Ted Koppel is not pleased with the news media these days, particularly with its coverage of former President Donald Trump.
As a guest on “Dan Abrams Live” on NewsNation Friday night, the esteemed, veteran journalist and former “Nightline” anchor shared his thoughts about media bias and his wish that news versus opinion had a greater distinction.
“I’m terribly concerned that when you talk about the New York Times these days, when you talk about the Washington Post these days,” Koppel began. “We’re not talking about the New York Times of 50 years ago. We are 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 asked Koppel if that has impacted media coverage of Donald Trump over the past few years.
Koppel answered, “I think opinion belongs on the opinion page. That’s why they call it the op-ed section. That’s where the opinion pieces are, the columns, that’s where the editorials are and that’s where it belongs. I don’t like seeing opinion being expressed on the front page of a great newspaper.”
He went on, “Having said that, let me say again, 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 step into that category… It bothers me when I see them losing some of the criteria that always used to keep a wall between opinion and news coverage.”
Abrams argued that “some would be that Donald Trump is different. That he has to be covered differently by the media than others.”
But Koppel argued that when those distinctions are drawn, “it’s very difficult to know where you stop.”
“Do you feel that way about anybody else in politics?,” he asked. “Are we going to start picking up our morning newspaper to see who is in and who is out, in terms of the news coverage? Again, there’s a place for that in the op-ed section. I don’t like it on the front page.”
You can watch the segment in its entirety in the video above.