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Wednesday, August 07, 2013


Why bother to read to Ted Koppel?

Ted Koppel, the retired host of a popular TV program penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal today. Ted Koppel: America's Chronic Overreaction to Terrorism.

I glanced at the headline and the question occurred to me: why should I, or anyone, care what Ted Koppel thinks about terrorism or America’s reaction to it? Another way of putting it is: who is Ted Koppel and why do I care what he thinks?

Well, one answer is that Koppel is well known from having been on TV a lot. On the other hand, so has Jennifer Anniston and she is much better looking. And I don’t care about her opinion either.
Is Koppel an expert on terrorism? Let’s find out by looking at his background. According to his Wikipedia entry he’s an English immigrant, received a BS degree from Syracuse University and an MA from Stanford in mass communication and political science. Koppel had a brief stint as a teacher before being hired as a copyboy at WMCA Radio in New York and the rest is broadcast history.

Like many other people whose opinions we are graced with, Koppel is famous for being famous. He can get his opinions broadcast or printed because he’s famous. His education prepared him for being famous. He’s had a chance to talk to lots of people on and out of politics because these people want to get access to the press and he’s the press.

There are a lot of people I agree with who I see on TV or read in the Newspaper. People like George Will and Charles Krauthammer come immediately to mind. I enjoy them but that’s because they agree with me, not because I consider them experts on any particular subject.

And then it struck me: people read Ted Koppel either to validate their opinions or to find something they disagree with.   But no one reads Ted Koppel to either change their opinions or to help them make up their minds.  For that we need more credentials than either Koppel or Anniston have.   

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A minor point;one 'n' in Aniston.Loved the point of the article.
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