Bernie’s Q&A: Rathergate, Klobuchar, Vindman, Sanders, and more! (2/14) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)

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

I read a quote today that’s very striking and true. “You can vote your way into socialism, but you have to shoot your way out of it.” I usually try to stay away from extreme, attention-getting statements, but this one isn’t hyperbole. Don’t American voters see what happened in Venezuela? Are they not watching the footage from Hong Kong? Obama supporters like to state that the Trump economy is just a continuation of what Obama started during his presidency. Aren’t socialist Democrat policies also a continuation of the leftward lurch of Obama? — Steve R.

Obama was a moderate compared to Sanders and Warren.  Sure, Obama and liberals in general like government programs — and government programs cost money.  But he never called for free college and free health care and forgiveness of student loans, etc.  As for why some American voters aren’t afraid of the Sanders/Warren version of socialism:  They like “free” stuff — as long as somebody else is paying for it.

I was awaiting to see if you had any comments on the Super Bowl. Since you didn’t write on it, thought I would force the issue. I thought the game was pretty d&%n good. Your thoughts on it. The halftime show was fireworks, lasers, a million people on stage featuring a couple of gals half dressed (if that), your comments on halftime. Also, did JLo just moon me on my TV or did they broadcast that to everyone? Your thoughts on quarterback Patrick Mahomes? — Tim H.

It was a great game, I think we can all agree on that, no matter who you were rooting for.  As for the halftime show:  I have mixed feelings.  J Lo and Shakira looked great.  But is that what we want to showcase to kids, especially young girls?  The first Super Bowl half time show featured Carol Channing.  That was more than 50 years ago.  If you want to know how American culture has changed over those years, just compare Ms. Channing to the two half dressed stars this year.  Finally, Patrick Mahomet is a great quarterback.  But greatness in sports (and other endeavors) is measured over time.  So we’ll have to wait a few more years before we decide how great he really is.

So today the Left MSM and Liberal politicians are ripping Trump for firing Lt Col Vindman as “political payback”. I guess they have forgotten when Obama fired General Stanley McCrystal when a reporter embedded with his unit in Afghanistan “leaked” that they had been badmouthing Administration policies. I guess they feel “we” have just forgotten. SMH — JM

I’m sick of the commentary on both sides.  Liberals yelling about Vindman’s dismissal but not so much when McCrysgtal got canned. Conservatives defending the president now but not when Obama fired a general.  Principles, as I’ve repeatedly said, are either dead or dying.

Mr. G, Remember when everyone said, Bill Clinton? Who is this guy? Barack Obama? Who is this guy? Now we have, Amy Klobuchar? Who is this gal? Do you think she could surge to get the Nomination since she’s the most moderate Dem? She doesn’t offer up much to be attacked on and she can likely pull votes from the middle and the so-called tired of Trump voters; don’t you think? I also haven’t heard a Trump nickname for her yet either, that’s probably telling. — ScottyG

Amy Klobuchar finished a strong third in New Hampshire … and now the buzz is that she’s catching on, that she’s got momentum. But while third is pretty good, it isn’t first or second.  And while anything is possible, I think Klobuchar remains a long shot. As for Donald Trump:  If at some point he gives her a nickname then we’ll know she’s a serious contender for the nomination.  But if he gives her some dopey name, it will be a mistake.  She’s smarter than Trump, she’s more civil and decent than Trump.  He’ll get hurt more than she will if he tries to humiliate her.  And if, by some chance, she gets the nomination, she’ll destroy him in the debates — again, because she’ll come off as the intelligent grownup — and that will go a long way with moderate swing voters, especially women in the suburbs. In case you’re wondering:  Despite all that, I would not vote for her.

Dennis Prager has been making the argument on your website and elsewhere that what Trump said about women in the infamous Access Hollywood audio does NOT speak negatively of Trump’s character. His rationale is that Trump thought his conversation was private, and that what people say in private is not indicative of their character. This strikes me as an odd argument. What are your thoughts on this topic, and do you think Prager would be taking the same position if a tape had leaked of Obama saying the exact same thing? — George L.

It strikes me as odd too, George.  And I suspect Prager would not take the same position if a tape had been leaked with Obama saying the exact same thing.  But I’m not surprised by any of this.  Donald Trump has a magical, mysterious hold on people.  They’ll defend just about anything that he does.  Frankly, I find it pathetic.

Bernie. We ALL agree that our president had every right to remove Lt. Col. Vindman and his brother from their posts. But doesn’t that and Trump’s public trashing of Vindman over the months send a bad message to people in our government that they should just SHUT UP if they believe they are witnessing a real abuse of government power? And what do you think about Molly Hemmingway saying that Vindman should have been COURT-MARTIALED instead of reassigned??? — Daniel D.

I’m with you, Daniel.  I also think the public trashing sends a bad signal.  But I expect nothing more from our president.  As for Ms. Hemingway: What she said on Fox is this:  “If he were in any other position in the military, he would have already been court martialed for this.” That’s a little different from your take on what she said.  If she went further than the quote above, I’m unaware of it.

Do you think Dan Rather should have lost his job over Rathergate, or do you think CBS should have done something more similar to what NBC did to Brian Williamson (knock him down the totem pole)? Or maybe a third option? Thanks! I enjoy these sessions! — Fred M.

I never believed Dan Rather got canned for screwing up the story.  I believed at the time, and still do, that the screw up provided CBS with a good excuse to get rid of Dan because he was ranked third out of three in the evening news ratings.  Had the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather been #1, I don’t believe he would have lost his job.  For the record, Dan didn’t get fired when 4 of his colleagues did.  CBS waited about a year (as I recall) until his contract ran out and didn’t renew him.  So what did Dan do:  He sued CBS.  The case went nowhere but cost him a small fortune.

You recently wrote that Republicans should NOT underestimate Bernie Sanders’ chances beating Trump in a general election. I agree, and I would prefer someone who is NOT a Marxist socialist (excuse me “Democratic socialist”) running the country. I think Republicans who believe Bernie will be easily defeated by Trump are being WAY TOO presumptuous.

Here’s what I don’t understand: What exactly is the appeal of Bernie Sanders? Having grown up in the 70s and 80s, I do recall the Soviet threat and the horrors of living under the threat of communism taking over. WHY do so many Americans NOT understand this!? So Bernie Sanders promises free college and healthcare for all, but I see free college as nothing more than free indoctrination into leftist thought, and free health care as bait so he can get Tsarnov and any number of other thugs and felons to vote for democrats (and young teenagers too, if he has his way). — The Internationale Communist Theme Song Regards From The Emperor

Bernie’s appeal?  Free stuff is pretty appealing.  Never mind that it isn’t free.  As long as YOU THINK someone else will pay for all those goodies, voters –especially young voters — will glob onto the candidate.

Also, Bernie is for real.  He tells you what he thinks.  In a crazy way, that’s refreshing.  That said, check out my column on Bernie which I’ll publish on Monday.

Here’s what a college student told the Wall Street Journal about his fascination with Sanders:

“Sen. Bernie Sanders is attractive to young voters because his policies are extreme and concise. You’re struggling with student debt? He’ll make college free. Your parents worry about health insurance and medical bills? He’ll make health care free. In that way he seems to cut through all the muck of the past. What could be bolder or more straightforward? Besides, he can demonize skeptics and detractors as lackeys of the richest 1%.

—Max Calzada, Oakland University, actuarial science and theater”

For many years, and almost every other day, I read about a ‘first’. For example, the first Latina police chief, the first African-American mayor, the first woman CEO, or the first openly gay Disney character. What I’m not hearing much about these days is that we have our first openly gay presidential candidate – Mayor Pete. I watch ALL the networks and peruse online content as well and I’m not seeing any flag carrying – banner waving proclamation about Mayor Pete being our first openly gay presidential candidate. I have an idea why, BUT am curious to hear your thoughts about this. — PCE

You haven’t been watching closely enough.  There have been numerous references about him being the first openly gay candidate for president.  After a while, they simply stop saying it.  By now, they figure, everybody knows.  Almost everybody, anyway.  I’m curious:  If you haven’t heard anything about it on “ALL the networks” and “online” … how do you know he’s openly gay?

I would like to see each candidate for president or any congressional office be asked the following simple question ( I believe that millions of Americans would appreciate knowing where their candidates stand and would welcome your views on the question being posed and your own answer): on a scale of 1-100 ( 100 being perfect and 1 being Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia), how do you rate America ( and a reason or two supporting your rating)? — Michael F.

Would make for interesting television, Michael.  But it would also open the door to cable news fools to pick apart the candidate’s answer.  Let’s say, for instance, a moderator asks your question of Joe Biden.  Anything other than 100 would send Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham into a phony rage. “Why did Biden say 95?” they’d yell.  “He doesn’t love this country.”

In a GOP contest, if Wolf Blitzer asked that question and Donald Trump said “100” … Don Lemon would sound off about how the president thinks America is perfect, which, of course, it isn’t.

So the only “acceptable” rating for Fox viewers would be somewhere between 97 and 100. The only “correct” answer for MSNBC and CNN’s audience would be considerably lower — as long as Donald Trump is president.

For some reason, Michael, your question has been haunting me all day.  I keep thinking about it.  And the more I do the more I come to the conclusion that I think it’s a very bad idea.

How do I rate America? Great country.  Lots of freedom.  Hate the polarization. Wish taxes were lower.  Smaller government.  Not crazy about service in America.

And then I’m supposed to come up with a number from 1 to 100 to rate the country?  Sorry, not for me.

Saint Bernard, I think you misunderstood last week’s question by reader Chuck S. He asked if in the Iowa caucus (where voters must literally stand/sit and publicly display their choice), how then does a journalist participate and keep their views private. He noted that, on one hand, the right to vote is important while on the other hand, to remain unbiased, a true journalist must remain politically neutral. You said, “A journalist doesn’t ‘participate.’ A journalist reports what’s going on.” What if in saying “participate” he was thinking of someone known to others at the voting place to be a journalist, who would indeed reveal their candidate preference by where they stood/sat at a caucus, as opposed to casting a secret ballot in a primary election voting booth? — Fred E.

Thanks very much, Fred.  Now I get it.  Apologies to Chuck S.

I guess it does present a problem — a potential one, anyway — when the general public knows how a reporter will be voting.  But the reporter would have to be known to more than a few people at the caucus … otherwise they’d have no idea if he was a reporter or a truck driver.  Second, a journalist can vote for any candidate and still be an honest, non partisan reporter.  So even if a journalist goes to a caucus and lines up with candidate Joe Blow, it doesn’t mean the journalist can’t objectively cover Joe Blow.  Besides, if the public didn’t know, he’d still be voting for the candidate — and that might influence how he covers news related to the candidate.  But Chuck has a point:  The general public shouldn’t know how journalists vote.

The issue raised by Chuck and you Fred would be solved if Iowa and a few other states entered the 21st century and dumped the caucus system and replace it with primary elections.



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(Not Exactly) Breaking News: CNN Has Become a Journalistic Embarrassment

It’s not exactly breaking news that CNN is no longer in the news business. I know this because I possess a television and every now and then it’s tuned to CNN.

Now, the network that once bragged that it was “The most trusted name in news” has become a journalistic embarrassment. There’s enough blame to go around, but Jeff Zucker deserves most of it. He’s the leader of the gang that couldn’t shoot straight.

When I covered stories for CBS News, CNN was a real news organization, a worthy competitor. And when big news was breaking, Americans didn’t tune in to CBS or ABC or NBC. They were entertainment networks. CNN was the place to go to find out what was happening — any time of the day or night.

CNN may have had its biases like other news organizations, but they weren’t blatant.  For a long time, CNN at least appeared to be non-partisan.

That was once upon a time. Now CNN has embraced a new role.  It proudly sees itself as the media arm of the anti-Trump “Resistance.”  If you have doubts, stop reading this column, turn on your TV, tune into CNN, and there’s a good chance that you’ll find someone on screen saying something about Donald Trump, and that something won’t be good.

It’s not only the commentators who hate the president. They’re no different than the commentators at Fox who have fallen madly in love with the president.  They’re two sides of the same coin.  But at Fox, news correspondents, by and large, keep their opinions to themselves.  At CNN, the line that separates news from opinion hasn’t been blurred; it’s been obliterated.

“It is difficult to convey in words just what the candidacy and then presidency of Donald Trump have done to CNN.”

That pithy observation comes from a devastating essay by National Review online editor Charles C. W. Cooke; an essay appropriately titled, “CNN Is Not a News Network” … with an equally fitting sub headline that reads, “And Jim Acosta is no reporter.”

Cooke writes about an on-air campaign CNN initiated in 2017, the year Donald Trump took office.  The theme was “Lies can become truth, if we let them”:

“President Trump, the clear target of the drive, is a habitual liar and an unreconstructed narcissist. “The trouble is . . . so is CNN. With the possible exception of the hallucinatory MSNBC, no other institution in American life spent more time and effort indulging the false idea that President Trump was quite obviously guilty of treason, collusion, and bribery, and insisting that the impending Mueller report would not only reveal this guilt, but would prompt Trump’s removal from office and, possibly, his arrest. For two long years, the network was breathless. The walls were always ‘closing in,’ the hours were perpetually ‘ticking down’. … Wars have been fought with less relentless effort than Jeff Zucker and co. put into starting with their conclusion. Anything with the word ‘Russia’ glued to it — however minor or tenuous or self-evidently silly it was — warranted a ‘BREAKING’ chyron, and a grave, dramatic … tone. Nothing gave rise to skepticism or pause — not even the publication of the Mueller report itself, the details of which, when revealed, were all but rejected in favor of yet more conspiracy theories.”

Just one year later, CNN was at it again with another ad, bragging about its supposed journalistic impartiality.  Except, if Russian trolls had infiltrated CNN and concocted the ad, hoping it would make you wonder if the folks who run the network had finally lost their marbles, they couldn’t have done a better job than CNN did to itself.

Cooke tells us:

“In October 2018, a few days before the midterm elections, the channel began running an advertisement for itself every ten minutes that featured Andrew Gillum, the Democratic candidate for governor of Florida, telling Ron DeSantis, the Republican candidate for governor of Florida that, ‘this is CNN, not Fox — you have to bring facts.’ Or put another way: CNN, which is putatively a news organization, endorsed and repeatedly aired a cheap political attack from a candidate it was supposed to be covering, against a candidate it was supposed to be covering, as publicity in defense of its own neutrality. You couldn’t make it up.”

Cooke also takes aim at several CNN on-air personalities, which amounts to shooting fish in the proverbial barrel. There’s Jim Acosta, CNN’s White House correspondent, who doesn’t even try to hide his contempt for President Trump.

“Jim Acosta … seems to believe that his job is to act as the loyal opposition to President Trump, prone as he is to showing up at press conferences and emoting until he inspires a reaction about which he can subsequently complain on Twitter.”

And then Cooke turns his sites on another easy mark — Don Lemon.

“Even more transparent a player than Acosta is Don Lemon, who is a ‘news anchor’ in the same sense as that in which [Alabama head football coach] Nick Saban is a referee.”

And there’s pretend newsman Brian Stelter who hosts a media show for CNN on Sunday morning. Stelter has two themes he visits week in and week out:  Donald Trump is horrible … and so is Fox News.  Here’s what Cooke has to say about him:

“CNN offers up a glossy propaganda show named ‘Reliable Sources,’ the primary purpose of which is to whitewash the most egregious decisions it makes, to defend similar decisions made by its allies, and to explain why mirror-image behavior by Fox News represents a unique threat to the republic. Reliable Sources is presented by Brian Stelter, a man who insists that he is not a ‘media critic’ and who is, in a literal sense, correct in this evaluation. A better description for Stelter might be ‘media apologist,’ or perhaps ‘media sculptor,’ for Stelter clearly believes that his job is to suppress any information that makes the outlets he likes look bad and to highlight any information that he believes makes the outlets he likes look good. He is, in his own mind, the Arbiter of the Press. A National Media Ombudsman. The First Amendment’s Own Inspector General. To understand the nature of Reliable Sources, one needs only to know that Stelter managed to cover in obsessive detail the appearance of former White House press secretary Sean Spicer on the ABC reality show Dancing with the Stars, while assiduously ignoring fresh and explosive evidence that ABC News had withheld its knowledge of the Jeffrey Epstein scandal years before it broke.”

But we shouldn’t be surprised by any of this, should we? Cable news these days isn’t really about news.  It’s about drumming up outrage; tossing red meat to the audience; validating viewer biases; all designed to get them to come back for more.

But somehow CNN is worse than the others.  CNN was once a serious, important news organization, a real pioneer in the news business, a 24-hour news operation that you could count on.

That was a long time ago.  Now, as Charles C.W. Cooke tells us in the title to his smack down essay:  CNN Is Not a News Network.

And Jim Acosta is no reporter.


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Off the Cuff: Good Journalism vs. Good Racial Manners

Liberal journalists love to accuse conservatives of racism, but there’s a particular type of racism that they themselves are frequently guilty of. That’s the topic of today’s Off the Cuff audio commentary.

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



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Bernie’s Q&A: Christianity Today, Chuck Todd, Evangelicals, the Monsey Attack, and more! (1/3) — 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):

Hi Bernie – I’ve enjoyed your books and TV commentary for years. I’m probably asking a question that I should know the answer to, but are you planning another book? If so, can you give us a hint as to what it will be about? — Pete

I have a deal with several friends, Pete. If I do another book they have my permission to shoot me.  So I guess the answer to your question is no.  Doing radio interviews (over the phone) day and night is torture.  Doing cable TV isn’t much better.  I’ve been approached to do another book and turned down the offer.  But, I’ll cover myself and say …  never say never.

So I see the “progressives” in Cali have decided to pass a law which will take place in 2020 that says public schools cannot suspend students for disobeying teachers! SMH This doesn’t surprise me which is scary in and of itself, I mean ,I believe Comrade DeBlasio and NYC already has such a law, but geez, who in their right mind would continue teaching in a public school under these circumstances? What is it with these progressives that they are against law&order at any level? Times like this I’m glad I’m in the 4th quarter of life because this country is going to hell in a handbasket at a fast pace. Wishing you a Happy New Year, Bernie & Friends — John M.

If you want to see what America would look like if progressives ever took over, just go to California and you’ll find out.  Suspend kids for disobeying teachers.  That’s like torture, right?  But you’re wrong when you suggest that progressives might be against law & order.  They’d gladly put Donald Trump in prison — and would if they could.

The anti-semitic machete attack in Monsey was perpetrated by a “man of color.” This incident likely will NOT get the same amount of coverage or outrage because the attacker was not a white supremacist scum bag or Trump voter in a MAGA hat. As for the West Freeway Church of Christ in Texas, where a congregant with a weapon took out the shooter, I don’t know (as of this writing) anything about the shooter’s ethnic background or religion.

Why do left wingers go out of their way to downplay it when criminals “of color” are the ones committing violent acts and hate crimes? Even the most strident leftists have to realize that this nonsense only benefits criminals “of color,” NOT the victims OR the law-abiding good citizens “of color.” 

Downplaying the role of conceal/carry during incidents, like in Texas church, ALSO don’t benefit anybody except potential shooters. So again, why does the left do this? — Best New Year’s Regards of 2020 to you, From The Emperor

In the case of most crimes, the race of the person is not relevant.  The reporter doesn’t need to convey whether the guy who held up the bank was white, black, brown or purple.  But in hate crimes, race often does matter.  And on this, Emperor, you’re right.  If a bunch of MAGA hat people were attacking Jewish people the liberal media would be all over the story.  I’ve written a piece on this that will go out early in 2020.  For now, I’ll share this much:  white liberals don’t like talking about dysfunction among minorities because the white liberal is showing his good racial manners, to use a term coined by Shelby Steele.  They’re telling the world, I’m a good white person — not like all the others.  It’s a form of racism.  A softer kind, but a kind nonetheless.  Stay tuned for more.

I’ve been in the high-tech industry a long time. In a recent poll of a few major high-tech firms the political donations are overwhelmingly to the Democrats. But these companies overwhelmingly operate as zealous capitalists. I find it completely ironic that industries built upon free enterprise from employees to the founders support a Democrat party hell bent on destroying the very principles to which they benefited. I believe that with the right message and if the Republicans could get back to a conservative message, they could have a major win next November. Your thoughts on this matter. — Tim H.

I’m with you on the first part about how Silicon Valley capitalists support quasi socialist Democrats — but don’t think any message from conservatives will change liberal minds.  The minds on both sides are pretty much closed at this point.

Hi Bernie. Monday you wrote that you’d like to see some courage from Evangelical leaders by telling Trump he needs to have better character. I have a feeling many others have tried without success. We know by now what we are getting and while often disturbing, the results are good. For some reason the pressure on Israel to commit suicide to prove their morality, comes to mind. Additionally, with all the verifiable examples available, I was surprised you included the one of Trump supposedly mocking a reporter. I had researched that and found it inconclusive. Do you know something I don’t? An article in and a video from foxnews which shows Trump often using that mannerism to make a point or depict people who are avoiding an issue suggests he was not directing anything at the NYT reporter — who incidentally may not even shake and wave his arms. Last, I can certainly relate to the Evangelicals. As a secular-humanistic Jew I obviously have little philosophically in common with them. But given the choice of living in a country run by the totalitarians on the left or the Evangelicals – I would choose the Evangelicals. You? — Michael E.

Let’s start with Trump making fun of the disabled reporter.  Believe what you want but consider this, Michael: When Trump mocked the reporter he said, “you gotta see this guy” then started shaking … and shaking more so than the few times he did something like that against other perceived enemies.  But Trump also claimed, after he got hammered for what he did, that he’d never seen the reporter.  A lie.  The reporter had spoken with Trump, in person, many times over the years.  My take?  Trump was lying as he usually does when it hits the fan because of something stupid that he did.

As for the white evangelical support of Trump.  I very clearly said that I understand why they do it.  Read the piece again.  But then I went on to ask, why can’t a leader like Franklin Graham gently push the president to act better than he does.  You say you have a feeling that some ministers have tried.  I have a feeling that you’re being hopeful.

The Bee Gees once sang that “words are all (we) have.” As a professional wordsmith and first tier journalist, please share your thoughts regarding how PC culture and the MSM have made certain words verboten and invented new words and phrases for the purpose of manipulating the masses to garner power and squelch dissent. Newspeak anyone? — Michael F.

I find PC culture at times scary, and at times, ridiculous.  They can screw around all they want with words but euphemisms can’t hide reality.  Orwell showed us that. Here’s a modern day example of PC culture making a reasonable person scratch his head.  If you refer to an African American as a “colored person,” you’ll be called a racist.  But if you refer to that same African American as a “person of color” you’re progressive.  You can’t make this stuff up.

Your column and French’s editorial contain points Christians need to reflect upon. As a Christian who voted for Trump and will vote for Trump, I have and I will. I do not hold him up as an ethical/moral role model. As far as publicly criticizing his character, I don’t feel that I need Franklin Graham to do that. What do I know about what Mr. Graham has told President Trump, gently or otherwise in private counsel? What do you? Because it has not been said publicly, does that mean it hasn’t been said? As a Christian, Donald Trump is not my spiritual advisor. He is the political leader of this country and his political enemies will stoop to literally nothing to undermine his election and his governance. Most of his policies he’s implemented have been good for America. Most of the policies espoused by his political opponents would do the opposite, in my view. My conscience is clear as regards voting for him or supporting his administration. I don’t doubt the sincerity of French’s comments. However, I view the rush to now label evangelical Christians as hypocrites for voting for him and/or not publicly condemning him as just another tool in the toolbox of those who are grasping to destroy him for ANY reason. Call me less than convinced when other politicians who support the killing of unborn babies at any time and for any reason start playing the Christian virtue card and start talking about prayer. — John F.

John, for the ten millionth time, I understand why white evangelical Christians chose Trump over Hillary … and will choose him again over any of the Democrats.  It’s an realpolitik position.  But for ministers to publicly criticize those who take issue with the president’s vulgarity and nastiness, yes, I find that hypocritical.  Donald Trump has lived a life that demeans everything good Christians believe.  Vote for him anyway if you want; again, I understand.  But if you’re a leader, stand up publicly and say, “While we support you we wish you’d behave differently.”  If they’ve said it privately — which sounds like wishful thinking —  then what did their private pleas get them?  More talk about kissing ass and bullshit?

Believe whatever you want — and I’ll do the same.  And if those ministers want to support the president because of his policies … it’s a free country.  Again, I get it.  And again, I’m not arguing about their political judgement.  I’m commenting on what I see as the ease with which they go along with such a man as Donald Trump … while attacking the president’s critics.

Regarding your column Monday, Christians see the trap. Reject Trump for his personal flaws and we have to reject every American leader and especially the founding fathers. Reject Trump for his personal flaws and we need to reject Christianity and all organized religion. Just look at the old testament. David was raised by God to become a great King but with huge personal flaws including infidelity and murder. God raises champions. Just look at George Patton. And how about Ted Kennedy and Chappaquiddick? So God works thru scoundrels … men and women with deep personal flaws. Trump moved the USA embassy to Jerusalem. Seems biblical. So not ready to reject Trump because he insults other politician. — Charles K.

When did I ask you “to reject Trump because he insults other politicians”?  For that matter, when did I ask you to reject him for picking fights with Gold Star families?  For suggesting that John Dingell is in hell? For hinting that Carly Fiona is too ugly to be president? For saying he likes heroes who aren’t shot down?  And for a lot of other nasty comments he’s made.

Let me be blunt because I’m growing very tired of this:  Vote for whomever you want to vote for.  But let’s not pretend that you’d treat Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton the same way if they did what Donald Trump has done.

Let’s keep it positive to start off the new year; What is the proudest and or most rewarding experience in your career so far? — Scotty G.

Speaking truth to power … at CBS calling the mainstream media out for liberal bias … and at Fox … not being afraid to offend the audience or Fox management by calling out President Trump’s behavior.

Chuck Todd recently took heat over referencing a year-old “letter the editor” from someone who explained that Trump supporters “want to be lied to” because they believe in “fairy tales” like Noah’s Ark. What a lot of pro-Trumpers latched onto was the framing of a Bible story as a “fairy tale,” which came across as elitist and dismissive of the Christian faith. Their response was understandable, I think, and I felt the same way when Trump mocked Ben Carson’s story about how Carson became a Christian. But removing the religious connotations altogether, is it safe to say that a lot (not all) of Trump supporters are not only fine with being regularly lied to by Trump, but also appreciate Trump’s (and the conservative media’s) “folklore” presentation of his presidency, in which the bluster and animated storytelling are greeted with far more significance than the facts? — Alan D.

I could not have said it better, Alan.  Bravo!  You got it right.


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.

Brian Stelter and CNN Strike Again

Editor’s Note:  This is a free column, open to all. Let me know what you think.


Just when you think CNN can’t come up with anything new they don’t like about Donald Trump, they surprise you and come up with something new they don’t like about Donald Trump.

Last week, Brian Stelter, who hosts a Sunday show called Reliable Sources, (which ostensibly is about the media but is really about bashing the president as often as possible) exposed another reason the folks at CNN think Donald Trump is a dunce:  He can’t spell.

Citing expert researchers, Stelter solemnly informed us that since he took office President Trump has made a whopping 188 spelling errors when he takes to Twitter.

Oh, the horror!

Some of the president’s “absurd errors,” as Stelter described them, include “shoebiz,” “hamberders,” “leightweight,” “Rupublicans,” and ‘Infair.”

The president even tweeted about a “smocking gun” and the “Marine core.”

“English teachers are horrified,” and “others are embarrassed by it too,” Stelter told his audience.

And get this:  President Trump often confuses “it’s” with “its.”

I mean if that alone doesn’t constitute grounds for impeachment I don’t know what does.

“Everybody makes spelling mistakes,” Stelter graciously acknowledged, before adding, but “Trump makes a lot more of them than most people.”

And “most people” includes his Democratic rivals who make far fewer errors because, “They’re careful,” while “Trump makes constant mistakes.”  Thank you Brian Stelter.

What about Barack Obama?  How does Donald Trump compare to him.  If you said not well, give yourself a gold star.

Donald Trump started tweeting in 2009 and since then has made 350 spelling errors. Barack Obama took to Twitter in 2012 and he made – wait for it– only four.

If that doesn’t prove that Barack Obama was a better president than Donald Trump, what does, right?

Why does any of this matter?  Because, Stelter says, “If you can’t get the small stuff right people worry about the big stuff.”

What people – besides the journalists who despise Donald Trump and work at CNN?

How about the people who despise Donald Trump and work at the New York Times?

As I pointed out in this space several months ago, The Times ran a page one story that took on the president because of his … grammar.

Times reporter Sarah Lyall told us that in late May President Trump tweeted about Democratic senator Mark Warner.

“… their is nothing bipartisan about him,” Mr. Trump wrote.

Get it?  President Trump wrote the word … “their” … when he should have written … “there.”

The Times quotes Bryan A. Garner, the author of “Garner’s Modern English Usage,” who, when he read the president’s tweet, “could feel his blood pressure steadily rising,” as the Times describes it.

Did I mention that this story appeared on page one of the New York Times, on Sunday, no less, when liberals all over Upper Manhattan and Malibu sip their cappuccino lattes and search the newspaper of record for the latest crimes against humanity committed by the president.

And then there’s the dreaded dangling modifier offense.  No fooling!

In one tweet, Ms. Lyall, tells us that the president “successfully managed to both dangle a modifier and misspell a four-letter word in the course of a single sentence.”

Another language expert, who acknowledges she doesn’t like Mr. Trump, accuses him of another capital offense:  putting a comma where a period should go.

Someone call Adam Schiff!

There’s a word to describe all this concern over spelling and random capitalization and dangling modifiers and commas where periods should go.  The word is “pedantic,” which my dictionary defines as a “narrowly, stodgily, and often ostentatiously insistence that we follow the rules exactly” – the kind of thing that only annoying hall monitors of the English language demand, the same kind of people who made us diagram sentences in school for reasons I still can’t figure out.

Mr. Trump has many faults. That’s hardly breaking news.  But so does CNN and the New York Times have faults — something they seem blissfully unaware of, introspection being a quality in short supply in too many American newsrooms.


Editor’s Note:  Coming up Wednesday, my Off the Cuff audio take on the latest New York Times poll of key battleground states  — and it looks good for the president.