Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Veteran network newsman Ted Koppel called out Fox News’ Sean Hannity and other talk show hosts as “bad for America” because they attract viewers who “are determined that ideology is more important than facts,” in an interview that aired on Sunday.
Koppel interviewed Hannity for a segment on the deepening political divide in America on “CBS Sunday Morning” when the discussion turned to conservative talk radio and the spoon-feeding of information to viewers.
“We have to give some credit to the American people that they are somewhat intelligent and that they know the difference between an opinion show and a news show. You’re cynical,” Hannity told Koppel.
“I am cynical,” said Koppel. the former longtime host of ABC News’ “Nightline.”
“Do you think we’re bad for America? You think I’m bad for America?” Hannity asked.
“Yeah,” Koppel replied, adding, “In the long haul, I think you and all these opinion shows …”
“Really? That’s sad, Ted,” Hannity interjected.
“No, you know why?” Koppel said. “Because … you have attracted people who are determined that ideology is more important than facts.”
Later, in an interview with White House spokesman Sean Spicer, Koppel asked whether Americans should take President Trump literally in light of criticism that he spreads falsehoods.
“No, I think you should take him literally. The president’s very authoritative when he speaks. He wants to be taken literally. And also you have to understand that when you have 140 characters, that somebody trying to look at that and say, ‘This means the following’ is a little bit too much,” Spicer said.
“That’s one good reason for not using Twitter to communicate serious issues,” said Koppel.