ORIGINAL POST: Ted Koppel appeared on CNN's "Reliable Sources" Sunday to discuss what he feels is the deep decline of television news--and to respond to critics of a widely-read article he wrote in November decrying the rise of cable news.
The segment was taped just before the Libya war or the Japanese earthquake, but more than enough international news was occurring for Koppel to say to host Howard Kurtz that the heightened coverage of Egypt and Tunisia was a flash in the pan. He also said that journalism needs to veer away from fluff and double down on hard, objective news.
"Our times require a little more serious objectivity," he said. "And I think there has to be a willingness on the part of the public to accept that journalism is trying to do an honest job of giving them an objective accounting of what's going on in the world and an objective appraisal of what's really important in the world."
Kurtz then asked Koppel to respond to Olbermann's response to an article Koppel wrote in November for the Washington Post. In the article, he called Olbermann "avowedly, unabashedly and monotonously partisan," and singled him out as evidence of television journalism's descent into opinionated info-tainment. Olbermann then accused Koppel of worshiping before the "false god of utter objectivity," and said that he had "failed" America during the Iraq war by not being skeptical enough of the Bush administration.
In response, Koppel said that Olbermann "clearly didn't see all the 'Nightlines' that we did," including a special called, "Why Now?"
"I don't expect Mr. Olbermann to have seen all the programs," Koppel said. "But before he makes a wide-ranging charge like that, I do expect that he'd have someone else do the research."
For his part, Olbermann gave a pithy reply to Koppel's renewed criticism of him. Responding on Twitter to a woman who said Koppel had "slap[ped] you silly," Olbermann wrote, "Ted Koppel is still ALIVE?"