Accuracy in Media

Former ABC Nightline anchor Ted Koppel appeared on CNN’s Reliable Sourrces and took aim at at what he perceives as the decline of serious journalism on cable news.

Kurtz: Let me ask you about a  Washington Post opinion piece that you wrote awhile back that caused a bit of a stir.  You said you were saddened by the partisanship in prime time on Fox News and MSNBC.  Why saddened?  A lot of people say well look, by evening time people know the headlines, they’ve seen them online, they’ve read the newspapers they like opinion.

Koppel: Again if the we’re only talking about it through the prism  entertainment I take the point. But if the purpose is to provide some journalism, than I think the journalism requires–and our times require–a little more serious objectivity. I think there has to be a willingness on the part of the public to accept that journalism is trying to do an honest job of giving  them an objective accounting of what’s going on in the world and an objective appraisal of what’s really happening in the world. In the face of what Fox is doing or in the face of what MSNBC is doing, there is not a reason for the public to assume anything other than what we are doing is putting forth our own opinions.

Objective journalism?  What a novel concept!  Maybe there was such an animal 50 or 60 years ago but there has been little objective journalism in the last 40 plus years and Koppel knows it.

The public is very well aware of what they are getting when they watch Fox or MSNBC and that’s why they watch these programs and why cable news has eroded so much of the audience and appetite for broadcast news.

Kurtz and Koppel then went on to talk about his attack of Keith Olbermann who was still working for MSNBC at the time, but pointed out that was due to the fact that he was in the news at the time. Koppel said that he could have easily written about someone at Fox though no names came immediately to mind.  For Koppel it was mostly a forgotten episode but apparently not for Olbermann who in response to the interview tweeted  “Ted Koppel Is Still ALIVE?”

We can always count on Olbermann for showing a little liberal class.


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