If you aren't aware (as I wasn't...) Ted Koppel is now doing reports for CBS Sunday Morning. Good for him, and good for them. And good for us because this past Sunday, Koppel interviewed Sean Hannity, and gracefully (as only Koppel can) shredded him like cabbage.
This isn't the full interview, but the section that got the most attention, when Koppel quietly, simply and directly tells Hannity that he thinks the "Fox News" commentator's type of work is bad for the country.
The best part of this for me is when Hannity says that American public can tell the difference between a news show and an opinion show, and Koppel gives the most drippingly skeptical “Yeahhhh…….” Hilarious and spot on.
That said, there’s another answer one can give whenever the Hannity’s of the world say this, that "Oh, gee willikers, people know the difference between news and opinion.". And that other answer is that, yes, you’re giving opinion, not news, but you’re supporting your opinion with you claim is news and facts, so they overlap and blur the line. And if the facts and news are wrong, when supporting your opinion, it doesn’t matter that it’s “Just opinion,” because people will believe what they’re told is news and fact AS news and fact.
To be clear, I'm not suggesting that Ted Koppel respond any way other than he does here, Koppel being Koppel. It's just my own reaction whenever I hear the virulently racist anti-Semite Hannity make his faux-disclaimer. He’s so smug and smarmy AND, yes, hurtful.
The thing is, you can tell how profoundly defensive he is when Koppel answers that way. It’s one thing to disagree with an eminent voice saying what Koppel has just said, but another thing (as we see here with Hannity) to not be able to shut up about saying why you disagree.
In fact, he's still yammering about it ever since this video appeared and has gone viral.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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