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Ted Koppel Tells Sean Hannity He’s Bad For America

“You think I’m bad for America?”

The American news landscape has changed significantly over the course of Ted Koppel’s career. When he started as the host of Nightline in 1980, it was well before the advent of the 24-hour cable news cycle and highly politicized networks such as FOX News and MSNBC. These days, news exists in right- and left-wing bubbles, where opinion is treated as important as fact, creating a modern form of polarization which tears our national fabric.


On Sunday, Koppel sat down with FOX News host Sean Hannity as part of a segment on the political polarization of America. The episode also touched on how pundits such as Hannity are contributing to the inability of Americans to distinguish between ideology and fact. During the exchange, Koppel boldly told Hannity that he’s bad for America.

SEAN HANNITY: 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. Look at that.

TED KOPPEL: I am cynical.

HANNITY: You think we're bad for America? You think I'm bad for America?

KOPPEL: Yeah.

HANNITY: You do.

KOPPEL: In the long haul, I think you and all these opinion shows …

HANNITY: Really? That’s sad, Ted. That’s sad.

KOPPEL: No, you know why? Because you’re very good at what you do, and because you have attracted a significantly more influential …

HANNITY: You're selling the American people short.

KOPPEL: Let me finish the sentence.

HANNITY: I’m listening. With all due respect. Take the floor.

KOPPEL: You have attracted people who are determined that ideology is more important than facts.

After the clip of Koppel calmly throwing shade at Hannity went viral, the Fox News host struck back, claiming the interview was fake news—a tired tactic which proves the Koppel was right all along.

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