Ted Koppel takes Sean Hannity to journalism school

It was like old times on the television on Sunday morning. There was Ted Koppel, patiently listening to the person he was talking to — Sean Hannity — shortly before destroying him on the question of the death of journalism.

Then Koppel told Hannity he’s bad for America, after Hannity made the mistake of asking if he was bad for America.

The interview was part of an 11-minute segment from Koppel on the divided nation and the people whose business depends on it staying that way.

Related: Why does Sean Hannity care what Ted Koppel thinks? (Washington Post)

  • wjc

    I’ve said it before: we’re screwed.

    I think we are living through the time when the U.S. stops being the dominant world power. We’ll still have the capacity to use our military power, but the days of other countries listening to and caring about American “principles” are over.

    • Well, we had a good run.

    • jon

      We trailed countries in europe on slavery, women’s suffrage, interracial marriage, same sex marriage….

      Our principles were only ever high minded in our own minds… at least for the last century or so.

  • Gary F

    Ted is old school, back in the days when there were fewer outlets and the center-left editors and big time talent like Koppel weren’t questioned and controlled the narrative.

    Hannity is not a journalist, and I don’t think he claims he is. Hannity gets old just like the rest of them being a slave to the 24 news cycle and having to create stuff to get worked up about to get ratings.

    Ted, after what we watched this last fall on how what you call “journalism” conducted themselves, they are not good for America either.

    • // when there were fewer outlets and the center-left editors and big time talent like Koppel weren’t questioned and controlled the narrative.

      Good example of asserting as fact what you think is true instead of what you know is true.

      • Gary F

        Yep, that goes for MPR/NPR listeners too.

        • Will

          I do find it quite telling that so many associated with MPR/NPR are so very eager to point out bias in others but absolutely refuse the acknowledge or point out their own bias. I know I’ve admitted my own bias here many times, I have the ability for self reflection and I don’t come here to be reassured that I’m right. I enjoy having my ideas challenged and I do appreciate hearing from others who I may or may not agree with on some issues.

          • What you’re describing in yourself is the biased listener/reader who creates reality out of the confirmation bias.

          • Will

            That’s what all people do… some are willing to see and admit that, others can’t ever imagine that they could be wrong.

            By definition everyone has confirmation bias.

          • Rob

            Glad to know that you’re confirming this.

          • Anna

            Don’t you ever get tired of boasting about how much insight you have into your own political bias, let alone others.

            You remind me of the Pharisees in the Bible.

          • Will

            I’m not boasting, I’m saying I approach every issue with an open mind that I could be wrong… that is how I look at the world. When new information is provided I adapt to that and use it to change my approach to an issue.

            I think we agree that Sean Hannity doesn’t approach issues that way, most people don’t.

          • Barbara

            I don’t claim any real skill in reading the subtexts of these messages, but I must say, Will, I do take you at your word, even if you seem to get constant flack for it (which may be justified – as I say, I’m not one for subtleties). I don’t often agree with you, but you keep making an effort that I appreciate as a genuine one. We are all flawed in our perceptions.

          • Will

            Thanks for listening/reading with an open mind. We are all flawed, it’s good to remember that once in a while.

          • Rob


          • Jay T. Berken

            High-five dude. That’s awesome..

    • Rob

      Classify Hannity’s schtick however you want. I just don’t think of vituperative name-calling and demonizing as particularly useful or informative constructs for apprehending and addressing political or social issues. But diff’rent strokes as to how people spend their time consuming media.

      • Will

        I do hope you see the irony of suggesting that you’re against name calling while appluading name calling against your political opponents a few comments below…confirmation bias indeed!

        • Rob

          I was applauding the witty use of a biblically-based analogy regarding issues of bias. Nice try, though.

  • crystals

    Scott Pelley’s “fake news” segment on 60 Minutes last night was wild. I just kept wondering how we got to this place, as a people.

    • Will

      Yeah, that was interesting.

      Some of the interesting facts from that report was that those on the right who fall for fake news tend to be older and less educated while those on the left who fell for fake news tended to be younger and more educated.

  • Will

    Sean is the worst of the radio talk shows, he’s simply a yes man for the GOP and never challenges himself or his guests who lean right or are crazy right wingers but will only have animosity for the left. He reminds me a lot of the inverse of some mainstream news organizations. Hannity just gets annoying because he’s so predictable and never offers an alternative perspective on issues. At least he doesn’t claim to be unbiased, I give him credit there but he’s still not worth listening to.

  • ru12xu

    It’s hard to argue that the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine had a huge impact on the current polarization. People have chosen ‘sides’ and rarely, if ever, hear the concerns/views of the other side in context

    • Boy, if there’s one thing you want, it’s the government dictating content.

      • ru12xu

        Touché but the current ‘free market’ approach does nothing but drive the segmentation of consumers. The only time you see the ‘opposing viewpoint’ on many of these networks is when a sacrificial lamb is offered up as fresh meat in a panel discussion

        • And yet, people say “false equivalence” is a big problem with news coverage, particularly, for example, on climate issues.

          • ru12xu

            Citing qualified, verifiable sources is a reasonable starting point. I find it offensive when people point to studies that ‘look like’ scientific reports. Rep Lamar Smith (TX) was quoted this past weekend as threatening to cut funding to organizations that don’t practice ‘sound science’, when in reality he’s targeting those whose research threaten his financial benefactors

        • Will

          I agree with what you see on cable news but Bob is also right, reinstating the Fairness Doctrine isn’t going to solve that problem. My idea is more transparency from the media itself but that idea is met with resistance from journalists. Maybe there’s another way for the media to gain back the trust of the public, I’m open to any ideas from all sides.

        • Rob

          The antidote: don’t watch.

  • AmiSchwab

    this was the first time i’ve watched any hannity. the man pales compared to koppel. i’ve never listened to limbaugh either and more then two minutes of trump gives me a brainache.am i normal?

    • Rob

      Your lack of ability to stomach these haters is, IMHO, blessedly normal.

    • Will

      If you’re really interested in hearing from some more moderate to right leaning voices I’d recommend these local guys, they talk to legislators and all sorts of local people involved in politics and neither voted for Trump…


  • lindblomeagles

    Sean Hannity knows he’s bad for journalism. In fact, he knows he’s not practicing journalism. Sean Hannity, and so many of these often conservative talk-show hosts, are part lobbyists, part soap opera stars, and part grief counselors wrapped into one. When Hannity applies his schtick, or provides his audience a rant, he’s attempting to persuade his audience to vote one way in the next election cycle, to make the show ALL ABOUT HIM each time he’s outrageous, and to motivate sad, angry, and depressed individuals to do something instead of staying sad, angry, or depressed. Journalists tell accurate stories that include the real heroes and villains, not themselves. They’re job isn’t to campaign for a particular position or candidate or party. They’re not trying to be somebody’s grief counselor. The problem is our society INSISTS that they are journalists and that their VIEW represents facts. Facts, however, ARE NOT views.