore (sans baseball cap!) and Olbermann from November, 2010, chatting up Wall Street’s woes.

Ken Burns has always fascinated me with his documentaries on things like the Civil War and baseball, and Richard Lewis I find not-annoying at all. He’s like Woody Allen – you either love him or don’t love him, with not much in between. I love both Richard Lewis and Woody Allen.

Are you a fan of Keith Olbermann or any of these folks? What news shows do you watch on a regular basis?


  1. Jane Boursaw ( Avatar

    Thoughts on Michael Moore & Ken Burns as regulars on Keith Olbermann’s show? http://bit.ly/kKFG6K @MMFlint @KeithOlbermann #wsbr

  2. Alexandra Avatar

    Interesting! I already admired Olbermann. Sounds like I will have to tune in to this new show. I have been getting irritated with CNN. Used to like Anderson Cooper, but his show is becoming too cookie-cutter for my taste. Rachel Maddow, I watch when I remember. I get most of my news from Facebook these days!

  3. Sheryl Avatar

    I’m glad you posted this; it makes me want to watch a show I don’t normally tune into (why? I don’t know!) I’ve also met Michael Moore in person and considering his outspoken views on many things, I was taken aback with his shyness. And who can resist Ken Burns and his depth of knowledge?

  4. Jennifer Margulis Avatar

    I’m in awe that you not only KNOW Michael Moore but have interviewed him several times, Jane. He is TOTALLY one of my heroes. I just wrote about needing to channel his fearlessness to sneak into a function I was told not to attend… I’ve never seen Olbermann’s show b/c I’m not much of a TV person, but now I want to!

  5. Jennifer Margulis Avatar

    Oh, and to answer your last question, we watch Jon Stewart for a laugh (and some news) on-line but I get most of my news from NPR and from the New York Times (also on-line.)

  6. merr Avatar

    The timing is perfect for Olbeman to return to the screen with the 2012 elections coming up before we know it.

  7. Judy stock Avatar

    Jane, love all the politics stuff and I’ve missed watching Keith Olbermann’s show. So glad he will be back to work very soon. I also watch Rachel Maddow and Chris Matthews show. And, have seen all of Michael Moore’s movies. I love it when he challenges the establishment.

  8. Living Large Avatar

    Love Michael Moore. I’ll be watching.

  9. Jane Boursaw Avatar

    You know, I never paid much attention to politics until I started watching Michael Moore’s documentaries. I’ve always been a film girl, but now I’m also hooked on politics. And because of that, I find myself focusing on thoughtful films, rather than a lot of the commercial crap that comes out of Hollywood.

    “Just Great Movies” – that’s our mantra for the Traverse City Film Festival, and now it’s also becoming MY mantra.

  10. Kerry Avatar

    I watch the News Hour on PBS sometimes, also Washington Week once in a while, very rarely other local or national news shows. I have interviewed and met several of the musicians who’ve worked on Ken Burns’ projects, though, was interesting to hear about how putting together the music for his projects evolves (and yes, one of them was Jay Ungar, who wrote Ashokan Farewelll, the theme everyone associates with the Civil War series).

  11. MyKidsEatSquid Avatar

    I don’t usually go for the cable news shows, but I would love to hear more from Ken Burns. Cool guy.

  12. ruth pennebaker Avatar

    I’m a great admirer of Ken Burns — but Michael Moore’s self-righteousness turned me off a long time ago.

    1. Jane Boursaw Avatar

      Ruth – Yeah, Michael Moore can definitely come off that way in interviews (though not in person). It’ll be interesting to see how he does as a regular contributor on Olbermann’s show. And hopefully, Ken Burns will balance things out, because I don’t normally think of him as a political commentator.

  13. Jeanine Barone Avatar

    I’ve been waiting anxiously to see when Keith Olbermann would be returning to TV. Can’t wait. I’ve long been of fan of his. And knowing that Michael Moore will also be appearing is another reason for me to tune in regularly.

    1. Jane Boursaw Avatar

      Coming right up on June 20! I bet they’ll get a big audience at first and hopefully keep viewers coming back with a great show. I’ve really become a fan of news-talk-shows in recent years. It’s as much about the personalities of the hosts as it is the information.

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