Ted Koppel tells Sean Hannity to his face he’s bad for America

Fox News host Sean Hannity (left) and veteran journalist Ted Koppel faced off on "CBS Sunday Morning."

Veteran newscaster Ted Koppel, best known for his longtime stint as the anchor for ABC's long-running news program Nightline, is not a fan of today’s television newscasts, which, he says, often put ideology before facts.

On Sunday morning, sitting across from highly-opinionated Fox News host and Trump supporter Sean Hannity, Koppel didn’t pull any punches.

In a surprisingly tense exchange on the normally tame CBS Sunday Morning news program, Koppel made it clear he thought Hannity’s form of opinion-based reporting was hurting the country.

The interview was part of an 11-minute segment about the “alternate universes” Americans find themselves in politically, especially when it comes to the consumption of television news, where networks sometimes cater to their viewers' political opinions instead of offering them clear cut facts and objective analysis.

Hannity, whose syndicated radio show appears nightly on 1210 WPHT, defended himself against Koppel’s allegations. After openly saying "liberalism has to be defeated," Hannity seemingly took offense to the idea that his viewers might not be astute enough to know the difference between opinion and news.

Then he asked Koppel a surprising question: “Do you think I’m bad for America?”

Koppel, without hesitating, answered, “Yeah.”

“You know why? Because you’re very good at what you do, and because you have attracted a significantly more influential … ” Koppel said before forcing a interrupting Hannity to let him finish.

“You have attracted people who are determined that ideology is more important than facts,” Koppel said.


Late Sunday afternoon, Hannity defended himself on Twitter, blasting the interview as “Fake Edited News” and dared Koppel to release an unedited version of the interview, which he claims ran 45 minutes.

CBS did not respond or immediately return a request for comment.