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Ted Koppel takes on the truthsayers


Rock Center

From Bill O'Reilly describing how some media pundits "smash" politicians and "pinheads," to Ann Coulter describing why O'Reilly isn't opinionated enough, Rock Center Special Correspondent Ted Koppel investigates the role of the media in the degeneration of politics into an ugly war of words.

The New York Times' David Carr says the partisan news business is so profitable, as much as $1 billion a year for one cable news network, that it's clear why others have followed suit.

Political commentators Ann Coulter and Bill Maher, ideological opposites, debate the issue.

"I think it's the first time a lot of liberals have been able to hear conservatives or know what they think," Coulter said, disagreeing that there has been a coarsening of political dialogue. "I think we just have both sides. ... You just get it from the other side now and Liberals don't like it so you're screaming bloody murder."

"We're not just screaming at each other," Maher said. "One side is screaming facts and truth. One side is screaming their version of truth, which is religious-based nonsense."

Of the industry overall, Carr says, "they're not interested in the fruits of piece. It's bad television. Who'd want to watch that?"