Berkeley law lecturer to host nightly political TV program in January

Former governor of Michigan and lecturer at UC Berkeley Jennifer Granholm will be hosting a program on Current TV where she will invite guests to discuss issues relating to the 2012 general election.

“The War Room with Jennifer Granholm,” which will premiere in January, will air on weeknights at 9 p.m. after “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” and will feature different guests, including “political insiders, campaign veterans, opinion leaders and newsmakers,” according to a Wednesday press release from Current TV.

According to a spokesperson for Current TV, the program will focus on news and analysis of campaigns of all levels, including congressional and local races, as well as the presidential election.

Although Granholm will become the new program’s host, she will continue teaching at the UC Berkeley School of Law and the Goldman School of Public Policy, despite the time commitment every weeknight.

“Berkeley is about comprehensive excellence,” said Bob Jacobsen, chair of the campus division of the Academic Senate. “Our job is not just limited to undergraduate and graduate students.”

Granholm could not be reached for comment.

The addition of the show is part of Current TV’s effort to be “a trusted resource for intelligent and compelling commentary during what is sure to be a very important and fascinating election year,” said Al Gore, chairman and co-founder of Current TV, according to a transcript of a conference call held for the press on Wednesday.

“I am so excited to be able to use the experience that I had the benefit of gleaning as governor and as Attorney General of Michigan to be able to shed some insight on what’s going on in this election year,” Granholm said on the conference call, according to the transcript.

Henry Brady, dean of the campus public policy school, said one of the roles of the university is to share its ideas with the public, and Granholm’s show is one means of accomplishing this goal.

“(Being at UC Berkeley) I think will intensify her thinking about public policy so that she can bring even better ideas and notions into the public sphere,” Brady said.

He added that the show will also allow Granholm to bring a new dimension to her teaching.

“I think this is a kind of real-world example that makes teaching much more vibrant and exciting for students and people like me,” said lecturer in residence at the law school Steven Weissman, associate director for the Center for Law, Energy and the Environment at the campus law school.

Weissman will be teaching a course with Granholm in the spring on renewable energy, law and policy. He said that the show would allow Granholm to “make a public policy-related course seem fresh every day.”