Ted Koppel: The Media is No Longer a “Reservoir of Objectivity”

Few journalists in the TV news business have built themselves a reputation like the one Ted Koppel has, so it’s not surprising to see the Nightline veteran concerned about the current state of the media. Koppel is no supporter of President Donald Trump, but he’s more disturbed about the direction of the mainstream press than he is the direction of Washington. In a conversation last week with author Marvin Kalb, Koppel said that the major papers of the United States were not carrying forward the objective legacy of the political media.

“We’re talking about organizations that I believe have in fact decided as organizations that Donald J. Trump is bad for the United States,” Koppel said. “We have things appearing on the front page of the New York Times right now that never would have appeared 50 years ago — analysis, commentary, on the front page.

“So his perception that the establishment press is out to get him doesn’t mean that great journalism is not being done. It is,” he continued. “But the notion that most of us look upon Donald Trump as being an absolute fiasco — he’s not mistaken in that perception and he’s not mistaken when so many of the liberal media, for example, described themselves as belonging to the resistance. What does that mean?”

Well, it means that most Americans have begun to see the New York Times, the Washington Post, the networks, and the cable news channels for what they are – liberal advocates for the Democratic Party. Machines that work on behalf of the left. Activism disguised as news. There’s no mistaking it. After eight years of fawning over Barack Obama, it was as plain as day, but it took the arrival of Trump to really shine a spotlight on the bias. No, bias isn’t even the right word anymore. It’s outright propaganda. And if Koppel thinks it is hurting the news business more than it is hurting Trump, he’s absolutely right on the money.

“We are not the reservoir of objectivity that I think we were,” the legendary anchor said.

There’s a pretty significant question as to whether the mainstream media was ever a “reservoir of objectivity” when it came to Washington, but that’s neither here nor there. At the very least, they used to do a much better job of at least pretending to show both sides of the equation. At this point, they aren’t even interested in appearing to be unbiased. They are preaching to the choir, publishing tripe that is often indistinguishable from Democratic Party fundraising emails. And, at the end of the day, much of this garbage is intended for the same purpose.

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