Veteran journalist Ted Koppel didn’t hide his true feelings toward President Donald Trump’s No. 1 media cheerleader, Sean Hannity, telling him in no uncertain terms that his brand of “journalism” is hurting the country. During a CBS Sunday Morning segment on the polarization of the United States, Koppel explores why it is that 81 percent of voters say they can’t agree with the other side on even basic facts. Little wonder then, he ends up sitting face-to-face with Hannity, who often seems as though he’s living in his own alternative universe.
Hannity, however, defended himself by accusing Koppel of treating viewers as if they’re dumb. “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,” Hannity said. But it was clear to the Fox News host that Koppel was not buying it: “You’re cynical,” he added.
“I am cynical,” Koppel agreed.
“Do you think we’re bad for America? You think I’m bad for America?”
Koppel didn’t hesitate: “Yeah.” He then went on to explain himself. Or try to at least, which was a bit difficult with Hannity’s constant interruptions:
“Really? That’s sad, Ted. That’s sad.”
“No, you know why? Because you’re very good at what you do, and because you have attracted a significantly more influential—”
“You are selling the American people short.”
“No, let me finish the sentence before you do that.”
“I’m listening. With all due respect. Take the floor.”
“You have attracted people who are determined that ideology is more important than facts.”
Sean Hannity was not happy with the clip, which ended up spreading like wildfire on social media. The Fox News host took to Twitter on Sunday afternoon to criticize the “fake ‘edited’ news,” saying he sat down for a 45-minute interview that was whittled down to less than two minutes. He also called on CBS to release the entire interview so viewers could judge it for themselves.