Speaking to CBS about opinion-based journalism, veteran broadcast journalist Ted Koppel told Fox News commentator Sean Hannity that he is "bad for America."
In the interview that aired Sunday, Hannity, a supporter of President Donald Trump, told Koppel, "I think liberalism must be defeated. Socialism must be defeated in a political sense. We don't want a revolution in this country."
Hannity added that Republicans may have control of the White House, Congress and Senate, but "we have angry snowflakes, and then we've got a Democratic establishment. I say the press in this country is out to destroy the president."
He continued, "We have to give some credit to the American people that they're somewhat intelligent and that they know the difference between an opinion show and a news show… You're cynical."
Koppel responded, saying, "I am cynical."
Hannity then asked, "Do you think we're bad for America? You think I'm bad for America?" Koppel quickly said, "Yeah."
Hannity sought to confirm, asking, "You do? Really?"
Koppel said, "In the long haul I think you and all these opinion shows..."
"That's sad, Ted. That's sad," responded Hannity.
Koppel continued, "No, you know why? Because you're very good at what you do, and because you have attracted a significantly more influential…"
Hannity then said, "You are selling the American people short."
Koppel added, "No, let me finish the sentence before you do that."
"You have attracted people who are determined that ideology is more important than facts," Koppel stated.
Later Sunday, Hannity tweeted, "I should thank @CBSNews for providing me the opportunity to unmask 'The Anatomy of Edited Fake News!' Stay tuned…Hope David and Ben watch."
Hannity again tweeted, "If you pay attention Ted was saying ALL opinion shows are bad for America. But he was saying this while giving us HIS OPINION #hypocrisy." And then, 'Funny behind the scenes After I answered the first question, Ted said 'none of that will air.' So I kept saying 'Ted u need to keep this in.'"
In a 2010 op-ed in The Washington Post, Koppel wrote, "The commercial success of both Fox News and MSNBC is a source of nonpartisan sadness for me. 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.
"They show us the world not as it is, but as partisans 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."