Veteran Newsman Ted Koppel is not pleased with Fox News and MSNBC.
The former ABC anchor and current “BBC World News America” contributor expressed his displeasure with the current state of cable news in an editorial that will appear in Sunday’s Washington Post.
“We live now in a cable news universe that celebrates the opinions of Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly – individuals who hold up the twin pillars of political partisanship and who are encouraged to do so by their parent organizations because their brand of analysis and commentary is highly profitable,” wrote Koppel.
Koppel thinks the domination of partisan punditry has led to “a pervasive ethos that eschews facts in favor of an idealized reality.” According to Koppel, Fox and MSNBC “show us the world not as it is, but as partisans (and loyal viewers) at either end of the political spectrum would like it to be.” All this politicized news coverage is very upsetting to Koppel.
“The commercial success of both Fox News and MSNBC is a source of nonpartisan sadness for me,” he wrote.
Koppel believes the shift from the more objective style of traditional network news broadcasts to cable’s more opinionated coverage is especially dangerous because, “the need for clear, objective reporting in a world of rising religious fundamentalism, economic interdependence and global ecological problems is probably greater than it has ever been.” With the modern media’s focus on reaching targeted segments of the audience, Koppel doesn’t expect to things to improve any time soon.
“There is, after all, not much of a chance that 21st-century journalism will be adapted to conform with the old rules,” Koppel wrote.
Koppel isn’t the only prominent media figure who criticized cable news this week. Jon Stewart broke down his problems with the 24-hour news networks on Thursday’s episode of “The Rachel Maddow Show.”