By Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist Published Jun 21, 2011 at 11:00 AM

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker had the two-hour 6 a.m. shift on CNBC this morning, guest hosting "Squawk Box," and he found a comfortable place to repeat much of what Wisconsinites have been hearing for half a year.

Looking relaxed in shirt-sleeves and a bold red tie, he predicted his poll numbers would go up. Demonstrating that this was not going to be a confrontational session, co-host Joe Kernen offered his own view of the Madison protests, and how the national media covered the story.

"Did it bother you just in the way the media covered a lot of what happened. I didn't see any of the protesters that were carrying Che Guevera or communist signs. They were everywhere. And yet I saw New York Times pieces that the senators, the guys that left, that bolted, which were essentially AWOL, when they came back they were conquering heroes."

Walker responded that he spent eight years of as Milwaukee county executive and dealt with "pushback."

The governor closed his session pushing his changes to education in the state.

"The biggest thing we did, that gets under-covered in Wisconsin, is we didn't just make a change for the budget. We actually got rid of seniority, tenure, school districts can now pick the best and brightest based on merit, and ultimately award them payment on performance. That didn't get covered a whole lot, but that's probably the longest, long-standing, long-term improvement, that we can finally pay for performance."

Here's a clip:

The return of Keith Olbermann: "... As I was saying," was Keith Olbermann's opening to his new Current TV version of "Countdown" nearly half a year after he left MSNBC.

And it was a good opening, since the new show is the old show, with lefty filmmaker Michael Moore as his first guest, and John Dean and Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsos on the list as well.

Early in the one-hour show - which airs live weeknights at 7 p.m., with numerous repeats on Current - Olbermann took to his traditional "special comment" segment, to explain the goal of his show.

"This is to be a newscast of contextualization and it is to be presented with a viewpoint: that the weakest citizen of this country is more important than the strongest corporation, that the nation is losing its independence through the malfeasance of one political party and the timidity of another; and that even though you and I should not have to be the last line of defense, apparently we are. So we damn well better start being it."

The one point I'd quibble with is his use of the word "newscast." While the show deals with events in the news, it's an entertainment and opinion show, like Fox News Channel's "O'Reilly Factor," which it again faces in the 7 p.m. hour.

The ratings won't be surprising, and really won't determine the show's success or failure. Current, which has Al Gore among its owners, is trying to remake its identity (which was pretty amorphous), and this show is the beginning of that effort.

Current is a little-watched channel and, in Wisconsin, isn't available on Charter Cable. On Time Warner in southeast Wisconsin, it's on Channel 226. Head to the show's website for other ways to watch the show.

On TV: The weekend's premiere of Steven Spielberg's "Falling Skies" on TNT was the biggest cable premiere of the season, with nearly 6 million viewers.

  • Meanwhile, the season finale of "The Killing" on AMC pulled in 2.3 million for an episode that left many regular viewers dissatisfied.
  • After his death Monday in an auto accident, the G4 Channel has pulled "Jackass" star Ryan Dunn's new show "Proving Ground."
  • Comedy Central has axed Norm MacDonald's sports/comedy show and "The Onion Sports Dome."
  • The networks are starting to roll out their fall premiere dates. The CW Network is the first, saying it'll launch its season with "90210" on Sept. 13 in the 7 p.m. Tuesday slot. posts the complete list.
  • ABC News' Christiane Amanpour has picked up this year's Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism from Arizona State University's Cronkite School of Journalism and Communications.
  • CNN senior White House correspondent Ed Henry has jumped over the Fox News Channel for the same job.
  • Marie Osmond is going to guest on CBS' "The Bold and The Beautiful" later this year, according to ET Online.

The Jon and Chris show: Daily Show fake journalist Jon Stewart went on Fox News Sunday over the weekend to talk about what he does with real journalist Chris Wallace and the conversation.

Here's part one of the unedited video:

Here's part two:

Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist

Tim Cuprisin is the media columnist for He's been a journalist for 30 years, starting in 1979 as a police reporter at the old City News Bureau of Chicago, a legendary wire service that's the reputed source of the journalistic maxim "if your mother says she loves you, check it out." He spent a couple years in the mean streets of his native Chicago, and then moved on to the Green Bay Press-Gazette and USA Today, before coming to the Milwaukee Journal in 1986.

A general assignment reporter, Cuprisin traveled Eastern Europe on several projects, starting with a look at Poland after five years of martial law, and a tour of six countries in the region after the Berlin Wall opened and Communism fell. He spent six weeks traversing the lands of the former Yugoslavia in 1994, linking Milwaukee Serbs, Croats and Bosnians with their war-torn homeland.

In the fall of 1994, a lifetime of serious television viewing earned him a daily column in the Milwaukee Journal (and, later the Journal Sentinel) focusing on TV and radio. For 15 years, he has chronicled the changes rocking broadcasting, both nationally and in Milwaukee, an effort he continues at

When he's not watching TV, Cuprisin enjoys tending to his vegetable garden in the backyard of his home in Whitefish Bay, cooking and traveling.