Friday, November 25, 2005

I was not a friend of Ted Koppel. I met him a few times during my Washington years. He always impressed me with his thorough interviewing style, which he did not use consistently. He did not grill Israeli leaders the way he did with Arab (and especially Palestinian) leaders. He believed strongly in Zionist goals, and categorically believed in the "right" of Israel to declare Jerusalem as its capital. I was most impressed with how he treated the staff at ABC News. Limo drivers, producers, assistants, and interns all praised his kind and humane personality. That left an impression on me. I have not watched Nightline in years; I appeared on it 2 or 3 times in the early 1990s, and I can't say that I will be missing a program that I have not watched. I read his book of diaries, and feel that he has a higher view of the media than we get today. He tried to make the news media--or his own media program at least--more independent of government pressures and influences. He tried, not always successfully, to insulate the media from the sensational and sleazy coverage. That is all. No more. No less.