New York Times reporter Liam Stack sticks out among even the liberal journalists at the paper for his anti-Trump Twitter feed, which was called out by the paper’s own Public Editor, to no avail.
In his actual reporting, Stack doesn’t seem overly concerned with journalistic niceties either, as his twisted take on a religion study showed. Snark and sarcasm permeated every paragraph of his take on the Sean Hannity and Ted Koppel dust-up, in which the veteran liberal journalist and CBS Sunday Morning contributor suggested that conservative opinion shows like those from Hannity on Fox News were bad for America.
Here’s a sample of Stack’s sarcasm, from his piece, posted online Wednesday under the headline “Sean Hannity Is Still Upset Ted Koppel Said He Was ‘Bad for America.’” As if that’s not worth getting upset about? Stack was clearly trying to portray Hannity as thin-skinned:
The Fox News host Sean Hannity has been very upset.
Mr. Hannity is often very upset, at things like the past friendships of President Barack Obama; the suspected political leanings of his former colleague Megyn Kelly; the resignation of Michael T. Flynn, President Trump’s former national security adviser; and the tweets of media reporters from rival news organizations.
But the primary target of his anger in recent days has been Ted Koppel, a veteran news anchor and contributor to “CBS Sunday Morning,” which last weekend broadcast a clip from an interview with Mr. Hannity that the Fox star did not like at all.
The night before the segment aired, CBS News posted online a part of the interview in which Mr. Hannity described his upbringing, which he said shaped his views. But in the televised footage, he was shown complaining about socialism, liberalism and “angry snowflakes,” right-wing slang for liberals that conservatives see as easily upset.
Then he led with his chin: Mr. Hannity asked if Mr. Koppel, an elder statesman of broadcast news who hosted the ABC show “Nightline” for 25 years, thought he and his show were “bad for America.” Mr. Koppel responded, “Yeah.”
“Really?” Mr. Hannity responded, his voice rising an octave or two. “That’s sad, Ted. That’s sad.”
“You have attracted people who have determined that ideology is more important than facts,” Mr. Koppel said. He also told Mr. Hannity, an enthusiastic on-air supporter of President Trump, “You are very good at what you do.”
Hannity called for Koppel to release the full tape of the interview, with Fox host Bill O’Reilly and conservative commentator Michelle Malkin agreeing. Stack tried to not so subtly undermine Hannity’s position.
Mr. Hannity has turned the slight into a dispute over the intelligence of “the American people,” which he accused Mr. Koppel of underestimating. He said people were smart enough to know the difference between what he does and a news broadcast.
So what does he do? On Monday, Mr. Hannity described himself as “a talk-show host” and “an advocacy journalist” who covers stories -- like President Obama’s ties to “black liberation theology,” he said in one example -- that CBS would not touch.
Then he put a sinister spin on Hannity’s worldview.
Mr. Hannity has never hidden his own conservative beliefs. Immediately before Mr. Koppel’s rebuke, he was describing a right-wing political vision so expansive that he went out of his way to be clear that he did not mean to foment revolution.
Stack at least let Hannity have the last word.
“That’s the difference, Ted, between me and you,” he said on Monday night. “I’m honest with my audience. I don’t pretend that I’m fair and balanced and objective. You do.”