Bernie’s Q&A: Ted Cruz, Kamala Harris, Jeffrey Epstein, and more! (1/14) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)

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Now, let’s get to your questions (and my answers):


VP Kamala Harris’s remarks at the Capitol on the anniversary of January 6 were beyond stupid. But they are consistent with the tone and validity of her comments since she burst on the political scene. Harris said that January 6, where one person was killed, was in the same category as Pearl Harbor, where 2500 people died, and 9/11, where we lost almost 3000 people. The only reason she’s vice president is that the people pulling Biden’s strings insisted that he pick a woman of color. Oprah Winfrey would have been a better choice. RuPaul, too. — Joe B.

The comment was needlessly — but intentionally — political, on a solemn day. That said, let me add this: Jan 6 2021 was also a day that will live in infamy, in its own right. Too many Trump supporters want to play down what happened that day. They shouldn’t. Just because liberals say what happened was a disgrace doesn’t mean conservatives should pretend it wasn’t. As for Republicans up for reelection in November: Too many of them are afraid of offending the Prince of Mar-a-Lago. They’re afraid if they speak up about Jan 6 and Trump’s role in instigating the chaos, they’ll face a Trump-backed primary opponent. They care more about their jobs than about principles. Cowardice is never attractive.

Hi Bernie, I came face to face personally with the implications of our vaccine choices today when my sister informed me that she doesn’t want me visiting my 100 year old mother (who lives with her) if I do not have a booster shot for COVID. So, in effect, she is telling me that I will never see her again in this life if I do not agree to take this shot. And President Biden tells me that this is a pandemic of the unvaccinated and Dr. Fauci hints at no air travel without being “fully vaccinated”. I live on the west coast…all my family lives in the northeast. I cannot travel 3 days in a car. Safety of the vaccines aside, what do you know of evidence that has been presented that unvaccinated people are a greater threat in terms of transmissibility of COVID than anyone else? It has not been put out there effectively if it exists. Or is this just a strong-arm effort to get the unvaccinated to conform to the government’s will, proof or no proof? Thanks! — John F.

Why don’t you just get the booster and be done with it?  Whatever the transmissibility stats are, I understand your sister’s position. If you visited your 100-year old mother and transmitted the virus who knows what might happen. Yes, you might transmit it even if you got 10 boosters. But why not play it safe? You have the right to say NO to another shot. And your sister, who cares for your mother, has the right to say, she’s worried. Every choice has consequences, my friend.

I don’t know whether I am more disgusted at the events of January 6, 2021 or January 6, 2022. The Capitol riots of 2021 are well-documented and indefensible. But the lies and lies-by-omission of Democratic leaders last week were astonishing. Joe Biden repeatedly referred to 1/6/21 as an “armed insurrection,” though of the 500+ people who have been arrested, none have been charged with either being armed or causing an insurrection, both of which are illegal on Capitol grounds. His VP, Kamala Harris, equated 1/6 with Pearl Harbor and 9/11. 2,403 Americans died at Pearl Harbor; 2,996 died during the attacks of 9/11; and exactly ONE person (unarmed rioter Ashely Babbitt) died during the three-hour takeover of the Capitol. Finally, Nancy Pelosi called for a moment of silence for four fallen Capitol Hill officers, NONE of whom died in a violent encounter with rioters. The riots of 1/6/21 saw one person killed and $1.5 million in property damage. In the meantime, Democrats are absolutely silent about a string of violent BLM and Antifa riots that occurred all during the summer of 2020. An estimated 25 people were killed, including a retired police officer, along with $2 billion in insured and $5 billion in uninsured property damage, mostly in black neighborhoods. This is the lie-by-omission. I guess I don’t have a question after this long rant, but I do want to get your thoughts on January 6, 2022. — Steve R.

As I said earlier in this Q & A, thanks to the Democrats Jan 6, 2022 was needlessly political. What else is new? And as I said earlier, Jan 6, 2021 is another day that will live in infamy, in its own right. We may disagree on that, but that’s how I see it. And let me be clear: A riot in Portland, as destructive as it was, is not the same as a riot at the Capitol of the United States of America. One is a lot worse. Should prominent Democrats have spoken out, forcefully, about the riots in the summer of 2020. Yes! That they didn’t is on them, and they may yet pay a price for that this November. But those on the right who are playing down Jan 6, 2021 are wrong too. President Biden used the anniversary to score political points — and on that I’m with you, Steve. Here’s where we differ: You say you don’t know if you’re more disgusted with Jan 6, 2021 or Jan 6 2022. I know how you mean that, but I also know which disgusts me more. Not a close call. Finally, I’m pretty sure some of those arrested have been charged with gun violations. As to what we should call it: One year later we can’t even agree on that. The left calls it an insurrection. The right calls it a riot (if that). Let’s agree on this much: It was an utter disgrace.

Bernie, I follow Bill O’Reilly, you, and the Daily Chatter (Phil Balboni) for international news. Do you recommend any other news or commentary sites? Keep up the great work. Love it Bernie. Happy, Healthy New Year! — Brian M.

Thanks very much Brian. I like National Review Online … and most of all the WSJ opinion pages. There are a few others but those are my top two. Happy, Healthy New Year to you too.

BG – I know you wish he would be more restrained, but would you censor Pres Trump if you had the censor button at your finger tips? Do you think it’s right to censor Pres Trump? — Michael B.

No, I would not censor him. I’d let him have his say and then, if he’s factually off base, I’d want someone else to set the record straight — either with other comments or an editor’s note.

I agree with everything you said [in Monday’s column]. But why are we letting that 85% of republican voters off the hook. I am I’m that group that knows Trump lost the election, takes some blame for January 6th, and has problems with some of his policies not just his personality. That being said, forget elected officials. What is wrong with the 85% that still believe in Trump. Biden was right right about one thing. Trump is a defeated ex president. Why can’t republicans get past this toxic love affair with Trump and move on? Trump’s only power is his base. And if they still believe he won the election and the rest of his BS, then the way I see it is they are the problem. — Douglas S.

It’s fascinating — and not in a good way — that he could do so much harm to the Republican Party and still have so much support from Republicans. Politicians … I understand. They’re afraid that he’ll unleash his voters against them. But rank and file Republicans? I’m with you, Douglas, it’s crazy!

Now that Ghislane Maxwell has been convicted, I have to ask: isn’t there a client list somewhere naming all of the ….Umm….Uhhh…”Associates” who may have had business with the late Mr. Epstein? Did the investigators ever find such a list, and if so, will it ever be made public? Call me cynical if you want, but somehow I just can’t help thinking that a bunch of well-known conservatives names are on that client list, along with a bunch of high profile liberal progressives names as well, sort of a “bi-partisan collaboration” one might say. Your thoughts? –“Wall Of Shame” Regards from The Emperor

It ain’t over till it’s over. That list may exist and if it does those names may still come out. You better hope you’re not one of the Royals that gets outed. I’d hate to lose your scintillating observations, Your Highness.

Hi Bernie, You state, “Any Republican running next year who doesn’t buy into his (Trump’s delusion about winning the 2020 election) would not only have a democratic opponent to contend with – but there’s a good chance he or she will have Donald Trump to contend with.”

This is a false statement. For instance take Glenn Youngkin, the new governor of Virginia. Youngkin has stated many times that Joe Biden’s election was legitimate. Yet, Trump still enthusiastically endorsed Youngkin despite their disagreement over such an important issue as the legitimacy of the 2020 election results. At the same time, keep in mind that many if not most democrats never accepted the legitimacy of Trump’s 2016 election victory calling him “the illegitimate president” . Furthermore, isn’t it Trump’s right to endorse those Republicans who stand for the same America First principles as he does. I’m going to paraphrase what I believe you are saying: Trump is an egotistical narcissist who holds grudges and requires homage and subservience from the rest of the Republican party and thus he is a destructive force who must be constrained. I disagree. Regardless of psychological reductionism on your part, I believe Trump is trying to build a Republican party that will be strong enough and united enough to triumph over the radical ideologues who have taken over the Democratic Party.” — Frederic N.

You’re right, Frederic. We disagree. I do think, to use your words that “Trump is an egotistical narcissist who holds grudges and requires homage and subservience from the rest of the Republican party and thus he is a destructive force who must be constrained.” So do a lot of swing voters who helped get Joe Biden elected because they couldn’t take four more years of Donald Trump.

Bernie, you are right about almost everything [in this week’s Off the Cuff], with a tiny exception. No doubt, the journalism business has experienced a reverse evolution in the past decade, which has made it less reliable as a source of news. In the past, a journalist doing a reporting piece never injected his opinion into his story. If they did, they’d been looking for another line of work, like delivering newspapers instead of writing for them. The only thing you said I’m not sure about is that viewers don’t have the right to watch a news program that they know will be favorable to their way of thinking, to their political ideologies. Television is and always has been entertainment. I think people have the right to be entertained in the manner they choose. And if that means, to make them happy, watching Fox for a right-wing point of view, or CNN for a left-wing point of view, it might not be wise to do so, but they still have the right to choose their type of entertainment. No doubt, they will not be wiser for doing so. — Joe

Who said viewers don’t have the “right” to watch whatever they want? I never said that. Not even close. And how you came to believe I said it is beyond me, Joe. I said that my rewarding biased news coverage they were partly responsible for that biased news coverage. That’s all I said about the audience.

Timely [Off the Cuff] commentary! I saw the announcement the other day that Jesse Watters was named permanent anchor of Fox’s 7 pm hour. My immediate reaction was, well I don’t need to worry about watching anything on Fox after 7 PM. Watters is an idiot and hard to watch and Fox isn’t the channel it was pre-Trump. My only issue with your take is that I’ve never been a fan of the “we will decide what to tell you school of journalism”. The journalists of my generation have not particularly impressed me as being qualified to make these decisions and the rise of alternative “news” outlets, that started with the internet in the 90’s demonstrates the how vulnerable that strategy was to letting the audience, the public, know journalists don’t respect them. I miss the days when news was meant to inform, not push agendas. — Henderick G.

If you don’t want journalists to “decide what to tell you” who do you want to decide what gets on the newscast? Someone has to make those decisions. And I don’t want a poll taken to determine what the viewer wants. The viewer can watch whatever show he or she wants to watch. But if they decide what to put on the news, we get what we now have on cable: “News” designed to please the audience. Not good, Henderick, not good.

Hello Bernie from the Minnesota Tundra (where it is a balmy 34f today and we’ll be roasting marshmallows outside in January by the firepit this evening thanks to climate change!) Great piece on how cable has crushed journalism, I have to agree – I’m feeling better now mentally since I’m only streaming vs. fogging up my days or nights with cable opinion and ratings chasers blowharding in the background.

This weeks audio reminds me of the state of the NFL and how bad it has become over the years, an orchestrated network and Truman Show profit bonanza of sorts now primed just in time for the expanded playoff format allowing American’s to soak in another month of football drama as Vegas sports books start ringing up the register and winning billionaire owners make even more hay. From the post touchdown antics in the end zone, TV timeouts allowing the players quality lung refilling blows between plays (more noticeable during live game attendance where one can choose to pay for $15 beers), and sportscasters & sideline reporters filling the commentary void, I’m over it but wondering your perspective on the almighty NFL dollar machine and if you think it has become like cable news? — The Bulldog

Football is a business and the NFL knows how to market that business. I have no problem with that. But the NFL isn’t a news organization. Football can market its product any way it wants. It can be as entertaining as it wants. But news is different from any other business — for the reasons I laid out in my Off the Cuff.

I think you’re off a little bit [in your Off the Cuff this week]. Having graduated from a top Comm school, I believe “journalism” isn’t what it once was. Seems to me that many in not just cable news but virtually all of TV journalism have abdicated their pledge to the truth, if in fact they ever took one. I will note that Tucker never attempts to pass what he does as journalism, its merely his opinion, dont like it, go somewhere else. much different is how Msnbc and Cnn try to pass off what they do as journalism, which it clearly isn’t. All of it seems like a bunch children with cameras whining about the latest butthurt comment from so and so how they feel about it. I saw an interview with Chris Matthews which I’m sure you’ve seen, where he essentially says that newspeople don’t have to give just the facts anymore due there being so much information out there to the viewer. And, that it’s up to the viewer to do their own research to determine what is true and what is not. Parts of that I agree with. I watch and search and absorb info from all over the world, understanding corporate and political bias and then distilling it down to what I believe to be true, which is usually somewhere in the middle usually. Most importantly is the search for the truth and how much are we lied to daily that disturbs me. I dont watch much “news” since I know the lies that I’m being told. — Richard C.

First, Richard, even opinion talking heads have to be fair. They can legally throw stuff out that’s not true but they shouldn’t do it. It undermines their credibility. Tucker Carlson was sued once, for slander or libel or something like that, and the defense was … You can believe what he says because everyone knows he exaggerates. And the judge agreed. Second, I don’t believe (with a few notable exceptions) that journalists make things up. That’s not the real problem. The real problem is — as I said earlier in the Q & A — they play up things they know their audience will like and play down things that will turn viewers away. Why is this bad? Because even opinion journalists should make their case honestly and not be ideological slugs.

Lindsey Graham told Hannity this week that he might not vote for Mitch McConnell to remain as the GOP’s Senate caucus leader because McConnell currently doesn’t have a “working relationship” with Donald Trump. I guess it isn’t enough that McConnell delivered Trump’s biggest victories (SCOTUS and federal judges) while Trump was actually in office. Now he has to continue “working” with him (which really means sucking up to him since Donald’s has no government job) even after Trump lost the presidency and all of congress (including McConnell’s spot as Senate Majority Leader) for the GOP? Do you think Graham will just say whatever it takes to get on Fox News shows, or do you think he actually enjoys presenting himself as a loyal Trump stooge? — Ben G.

I think witnessing cowardice in the flesh isn’t a pretty sight. And if you think I’m talking about Senator Graham, you’re right.

Bernie, “We The People” like Trump for quite obvious reasons. He isn’t a politician and he is authentic whether that authenticity strikes a chord with the dissenters or it doesn’t. 86% is a pretty big number and I would in fact call it a noteworthy trend. Romney, Cheney, and McConnell represent the worst of what the GOP has to offer. Their disdain for Trump is a badge of honor. Trump is far from perfect yet he is authentic and he is a fighter in an arena that needs both. Most Repubilcans realize this and their overwhelming support speaks volumes. — Thomas C.

You’ve told me this over and over again, Thomas. So for the last time, you and I disagree on Donald Trump. You think he’s wonderful, I don’t. You don’t seem to understand how much harm he’s done to the Republican Party. Are you happy that Democrats control the House? Or that they effectively control the Senate? How about the White House? You can thank Donald Trump’s toxic personality for all of that — unless of course you believe the Democrats stole the election, which I’m guessing you do.

Hi Bernie: As usual, I don’t have anything to disagree with in this edition of Off the Cuff. I fear the trend of people watching those who tell them what they want to hear is entrenched deeply however. I have recently come upon a source of information I find interesting in their seeming attempt to balance the story telling: The Dispatch. Do you have any insights on this group of folks? — Paul M.

They’re smart and reasonable. And two of them — Goldberg and Hayes — quit Fox News because they’re smart and reasonable.

Hi Bernie…Would you consider Bill O’Reilly the person to have started all these opinion shows? From my understanding, he was #1 in cable news for a long time, and thus I am thinking this is all HIS fault! 🙂 BTW, I agree with everything you said. I enjoy watching the local news just reporting events in my community than watching national news, be it cable or network. — Tony P.

Bill had different points of views on his show. None of the prime time slugs on Fox have dissenting points of view, unless they want to bash the poor SOB. So no, Tony, I don’t blame Bill for anything EXCEPT … Jesse Watters!!!

Bernie, last week, Ted Cruz referred to the January 6th attack as “domestic terror” — something he’d done almost 20 other times over the past year, without controversy. Then, a day after Tucker Carlson caused a stink about it, Cruz went on Carlson’s show and utterly humiliated himself by begging Carlson and his viewers to forgive him for mistakenly calling January 6th “domestic terror.”

The incident was reminiscent of a more famous example of political patheticism: Cruz morphing into a fervent Trump supporter and defender after Trump trashed his wife’s looks, and suggested his father killed JFK.

Do you agree that it’s time for an online reality show called Cruzin’ for a Bruisin’, where — each week — Ted Cruz is called on (and quickly agrees) to perform some epic, cowardly and self-emasculating political gesture that brings him and his family utter disgrace, purely for the sake of momentary politics?

And would you watch such a show? — John D.

I’m starting to worry, John D. In recent weeks you not only made sense but have come up with ideas I would label “brilliant.” And yes, I’d probably watch such a show because chaos is interesting.

 


Thanks, everyone! You can send me questions for next week using the form below! You can also read previous Q&A sessions by clicking here.




Off the Cuff: How Cable News Has Crushed Journalism

In this week’s Off the Cuff audio commentary (a special free episode!), I look at the extraordinary damage cable news networks have inflicted upon journalism.

You can listen to it by clicking on the play (arrow) button below.

 

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Sean Coleman is back in John A. Daly’s upcoming thriller novel, “Restitution.” Click here to pre-order.




Bernie’s Q&A: John Madden, Kimberly Potter, Alex Jones, and more! (12/31) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)

Welcome to this week’s Premium Q&A session for Premium Interactive members. I appreciate you all signing up and joining me. Thank you.

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Now, let’s get to your questions (and my answers):


Did Biden have his “Mission Accomplished” moment July 4th when he declared independence from coronavirus? I understood why he falsely blamed Trump for the virus back during the 2020 presidential campaign (he could lie with impunity speaking to a compliant press corps). But I don’t understand why he painted himself into a corner promising to end the virus and then declaring the aforementioned independence from the pandemic after he was elected. Do you really think he believes his own BS? — Steve R.

I think Joe Biden, a politician all his life, says things that he thinks will play with his audience. If they don’t turn out to be true … no harm no foul. Who’s going to hold him accountable? Not, for the most part, a “compliant press corps,” as you say. For the record, he did say the virus has not yet been “vanquished” — and he did caution against complacency, acknowledging that new variants still out there. But you’re right, he did, as one news report put it, “all but announced an end to the pandemic in the U.S.” Check out my column next Monday for more on this general subject.

Happy New Year early Sir Bernie—-the All-Benevolent Emperor thanks you for another year of service to the Empire.! I read that Philadelphia D.A. Larry Krasner, (a PROGRESSIVE LIBERAL DEMOCRAT BACKED BY GEORGE SOROS) is losing a lot of his attorneys for various and sundry reasons. Apparently George Soros has given over 60% of his assets away to support leftist causes and candidates. (Funny how left wingers love Soros but hate Elon Musk and the Koch Brothers, but I digress). Here’s what I can’t figure out: I would assume that someone who escaped the NAZIS would WANT others to be protected against violent thugs who destroy communities and make the citizens unsafe. I also know that he’s an old atheist who probably doesn’t have much time left on God’s green earth anyway. So—-What exactly does George Soros gain by supporting left wing progressive leaders who destroy communities and poison neighborhoods where he doesn’t reside? –“Farewell 2021” Regards from The Emperor

Soros doesn’t see it the way you do. He believes he’s helping the downtrodden. He sees a world of the oppressed and the oppressor. One of you has it right. I’ll leave it to you to figure out which one that is. Happy New Year, Your Emperor-ship.

Have you paid attention to the Kimberly Potter trial in Minneapolis? I can’t help but think that the jury gave the verdict that they did because they were concerned with the backlash from BLM and others if they ruled separately. What do you think? — Jerry G.

I think two things, Jerry. First, controversial as it may be, a guilty verdict was understandable. Though the prosecution didn’t have to charge her with first degree manslaughter. That was probably a political decision. Although what happened was clearly an accident, it was such an egregious accident that “oops, sorry” wouldn’t suffice. My second point is that I think you’re onto something regarding the potential for trouble if the jury came back with a not guilty verdict. Good chance that was on the minds of the jurors.

Thank you Bernie for the words of wisdom. We don’t always agree and yet you keep speaking and writing and I keep reading, listening, and replying. Imagine how boring it would be if we simply always agreed. Wish I could convince you that Trump is the real deal. I’ll keep trying. Keep up the good work my friend. — Thomas C.

Many thanks, Thomas for that. Keep trying … who knows, you may actually move me in your direction. Who knows, maybe I’ll even move you in my direction. Maybe? I appreciate the civility in your note.

There’s little doubt in my mind that the Biden Administration all lay their heads down at night knowing they are in over their heads, are mostly incompetent, know they have bungled decision after decision and don’t care enough or at all what the majority of Americans think about it. Every human being knows their own true worth and contribution when they lay down at night. Is there anything more dangerous than those who choose not to care how their actions impact others? As you pointed out on this [week’s] OTC, 2022 looks to be more of the same unfortunately.

So I resolve not to expect anything different from these clowns. Just like Biden said yesterday, I give up and I’m going to the beach! Pass the sunscreen… Warm regards. — Scotty G.

I’m not sure they know they’re in over their heads. They may be delusional. Which is worse: Knowing you’re not up to the job or thinking you are when you’re clearly not. More important: Where’s the beach, my friend?

I know he was in the sports division and you were in the news division, but because you and the recently deceased John Madden worked for CBS at the same time, I was wondering if you ever met the man. Even if you didn’t, do you have any impressions of him you’d like to share? — Ben G.

I did meet Madden … in Tampa … 1984 … at the Super Bowl. I interviewed him for a story I was doing for the CBS Evening News. I wish there was something memorable that came out of it, but if there was it escapes me. He showed up at the designated location, answered my dopey questions, I thanked him and we went our separate ways. As for impressions: Mine are all the obvious ones. He was a great TV personality. He understood the medium. He was both knowledgeable and entertaining. One of a kind!

Bernie, It’s been reported that on Christmas Eve, police were called to the home of far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, after Jones’s wife allegedly accused him of cheating on her, and then proceeded to strike him over 20 times in the head (using her fists and a bottle). Though police reports seem to corroborate the account, and it makes sense that any physical assault on Jones would reasonably entail a large number of head-shots (based on his enormously-sized cranium), Jones’s well-known propensity to fabricate things, along with odd details on the incident, would seem to cast doubt on the official record of what happened.

For example, are we honestly supposed to believe that Jones could get someone to marry him in the first place, let alone find someone interested in having an affair with him? I’m not buying it. Doesn’t it seem more likely that this woman was a crisis actor hired by the same Deep State shadow groups who assassinated JFK, and faked the moon landing, 9/11, and the January 6th attack, to make Jones look like a ladies man in exchange for him not revealing to the world that the Earth is indeed flat? — John D.

I had not thought of ANY of that, John D. And you know why? Because you just may be crazier than Alex Jones. But hidden in your rant was a nugget … about — as you put it — the “faked moon landing.” Who told you about that? I thought I was the only one who knew that it was faked. At least that’s what Alex Jones once told me. He was with Sophia Loren at the time. Happy New Year to you John D and all the other residents of the asylum.

 


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Bernie’s Q&A: Chris Wallace, Joe Manchin, Jesse Watters, and more! (12/24) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)

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Now, let’s get to your questions (and my answers):


Mr. G., What in the world is Bill O’Reilly touring with and promoting Trump all about? Does Bill need the money? Why is he feeding that insatiable ego that we just need to go away? Can’t you speak with him please? –ScottyG

All good questions, Scotty. Unfortunately, no good answers.

Hello Mr Goldberg, I heard you on Bill O’Reilly equate Fox News with MSNBC AND CNN, in essence lumping all these cable news program s in one basket. I think that was wrong. Yes, you can argue that Fox News is favors Donald Trump and won’t permit anything negative to be said about him, and the exact opposite goes for MSNBC and CNN. But tell me does Fox censor news worthy items like MSNBC and CNN censored the Jussie Smollett story or does Fox news not run stories equivalent to MSNBC and CNN not covering the southern border? — Frederic N.

Fox has been called “The Trump Administration in Exile.” I think that’s a good description. All the cable news channels pander to their viewers. They all play up stories that fit the viewers (and their) biases and play down stories that don’t. You ask, “Does Fox censor newsworthy items …”?  Yes. You can watch Fox all morning and most of the rest of the day and not get any news about the House commission investigating the Jan 6 riot. You know why, Frederic? Because Fox viewers by and large don’t want to hear that kind of news. Fox has some very good hard news reporters. But the line between hard news and commentary is pretty blurry. And so let me repeat: They’re all the same to one degree or another. They’re all are in the business of business more than the business of good journalism.

First I want to wish you and your family the very best for this Holiday season, now a simple question. Did Joe Manchin on Sunday save the Democratic Party? — Douglas C.

I think he did. If that monstrosity of a spending bill had passed, Democrats would be paying the price not only for the short term inflation it would cause but also for the expensive non-essential stuff that’s in it. That said, I hope the Dems continue to hammer Manchin. I hope they continue to call him names. And I wish he says that he’s had enough and becomes a Republican.

Read the post on Chris Wallace leaving. Interesting, but the idea that leaving Fox because of Carlson to go to CNN which has Don Lemon, Brian Stelter, Cuomo until he finally got fired, and a few other crazies doesn’t seem like much of an improvement over Carlson. And the fact that Fox hosts were messaging for Trump to call off the rioters doesn’t seem like an indictment of the hosts, it seems more like they knew it was wrong and wanted it stopped. Wallace was more left than right…maybe more a reason to leave for CNN. Bret Baer is center in my opinion…if he leaves, I’ll be sad. I don’t watch the opinion shows on Fox, CNN or anywhere else. — Bob K.

You’re right, Bob, when you say CNN has its own bunch of crazies. We disagree, though, on whether it’s a good idea to try to help someone you’re supposed to be covering. Ingraham, Kilmeade and Hannity did want the riot to stop — because it was hurting Donald Trump. Did they go on the air that night and condemn Trump for allowing it to go on for quite a while before he did anything? No, they didn’t. Even opinion talking heads have to be fair. They were activists, as I said, trying to help a friend. How is that different from what Chris Cuomo did, helping his brother? Finally, more and more people are telling me what you wrote at the end of your message: That, like you, they’re no longer watching opinion shows on Fox or anyplace else. And the ratings reflect the fall off.

As to Wallace leaving for CNN, I say good riddance. “leaving for CNN” is all anyone needs to know. I don’t expect him to be lenient on Republicans, never did. But I’ve come to suspect the longtime Democrat after watching and listening to him over the last few years. And I’ve never been a Trump fan, but I have had to defend even him against the institutional forces allied against him. The seriousness of the political landscape extends far beyond one strange, ridiculous, clownish megalomaniac personality, even when said clown is or was POTUS.

As for Tucker Carlson, I did not see his special, but I did watch his hour-long show most nights. And I saw his questioning of the January 6th events and aftermath as mostly reasonable. The behavior of Democrats and the mainstream media with respect to January 6th and its portrayal is far more suspect that Carlson’s. — JT

It looks like we have vastly different opinions of Tucker Carlson, JT. He has used his show to push debunked conspiracy theories about how the FBI was behind the January 6 riots. He mocked Capitol police for testifying about their experience that day. On top of all that, he attributes the worst motives to anyone he doesn’t like. I wouldn’t wash my hands in the same sink with that guy.

Bernie, I am glad Chris walked away from Fox. He is of the few to keep his integrity. However how is any open minded conservative supposed to take anything on Fox News seriously. Or for that matter the republican officials they put on the network. When we know they are not being honest about the Big Lie and January 6th. Why should we trust them in the elections of 2022? — Douglas

You hit the proverbial nail on the head, Douglas. Nothing for me to add. I’m with you all the way, my friend.

Bernie, I have one searing memory of Wallace and that would be his failure to ask Hillary Clinton one tough question during her debate with Trump. There were any number of probing questions (her phony charity for one) he could have asked and he chose to fluff ball his way through the evening. Can’t stand the guy and he is one of the huge reasons I stopped watching Fox. — Thomas C.

I checked, Thomas, and discovered that while the debate was almost entirely about policy positions, Wallace did specifically ask (and press) Clinton about the Clinton Foundation controversy. Here’s a link.

But if you don’t like him, it’s a free country.

[Regarding your Chris Wallace column]:

  1. Don’t you just hate quotations with text left out? Here’s an example: “But they sold their souls to … Trump”. Those ellipsis (three dots) could have contained anything, for example, “they sold their souls to the powers that be despite pleading from Trump.”
  2. What became of using the word “because” in journalism? “This isn’t true, and it’s dangerous to pretend it is.” Why is it true? Who says it’s true? It’s true BECAUSE…?” The absolute worst thing about interviews these days is that the topic starts with accepted fact and consequent conclusions. Were “I” an interviewer, this person wouldn’t get past this first sentence.

— James B.

While watching interviews on TV, I find myself jumping in with “ASK ABOUT (fill in the blank.)” Too many interviewers on TV are not much more than potted plants.

When Fox’s Jesse Watters spoke at a big rightwing conference this week, he encouraged the wanna-be young “journalists” in the audience to confront Dr. Fauci in public when he’s not expecting it. Watters said: “Now you’re going for the kill shot. The kill shot with an ambush is deadly because he doesn’t see it coming. This is when you say ‘Dr. Fauci, you funded risky research at a sloppy Chinese lab, the same lab that sprung this pandemic on the world. You know why people don’t trust you, don’t you?’ Boom! He is dead! He is dead! He’s done!”

WTF is wrong with Watters? Yes, I get that he was speaking in metaphors, but as John Daly said on Twitter, he was consciously and provocatively using ‘kill’ metaphors in his encouragement of people publicly accosting Fauci (a guy hated by that crowd, who likely receives more death threats that almost anyone in the country)”. Clearly he was trying to get a rise out of people with such talk. As a respected journalist, Bernie, what do you think of how Watters talked and the phrasing he used? Did you guys ever talk about “kill shots” and “deadly ambushes” at CBS? — Ben G.

Let me answer your “WTF is wrong with Watters” question: HE’S A MORON! And no, I never used the term “kill shots” or “deadly ambushes.” Did I mention: HE’S A MORON!

Recently Sarah Silverman called out Joy Reid for her blatant lies about Ron DeSantis who is considering starting a state civilian guard unanswerable to the federal government and Joy Reid’s attempt to link this to (what else?) racism and white supremacy. In an effort to promote the truth, Sarah Silverman found herself in the crosshairs of the woke elites—-she was accused of racism of course along with being chided for correcting a Harvard educated woman. Well I must admit to feeling a bit of schadenfreude over this, since I’m told that Sarah Silverman told young Jewish voters to pressure their own grandparents into voting for Barack Obama, lest they be seen as racists themselves. Here’s what I want to know: since this is a tactic that is regularly used by the left, why did Sarah Silverman believe that it would never be used against her? Is she (and so many others on the left) THAT F—-ING BLIND that they don’t see their own being devoured by their own tactics whenever they stray out of lockstep with the woke Dunderheads?  –“Having The Shoe On The Other Foot Schadenfreude” Regards from The Emperor

They’re clueless, my Royal friend. The stuff the left pulls on conservatives never bothers them until they’re the target. Then they wake up. And let me admit that when it happens, I’m glad. I feel no sympathy for her — or anyone else on the left who has slimed conservatives — and then finds herself in the crosshairs. Too bad!

Besides Smollett, the DA who originally “prosecuted” the case, Kim Foxx should go to jail, too. She gave him a suspended sentence and 16 hours of community service stuffing envelopes in Jesse Jackson’s office. She never asked any of the questions a DA should ask, and she basically did no investigation. A recent investigation of her conduct concluded she was “responsible for a major failure of operations in dismissing charges against Smollett.” Nothing criminal, the investigation said, but maybe an ethics violation. No kidding. So much for one investigator in Chicago investigating another investigator. The city was safer under Al Capone. Probably more honest, too. — Joe B.

I’m with you Joe. When a gangster is corrupt that’s one thing. But a DA? That’s worse. But she didn’t force her way into office. She was voted in. And the people of Chicago deserve what they got. Same with the voters in NY, SF, LA and other left wing cities. No sympathy for any of them.

Bernie, great coverage of the Smollet trial’s aftermath. And it is interesting to watch, well, nothing from the liberal pie holes. That is the mode of operation for the hit and run media, the drive-bys as the late El Rushbo labeled them. What these harbingers of doom haven’t heard, nor are they listening for, is that incredibly loud sound of silence that is emanating from their lack of an audience. They have a fractional base that like the conservatives they abhor, will stick to them no matter what untruths they spew. I am reminded of my former wife’s grandmother who would be playing cards with her friends and discussing various gossip items. I asked onetime after hearing one particular outrage concerning an actor of the time where they had heard this maliciousness. She proudly said, “Why, it’s in the National Enquirer,” as if there was no way an untruth could ever be printed there. It seems reporters or anchors are following this pattern of placing pleasing the audience way above fact finding and truthfulness. Assumptions seems to have made an Ass out of, well again as you said, no one. So my question would be, given the current state of politics which I can only imagine in journalism classes these days, is there any chance to get truth somewhat back into the broadcasts, or has Gabriel sounded the trumpet? — Rod A.

Please the audience is what counts. Play up the news they want, play down or ignore the news they don’t want. The sound you’re hearing is that of Gabriel playing taps for much of the world of journalism.

Reacting to Joe Manchin’s announcement this week that he will not vote for BBB, Jennifer Rubin of WAPO proclaimed that “democracy is hanging by a thread.” Countless other members of the Democrat Party have been telling us for months that “our democracy” is in jeopardy. Bernie, this seems like a very urgent matter. Please let us know what what we can do to save America. It sounds like all will be well and freedom will again ring if we only spend another $3-5 trillion (rather paltry since the national is around 30 trillion, no?). Do you think it would help if I write to Senator Manchin and call him some nasty names? At a minimum, please help me better understand what they mean when they use the words “our democracy.” Wishing you and all the regulars a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy 2022. — Mike F.

Funny and serious at the same time. Nice, Mike. The sky is always falling to people who don’t get their way — especially if they also hate Donald Trump. I wouldn’t lose any sleep. Democracy will be around longer than Jennifer Rubin. And while we’re talking about her … I’m constantly puzzled by how some genuine conservatives have moved so far to the left in the Trump and post-Trump era. I understand why they don’t like Trump. I understand why they’ve abandoned the GOP. But why they have become MSNBC-type lefties leaves me with a whole bunch of questions. Among them: Can raw hatred of Donald Trump make someone (like Ms. Rubin) abandon everything she believed about politics and political philosophy? Does he have such a strong hold on them so that they’ve moved from hard right to hard left? I’m thinking yes and yes.

Bernie, this is how Fox promoted Jesse Watters’ now infamous speech this week, where he used a bunch of assassination metaphors in his encouragement of people ambush-interviewing Dr. Fauci, and sending their videos to Fox News:

Are you disappointed that the controversial “kill shot” rhetoric has distracted from what was assuredly valuable journalistic advice from someone with Watters’ highly-impressive journalistic background? After all, who can forget his award-winning investigative reports on The O’Reilly Factor, where he interviewed women in bikinis on spring break, mocked woke activists, and pressed retail employees about saying “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”? He has so much left to teach! — John D.

As I mentioned earlier in the Q & A: Jesse Watters is a MORON. And let me add … who works for other MORONS.

 


Thanks, everyone! You can send me questions for next week using the form below! You can also read previous Q&A sessions by clicking here.




Off the Cuff: No Price for Getting the Smollett Story Wrong

In this week’s Off the Cuff audio commentary, I look at how there’s been no accountability for those who promoted Jussie Smollett’s unbelievable claims as fact.

You can listen to it by clicking on the play (arrow) button below.

 

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