Veteran TV journalist Ted Koppel analyzed the media's role in the political divide in Trump-era America on "CBS Sunday Morning" — and had a pointed moment interviewing Fox News host 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," Hannity told Koppel on camera, registering the veteran newsman's doubt. "You're cynical. ... You think we're bad for America? You think I'm bad for America?"
Click through net worths of FOX News anchors:
Net worths of Fox News anchors
Net worths of Fox News anchors
Bill O’Reilly Net Worth: $85 Million
Serving as the controversial host of “The O’Reilly Factor” since 1996 has proven extremely lucrative for Bill O’Reilly, as he earns a salary of $20 million per year. The long-running series can largely be credited for Bill O’Reilly’s net worth of $85 million. Prior to joining Fox News, he was the very first host of syndicated news magazine “Inside Edition” in 1989. Also an accomplished writer, O’Reilly pens a syndicated weekly column and is the author of several best-selling books.
(Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Sean Hannity Net Worth: $80 Million
Sean Hannity, one of the most popular Fox News anchors, has hosted “Hannity” since 2009. Previously the host of “Hannity & Colmes,” he has been with the network since 1996. Also a New York Times best-selling author and a radio host, “The Sean Hannity Show” is syndicated to more than 500 markets and has a listenership of 13.5 million. Sean Hannity’s net worth is $80 million.
(Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Brit Hume Net Worth: $4 Million
Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume’s net worth is $4 million. A regular presence on “The O’Reilly Factor” and “Fox News Sunday,” Hume hosted the series “America’s Election HQ” in 2016. He also previously hosted “Special Report with Brit Hume,” before passing the torch to Bret Baier. Prior to joining the rank of Fox News personalities in 1996, he was part of the ABC News team for 23 years — which included a stint as chief White House correspondent from 1989 through 1996. An award-winning broadcast journalist, Hume’s coverage of the Gulf War in 1991 landed him an Emmy.
(Photo by Michael Williamson/The Washington Post/Getty Images)
Tucker Carlson Net Worth: $8 Million
One of the newer Fox News anchors, Tucker Carlson joined the network in 2009. In 2016, he scored his own show, “Tucker Carlson Tonight” — a promotion from the “Fox and Friends Weekend” co-hosting gig he’d helmed since 2012. Prior to accepting a job with Fox News, he hosted the MSNBC series “Tucker” and the PBS series “Tucker Carlson: Unfiltered.” Tucker Carlson’s net worth is $8 million.
(Photo by Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Shepard Smith Net Worth: $25 Million
Shepard Smith’s net worth is $25 million — largely due to his $10 million annual salary from Fox News. Chief news anchor and managing editor of the breaking news division, Smith has been with the network since 1996. Also one of the on-air Fox News personalities, he’s hosted “Shepard Smith Reporting” since 2013. Before joining the Fox News Channel, Smith was a Fox News Edge correspondent, based in Los Angeles.
(Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images)
Chris Wallace Net Worth: $6 Million
A 50-year broadcast industry veteran, Chris Wallace has been one of the Fox News anchors since 2003. He’s hosted “Fox News Sunday” since 2006 and along with Bret Baier and Megyn Kelly, moderated the first GOP presidential debate of the 2016 election cycle. Previously employed by ABC News and NBC, he was the chief White House correspondent for the latter network from 1982 to 1989. A celebrated broadcast journalist, Wallace has won a slew of major awards during his career, including three Emmys and a Peabody Award. Chris Wallace’s net worth is $6 million and he earns $1 million per year for hosting “Fox News Sunday.”
Martha MacCallum Net Worth: $8 Million
Martha MacCallum has been with Fox News since 2004. As the co-anchor of “America’s Newsroom,” MacCallum earns an annual salary of $700,000. Previously, she was with NBC from 1997 to 2003, where she co-anchored “Morning Call” and anchored CNBC’s “Checkpoint.” Martha MacCallum’s net worth is $8 million.
(Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for DirecTV)
Bill Hemmer Net Worth: $3 Million
Bill Hemmer’s net worth is $3 million. He earns $400,000 per year as co-anchor of “America’s Newsroom,” alongside Martha MacCallum. Part of the FOX News team since 2005, Hemmer was previously employed by CNN. While employed by the network, he co-anchored “American Morning” and anchored “CNN Live Today” and “CNN Tonight.”
(Photo by Nancy Ostertag/Getty Images)
Bret Baier Net Worth: $16 Million
Bret Baier is the Fox News chief political anchor and anchor of “Special Report with Bret Baier.” A long-time staffer, he’s been with the network since 1998, when he became the first reporter in the station’s Atlanta bureau. Helming the top-rated cable news show in its timeslot is clearly a lucrative gig, as he earns a salary of $7 million per year. In total, Bret Baier’s net worth is $16 million.
Net worth figures are indicative of assets versus liabilities. All net worth and salary figures are according to CelebrityNetWorth.com unless otherwise noted.
(photo by Andre Chung for The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Megyn Kelly Net Worth: $15 Million
One of the most high-profile Fox News personalities, Megyn Kelly became a national superstar during the 2016 presidential election. Previously the host of “America Live,” she’s hosted “The Kelly File” since 2013. In January, she announced a move to rival network NBC at the end of her contract, to host a daily daytime show and a Sunday news program. The value of Kelly’s NBC contract hasn’t been publicly revealed, but Forbes reported she was seeking a salary of more than $20 million for her next contract — which makes her $6 million annual payday from FOX seem paltry by comparison. Currently, Megyn Kelly’s net worth is $15 million, but this will almost definitely increase after her move to NBC.
(Photo by Noam Galai/WireImage)
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"Yep," Koppel replied. "In the long haul, I think that all these opinion shows..."
"Really?" Hannity asked. "That's sad, Ted."
Koppel explained: "You know why? Because you're very good at what you did and because you have attracted ... people who have determined that ideology is more important than facts."
Koppel pointed to a 1987 decision by the Federal Communications Commission to overturn the so-called Fairness Doctrine, which stipulated that radio and television programs had to present both sides of a political question presented on air. "Free of the Fairness Doctrine, Rush Limbaugh and conservative talk radio exploded into a political force of nature," Koppel said.