The Most Arrogant TV News Reporters

The first news broadcast was by KDKA Pittsburgh. The radio station covered the 1920 presidential battle. Spoiler alert: Warren G. Harding won (via DPLA). When TV first started, it was mostly singing, dancing and comedy — wholesome fun for all the family. Then came President Eisenhower's 1953 inauguration, the first news to be broadcast nationally. And, the rest, as they say, is history.

Walter Cronkite, Barbara Walters, Lester Holt, and Dan Rather, among others, became household names. They were trusted and respected. Things started shifting, though, with the arrival of subscription cable TV. Per NPR, CNN was the first cable news channel, followed by MSNBC, then Fox News. It didn't take long for Fox to become the dominant force and begin defining news coverage as we know it today.

But, if you're looking for another culprit, then blame O.J. Simpson. Per The Guardian, the public's thirst over "the trial of the century" was unprecedented — to quench it, the 24-hour news cycle began. To fill all those hours, Fox started repeating the same news over and over. Outspoken and controversial anchors appeared, voicing opinions that morphed into "news." They would argue and speculate, sometimes even speculating about speculation. So very meta. 

News reporters have become celebrities, and like other famous folk, they often have enormous egos. We're breaking down the most arrogant news reporters — and if the glove don't fit, we won't acquit — because, O.J., there's no defense for inflicting Tucker Carlson on the world.

Piers Morgan is 'abrasive'

Piers Morgan is possibly the most arrogant TV news reporter in Britain — if not the world. The U.S. public certainly didn't care for him, no siree. Per The New York Times, CNN signed Morgan as a Larry King replacement, hoping for a ratings boost. However, in 2014, after three long, painful years, his show was canceled, which is ironic given that Morgan is the anti-cancel culture king.

"It was hoped that the outspoken Brit would be the Simon Cowell of TV journalism," Time magazine observed. Well, Morgan definitely had Cowell's sarcasm and English accent, but the talent and charisma are up for debate. Morgan's "abrasive superiority" and "brash, tabloid-y air of self-promotion" were his downfall. Oh, and his constant, patronizing preaching against the second amendment — in a country where 80% of citizens believe it should be legal to possess a gun (via Gallup).

"[Mainstream America] saw his Britishness, and it was repulsed by the yellow-teeth, stinky-breath, jam-and-buggery horror of it all," Vice reported. "Morgan had arrogantly decided that he was above the culture that was paying his wages," they claimed. So, Morgan was back home inflicting himself on the British public once again. Everybody was finally put out of their misery, though — after he got schooled over his Meghan Markle obsession by weatherman Alex Beresford. Morgan threw an epic temper tantrum and stormed off the set. He was axed from "Good Morning Britain" the very next day (per the Daily Beast).

Laura Ingraham, 'Creep of the Week'

Before Laura Ingraham became a Fox News anchor in 2017, she'd already earned a diva rep. According to Vanity Fair, "Ingraham was well known for being volatile with producers. Her on-set blowups were so legendary that staffers in the newsroom would sometimes turn on the monitors and watch the unfolding drama on mute for fun."

Fox News can't get enough of her, however. Per Variety, despite a multitude of controversies, they negotiated a "multi-year deal" with the anchor in 2020, cementing a place for "The Ingraham Angle" to rage on into the future. "Laura's one-of-a-kind expertise and powerful commentary has provided an important voice to millions of Americans as a staple of our primetime lineup and we are thrilled to feature her insightful perspective across our platforms for many years to come," Fox announced in a statement.

Ingraham's "insightful perspective" has included taunting Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg. Her rhetoric caused outrage, leading to advertisers boycotting Fox. "How many acts of contrition have you personally offered up for the heinous sin of contempt you committed when you mocked a surviving, traumatized child?" the Daily News asked the converted Catholic. 

Gregg Popovich accused Ingraham of "an unbelievable show of arrogance" for telling LeBron James to "shut up and dribble" after he dared criticize Donald Trump (per the Chicago Tribune). And, she questioned the "existence of transgender kids" — despite having a brother who's a member of the LGBTQ community — resulting in PrideSource crowning Ingraham "Creep of the Week."

Shepard Smith has a temper

Shepard Smith "stuck with it" at Fox for 23 years, becoming Managing Editor of Breaking News before jumping ship to CNBC in 2020. Smith was a controversial anchor. He frequently came under fire for refusing to toe the pro-Trump line, with The Donald regularly taking to Twitter to blast him as "low ratings Shep Smith" (via The Hollywood Reporter). Smith alienated Fox News viewers with his anti-Trump rhetoric — but they were positively fuming after he debunked the Hillary Clinton uranium "scandal."

Per the Daily News, loyalists took to Twitter in their thousands, demanding Smith be fired. "Get Shepard Smith off of Fox. He's arrogant and doing his own spin. Nobody knows how deep the left's conspiracy goes and Shepherd Smith has ZERO inside info because nobody trusts him. OUT!" One viewer tweeted. "Shepard Smith belittles guests with verbal jabs meant to show his feigned greater knowledge and expertise," blogsite ReelRundown raged. Although it's worth noting, they also claim Bill O'Reilly was "an affable and a pleasant host."

Smith's alpha-male personality reared its ugly head off-camera too. In 2000, he was "charged with aggravated battery with a motor vehicle" after ramming his car into a journalist to fight over a parking space (via the Los Angeles Times). 

In 2013, a waitress told Gawker that Smith "was spitting. His veins were popping out" because she didn't refill his specially mixed cocktail quickly enough. "Where the f**k is my drink! Where is my f***ing drink! Get my f***ing drink!" he allegedly screamed.

Chris Matthews made inappropriate comments

Chris Matthews announced his "retirement" in 2020. "After a conversation with MSNBC, I decided tonight will be my last 'Hardball'," he told viewers (via CNN). Matthews explained he was passing "the reigns" to the "younger generation" who were "improving the workplace." The workplace improvement bar hadn't been set high. Matthews earned a rep as a sexist misogynist for his abundance of problematic interactions with women. According to the Daily Caller, he openly rated how hot guests (and staffers) were. He objectified females and made "inappropriate sexual comments." Employees "joked about being battered women" because he "was so abusive" and "demeaning."

Oh, and he once quipped about slipping Hilary Clinton a "Bill Cosby pill" (via The Cut). MSNBC gave a "separation-related payment" to a female staffer — after she officially complained that Matthews made "inappropriate comments and jokes about her while in the company of others" (via the Daily Caller). MSNBC insisted the talk show host "received a formal reprimand," but that a "review" deemed his comments "juvenile," not sexual. Good old-fashioned "locker room talk," presumably.

However, after #MeToo exploded, all bets were off. Given growing whispers about his behavior, it was no shock when GQ columnist Laura Bassett named and shamed Matthews as the sexually objectifying "broadcast journalist" creeper she'd written about three years prior. Bassett had detailed Williams' inappropriate transgressions in a 2017 HuffPost essay. But, she hadn't disclosed his identity at the time "for fear of retaliation." Matthews "retired" just a few days after the GQ article was published.

Matt Lauer kept on talking

Matt Lauer was a "Today" show fan favorite, but it was a different story off-camera. Lauer's career ended after a female employee "showed incontrovertible proof of inappropriate sexual behavior on his part" (per the New York Post, via Fox News). The evidence reportedly included a photo Lauer texted that was "so damning" NBC had no choice but to fire him immediately. Lauer had vehemently denied any misconduct and was shocked to the core. "He was acting his usual cocky, confident self," a source told Page Six. "He had no idea that this would turn out to be his last day on the show."

It was later revealed that he'd engaged in affairs during his time at 30 Rock and faced multiple allegations of sexual misconduct by female interns and staffers (via The Atlantic). Then there were Lauer's many uncomfortable on-air interactions. Including his awkward attempt to kiss Ann Curry after she revealed she was leaving. And Lauer's creepy interview with Anne Hathaway, where he snidely joked about paparazzi photos of her without underwear. "What's the lesson learned from something like that?" he asked patronizingly.

In May 2020, Lauer wrote a scathing attack on Ronan Farrow. He slammed the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist's ethics and standards — focusing solely on the damning parts about himself — which he appeared to accept little to no responsibility for. Forbes observed that Lauer's take-down op-ed "reminds those he victimized, and all of us, what the #MeToo movement is truly about — arrogance and abuse by those who have power."

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Megyn Kelly's problematic Halloween costume ideas

Megyn Kelly kicked off her career at Fox News before jumping to NBC in 2017. She hosted "Meghan Kelly Today" until it was canceled in 2018 following her arrogant and ignorant white-privileged defense of "blackface" for Halloween. "I mean, truly, political correctness has gone amok," Kelly charged. She mocked a variety of outfits deemed inappropriate, such as dressing as Harvey Weinstein. Well, nothing problematic about imitating a convicted rapist, right Megyn?

"You do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface for Halloween, or a Black person who puts on whiteface for Halloween. Back when I was a kid, that was okay as long as you were dressing up as a character," Kelly said. She defended a Real Housewife darkening her skin to be Diana Ross. "People said that that was racist, and I thought, like, 'I don't know, who doesn't love Diana Ross?'" Kelly asked. "She wants to look like Diana Ross for one day; I don't know how that got racist on Halloween."

Kelly has a history of arrogant race-baiting. During a heated interview with D.L. Hughley, she attempted to victim-blame Philando Castile — who was killed by law enforcement in Minnesota during a routine traffic stop. Then Kelly accused Michael Brown of being "the aggressor" before being shot dead by cops. Oh, and she insisted Santa Claus was white. And Jesus Christ, because, presumably, a white dude was wandering around the Middle East back then...

Ed Schultz's arrogance and hypocrisy

Marco Rubio branded Ed Schultz a "liberal extremist" during a bitter battle in 2011. The fight was sparked by Rubio's claim that social security "weakened" the elderly by making them dependent on government assistance. Schultz called Rubio "so stupid he doesn't even know he's offensive" and accused the Republican Senator of not giving "a damn about" U.S. citizens (via HuffPost).

During his career at MSNBC, Schultz was vocal about being a champion for the working class. However, per Salon, when he was asked to speak out against alleged union-busting attempts by NBC, he made a sudden 180. "I'm a capitalist," Schultz boasted bizarrely on his radio show. He refused to pick a side, vowing, "I not gonna get bamboozled by reporters..."

It wasn't the first time Schultz had faced accusations of arrogance and hypocrisy. He'd demanded Anthony Weiner resign over his sexting scandal — just weeks after being suspended by MSNBC for calling Laura Ingraham a "right-wing sl*t" (via The Washington Post). Schultz was dubbed "the Naomi Campbell of the media" by the Daily Caller because of his rudeness during a court battle over a "breach of partnership." "Your client is a star, but not with this staff," the judge warned Schultz's attorney. "Arrogance is noticed by the jury, and it's noticed by my staff. I won't have my staff treated discourteously. He may treat others discourteously, but not my staff." 

Ed Schultz died of natural causes in 2018. He was 64 years old

Tucker Carlson's mansplaining and interruptions

Tucker Carlson is the USA's Piers Morgan — but on steroids. And with better teeth. And a Trump-like orange spray tan, which is funny, because The Washington Post calls him "the voice of white grievance." Just like Morgan, Carlson loves nothing more than mansplaining, interrupting, and shouting at people — whomever they may be.

Carlson cut off his Fox colleague Juan Williams mid-conversation during a "The Five" debate (via @justinbaragona). Raising his hand, Carlson yelled, "Alright, I got it! Got it! Got it! I gotta go to dinner here." He suddenly decided dinner could wait, though, choosing instead to inform Williams, "You haven't told me anything here. Anything actually, not one thing" before busting out with high-pitched maniacal laughter. "Tucker Carlson is the perfect combination of arrogance and ignorance. His response to Juan Williams proves it," actor and rapper Dr. Omekongo Dibinga tweeted.

Carlson has crusaded against "cancel culture," spread misinformation about COVID-19, and made Islamophobic, sexist, and homophobic remarks. 

Media Matters for America obtained audio of interviews of Carlson with Bubba the Love Sponge. In the clips, Carlson condones "statutory rape" and admits he "loves" the thought of schoolgirls "sexually experimenting." He brands Paris Hilton and Britney Spears "the biggest white wh**es in America," calls Martha Stewart's daughter "c**ty," and says Arianna Huffington is "a pig." And that's just scratching the surface. "...the more outlandish his rhetoric, the more vehement the backlash, the more formidable he becomes," Time magazine claims.

George Stephanopoulos cozied up to the Clintons

George Stephanopoulos was forced to reinvent himself after losing his position as President Clinton's senior advisor in 1993. "One day you are George Stephanopoulos, hip young icon of the new meritocracy, a yuppie prince with an Oxford degree, the ear of the President..." The New York Times wrote. "A few months later, you are a symbol of arrogant overreaching."

Stephanopoulos switched to TV news. He rapidly moved up the ladder to become the network's Chief Washington Correspondent and host of "This Week." However, in 2008, Stephanopoulos broke the cardinal rule of journalism, "report the story, don't become part of it." Stephanopoulos was slammed over his moderation of the Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton Democratic presidential candidate debate; The Washington Post claimed more favorable coverage for the Clintons. Stephanopoulos insisted to Politico that he "asked tough but appropriate questions."

In 2015, his journalistic integrity was under the spotlight again. It was revealed by The Washington Free Beacon (via the New York Post) that Stephanopoulos had made a series of "secret donations to the Clinton Foundation." It's claimed he coughed up around $75,000 over three years. "My, my, the bigger they are, the dumber they think we are," the Post sniped, mentioning Dan Rather and Brian Williams' improprieties, as well. "The hat trick of arrogant anchor scandals helps explain why Americans don't trust network news. With apologies to Walter Cronkite, that's the way it is, and the way it is stinks," they claimed.

Sean Hannity isn't concerned about critics

Sean Hannity is arrogant, opinionated, influential, and hugely popular. According to Nielsen (per Forbes), the Fox News star even overtook Tucker Carlson last year to become "the most-watched show in cable news," with a whopping 3.7 million viewers.

Hannity's been Trump's biggest cheerleader, waving his Donald pom-poms right from the get-go. They were so close, they regularly texted each other. Per The New Yorker, the anchor sent a flurry of texts to 45 regarding the January 6th attack on Capitol Hill. Hannity warned that the insurrection meant, "CNN will get better numbers out of this than we will. A lot of our viewers can't watch because they're busy rioting." Wow, just, wow. "You and I are on the same page as far as undermining democracy goes, but we need to think big picture here." Speechless.

"Hannity is absolutely out of control and fighting for his life as a person of standing," WaPo's Erik Wemple told Business Insider. "His embrace of Trump is devoid of principle and reason and integrity." CheatSheet seconds that emotion: "Hannity's arrogance is unparalleled, and that would be fine if he were a reality TV star of some sort," they write. "However, to call himself a news host who doesn't have to follow the rules of journalism is just insane." Even so, Hannity couldn't care less about the haters and the critics. "Nobody tells me what to say on my show. They never have, and frankly, they never will," he vowed to HuffPost.

Brian Williams' exaggerations

In 2021, Brian Williams retired from MSNBC. "28 years, 38 countries, 8 Olympic games, 7 Presidential elections, half a dozen Presidents, a few wars, and one SNL," his farewell email read (via NBC News). "[...] I was fortunate that everyone I worked with made me better at my job." Williams' journalistic legacy was forever tarnished, though, due to multiple embellishments and deceptions. Per Vanity Fair, Williams repeatedly recounted a terrifying story of an Iraqi rocket attack on the helicopter he was flying in, resulting in a near-death crisis landing. Scary, right? Well, it would've been if he hadn't made it all up.

NBC branded Williams' fabrication "inexcusable" and suspended him for six months. The Guardian reported that following the scandal, Williams' other stories came under scrutiny. A dead body floating past his window during Hurricane Katrina. Dodging gunfire during the Israeli Hezbollah war. Getting "robbed at gunpoint" in the '70s while hawking Christmas trees. Per Business Insider, Williams also alleged he went to Baghdad with the Navy SEALs who killed Bin Laden. Watched the Berlin Wall fall. And shook the Pope's hand.

Williams was like a real-life Forrest Gump — right there at all of history's most monumental moments — however, his stories were fictional while the fictional Gump's were (fictionally) real. Williams eventually 'fessed up — insisting to Matt Lauer that he did not "purposely mislead anyone" but admitting some accounts "were inaccurate." He ultimately chose to blame it on the e e e e e e ego.

Rush Limbaugh peddled conspiracy theories

Rush Limbaugh never faced a fight that he wasn't willing to wade right into. Per The New York Times, Limbaugh prided himself on his "pompous arrogance shtick." When Michael J. Fox advocated for stem cell research, Limbaugh accused him of "exaggerating the effects of Parkinson's disease." And, after Sandra Fluke demanded colleges allowed "access to female contraceptives," Limbaugh branded the Georgetown University student a "sl*t" and a "prostitute" (via CBS News).

Limbaugh was a conspiracy theorist who played fast and loose with the truth. He spread COVID misinformation, dismissing the virus as a "common cold" that was "being weaponized ... to bring down Donald Trump" (via The Guardian). The commentator was a heavy smoker who persistently denied the dangers of tobacco, then died of lung cancer in February 2021. "People who have made a living out of spreading outrageous lies are generally not stupid. They are experts at self-deception," NBC News wrote following his death.

A classic example of self-deception — and projection — was Limbaugh's persistent rallying against narcotics. "Drug use, some might say, is destroying this country," he claimed. "And we have laws against selling drugs, pushing drugs, using drugs, importing drugs. And so if people are violating the law by doing drugs, they ought to be accused and they ought to be convicted and they ought to be sent up." However, when he was busted for doctor shopping and was discovered to be in possession of around 2,000 painkillers, he negotiated a plea deal that resulted in rehab rather than jail (via The New York Times).

Eric Bolling is a Donald Trump devotee

Eric Bolling is fiercely loyal to Donald Trump — regularly fanboying over him and boasting about their "close relationship." Per Business Insider, the couple's bromance started in the mid-2000s after Mark Bennet played matchmaker on the set of "The Apprentice." The political pundit described his Fox News "Wake up America" rantings as "really right-wing, hard-core conservative commentaries and I think they're what my brand personally is all about, but this is an opportunity to get that voice out there stronger," he explained to Politico when asked why he was considering a Senate run.

During his career, Bolling once accused the Muppets of "using class warfare to brainwash our kids." Seriously? The Muppets? The Newsmax host has also been criticized for his racist remarks and commentary, and for being a "misogynistic, bigoted, birther" (via MediaMatters).

In 2017, per HuffPost, Bolling "sent an unsolicited photo of male genitalia via text message to at least [three female] colleagues." The report was backed up by "a dozen sources." The unfortunate recipients confirmed the photo's content. Fox kicked Bolling to the curb, but he immediately sprung back, landing a gig with Sinclair and "The Blaze," an Alt-right media entity. "[Bolling's] settled into regular rotation as an irate, flexible mouthpiece for white-guy grievance, deriding climate change as a 'myth' and dismissing contempt of Congress as 'laughable'" The New Republic noted.

Bill Maher's arrogance takes the cake

Bill Maher is right up there at the top of the most arrogant TV news reporters list. The former comedian prides himself on being controversial, regularly producing troll-bait sound bites. "Bill Maher is in the news again, and if Bill Maher is in the news, it's inevitably because he said something insufferable," GQ wrote, referencing a Newsweek tweet: "Bill Maher says red-state voters are jealous of blue states: 'We have chef Wolfgang Puck, they have Chef Boyardee.'"

Forbes attacked Maher for his "relentless, tired obsession with wokeness, 'cancel culture' and liberal overreach." They slammed him for "laughingly [hurling] the n-word live on his show." A petition was launched, urging the public to "Boycott and Ban Bill Maher For Fueling Racism & Hate In America: End 'Real Time.'" 

Maher has also put his misogyny on full display. He defended Chris Matthews after the "Hardball" host was fired, and he mocked Laura Bassett for coming forward with claims of Matthews' inappropriate behavior (via the Daily Beast).

The Washington Post boiled down his character to this: "Bill Maher is smug. He often lacks empathy, particularly when confronted by the craven and dim. ... Maher uses arrogance as a form of renewable energy, occasionally windmilling it toward his audience or politically hostile guests."