The big thing you have to admire about Ted Koppel is that he won’t be bullied into saying anything that isn’t the truth, be it about the news or about a supposed-news organization like Fox ‘News’. While appearing on Bill O’ Reilly’s show, he basically lambastes the network for not being a true news network and brands them a ‘business’ — nothing more, nothing less.

Koppel notes that ideological news is bad for America – from wherever the ideology stems. He notes that there is no question when watching FoxNews where the ideological bent comes from. Further, he chastises O’ Reilly for pretending to be a real news anchor, especially when he goes so far as to remind O’ Reilly “Once upon a time, you and I thought journalism was a calling…” instead of just a business.

Then, when O’Reilly says the difference between FoxNews and MSNBC is that Fox does HARD NEWS, you can almost sense Koppel is going to break out in a loud laugh. He is kinder and more thoughtful in his response than that, but you know he must be thinking it. Feeling it. From his gut.

Koppel doesn’t have any problem with a business being a business, whether for entertainment or politics, but he refuses to fall in with the FoxNews opinion that they are either REAL news or anything remotely close to it.

In his final commentary on the network, responding to Bill O’Reilly’s suggestion that he thinks he is doing something noble, he gives Bill a kiss-off right to his face.

Category: Financial Press, Video

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

14 Responses to “Ted Koppel: “Fox News is Bad for America””

  1. ilsm says:

    When O’Reilly said he is still thinking he is “doing something noble”, I brought out Kipling’s “White Man’s Burden”……………………..

    It is “noble” to preach Murdoch’s to the tehadist! In O’Reilly/Goebbels’ world.


    To veil the threat of terror

    And check the show of pride;

    By open speech and simple

    An hundred times made plain

    To seek another’s profit

    And work another’s gain

    Take up the White Man’s burden—

    And reap his old reward:

    The blame of those ye better

    The hate of those ye guard—

    The cry of hosts ye humour

  2. USSofA says:

    The problem is that people cant figure out the difference between news and news analysis that suits their political ideology.

  3. Moss says:

    A business racket is what Ted really means.
    The FTC should take away their license for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

    They are only interested in ratings which they get because they appeal to an audience (we all know the demographic) who only watch TV. Their audience is in effect ‘captive’ and that is what they exploit to gain the ratings.

  4. scottinnj says:

    If I were appointed your benevolent dictator for life,one of my first acts would be to ban 24 hr news channels. I’m not sure what value add is provided by Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC et al. God bless their hearts, but listening to my Fox News addicted in laws cite factual inaccuracy after inaccuracy this weekend was very tedious (and I merely nodded as my wife gave me death stares).

    One of my favorite movies is The Truman Show, which I may rewatch over the Holidays. Many times I think the GOP is to Roger Ailes/Fox News as Truman was to Christof.

  5. JimRino says:

    What was the meaning of the “kiss”?

    The right loves to be the pawns of the .1%. They’re laughing at you dumb retiree’s doing their bidding, as they rape you with Corporate Fraud, perpetuated by the Republican party.

    Why Republicans lost? Fox News. We watch you racist nuts, with your idiot opinions and stupid commentators. You can’t be trusted to govern a PTA.

  6. JimRino says:

    Why did white voters stay home for Romney?
    Your outright attacks on Social Security and Medicaid and Medicare, You attack your Base, you eat your own.
    And working class whites said it Doesn’t Pay to Vote RACIST, and lose my Social Security.

  7. Consider Murdoch and Fox as payback for what we did to Gough Whitlam and Australia in 1975.

  8. bart says:

    Huge kudos for Koppel and him actually knowing and practicing something about integrity.

  9. thenoz says:

    I know you guys are the low hanging fruit but can I say that you are a riot! Yes, O’reilly and Fox News have their silly stupid moments but so does CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, MSNBC and all others. There is nobody so fun to trade against as those who are sure of how the world works. Ha, Ha Ha. Thanks for the New Year Joy!

  10. demosthenes says:

    Really Mr. Ritholtz? Can we please get real? Is media bias a recent phenomenon? The media or the press-whatever label you place on them have been engaged in biased reporting for as long as they have been in business. Yes, Mr. Ritholz , they also are a business. Someone as at some point started that newspaper or television station to make a profit. I don’t have to tell you the enormous power and influence the media has in its possession.

    They can and have for decades manipulated the flow of information to suit their own beliefs, opinions and biases. Very simply, by choosing what story to report, what details should be omitted, how the story should be reported, what kind of questions to ask to elicit as best they can the responses and answers they are looking for to shape public opinion. New York Times, Bloomberg News, CBS, ABC, CNN MSNBC, etc.

    All have an agenda and they all have a bias. To believe that they are totally objective and simply report the news unvarnished and bias free is naive and you know it. Mr. Koppel, Mr. Ritholtz, just be honest.


    BR: All media have their perspectives, and some even have biases. If humans are involved in the news gathering process, there is always the risk of compromised objectivity. The difference between New York Times, Bloomberg News, CBS, ABC, CNN MSNBC, on one side and FOX NEWS on the other is that none of the prior media outlets is a branch of a political party.

    FOX NEWS is a branch of the GOP. This is not a subject of debate — they coordinate closely with a GOP, follow the Republican daily talking points, and generally, do not act like an independent news organization. This is not debatable, unless you are unwilling to look at this objectively. Any Fair analysis of the facts reveals this to be so. If you cannot see this, well then you are blinded by YOUR ON BIAS.

    For the record, I am an independent, voted for Obama in 2008 and voted Libertarian on 2012.

  11. Clif Brown says:

    Because many people watch, what they watch is the truth? Democracy can be the rule of the mob, in fact the Founding Fathers were worried about that very thing, a reason that they had Senators chosen at one remove from the people, by the House. Remember in the movie “Network”, a satire, a wildly popular TV show was Vox Populi Vox Dei…the voice of the people is the voice of God. So this idea of O’Reilly isn’t borne up in reality. “The people”, the huge majority, watched approvingly as dissenters were burned at the stake.

    On the other hand, it is a conceit, voiced by Koppel, that there is such a thing as unbiased news. Every news editor that ever lived, including Walter Kronkite, has had a point of view which cannot help but color their reporting. The history of newspapers is the history of putting a slant on things which Hearst and McCormick brought to a fever pitch. If you wanted to get out your truth, you sought to own a newspaper and this still goes.

    So this exchange is between sanctimony and delusion. Anyone interested in the truth must work to find it by going to multiple sources (now made easy by the Internet) and even then read between the lines. This is hard work, most will not do it, far simpler to be told the “truth” by the news authority of your choice.

  12. drtomaso says:

    All news organizations have a bias- usually that bias is directed towards what ever will make the most money for their network, for better or worse, and this allows them (with notable exceptions) to be apolitical. You get the shock story, the tear-jerker, nothing but local emphasis, and rarely hear about what is happening in the rest of the world- but only one network seems to be explicitly tying themselves to the republican party. I guess two if you count CNBC- but they really just seem to be trying to ride Fox’s money making coattails.

    I really tire of the endless “CBS and NBC and CNN do it too” shtick. No, no they do not. They do not have a purely republican leaning opinion-tainment section who’s sole job is to voice support for one political party in defiance of facts. Their “news” desks do not then parrot as fact the same tired opinions of their opinion desks in a never ending game of “balanced” “he-said-she-said” where the he is an uninformed Fox News “anchor” and the she is some subject matter expert. But they get equal time- ’til Bill-O takes one’s mic away. They do not generally make $hit up- one need only look to Fox’s coverage of the election to see this in action. Their opinion-tainment desk that was out front on election night actually went back stage to question their own network’s analysis of the outstanding vote in Ohio.

    “Aha!”, you say, “but what about MSNBC?” False equivalence. All I can say is that any time I go to that channel, all they are showing is reruns of “Lockdown”. The three or four hourly opinion-tainment anchors they have all seem to be engaged in a game of playing Fox News clips, then pointing out the usually hilarious bias. I somehow doubt they would exist without Fox to supply them material.

  13. freddyv33 says:

    It’s always amusing when the egomaniacs start attacking one another. But at least Bill O gives lots to charity and help get Jessica’s law passed. Yes he has a huge ego but he’s open mindedto gun control, climate change and progressive causes, as long as they do good…I just don’t see that much bias, certainly less then the author of this blog expresses. Ahhh…let the attacks begin. But I get it from both sides so I know I’m on the right track.