Legacy newsman Ted Koppel, who for decades hosted “Nightline,” took verbal aim at major media outlets’ bias against former President Donald Trump and others during a Friday interview.
In an appearance with NewsNation’s “Dan Abrams Live,” the host first read a quote from Koppel, circa 2019, in which he said:
I’m terribly concerned that when you talk about The New York Times these days, when you talk about The Washington Post these days, we’re not talking about The New York Times of 50 years ago. We’re not talking about The Washington Post of 50 years ago. We’re talking about organizations that, I believe, have, in fact, decided as organizations that Donald J. Trump is bad for the United States.
Abrams then asked Koppel if he still felt the same way.
After first lauding outlets like The New York Times and The Washington Post for “brilliant journalism,” Koppel noted that “opinion belongs on the opinion page; that’s why they call it the op-ed section.”
“I don’t like seeing opinion being expressed on the front page of a great newspaper,” Koppel said, later adding that it “bothers me when I see them losing some of the criteria that always used to keep a wall between opinion and news coverage.”
“I think the Times, the Post, The Wall Street Journal are doing some of the best journalism that I have seen over the past 50 years. I just wish they wouldn’t slip into that category,” Koppel continued.
“And when you start — you know, Lyndon Johnson used to say, when we get down in the mud with a hog, the hog loves it, and you both get dirty. So, it bothers me when I see them losing some of the criteria that always used to keep a wall between opinion and news coverage,” he added.
But Abrams responded by echoing a previous claim by many journalists who said that Trump is so much different, therefore he must be “covered differently by the media.”
Koppel wasn’t buying that, however.
“I think if you start drawing those distinctions, it’s very difficult to know where you stop drawing the distinction. Do you feel that way about anybody else in politics?” Koppel replied before reiterating that the place for opinion is the op-ed page.