Why should you sign up for a premium membership?
- Full access to Bernie’s columns. Bernie still posts free columns on occasion, but most of his new pieces now require a premium membership.
- Listen to Bernie’s regular “Off the Cuff” audio commentaries, where Bernie weighs in on personal items and particular news stories that have captured his interest.
- No more annoying ads on Bernie’s columns! We know you won’t miss those.
- Participation in Bernie’s weekly Q&A sessions (Premium Interactive members only). See below for details.
Premium memberships (managed by Patreon) start at just $2 a month (and you can cancel any time). As Sally Struthers used to say, that’s less than the price of a cup of coffee!
Types of memberships:
- Premium Reader ($2 a month) — Ad-free access to Bernie’s columns and “Off the Cuff” audio commentaries.
- Premium Interactive ($4 a month) – Ad-free access to Bernie’s columns, “Off the Cuff” audio commentaries, AND participation in his weekly Q&A sessions, where you get to submit your questions to Bernie, and then read his answers. Feel free to ask Bernie about anything in the realm of politics, the news media, his career, and American culture. Moderators reserve the right to reject derogatory or duplicate questions.
Sound like fun? We’d love for you to join us!
Below is a FAQ to hopefully answer any questions you may have about Premium Memberships.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why have you changed to a pay site?
To be clear, most of the website is still free, including Bernie’s old columns and all contributor columns (the old ones and the new ones). Participation in the comment section is also still free. It’s Bernie’s new columns, audio commentaries, and Q&A sessions that require a membership.
We had discussed this change for quite some time. Truth be told, this website has never been focused on revenue. Unlike other political websites, we’ve never sought investors or wealthy donors (nor do we intend to). We believe in honest, independent, agenda-free commentary, without anyone else calling the shots. And with the reader in mind, we had also kept the number of web-ads to a minimum (no pop-up windows, redirects, etc). Thus, our ad-revenue was always on the modest side.
That being said, there are increasing costs associated with maintaining a website such as this, as well as the time investments of those who write for it. Rather than increasing the number of ads (something we wanted to avoid), we decided on putting together a premium membership, with the result being a better reader experience and stronger interaction with Bernie.
If I sign up, will this website have my credit card information?
No. Absolutely not. Patreon will manage the membership completely, including the monthly payments (which can be cancelled through Patreon at any time).
What is Patreon?
Patreon is a very secure, highly-respected website that manages membership platforms for content creators (like Bernie). You can find Bernie’s Patreon page (and sign up for your membership) here.
Bernie’s columns are posted on his website (just like they’ve always been), and they’re also posted on Bernie’s Patreon page and sent to members via email.
Will Patreon charge my credit card automatically each month?
Yes, but again, you can cancel at any time.
If I cancel my membership, can I sign up again later?
If I’m a Premium Interactive member, how do I send you questions for the weekly Q&A?
Either click on the “Premium Q&A” menu item above, and follow the instructions, OR just click here.
I’m a Premium Member, but when I try to read Bernie’s column on this website, I get a message saying that I’m not signed up. What gives?
There are one of two explanations for this:
- The website isn’t recognizing your Patreon account (possibly due to a session timeout). To fix this, just click on the “Unlock with Patreon” button. If you’re asked about a WordPress plugin, just click on “Allow.” If you’re asked to login, do so by clicking on the “Log In” link (top of the page).
- You’re logged in, but you’re trying to access a page that requires a higher tier membership. For example, if you’re a Premium Reader (the $2 membership), you won’t be able to read Bernie’s Q&A sessions which require a Premium Interactive membership (the $4 tier).
Can I upgrade from a Premium Reader ($2) membership to a Premium Interactive ($4) membership?
Absolutely. Just go to Bernie’s Patreon page, and select the $4 pledge (right side of the screen).
When I try to sign up for Bernie’s membership, I get a “spinning wheel” that never goes away. What’s going on?
It sounds like you have an older web-browser (one that Patreon may not be compatible with). Try upgrading to a newer version of your web-browser, and then try to sign up again.