Sean Hannity Got Slapped Around On National TV
In a story about political partisanship in the country, CBS Sunday Morning contributor and former Nightline host Ted Koppel interviewed Fox News host Sean Hannity. And now Hannity has his undies in a bunch because he was not able to control the way the final story was edited and presented.
Here is how the conversation flowed. Koppel’s story wasn’t a profile of Hannity, but rather how Hannity’s show, and those like it, exacerbate the divide, which led to a contentious moment:
Hannity: You think we’re bad for America? You think I’m bad for America.
Koppel: Yeah. Yeah. In the long haul I think you, and all these opinion shows…
Hannity: You do? Really? That’s sad.
Koppel: …because you’re very good at what you do and because you have attracted a significantly more influential…
Hannity: You are selling the American people short.
Koppel: 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.
Of course CBS edited down the lengthy interview for the broadcast. This is not the first time Hannity has been on television and clearly knows the constraint of time in a broadcast. So the rabid right-winger is upset that his interview ends with Koppel remarking that Hannity has “attracted people who are determined that ideology is more important than facts”. Which is a fact.
In the interview, Koppel told Hannity that his show is “bad for America.” The discussion occurred after a segment aired on the show about political polarization of the country and “alternate universes” Americans are living in where TV pundits such as Hannity, and Rush Limbaugh may be contributing to blurring the lines between opinions and facts and are “driving the country further and further apart.”
Later in the segment with White House spokesman Sean Spicer, Koppel asked whether Americans should take President Trump literally in light of criticism that he spreads falsehoods.
“No, I think you should take him literally. The president’s very authoritative when he speaks. He wants to be taken literally. And also you have to understand that when you have 140 characters, that somebody trying to look at that and say, ‘This means the following’ is a little bit too much,” Spicer said.
“That’s one good reason for not using Twitter to communicate serious issues,” said Koppel.