NEW YORK >> Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity is calling on CBS News to release the full tape of his interview with Ted Koppel for “Sunday Morning,” in which the veteran “Nightline” anchor answered “yes” when Hannity asked if Koppel thought he was bad for America.
The exchange between two different generations of television news personalities continued to resonate today: It was the lead “hot topic” that hosts of “The View” kicked around on their talk show.
Hannity was interviewed for the Sunday show’s cover story about partisan media, and sensed some unease by Koppel when he discussed his role as an opinion host. Hannity is a fervent supporter of President Donald Trump and has attacked his opponents and traditional media outlets for how they report on the president.
“You’re cynical,” Hannity said.
“I am cynical, Koppel replied.
“Do you think we’re bad for America? You think I’m bad for America?” Hannity asked.
“Yeah,” Koppel said.
Koppel said he lumped Hannity in with other opinion shows and that while he thought Hannity was “very good at what you do,” his audience feels ideology is more important than facts.
It was one of two excerpts of Koppel’s interview with Hannity that was included in the broader 10-minute story, and it quickly attracted attention. CBS News fanned it, breaking out a 45-second clip of their exchange for its website and writing a story about it.
Hannity, in a series of tweets, criticized the report as “fake edited news. I did about a 45-minute interview with CBS. They ran less than two. Why did Ted cut out my many examples of media bias?” He called on CBS to release the unedited interview so people could see the “games” being played by editors.
Hannity didn’t indicate that his words were edited to make them appear misleading; he just seemed upset that so much got left on the cutting-room floor.
CBS News didn’t respond to Hannity’s request today. Koppel said he was content to let the story speak for itself.
Koppel has expressed similar opinions before. In an appearance on Fox’s “The O’Reilly Factor” last year, Koppel told host Bill O’Reilly that he had changed the television landscape by taking news from being objective and dull to subjective and entertaining. When O’Reilly said that Koppel believed that “people like me have ruined the country,” the former ABC newsman answered, “That’s right.”
In 2012, Koppel also took MSNBC’s liberal host Rachel Maddow to task in a speech at the National Press Club.
“I don’t want to know what she thinks about these issues,” he said. “I really don’t. I want to hear her informed reporting. I want to hear her interview people with that sharp mind of hers.”
CBS News released a lengthier outtake of Koppel’s interview with Hannity online Saturday, before the television report aired. Hannity discussed his working class background, criticisms of former President Barack Obama and his attitudes toward liberals and journalism.
“We are stuck in an ideological rut and programs like yours, popular as you are, haven’t helped,” Koppel said.