ABC Veteran Ted Koppel Lets His Opinion Be Known About Cable News–And It’s Not Good

Nov 15, 2010  •  Post A Comment

Former ABC anchorman Ted Koppel wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post in which he criticized cable news outlets Fox News and MSNBC, and equated the product those networks present to the pyramid scheme Bernie Madoff sold to investors, TVNewser reports.

Koppel wrote, "They show us the world not as it is, but as partisans (and loyal viewers) at either end of the political spectrum would like it to be. This is to journalism what Bernie Madoff was to investment: He told his customers what they wanted to hear, and by the time they learned the truth, their money was gone."

Koppel decried the damage he says cable news has done to broadcast journalism and to the country.

"The commercial success of both MSNBC and Fox News is a source of nonpartisan sadness for me,” he wrote. “While I can appreciate the financial logic of drowning television viewers in a flood of opinions designed to confirm their own biases, the trend is not good for the republic."


  1. This slamming of the cable news channels by the “traditional” media is ridiculous. Doesn’t every newspaper have editorial pages and opinions on almost everything from cars to movies. This is how the “news media” has worked since the printing press. The cable news channels do a fairly good job of distinguishing the news programming from the opinion programming for those that care to pay attention.

  2. Ted misses the days when all the media reported the same left-leaning message. Uniformity does not equal objectivity, even if its dressed-up with a debate between the strongest voice on the left versus the weakest voice on the right (a la The View).

  3. It is time to dispel the myth that the news media, in the past, or now, ever “leaned” to the left. It is simply not true. Revisionists love to make us all believe that the press were a bunch of commie loving leftists just waiting for the day when they could wave the Russian flag in triumph. The fact is that the press used to be extremely conservative, especially when it came to “lefty” ideas like minority rights and allowing women to vote. Modern cable news now does have an agenda. Make money by any means possible. If that means being appealing to “we are the world” lefties, or “hate everyone who isn’t rich and white “righties” then they make it so and laugh all the way to the banks.

  4. Thank you Ted Koppel. I feel the same sadness. About the comment on editorials, common, how can you compare en editorial to an entire news show, day after day? If we continue with the Fox vs. MSNBC business (and the likes of CNN improve nothing), this is going to polarize this country to the point of year 1860, except bloodier and stupid. Bad for the Republic? Right on, Ted.

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