From the March 27 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): Meanwhile, yesterday Ted Koppel had about -- I guess he's on CBS now, and he had the CBS morning show. And he did a feature on why Americans are so divided in this country, at which time he decided to sit down with Sean Hannity, and for some reason Sean said yes. So Sean sits down with him for 45 minutes and they take out --
AINSLEY EARHARDT (CO-HOST): That was a waste. He should have sat down with him for a minute.
EARHARDT: They only aired a minute.
KILMEADE: But we do know this. We know what it's like to put together a long story, and you only have to use one soundbite. So I get that.
EARHARDT: But you have to be fair.
KILMEADE: Yeah, but I don't think this is. Listen.
SEAN HANNITY: We have to give some credit to the American people that they are somewhat intelligent and that they know the difference between an opinion show and a news show. You’re cynical. Look at that.
TED KOPPEL: I am cynical because --
HANNITY: You think we're bad for America? You think I'm bad for America?
HANNITY: You do.
KOPPEL: In the long haul, I think you and all these opinion shows --
HANNITY: Really? That’s sad, Ted. That’s sad.
KOPPEL: No, you know why? Because you’re very good at what you do, and because you have attracted a significantly more influential --
HANNITY: You're selling the American people short.
KOPPEL: Let me finish the sentence. Let me finish the sentence before you do that.
HANNITY: I’m listening. With all due respect. Take the floor.
KOPPEL: You have attracted people who are determined that ideology is more important than facts.
EARHARDT: So Ted Koppel gave his opinion. He's complaining because opinion shows are affecting the way America thinks now. Yet, he's giving his opinion.
PETE HEGSETH (CO-HOST): Of course, and he's revealing what Donald Trump very effectively revealed through the course of the campaign by challenging the press, that these arbiters of calling balls and strikes -- the folks that say they do straight up facts and news -- they've always had a bias, and a left-wing bias. And they have even more bias against Donald Trump. So a Ted Williams or a -- excuse me, Ted Koppel, or Brian Williams, or a Dan Rather -- the inventor of fake news -- these guys have been leftists for a long time and never been called out on it. Someone like Sean Hannity and his program just simply provides the other side.
KILMEADE: When Walter Cronkite was the voice of America and decided the Vietnam War was lost, it was lost. And I think a lot of people in those outlets feel as though -- what happened to the power we used to have? And, for example, if you want to call out people with opinions, then you shouldn't be in America. America is full of opinions. Go to a bar. Everyone has got an opinion. It just so happens Sean Hannity does it better than almost everybody, and he's more successful than almost everybody. But if you want to say opinions are a problem, and you say that's a problem with America, then where is Rachel Maddow in this piece? Where is Bill Maher in this piece? Where's Jon Stewart in this piece? Would he have sat across from Jon Stewart and say, “You are the problem?”
EARHARDT: Well it's like what Sean was saying. There is a difference between news and an opinion show, and the American people know the difference in that. People who agree with Sean Hannity want to hear his messages. That's why his radio show is so successful. That's why he has nearly a three million people on average every night watching him and staying up till 10:00 to see what he's going to say.
HEGSETH: And that statement from Ted Koppel, it's so condescending. It's sort of like, “No, we know what's right and true. We know what the facts are, the American people aren't smart enough.” As Sean said, he's like, “You're selling them short.” People can listen and learn and decide for themselves.
Later in the show, Fox & Friends hosted conservative radio host Dana Loesch, who said that she “grew up watching Ted Koppel be one of the most biased reporters, biased anchors in America” :
DANA LOESCH: I grew up watching Ted Koppel be one of the most biased reporters, biased anchors in America. And so for him to kind of turn that around, it was one of those moments where do you a double take. But he has been accused of bias, Ted Koppel, throughout his entire career. He is the last person on Earth to be accusing anyone of being bad for America simply because they are offering opinion. And this is the problem with so much of legacy media. This is why you've seen new media crop up, because people are tired of these anchors and these reporters giving their opinion as unfettered fact and acting as though there's no bias on their part at all whatsoever. I appreciate people who give their opinion, and they openly say, “You know what? This is my opinion.” Like for me, for instance, I'm completely biased towards the Constitution and towards natural rights. Obviously everything that I talk about is going to be through that perspective. That's the difference between people like me and people like Ted Koppel is that we're honest whereas they are not.
PETE HEGSETH (CO-HOST): Is he just utterly and completely unaware, just no self-awareness, that he himself would also have a bias?
LOESCH: Yes. And it's also a huge insult to the American people, who I think don't need Ted Koppel to come to their rescuing. We don't need Ted Koppel to save us. We're smart enough to figure out what is propaganda and what is not, and for someone like Ted Koppel to act as like the ombudsman now -- considering everything that he has done to contribute to this problem -- that's the height of hypocrisy. No.