421 episodes

“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.

Countdown with Keith Olbermann iHeartPodcasts

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    • 4.7 • 4.2K Ratings

“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.

    TRUMP MUST GO TO JAIL FOR IGNORING THE GAG ORDER - 4.19.24

    TRUMP MUST GO TO JAIL FOR IGNORING THE GAG ORDER - 4.19.24

    SEASON 2 EPISODE 161: COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN

    A-Block (1:44) SPECIAL COMMENT: Justice Juan Merchan MUST put Trump's ass in jail for violating the gag order - even if it's only one hour at Rikers Island.

    Trump is determined to break Merchan, break the New York Court, break the Criminal Justice System. He is a cornered and wounded animal and this is life-or-death for him. Think of a cockroach - only with thumbs. So it's him or us that gets broken, and Merchan has to make sure it isn't us.

    Trump tried to finesse the gag order by quoting somebody else – this worm Watters from Fox – denigrating the jurors and the judge and adding to the pile of stochastic inducements to violence against anyone who thwarts Trump. And by morning one of the jurors – the silhouette of their name and the vague depiction of their home – was quitting out of fear. Because what Trump sought by denigrating the jury WORKS. Because Trump’s intimidation WORKS. Because Trump’s terrorism WORKS.

    Prosecutors began Day 3 of the trial yesterday noting he had violated the gag order SEVEN times just since jury selection started and they actually UNDER-SOLD the most egregious of the violations, with Joshua Steinglass saying “the defendant reposted about liberals lying to try to get on the jury, a post by Jesse Watters.” That was NOT a re-post. Trump does dozens of re-posts a day. You hit a re-post icon, a couple of rounded arrows. Maybe you add a comment. Trump KNOWS what a re-post IS.

    That is NOT what Trump – or someone in control of the social media account bearing his name – DID. What Trump did was to make a NEW post, QUOTING Watters. It redd – and still reads:“They are catching undercover Liberal Activists lying to the Judge in order to get on the Trump Jury - Jesse Watters.” It is in Trump’s own electronic hand. It is not a re-post. It is not ‘technically ok within the gag order’ because Trump ISN’T lying about the judge and the jurors and endangering them all, he’s just QUOTING Jesse Watters lying about the judge and the jurors and endangering them all.

    RUNNING THE HEADLINES: Derrick Van Orden, a walking PTSD demonstration, calls Matt Gaetz "tubby" and Marjorie Taylor Greene demands anybody who votes for Ukraine aid be conscripting into its military as the House Republican caucus comes apart at the seems. Happily Jared Moskowitz is there with the big yucks and a Rick Perry protege has the best idea yet: four Republicans should resign from the House to own the liberals. FOUR? How about FIVE? FIFTY? Think big be big my friend!

    And why on earth did Kari Lake devote a disturbingly large part of a campaign speech to repeatedly saying "strap-on?"

    B-Block (31:18) THE WORST PERSONS IN THE WORLD: Clay Travis goes from being the knight in shining armor defending the sanctity of women's sports from destruction by trans athletes, to insisting that Caitlin Clark isn't actually popular and nobody CARES about women's sports. The Charlotte GOP still hasn't realized it insulted Trump online and he'll see it eventually. And Twain was wrong: history DOES sometimes repeat itself. In 2005 I watched on in astonishment as Bo Dietl began his new MSNBC show by calling a gay reporter a "fudge-packer" and get fired within two weeks. Now, he's been fired for ANOTHER homophobic rant directed at ANOTHER reporter. Did you know Dietl's specialty in the NYPD was to serve as the mugging decoy? So he was mugged 500 times? Does it show?

    C-Block (48:00) EVERY DOG HAS ITS DAY: Snowie is fine - now - but her family could use a little help plowing through the bills for the medical wizardry that saved her life. (49:30) FRIDAYS WITH THURBER: Appropriately enough, Thurber takes a dog who was alive when Teddy Roosevelt was president and makes him seem as new as the youngest pup. "The Dog That Bit People."
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    • 1 hr 1 min
    TRUMP IS AN IDIOT WHO THINKS JIMMY KIMMEL AND AL PACINO ARE THE SAME GUY - 4.18.24

    TRUMP IS AN IDIOT WHO THINKS JIMMY KIMMEL AND AL PACINO ARE THE SAME GUY - 4.18.24

    SERIES 2 EPISODE 160: COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN

    A-Block (1:44) SPECIAL COMMENT: Trump is an idiot. Trump is an idiot who employs other idiots. Trump is an idiot who employs other idiots and who thinks Jimmy Kimmel and Al Pacino are the same guy. And he'll probably come back later with some nonsensical and irrational explanation that he was joking or being metaphorical or to him they might as well be the same or that Kimmel is the palindrome of Pacino or it's like when he wittily called Nikki Haley "Nancy Pelosi."

    He. Is. An. Idiot.

    And more substantively, Trump publicly admitted that he believed his lawyers had "unlimited" jury strikes; that they could disqualify an infinite number of potential jurors in his trial for Election Interference in New York. Think about the implication here: it never occurred to Trump (or doesn't matter to him) that to have "unlimited" jury strikes would mean any defendant could literally stall the start of his trial FOREVER and no one would ever be tried for - let alone convicted OF - ANYTHING.

    It just gets worse from there. We learn his Bodega stunt Tuesday was astroturfed because the New York Young Republicans who staged it couldn't resist taking a team picture at it, so they can be identified in the crowd.

    Trump is an idiot who employs other idiots.

    B-Block (24:24) THINGS I PROMISED NOT TO TELL: I don't know what made me think of him but think of him I did. The mandarin of Los Angeles news was Jerry Dunphy and even he acknowledged it: On the air, he was simply a teleprompter-reading machine. More than once, it came with hilarious consequences.

    C-Block (41:30) GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK.
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    • 39 min
    THE NEW NORMAL: NAP TIME WITH DON SNORELEONE - 4.17.24

    THE NEW NORMAL: NAP TIME WITH DON SNORELEONE - 4.17.24

    SERIES 2 EPISODE 159: COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN

    A-Block (1:44) SPECIAL COMMENT: There’s nothing better than a good NAP.

    “Now: Trump’s head slowly dropped, his eyes closed. It jerked back upward. He adjusts himself. Then, his head droops again. He straightens up, leaning back. His head drops for a third time, he shakes his shoulders. Eyes closed still. His head drops. Finally, he pops his eyes open. My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains my sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk, or emptied some dull opiate to the drains."

    Honestly: You’re Trump, on Monday they literally catch you napping. How do you possibly go in there yesterday and get caught napping… at least TWICE. One video, or one rapid-shutter sequence of still pictures of “Trump’s head slowly dropped, his eyes closed. It jerked back upward. He adjusts himself. Then, his head droops again” and we don’t have to WATCH the rest of the trial, he’d be DONE.

    Looks like we'll get this started Monday. Seven jurors chosen. I had forgotten what I learned during two days in the NYC jury pool in 2013: it is surprisingly easy to find enough people who don’t know anything about anything to fill up a New York jury. Meanwhile Trump tried out his new defense: He knows nothing. Billionaire businessman, greatest mind of his or any other generation, but when it comes to paying off Stormy Daniels to bury her story and illegally keep bad facts about himself away from the eyes of the electorate weeks before the election, and then turning the thing into a clear crime by trying to write it off as a business expense? He knows nothing. He doesn’t know the accountant. He doesn’t know the lawyer. He didn’t know anything about the document. He didn’t know anything about the deduction. He just signed whatever they put in front of him. Because the billionaire businessman knows NOTHING about his own business!

    ALSO: The picture is a rare one of Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene with her mouth shut. It's in The New Republic and above it the magazine's question is: “Russia is Buying Politicians in Europe. Is it Happening Here Too?” After Greene decided to try to fire another Speaker of the House to destabilize our government further, and her screw-up in the Mayorkas hearing, it's a question worth exploring.

    B-Block (24:38) THE WORST PERSONS IN THE WORLD: Baseball's uniform scandal is back. The pitcher is wearing the batboy's pants. The Speaker of the House had his brain trust look at his new bill first: Libs of TikTok and DC Draino and a 1/6 defendant. And I used to think the Supreme Court Justices were merely not there to do justice or defend the constitution. Now I'm not sure they're from this country, nor have more of a legal education than I do (and I took one law class 37 years ago).

    C-Block (33:00) THINGS I PROMISED NOT TO TELL: Just passed the quarter century anniversary of one of the most fun, most unexpected events of my career. How many people do you know who can say this: Tom Hanks, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon pulled me on to the Red Carpet at the Oscars - and they broke my cummerbund!
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    • 47 min
    DROWSY J. TRUMP FALLS ASLEEP AT HIS OWN TRIAL - 4.16.24

    DROWSY J. TRUMP FALLS ASLEEP AT HIS OWN TRIAL - 4.16.24

    SERIES 2 EPISODE 158: COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN

    A-Block (1:44) SPECIAL COMMENT: Seriously?

    Donald Trump fell asleep at his trial yesterday. First trial. First day. First session. Fell asleep. Upright. At the trial that could end with him going to prison. During the trial. But it’s Biden with the stamina problem. Biden, who’s too old. Trump fell asleep. At the defense table. But we should be worried about Biden. Trump fell asleep during discussion of his own tweets, his own threats, his own lawyers’ insistence that this is the greatest witchhunt and Abraham Lincoln got off easily compared to this and whatever else they said. “His mouth going slack and his head drooping onto his chest,” she added later in the paper. 

    If this had happened to Biden – if this had happened to Biden at wherever HE might be that could be, what, one one-thousandth as serious as Trump’s trial involving PRISON TIME – if this had happened to Biden it would be the only thing on the news, the only thing on television, the only thing on the internet, the only thing in all forms of extra-sensory communication.

    Don't worry the media will go back to telling voters that what they should be worried about is how sleepy President Biden is. And don't worry, Don Snore-leone wasn’t sleeping for HIMSELF – he was sleeping for the sake of the January 6th hostages.

    The other true headline from the trial is that this is NOT a trial about Trump paying off a porn star to keep their sex secret from his wife or even from the public. This is a trial about Trump interfering with the 2016 election by illegally suppressing facts that the voters should’ve KNOWN and JUDGED for themselves. Voters in the General Election. Voters in the primary. Trump is NOT on trial for Hush Money. Trump is NOT on trial for banging a porn star. Trump is on trial for his favorite crime, the one he never stops talking about. TRUMP… IS ON TRIAL… FOR ELECTION INTERFERENCE.

    This happened as Biden's poll streak (ahead in Politico, cuts Trump's NY Times lead from 5 to 1) is so dominant now even some reporters have noticed. I mean Jonathan Martin wrote: "I’ll say it: there’s an elite tendency to assign Trump a better chance to win than he merits, to show THIS TIME you’re not out of touch."

    Of course he didn't mean reporters. He meant foreign diplomats. Because you've seen them on TV: America's political reporters clearly don't own MIRRORS!

    B-Block (25:49) THE WORST PERSONS IN THE WORLD: Five of them! Elon Musk continues to be Russia's streetwalker (and Marjorie Bitter Greene helps). CNN cancels its top news show (Charles Barkley and Gayle King). Another RFK Jr staffer beclowns him (and turns out to have been pardoned by Trump and seems to still be working for him). Comedian Rob Schneider was so beyond-the-pale that even Republican Senate staffers walked out of his set. And 48 hours later, Governor Sununu of New Hampshire continues to prove he is our Franz Von Papen, the cynical German politician who brokered the deal to launch the 3rd Reich because it was ONLY politics.

    C-Block (36:37) THINGS I PROMISED NOT TO TELL: The passing of Fritz Peterson is marked by many as the end to an extraordinary sports story of half a century ago where New York Yankees teammates "traded lives" (and, incidentally, wines). By others it's the loss of the statistically-best pitcher ever to call original Yankee Stadium home. To me, he was the man from whom I took away his bid for a no-hitter. Seriously.
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    • 1 hr
    WE IN L.A. MEDIA LET O.J. SIMPSON GET AWAY WITH IT - 4.12.24

    WE IN L.A. MEDIA LET O.J. SIMPSON GET AWAY WITH IT - 4.12.24

    SERIES 2 EPISODE 157: COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN

    A-Block (1:44) SPECIAL COMMENT: In the SportsCenter computer I read something that made my blood run cold. It was one line in a preliminary script for the 6:30 PM SportsCenter for Monday, June 14, 1994. O.J. Simpson’s wife and a man with her had been murdered. The script noted “Simpson is NOT a suspect.” What made my blood run cold was not the news of the murders. It was that phrase. It might as well have been “of COURSE Simpson is not a suspect.”

    The problem was, I knew Simpson was a suspect because I had not a doubt in my mind that Simpson had butchered them because I knew what all of us who worked – or had worked – in L.A. media knew – that the O.J. Simpson known to the public, to TV audiences, movie audiences, sports audiences, was an utter fabrication. I knew he had hit his wife. I knew the authorities in Los Angeles had done nothing about it. I knew the sportscasters in Los Angeles – including me – had done nothing about it, though I wondered then and have known since that there was almost nothing WE could have done about it, legally.

    I called police source in L.A. and he was emphatic:: “whatever you do, DON’T say he’s a suspect. We’re terrified he’s going to run. This guy has make-for-the-border written all over him. Or off himself maybe. But yeah, maybe…” and he had had to stop himself from laughing… “maybe you want to drop that part about NOT a suspect. Jesus. Not a suspect? HE’S OUR ONLY SUSPECT."

    I then had to explain it to executives - representative of the America of 1994 - who were still saying aloud "Poor O.J." There is no comparison to Simpson's fall in American history. And the system of the time was designed to protect him, the way the system of today protects similar scumbags.

    ALSO: The Johnson-Trump conference today was Johnson's idea and Trump is not in favor of getting rid of the Speaker. And RFK Jr gets rid of the New York staffer who admitted the campaign is about getting Trump, not Kennedy, elected. But it turns out he's got at least one more saying essentially the same thing.

    B-Block (26:30) IN SPORTS: It's amazing that Shohei Ohtani could have so relied on his interpreter Ippei Mizuhara that basically nobody else could talk to Ohtani, and Mizuhara could exploit that reality to secretly steal millions from him. But the FIGURES involved are twice as amazing: $16,000,000 embezzled? 19,000 bets on sporting events in three years? Gambling wins and losses totaling $325,000,000? Also America's hottest new team is the Indiana Fever, and no, there aren't more baseball pitchers being injured this year than the last ten years.

    C-Block (41:05) FRIDAYS WITH THURBER: A first-time story, which reads as if it was ripped from today's headlines. In his profile of his boss, discoverer, and the founder of The New Yorker Harold Ross, Thurber told of Ross's assisting, who took advantage of his boss's inattentiveness to money to embezzle the equivalent of one and a half million from him and bet most of it on sporting events. There are so many similarities it sounds as if Ohtani's interpreter used the story as an instruction manual: "The Secret Life Of Harold Winney."
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    • 1 hr 3 min
    ARIZONA ABORTION BAN CAVES IN ON TRUMP - 4.11.24

    ARIZONA ABORTION BAN CAVES IN ON TRUMP - 4.11.24

    SERIES 2 EPISODE 156: COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN

    A-Block (1:44) SPECIAL COMMENT: For a time it looked like Trump had actually played three-dimensional chess with abortion; that absolutism in Arizona and elsewhere and the push for a federal ban would allow him to move the Overton Window and look like the moderate who would save the day.

    Then the Arizona Republicans told Trump to go eff himself - that they want to KEEP the 1864 law that the Supreme Court dug up and revivified. Now Trump, and Kari Lake, and all the other national Arizona Republicans are absolutely screwed. The mine has caved in on Trumpy.

    In the interim he can always turn to losing more attempts to stall his New York trial (and he has) and to antisemitism (now it's Jews who don't support him "should have their head examined"). And he could turn to his new spokesmodel, Karoline Leavitt, who thinks one word is pronounced "Hench MAN" and another "dammaning" and I swear she is the reincarnation of that Miss Teen contestant from 2007 ("I believe that our education like such as in South Africa and the Iraq everywhere like such as and I believe that they should our education over here in the US...")

    B-Block (21:42) IN SPORTS: New York Times reports Ohtani's interpreter altered the settings on his account so he could embezzle at least $4,500,000 from the baseball star to pay off gambling debts; interpreter now negotiating guilty plea with feds. (24:52) THE WORST PERSONS IN THE WORLD: Joe Scarborough and MSNBC executives re-platform disgraced, banned, Mark Halperin; Maria Bartiromo promises to call the governor to get the Trump prosecutor fired; Biden's former Chief of Staff Ron Klain f-bombs Biden's campaign strategy and doesn't stop to think somebody might be recording it. He should leave the country until after the election, the idiot.

    C-Block (35:00) THINGS I PROMISED NOT TO TELL: First it was Lawrence O'Donnell seated on a curbside table in the restaurant in front of my home. Now, it's the impossible Harris Faulkner of Fox News. Can I get the city Board of Health to close this place down already?
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    • 58 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
4.2K Ratings

4.2K Ratings

JeanHC ,

Grateful for the Podcast

I miss the television program but ecstatic to find Keith’s podcast. All the important news of the day is brought to your attention in an intelligent format with some needed moments of levity. Thank you for your great reporting.

Nova kel ,

The Show

I’m not sure I could get through my day let alone this time of democratic anarchy without Keith setting a genuine tone, calling out the phony hypocrites like Claudia Tenney and Elise Stefanik amongst many, and narrating snapshots of the past for historical reference. I often laugh out loud while listening, something of a pastime these days. Thanks Keith!

59BigWalt ,

Now Keith!

Did you ever remind Felipe of the play? Good memory.

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