Keith Olbermann denied a New York Times report that he isn't allowed to talk politics on his new ESPN talk show, but says he doesn't plan to.
Speaking at the Television Critics Association summer press tour Wednesday, Olbermann was asked how he'll resist talking about politics now that he and Nate Silver are on the same team.
"I have to give you a fairly complex answer to that question: One is, The New York Times report was wrong," Olbermann said. "There is no such clause, referring to content about anything that we might do on the show. … There's nothing preventing me from doing it other than common sense."
He said he didn't plan to talk sports because his new late night series, "Olbermann" will be "a sports show." The series will debut Aug. 26 at 11 p.m. ET.
Olbermann added that he might occasionally talk politics if politicians inject themselves into the sports world.
"It's a sports show, and there will be occasions… if Barack Obama runs onto the field during the All-Star Game, we will have to talk about the ramifications of that during the game, and perhaps for his political future," Olbermann said.
He said next to ESPN vice president Jamie Horowitz, who added: "It's not dissimilar from other shows on ESPN. When sports intersects with politics, with culture or music, we expect that our opinions will weigh in on the stories."
The Times said of Olbermann's contract when it broke news of his ESPN return: "Olbermann will be free to discuss matters other than sports, including pop culture and current events, but not politics, the two-year pact specifies."
On Wednesday, Olbermann disputed both that he was not allowed to cover politics, and that he would do pop culture segments.
Moments later, he was asked to weigh in on Anthony Weiner's latest sexting scandal. The New York City mayoral candidate sent sexual messages and images using the name "Carlos Danger."
Olbermann did his best to avoid taking a political position.
"I think that he stole a great fake hotel sign-in name that I would have liked to have used," he said, adding that Weiner's use of the "Carlos Danger" moniker was "a tribute to something about him."
He noted that nothing seems to disqualify people from being New York City mayor. "New York's has mayors who liked to go to all the fires," he said.
He also said he might somehow work "Carlos Danger" into the first episode of his new series.
Olbermann also said he would adapt his "Worst Person in the World" segment from his political show, "Countdown," by doing a "Worst Person in the Sports World" each episode.
Olbermann also said he has learned from his past exits from a string of employers, including MSNBC and Current TV.
"I better have," he said. "I'm 54 years old."