Legendary ABC News reporter Ted Koppel has seen a lot of change in the way news is covered during his lifetime – and clearly not all of it is good.
In a fiery interview with Fox News pundit Bill O’Reilly, Koppel turned the tables and laid out a scathing indictment on the entire conservative network’s way of doing business. It was beautiful to watch.
O’Reilly attempted to seek advice from Koppel on how best to approach an interview with Donald Trump. The Republican front runner is known for being brash, aggressive and evasive. O’Reilly put it to his former colleague, “Not an easy interview. How would you do it?”
But Koppel wasn’t having the fake sincerity. O’Reilly, and his ilk at Fox, createdthis monster.
“You and I have talked about this general subject many times over the years. It’s irrelevant how I would do it. You know who made it irrelevant? You did. You have changed the television landscape over the past 20 years — you took it from being objective and dull to subjective and entertaining. And in this current climate, it doesn’t matter what the interviewer asks him; Mr. Trump is gonna say whatever he wants to say, as outrageous as it may be.”
Thanks to people like O’Reilly, who routinely ignore facts to push a right-wing agenda, Trump can get away with saying anything he wants and the gullible Fox audience will eat it up. Facts no longer matter because they’ve been told for years that the truth has a liberal bias anyway.
When O’Reilly ignored the critique, Koppel again went for the throat. He suggested Fox might try to counter Trump, and this might sound crazy to a guy like O’Reilly, “by some reporting.”
“It’s an old-fashioned concept, but I think demonstrating who and what Mr. Trump is and what his policies really amount to is something you don’t do in an interview. He doesn’t answer the questions.”
Letting Trump control the interview doesn’t work. MSNBC tried it with their townhall and it was a complete disaster. Trump is a showman, what he lacks in substance he makes up for in empty bravado. Instead, Koppel told O’Reilly, try actually exposing the truth for once.
It’s refreshing to see someone so unequivocally call Bill O’Reilly out right to his face. It helps that it comes from a long-time veteran of the news business. O’Reilly had hoped to get some tips from the years of experience under Koppel’s belt, but wound up getting way more than he bargained for.
Watch the video below via Media Matters: