Ted Koppel Bemoans 'Death of Real News'

He doesn't like the opinion factories of Olbermann, O'Reilly
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 12, 2010 5:21 PM CST
A 2007 file photo of Bill O'Reilly.   (AP Photo/Jeff Christensen, file)
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(Newser) – Ted Koppel thinks the Keith Olbermann suspension was nearly quaint, a throwback to the good old days when networks cared about "unbiased news." In an op-ed for Sunday's Washington Post, he laments the rise of opinions over facts. "The commercial success of both MSNBC and Fox News is a source of nonpartisan sadness for me," he writes. "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."

He retraces the glory days of broadcast news, when Americans gathered "before the electronic hearth" and listened to "relatively unbiased" reports. "The ritual permitted, and perhaps encouraged, shared perceptions and even the possibility of compromise among those who disagreed." Not so today. We need objectivity more than ever "in a world of rising religious fundamentalism, economic interdependence and global ecological problems. But we are no longer a national audience receiving news from a handful of trusted gatekeepers; we're now a million or more clusters of consumers, harvesting information from like-minded providers."

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