Bernie’s Q&A: The Debate, Trump’s Taxes, BLM, and more! (10/2) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)

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

Lance Morrow had an excellent Op-ed in the Wall Street Journal – “Before Reporting Became ‘Journalism'”. I was interested in your thoughts on this particular passage:

“Let not the listener or viewer or reader be detained by thought but instead move briskly on to emotions, which are the addictive and highly profitable drugs in which big media traffic. News media become crack houses of information and, all the while, ruthless participants in the struggle for political power and for what the parsons on ‘Morning Joe’ call ‘the soul of America.'” — Steve R.

I’m with Morrow on this. News organizations are no longer where we can reliably go to get honest information. They are part of the problem. They pour gasoline on the fire every chance they get, especially cable TV news. It’s good for business. And the people who want news to reflect their own opinions: They’re a big part of the problem too. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m disgusted with what passes for journalism these days — and with the audiences that prop it up.

This is more a comment than a question. The Breonna Taylor tragedy seems to be a better example for the protests than the Floyd case. At least she was not a well-documented criminal. The man with her was justified in his actions and the cops return of fire was also justified, albeit excessive, so this is a situation that needs mitigating police procedures to avoid similar occurrences. But the Floyd matter, based on body-cam transcripts, indicates Floyd had self-inflicted the overwhelming majority cause to his death. When this is officially concluded, such as just occurred in Louisville, the rioting will really go nuts. So, while the cop was a complicating factor in contributing to Floyd’s death, I believe the riots are collateral damage from the lockdowns around the country. Had there not been the lockdown, the riots would have been far less violent and destructive, or even nonexistent. The riots would likely have been nonexistent had the media not fanned the fires, which they all did – if it bleeds . . . Ergo, the riots are, to a large extent, a direct result from lockdowns and from the blood-thirsty media. Does that (mouthful) sound kind of nuts? — DonEstif

Let’s just say, Don, I don’t agree with much of what you’ve said. I don’t agree that George Floyd “had self inflicted the overwhelming majority cause to his death.” I think the cop with his knee on Floyd’s neck was overwhelmingly responsible for the death. Calling the cops “a complicating factor” is putting it mildly. As for riots and the lockdowns: As for the rioting “to a large extent” the result of lockdowns and “the bloodthirsty media” — I don’t agree with that either. Do you sound kind of nuts? Could be, Don.

Bernie, you need to break your earlier proclamation and pull the lever for Trump. Every vote matters, we cannot let the socialist take over! — Joe M.

I might have done that until I saw him in the debate. Now it ain’t gonna happen. And if he loses, don’t even attempt to put it on me and the others who prefer a GOP victory.

Let’s stipulate what you often say, Trump lies or exaggerates A LOT. That said, in 9/25’s Q&A, a reader cited Trump’s recent quote where he said “…it affects virtually nobody…” in a jag about Covid. It was clear from the context that he was talking about children and teenagers. I saw the speech myself and it was even referenced in the preamble of the question. Trump is wrong a lot, but in this case the data backs him up. According to the CDC, the survival rates for Covid by age group are:

  • 0-19: 99.997%
  • 20-49: 99.98%
  • 50-69: 99.5%
  • 74+: 94.6%.

0.003% mortality is in fact *virtually* zero. Just because we may not like Trump or the way he speaks doesn’t automatically nullify facts if they happen to come from him. It’s the Left’s knee jerk reaction to dismiss *everything* that Trump says that has led to many of the bizarre reactions we’ve seen, such as calling Hydroxychloroquine “dangerous” and “deadly” despite the fact that it’s been in common use for 60 years and is available over the counter in virtually all countries other than the US. Medical doctors will tell you that there are more adverse reactions for young people taking Tylenol than with Covid. To borrow from a common saying, let’s not shoot the message (just because we don’t like the messenger). — Keith M.

(Editor’s note: John F. sent a similar comment)

I’m responding to your comment, Keith, the day after the debate … so I’m not likely to give Mr. Trump the benefit of any doubt. I’m not a fan of shooting the message because we don’t like the messenger, but the messenger needs to talk like a grownup and be clear … something this president seems unable to do.

Have you seen Larry Elder’s documentary “Uncle Tom” about black conservatives, or Black conservatives? I found it very enlightening, compelling, and emotionally uplifting. If systemic racism exists in this country, it is mostly concentrated within the Democratic Party and it’s philosophy to Blacks that do not support it’s narratives and platforms. I would like to hear observations of this documentary especially by Black liberals, honest criticism and acknowledgement. Cheers! — D.E.

I have not seen it … but welcome any black liberals on this site (I’m guessing there are approximately NONE) — to weigh in.

Hi Bernie, Really enjoyed your trophy culture segment on HBO Real Sports. Seeing the resulting entitlement and difficulty coping with demands of real life in the post-graduate medical education environment in my residents and medical students. Not sure why it was so hard to see that teaching our children how to be resilient and compete isn’t such a bad thing when it comes to succeeding in life. — Enjoy your work, Jedd

Thanks very much Jedd. Give a kid a trophy for finishing in 17th place — literally! — and you’re doing a lot of harm to that kid. He’ll accept As in school and when it doesn’t get it, he’ll fold. The Trophy Culture is a very bad idea.

Mr. G, I HAD to go home for a funeral to NYC for a few days this past weekend. Covid aside, the very noticeable deterioration of most things the past year or two is just sad. The vibe, the look, the poor services, the litter, the lack of any secure feeling and the energy of NY to me seems to be Gone. I don’t blame the politicians, I blame the resident voters. They had NYC fixed for many years; so why do the people choose to go backwards? And what is the strongest pull for people to continue to vote for those who destroy quality of life? I’m not going back to NYC anytime soon, I don’t care who dies. –ScottyG

Sorry about your loss, Scotty. New Yorkers voted for their “progressive” mayor, now they can live with the consequences. I have no sympathy for them.

Bernie, You’re probably familiar with the awkward silence on “Outnumbered” that ensued when Newt Gingrich called out George Soros for his work funding far-left district attorney’s elections across the US. He was basically told that they wouldn’t discuss this topic; he asked if it was “verboten”. Subsequent comments by Harris Faulkner were to the effect that the show wasn’t censored but didn’t really explain the hands-off Soros approach. Is he so powerful that the most of the media, even of the right of center, won’t touch him? His money has had a dramatic impact of the shape of our society and government, it seems to me. — John F.

I watch as little of cable as I can get away with and didn’t see that show. I know nothing about why Fox would put a lid on Soros bashing. Mystery to me.

Based on Tuesday night’s debate, is Chris Wallace biased? — Scott

Let’s just say he was tougher on Trump than on Biden … BUT … Trump gave him more reason to sound like he was anti-Trump. Whatever you think of Wallace, Scott, Trump was worse. A lot worse.

I have an observation and a question. The observation: In 2003 or so, I watched two pro wrestlers engage in a debate about the Iraq War that ended with one body-slamming the other through a table. It was marginally more dignified than what we saw tonight. My question is: could Chris Wallace’s late father Mike Wallace MAYBE have kept Trump in check, or would that have been too much even for him? — Joel E.

No one could have kept Donald Trump in check — and that’s because Mr. Trump doesn’t care about rules, decorum, civility or anything else — except himself.

Bernie, since Biden went low with Trump, do you think he hurt himself among independents who were hoping he would be a more mature candidate? — Joe M.

Maybe. But I think Donald Trump hurt himself more … by behaving like Donald Trump.

Megyn Kelly put forth an interesting idea about how a moderator can better handle a completely out-of-control political debate like the one we saw on Tuesday. When a candidate, or maybe both candidates, won’t stop talking over their opponent, and won’t stop breaking the rules, she suggests:

  1. turning off their microphones
  2. taking the camera off of the candidates, and putting it on the moderator

She thinks it would only take a couple of times of doing that (depriving the candidate(s) of attention) to get them to fall in line. While it’s sad that we should even have to consider such a thing when dealing with adults, I think she may be onto something. What do you think? — Ben G.

You can kill the microphones if you want, but that won’t stop Donald Trump from talking out of turn. As for taking the camera off the candidates, they probably wouldn’t even know it. There’s a better way to deal with debates that turn into food fights: find better candidates in the first place. I know: Good luck with that, right?

Bernie, Chris Wallace is getting a lot of flak for his role in the debate. Jason Whitlock said this in his article about Wallace’s performance, “Wallace played the role of Nero at the behest of corporate advertisers. The instructions given to Wallace and debate organizers were simple:

  1. Create a choppy format that doesn’t allow either candidate to say anything of substance.
  2. Escalate President Trump’s natural desire to be hyper combative.
  3. Ask a series of pointless, race-related questions so that it appears you addressed the most important issue facing this country.”

Do you believe this was the case? — JM

No. I don’t think Chris Wallace was given any instructions. I think was in a bad position from the jump. The candidates were going to do whatever they wanted, no matter how many times Chris Wallace told them to play nice.  No one can control Donald Trump, the chief offender. Not Wallace, not Biden and interestingly, not Donald Trump.

To me, the biggest revelation from Trump’s taxes isn’t that his accountant is REALLY gifted at saving him money through legal tax loopholes, but rather that Trump is by no means the “genius businessman” that he has long presented himself as (both in his brand and in his argument for becoming president in 2016). He inherited hundreds of millions of dollars and blew it on failed casino ventures. He was in serious trouble until Jeff Zucker (of all people) turned him into a reality star which revamped his image and replenished his finances… before he began losing big money again on real estate ventures, and eventually decided to run for president. What are your thoughts? — Alex D.

I think you nailed it, Alex. If his accountant found legal deductions that brought his client’s tax bill down, good for him. Only liberals think it’s wrong to pay as little tax as the law requires us to pay. But you’re right about this revelation that Donald Trump is not the genius businessman he wants us all to believe he is. But that part might get lost in the part about him supposedly paying “only” $750 in federal taxes in one year.

Bernie, Let’s say that you’re locked in a ruthless, every-man-for-himself paintball battle with other media pundits. All but four people have been eliminated: You, Geraldo, Donny Deutsch, and Jesse Watters. You only have two paintball pellets left in your gun, so you have to make them count. Would you:

A) Take out Geraldo (for once threatening to punch you in the face) and Deutsch (for once ambushing you with a panel of 5 angry liberals)?


B) Shoot Jesse Watters twice, just to knock that know-nothing smirk off his face?

— John D.

This is a very good question. Very good!  Here’s what I would do: First, I’d tell Donny that Geraldo called him a moron. Donny is a moron but still would be offended enough to try to punch out Geraldo. Geraldo would then wrestle Donny to the ground. While they were tussling, I’d tell Jesse — I would talk slowly because Jesse is, well, not too smart — that he should break up the Donny-Geraldo fight because Donald Trump just called and told him to break up the fight.  Since Jesse will do anything Donald Trump tells him to do, Jesse would jump in and try to break up the fight. At which point Donny and Geraldo would kick Jesse’s ass while at the same time wiping that know-nothing smirk off his face. At that point, I’d give the paintballs to Donny and Geraldo who, given their massive egos, would shoot each other. End of story.

Please send my regards, John D, to the other residents of the Mental Institution.


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.

Bernie’s Q&A: Trump, Ginsburg, Wallace, Ice Cube, and more! (9/25) — 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.

Editor’s note: If you enjoy these sessions (along with the weekly columns and audio commentaries), please use the Facebook and Twitter buttons to share this page with your friends and family. Thank you! 

One more note: A couple questions came in after this week’s deadline (Wednesday night at midnight), so I will answer them at the top of next week’s Q&A. Thank you.

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

Please share your thoughts as to the newest PC dictate that the word “black” must be capitalized. I have noticed that this is the case even in the WSJ (at least non-Op-Eds). This seems like an Orwellian power move to control the narrative. It also is completely contrary to, and inconsistent with, the messages of unity and equality we are force fed pretty much every day. Maybe a great topic for an upcoming Off The Cuff.  — Michael F.

Let’s just say, Michael, that PC has run amok. But if we’re going to capitalize Black why not the same with White? The PC police have an answer for that.  Here’s an explanation (of sorts) from the Columbia Journalism Review:

“AT THE COLUMBIA JOURNALISM REVIEW, we capitalize Black, and not white, when referring to groups in racial, ethnic, or cultural terms. For many people, Black reflects a shared sense of identity and community. White carries a different set of meanings; capitalizing the word in this context risks following the lead of white supremacists.”

This is beyond nonsense. As I say, the PC police have run amok and journalism has become another form of activism.

I think you give people like Stephanopoulos and Stelter too much credit for honest stupidity. They are in their positions because they have an ax to grind. There are few careers featuring such strong immunity to serious criticism. Seldom need they even bother to defend themselves from any criticism and never if it comes from a known conservative. Since the demise of objectivity in the 1960s New Left reporters feel entitled to let their personal beliefs and experiences add color and impact to their finished product. However they are careful to hide those beliefs from readers or viewers except as they might infer from the nature of specific reports or withering interviews. — John D.P.

First, John, I agree with you analysis (though the last sentence confuses me; no big deal). I think there are 3 main reasons this ax-grinding occurs: Bias. Corruption. Stupidity. Bias because they take sides. Corruption because it’s gone so far. Stupidity because in Stelter’s case anyway, he’s a dope.

Trump said this at a rally this week:

“Now we know [the coronavirus] affects elderly people. Elderly people with heart problems and other problems. If they have other problems, that’s what it really affects. That’s it. You know, in some states thousands of people— nobody young — below the age of 18, like nobody — they have a strong immune system — who knows? Take your hat off to the young, because they have a hell of an immune system. But it affects virtually nobody. It’s an amazing thing.”

Beyond the fact that the virus absolutely affects more than just old people with pre-existing conditions, I can’t think of a better political ad for Biden than Trump saying “it affects virtually nobody” at a time when over 200,000 Americans have already died from it, and many others have suffered long term and even permanent health damage. And how can anyone in the “pro-life” party defend this crap (though they all seem to be doing just that)? — Ben G.

For some, Donald J. Trump can do no wrong. He can say the stupidest thing and they’ll respond with, Biden is worse. That may be a reason to vote for Trump, but it’s not a reason to pretend he’s honest or knows what it means to act like the President of the United States. I’m with you, Ben.

I’m going to get off the front-page news of today (Trump/Biden/SCOTUS) to address an issue that drives me nuts. I want to rid this country of tax-exempt corporations; namely nonprofits. For rich entertainers and athletes forming a charity is sound tax advice as a method to avoid tax along with writing off their Bentley. To me, this was not the intent of nonprofits. I would like to see a Bernie Goldberg on HBO go after these “fake” charities by these filthy rich gifted people like he did camel jockeys. Let’s call the episode “Charity Jockeys”. Yes, I’m serious. Let me qualify. I do donate to good causes and I don’t because I can take the deduction. But I do take it. If the deduction was gone, I would still do it. — Tim H.

You’re right, Tim, there are some non profits that don’t give a lot of the money they take in to charity. They spend it on all sorts of other things and when they’re done, there’s not much left. That said, some non profits, as you know, are run well. Real Sports actually looked in to doing a story about athletes who set up charities that are, let’s say, questionable. For some reason we hit a snag. Maybe we’ll revisit, Tim.

Regarding this week’s Off The Cuff, about what the Dems are threatening to do if Trump and The Senate replace Ginsburg’s seat so close to the election — Making D.C. & Puerto Rico states, ending the filibuster (except when it benefits THEM), packing the Supreme Court, etc…

Let’s assume that Trump and McConnell honored the Dems’ requests and refrain from appointing a replacement. What exactly would stop the Dems from following through on their threats anyway if they were to win the Senate and the presidency? Why should Trump and McConnell trust them to keep their word? Also are the Republicans any more hypocritical than the Democrats in this matter regarding the Republicans’ behavior during the attempted appointment of Merrit Garland?

Funny how BOTH political parties have switched and changed their tune when the circumstances are not convenient for them. Finally, whether or not Ginsburg’s dying wish was that a new president should appoint her successor: Sorry but why should THAT make a difference? I highly doubt that the Dems would have honored that same request for Scalia under a similar set of circumstances. Your thoughts? — “Notorious RBG” Regards From The Emperor

You’re right on all counts, Your Holiness. First, yes, the Dems could pack the court even if the president doesn’t put through a nominee before the election. They could hold packing the court over the head of Republicans and kill the filibuster anytime a decision comes down that they don’t agree with. Second, yes again, both parties are hypocritical as I point out in a recent column I wrote for the Hill.

Finally, whether Justice Ginsburg actually said what’s attributed to her doesn’t really matter. Dems accuse Mr. Trump of politics. Sounds like the Justice was doing a little politicking too by supposedly saying she wants a new president to name a possible replacement for her.

In the age of political hysteria I think we should all (if we were ever exposed to his writing) heed the writings of Thomas Paine who wrote in his pamphlet Common Sense the following: “Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries BY A GOVERNMENT, which we might expect in a country WITHOUT GOVERNMENT, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer. Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built on the ruins of the bowers of paradise.”

Is there any more pertinent advice for the American voters than those reflected above? Thank you and keep up the good work. We need more sane voices, even those from the past. — Douglas C.

That quote is why a lot of his critics say Tom was a Paine.


What do you think of the possibility of Trump “reaching across the aisle” and nominating Merrick Garland to replace Ginsburg? He wouldn’t lose any ground as the court already leans conservative and Garland is arguably to the right of Ginsburg. It could also allow him inroads to winning the moderate vote in his re-election bid. — Gus

I think the odds of President Trump nominating Garland are … ZERO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Personal question since I remember you writing about George Carlin a while back. Who are your all-time favorite comedians (maybe your top 3)? Thanks. — Floyd R.

Interesting question, Floyd.

Carlin … Rodney Dangerfield … and Nancy Pelosi.

One of my prized possessions is a book Carlin signed for me. It says, “To Bernie, Go F**K yourself.”


In apparent preparation for the first presidential debate, Trump just declared that moderator Chris Wallace is “controlled by the radical left.” It’s whiny nonsense, of course, but what always strikes me is how the shots Trump takes at the integrity of respected Fox News journalists almost never get mentioned and discussed on the Fox News commentary shows. Do you think the journalists ever get fed up with their Fox News colleagues on the commentary side almost never sticking up for them? — Jen R.

I’ve had discussions with Fox journalists about Fox commentators. Journalists get hassled when they’re covering stories because people hate Hannity and Ingraham. No one’s forcing the reporters to stay. They’ve apparently come to accept the situation they’re in. I’m not surprised, Jen, that generally speaking the commentators don’t stick up for the journalists at FNC. The prime time crew are Trump cronies, toadies, bootlickers. They’ll never criticize him. And as for Trump saying Chris Wallace is “controlled by the radical left” … he’s a fool … and I’m not talking about Chris. Note:  When Trump told Fox’s Brian Kilmeade that Wallace is “controlled by the radical left,” Kilmeade responded: “I will tell you for sure, [Chris Wallace] is not controlled by anyone.”

Bernie, years ago, when you confused rapper Ice Cube for rapper Ice-T on national television, did it do any permanent damage to your previously impeccable street cred? Also, did it cause any problems for your record label in 2012, as you were recording your own debut rap album entitled, “Straight Outta Rutgers”?  — John  D.

No, JD my Homey, the Cube and the Bern Man are still tight. No harm to my street cred, sucker. As for that Straight Outta Rutgers BS… You think you be funny. You not. I’m actually on the album in a cut called Quiet on the Set. I come in at around 2 minutes and 55 seconds. Think I’m fooling’.  Check it out (below). They don’t call me Notorious BRG for nothing.


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.

Bernie’s Q&A: Kushner, Zucker, Woodward, Biden, and more! (9/18) — 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):

In his book and elsewhere, Michael Cohen has recently portrayed Trump as a master deceiver when it comes to Christianity — a man who has privately called Christianity and its practices “bullshit,” and whose real religion is “unbridled lust for money and power at any cost to others.”

Trump has never struck me as particularly religious, and being a dishonorable man, he may have actually said those disparaging remarks. But I find the “bombshell” revelations about him allegedly calling fallen U.S. soldiers “suckers and losers” and Christians “fools and schmucks” very CONVENIENT for the left (who is often equally dishonest in their allegations against Trump) to suddenly dredge up.

Do you think that the left is trying to make Trump’s base abandon him by publishing these allegations? I believe that even if Trump made this repugnant remarks, actions speak louder than words. I’ve watched the left actively support the blatantly anti-Christian and anti-U.S. military/law enforcement groups like ANTIFA and BLM. SO… even if Trump actually made those remarks, his actions are still supportive of religious Christians as well as the military and law enforcement, so I could still support him, whereas I truly fear what the leftists would do to law enforcement, the military, and religious Christians if THEY got into power. What are your thoughts on this, Sir Bernie? –“Gossip and Hearsay” Regards, From The Emperor

Couple of thoughts, Emp: First, those quotes attributed to Mr. Trump sound like things he’d actually say. So while I have no idea if he actually said them or not, I wouldn’t be surprised if he did. You ask if I think the left is trying to get Trump’s base to abandon him. I think they’re trying to hurt a guy they don’t like. They know his base is solid. It’s the undecideds that might be swayed by the revelations. Finally, I can understand why actions are more important to you than words. But words still matter. And if Donald Trump loses, the things he’s said over the past 4 years and the way he’s said them, will be a big reason.

I was very optimistic for Mid-East peace during the Clinton administration and I have high praise for Clinton’s effort. But as Clinton stated which I paraphrase, in the end Arafat was a terrorist and not a diplomat. Any reasonable person should know that as long as Hamas is the ruling government in the Gaza Strip, peace cannot be achieved through direct negotiation. History has proven that. It appears to me that Trump (Jared Kushner) is using an initiative picking off Mid-East countries one at a time formulating a new foreign policy that future administrations can leverage and benefit from. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait may be ways off, but I like the approach. I’m surprised that I don’t hear much about this in the MSM. Pelosi’s statement on this policy was unbelievable. Foreign polices succeed and fail. And I could see this policy fail without a unified American message. Have our parties become so hatred that we can’t come together as a nation? — Tim H.

You ask if partisan politics is stopping us from coming together as a nation. Basically, yes. That’s how polarized we’ve become. But let me turn your question over to another Goldberg … Jonah … whose recent podcast dealt with this very topic. He spoke to Kenneth Pollack of the American Enterprise Institute. The section relevant to the Trump administration’s involvement starts around the 11:45 mark. But if you want some broader insight on the UAE deal, and Israel’s evolving relationship with other Middle Eastern countries, just start the episode from the beginning. Click here.

What is going on with Joe Biden? Have I been seeing mean spirited video clips manipulated to make Biden look like he’s senile or worse? I don’t think so. SEE just two of the videos and not the worst:

Just two examples, I think it’s in the second video he takes some flights of fancy reminiscent of his performances in 1987 and 1988 when the reporters and commentators with the major broadcast networks did their job and called him out on his self aggrandizing story telling and plagiarizing. How he managed to survive all that must be one of the greatest mysteries of the twentieth century. WHY is Biden the Dem’s man for President? I’m not going to speculate because all possible answers are too reprehensible. — John D. P.

Biden got the nomination because of who he was running against. Only Bernie had a real following. And I suspect some high profile Dems got the word out that if Bernie won the nomination, Trump would win reelection. So Joe got it by default. And those Dems figured if the guy is losing a few steps, they’ll figure out a way to put everyone on the prompter — including answers to questions — and hope for the best. If the polls are right, the strategy is working.

Dear Bernie, Love reading your articles and watching you on HBO Sports. All we have heard since the 2016 is about the Russian interference with Presidential Election through social media. My question is where is the proof that this interference had any affect. I believe the Russians tried to interfere but where is the proof that they changed votes? Keep up the good work. — Patrick N.

Thanks Patrick. There is no proof. If there was the NY Times would have found it by now. But if the Russians used social media to help elect Biden … even if there wasn’t proof that the effort swayed any votes … Trump supporters would be howling. Right?

My mother never went to college but she taught me many wonderful lessons and values to live by. One was: remember that you are no better than anyone else and no one else is better than you. Pretty simple stuff. If you live in accordance with this value, you cannot be a racist for one simple reason: racism requires a view that one is superior to someone else due to skin color. My question Bernie is this: is it just my imagination or have large parts of our society (especially MSM, academia and even many political leaders) discarded my mother’s wise words? Are white people and black people to be viewed by different standards? Can an act of violence by one person against a total stranger (we seem to see this daily) ever be deemed more understandable on the basis of the skin color of the individuals involved? Is this going to become part of another version of the ” new normal?” — Michael F.

In the liberal worldview, some violence is more acceptable based on whose committing the violence and why. So if a white thug beat up an innocent black man that’s one thing … but it’s not the same thing as when a black thug beats up an innocent white man. I don’t like it but that’s the way it seems to be. I’ll bet your mother never told you that white liberal guilt has no limits.

A number of people have been saying that, ethically and maybe morally, Bob Woodward should have come forward much sooner (like in February or March) with the audio proof that Trump was heavily downplaying the coronavirus to the public. Their argument is that it was in the interest of public safety. What are your thoughts from a journalist’s point of view? — Ben G.

Hey Ben. I think the reason Woodward held on to his information was simple: He could sell more book by dropping his bombshell in September, right before the election. If he waited until October everyone would know it was a calculated hit job. If he released in in February or March it wouldn’t have had the impact. Someone once said that the answer to all questions is … money.

Close enough!

Bernie, something reminded me the other day of how you used to make the point, on The O’Reilly Factor (and maybe in one of your books), that elites in this country “look down their snobby noses at ordinary Americans who eat at Red Lobster.”

I always found that statement odd because Red Lobster is actually pretty expensive. The Lobster Lover’s Dream meal alone will set you back $40! Some might even argue that Red Lobster IS elite dining.

With that in mind, can you confirm or deny that you were in the pocket of Big Lobster, and that the restaurant chain was paying you big bucks under the table for product placement on Fox News’s marquee program? Or was this a simple case of white, seafood privilege? — John D.

I also said that the elites look down their noses at folks who bowl. So let me now confess — since it’s been bothering me for years: I used to bowl then eat at Red Lobster BECAUSE I had an endorsement deal with both a local bowling alley and a local Red Lobster restaurant. The gig paid me handsomely — $12 dollars a year for both. Once I made a boo boo and rolled a bowling ball down the aisle at Red Lobster. Hit a couple of senior citizens. Converted a 7-10 split. Boy, those were the days!

In multiple recorded conversations between President Trump and Bob Woodward, on the topic of COVID-19, the president emphasized just how very contagious and deadly the virus is. There’s even one recording from April where Trump described having a meeting in the Oval Office, where someone sneezed, and “the entire room bailed out,” including Trump. Yet, Trump has continued to hold packed rallies (including indoor ones) where neither social distancing nor mask-wearing is required, setting up potential super-spreading events. He has made the point that he himself isn’t in much danger at these rallies because he’s standing on a big, socially-distanced stage. But does he not care at all about the potentially deadly behavior he’s encouraging from his loyal fans in attendance? Are their cheers more important than their health, and even their lives? And also the health and lives of those they later come in contact with?  I honestly can’t figure out how any other conclusion can be drawn from this. Can you? — Jen R.

We’re talking about Donald Trump, right? The one who’s president? THAT Donald Trump? And you’re wondering if cheers are more important to him than the health of his loyal fans? What’s your next question, Jen: Is Donald Trump a narcissist? You’re having some fun with me, right?

Based on this week’s Off The Cuff, I’ve just made plans to move to Killarney if they’ll let me in. But if they don’t is it still too late to have a peaceful November and beyond? Or have we already fallen off the cliff? What can be done in the next few weeks to calm the nerves? Let me know if you’d like me to look for a duplex… — ScottyG

A landslide victory one way or the other might — might! — make the post-election less chaotic. But even that, I suspect, won’t help much. So, let’s just say, Killarney is looking good, Scotty. Check out real estate for me and let me know what you find out.

What do you think of the revelation that CNN president Jeff Zucker was secretly offering debate tips to Donald Trump in 2016? — Thomas N.

Let me answer it this way:  Donald Trump called me in 2011 or 2012 and said he was thinking about running for president and wanted my advice.  I said I was a journalist and don’t give advice to people who are thinking of running for president.  Zucker should have said the same thing … except at heart, he’s not a journalist … he’s a TV businessman.  Very different.

National sporting events are including “Lift Every Voice and Sing” as part of the pregame presentation since this song is now considered the “Black National Anthem”. So now we have segregated national anthems, and this is how progressives define progress? — Steve R.

Commissioners of pro sports leagues can’t offend their employees for fear of a strike.  So they give them what they want.  It’s not so much about progress, it’s about keeping the peace.

In an interview with Mediaite last week, on the topic of the White House denouncing anonymous sources as “fake news,” Jennifer Griffin from Fox News said, “It’s my understanding … that one of the biggest anonymous sources for the White House press corps is President Trump himself, and the people around him are often the anonymous sources that you hear them talk about at the White House. So it’s completely hypocritical. People are picking and choosing when they want to hear from anonymous sources.”

Wow! Beyond the hypocrisy, are we also to gather that a good bit of the “anonymous” White House leaks reported by the press (and then labeled “fake news” by Trump and his team) actually comes from Trump and his team? It sure sounds like it. — Phil R.

Crazy right?  But absolutely believable!




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Bernie’s Q&A: Pelosi, Loeffler, Wheeler, Blake, and more! (9/4) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)

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Trump offered Ted Wheeler aid to quash the Portland riots, and the offer was refused in a rather snarky letter from Wheeler. Then, Chad Wolf of DHS sent a letter rebuking Wheeler’s response, and stopped just short of threatening to send in the unwanted aid in the form of DHS forces.

Portland (and the other areas under siege) are located in blue states filled with liberal Democrat voters, many of whom suffer from Trump Derangement Syndrome. However, now that the anarchists have begun taking their fight to the suburbs, these liberals are starting to get a firsthand taste of what they have been supporting all this time.

So here’s a thought: What if Trump and DHS simply declared to these people that “You say you don’t want any of our repeated offers for help? Okay…. you made your bed, now you sleep in it.” Do you think this would be a good strategy for Trump to use to demonstrate not only the ineffectiveness of the Dems but also the consequences of continuing to vote these dunderheads in office over and over again? Do you think the Democrat voters might finally see the light? Apparently several Democrat mayors in Minnesota recently have. — “You get what you vote for Regards, from The Emperor

Welcome back Your Emperorness. I’ve said that I’m of two minds on the issue of rioting in the streets. One mind says send in the armed forces to shut it down. But the other mind says what you’ve said: You elected these idiots who have repeatedly said they don’t need help. This is your problem not ours.

Is it a good political strategy: Joe Biden will continue to say it’s happening in Donald Trump’s America. You’d think voters would see through this nonsense. But the polls tell us they don’t. That they’re still backing Biden.

As the rioters move from downtown to the suburbs, reality will sink in. Those liberals who haven’t condemned the rioting will see what it’s like to have the mayhem on their street, in front of their house.

That’s when they may see the light and conclude that they need to vote for Trump. But I’m not (yet) betting on it.

U.S. Senator Kelly Loeffler, who also owns the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream, recently wrote a letter to the league office. An excerpt: “I adamantly oppose the Black Lives Matter political movement, which has advocated for the defunding of police, called for the removal of Jesus from churches and the disruption of the nuclear family structure, harbored anti-Semitic views, and promoted violence and destruction across the country. I believe it is totally misaligned with the values and goals of the WNBA and the Atlanta Dream, where we support tolerance and inclusion.”

Of course, she is being crucified in the press and by her team and the league. But what about her statement is factually incorrect according to BLM’s own web site? And why, as a team owner, isn’t she allowed a voice like everyone else in this conversation about justice and equality? — Steve R.

She is allowed to voice her opinion, Steve. And she has. But she’s a lone voice out there. Sports has become one more liberal institution that doesn’t appreciate a contrary point of view. I’m glad she wrote that letter. But the response was predictable.

Would it break any laws if during the next session of the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy were to present the Speaker with a bottle of shampoo and a brand new hair blower? I have wondered if the Speaker should be given some slack on this subject since it seems obvious thst all she was trying to do was wash that Trump right out of her hair. — Michael F.

Actually, Michael, McCarthy would be breaking a law: The Shampoo Act of 1913 which forbids the introduction of any kind of shampoo on the floor of the House of Representatives. I’m surprised you didn’t know that. Nice nod to Oscar and Hammerstein and South Pacific.

I am 55 years old, and I’ve never seen the press either lie to the public by commission and (even more prevalent) omission. In the case of Jacob Blake, he is accused by a woman of a heinous sexual assault who called the police to her house (I remember during the Kavanaugh hearings that all women should be believed — I guess that changed and no one informed me); then on video-tape, Blake resists arrest, gets tased twice with no effect, goes to his vehicle where there was a knife (DOJ stated that Blake admitted that there was a knife either on him or in the vicinity (car floorboard) – unclear) before he was shot by the police.

The press has made Blake out to be an innocent black man who was taking a stroll and the police just decided to shoot him. That Blake is some sort of hero. Not even close. In most of these cases, the black person committed a crime and resisted arrest. Yet, that’s not mentioned by the MSM.

Can you explain to any press members that you still associate with, that the public would just like the facts (all of them – no matter how distasteful they may be) so we have the information to make our own decisions? — Thanks, Frank T.

I could explain to my journalistic colleagues that they have a great big liberal bias but I’d be wasting my time and breath. What you say about Jacob Blake is correct. But it seems to me that even given all that, shooting him 7 times in the back at close range amounts to excessive force. But unlike Joe Biden, I’m willing to wait for the investigation to conclude.

For the presidential debates, I think both sides should JOINTLY select a real time fact-checking group, and have them fact-check as the debate goes on. Flash any false statements across the bottom of the screen, or provide the info to the moderators to confront the candidate who is lying. If they can’t reach an agreement on a fact checking organization, then cancel the debates.

As far as drug testing, and the search for the truth, how about Biden and Trump both agree to:

  1. drug testing
  2. release their tax returns
  3. release their school records that Trump has continually bragged about (although he had his attorney send letters threatening his schools with lawsuits if they released them)

Let the debates begin! Am I wrong? — Mike S.

If there were real time fact checking Michael … with false statements flashed across the bottom of the screen … no one would listen to what the candidates were saying. They’d be too distracted by the non-stop info regarding false statements. We have two candidates running for president and I’m not sure who the bigger liar is. As for the rest of your idea … about drug testing, etc: That could happen. WHEN HELL FREEZES OVER!

If you were starting the Goldberg News Network, and were in a position to hire ANYONE from today’s pool of news people, can you name maybe 2 or 3 reporters AND 2 or 3 political commentators who would be at the top of your list? (Keep in mind that you cannot, under these rules, clone Jesse Watters, HA!) — Ben G.

I like Mike Emmanuel and Doug McKelway both from Fox News. I think John Roberts and Bret Baier are fair. In fact I like most of FNC’s hard news reporters. As for commentators, I like Brit Hume and Guy Benson. I also think Judge Anthony Napolitano explains complex issues very clearly.

Bernie, do you think that Trump is right, in that Joe Biden is being controlled by people “in the dark shadows” who load up airplanes with “thugs wearing these dark uniforms, black uniforms with gear and this and that” who fly across the country to riot and loot? If so, don’t you think it would be smarter for these rioters to at least wait until they land and get to their hotel rooms before changing into their Antifa attire? (Sorry but I couldn’t resist) — Jen R.

Jen, just between you and me, I think Donald Trump is nuts. Enough said?

What are your thoughts about Nancy Pelosi violating her state’s COVID-19 restrictions to sneak into a salon (without a mask) to get her hair done, and then… after she was caught… blaming the hair salon for what happened? While Trump has been really bad on virus messaging, it’s wild that his hardest critics on the matter are apparently no better. — Joseph P.

Let me start with your closing comment that Trump’s harshest critics are no better. Bingo! You’re right. That’s why after declaring I would not vote for Trump … I just might. As for Pelosi: I’m willing to believe that the salon owner (or a representative of the owner) said it was okay to come in — so she did. What bothers me about the episode is that she knows that salons are supposed to be closed in San Francisco. Yet she got her hair done anyway. More hypocrisy from the powerful who want to tell YOU what you can do but don’t think the rules apply to them.

Right now — if Real Sports asked you to do air-travel for an assignment — would you be comfortable doing it? I’m guessing they wouldn’t even ask, but I’m just curious. — Louis

They wouldn’t ask … and wouldn’t allow it … and I wouldn’t do it if they did.

I can recall a time not that long ago when the terms white nationalists and white supremacists had very clear meanings and reference points: KKK members, skin heads , neo nazis etc. Today we are told (scolded?) the US is a white supremacist country and was founded as such. And now we have millions of white Americans (including corporate America) mindlessly parroting these words and phrases. Obviously this is mother’s milk for those on the far left. Have we crossed the Rubicon? Can you foresee a NY, LA, Chicago or other major city dominated by the Democrat party ever readopting classic liberal principles that they seemingly adhered to not that many months ago? Will we essentially become two nations where people migrate away from the blue into the red or vice versa? — Michael

Great question, Michael … and you make great points. I’m with you in that white supremacy used to mean something clear cut. Now, as you say, we’re told we’re a white supremacist country. I recently said I covered stories in South Africa. That was a white supremacist country. The USA is nothing like what South Africa was. Nothing! As for major cities that are dominated by progressives going back to classic liberal principles: Only if the electorate has had enough of the progressive mentality. If voters in NY or LA or Chicago are happy with what they’ve got then they can live with the consequences. One of which is that a lot of people who pay taxes in those cities are moving out. There’s such a thing as a tipping point. And given the despicable jobs a lot of these progressives are doing — Portland is a pretty good example — voters may said we’ve had enough. But who knows when that might happen.


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Bernie’s Q&A: Tim Scott, LeBron James, Breonna Taylor, Jerry Falwell Jr., and more! (8/28) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)

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I was giving further thought to your excellent Monday post regarding American pride. Other then the John Carlos/Tommie Smith protest, by and large throughout the years American athletes (black and white) have always mentioned when interviewed how much pride they took in representing their country. Are those days gone forever ? If so, will the Olympics lose their luster as far as American viewers are concerned? Needless to say, each time an American athlete wins gold in the future we will be holding our collective breath ( at those that still choose to actually watch the games). I am sure you can weigh in on the other obvious questions that all this raises so I will await your insights. — Michael F.

I’m not sure those days are gone forever, Michael — because forever is a very long time. But I think we may see well-planned protests of one kind or another — even at the Olympics. And I think it will offend many Americans who will tune out. But there’s always a chance — a slim one, I think — that the people who set rules for American athletes in the Olympics will set down some rules to prohibit certain demonstrations, like kneeling during our national anthem. One more thing:  Who knows when we’ll have the next Olympics?  Not anytime soon, unfortunately.

Last week you said President Trump was Bill O’Reilly’s friend. In his book, “The United States of Trump,” O’Reilly downplays this. He said something to the effect that even though he’s attended some Yankee baseball games with Trump, they’re not really friends. He went on to say something to the effect that President Trump has few friends, that he’s a private person. Do you buy this? (Once on his show, he revealed that he bought a milkshake for Trump, presumably when they were at Yankee games or some such sports event.) And no, I didn’t buy his book or any of the ones that were presumably researched and mainly written by his co-author. I read it while at Barnes & Noble. lol. You might feel indebted to O’Reilly, so I’ll understand if you don’t want to answer the question. But please, no pulled punches. — Bob H.

If I went to ballgames with somebody … if I sat there and chatted with him … and if it happened more than once or twice … there’s a good chance I’d consider that somebody my friend. But Bill is probably right about Trump having few friends. Trump liked Bill when Bill was saying the “right” things about him. But Trump would dump Bill in a New York minute if Bill ever said the things about Trump that I have. So I understand what Bill was getting at: He realizes that they weren’t friends in any normal sense … because that’s not how Trump operates.

Breanna Turner’s name is bantied about a lot by the Left as another example of police executing blacks. If you didn’t know the full story, and you never will if you get your info from the MSM, Turner was shot to death by cops as she lay in her bed. End of story, according to the usual suspects (including Lebron James). Here’s what went down: she was living with her boyfriend in what was a known drug house, which had been raided many times by police. Because the drugs could be flushed down the toilet before the cops could gain entry, they applied for and got a judge to issue a “no knock warrant.” So in this case, the drug dealer gets caught with his pants down [literally] and began shooting at the cops, hitting one. Turner was killed when cops returned fire. Tragic, but definitely not execution by cop. — John M.

First, her name is Breonna Taylor … and second the story is more complicated than your version of it. A lot more complicated! Here’s a story from the NY Times … and before you dismiss it because it’s the NY Times, please read it, John. You may come away with a different view of what happened that night.

Tim Scott is a rising star. What a beautiful heartfelt speech on Monday night. Unfortunately many on the left then attacked him and used the Uncle Tom epithet. Wonder how many white progressives used the term and would have the guts to do so to the Senator’s face. It also struck me that calling Senator Scott an Uncle Tom is akin to someone else maybe telling him, “hey man you ain’t black.” — Michael

The Left can’t tolerate a black conservative. Such a person makes no sense to them. So they hurl names, like Uncle Tom. Tim Scott is an honorable man. His critics — the name-calling ones — are not.

I was wondering if you have read any of Jason Whitlock’s columns. Jason recently wrote an article on LeBron James and how he thinks LeBron is a fraud. I think Jason is 100% right, LeBron seems to be showcasing his liberalism and wokeness to the world but his statements clearly indicate that he is pretty shallow on the issues. Take for example LeBron’s silence on China’s human rights violations, how he compares himself to Emmett Till, and his unusual anti-police stances which make no sense when you consider the fact that he is often surrounded and protected by police. I think Jason should be applauded for calling out one of the most powerful people in sports and I think LeBron is putting on an act to prop up his brand, not better those he claims to support. What say you? — Joe M.

I say two things, Joe: First, I’m a big fan of Jason Whitlock. Second, I’m oh so very tired of hearing LeBron preach to us. I may have missed it, but I haven’t heard him deplore the daily mayhem in places like Chicago. I haven’t heard him about the children killed in crossfires or simply because they were play outside their house. I haven’t heard him speak out against fatherlessness, which does more harm to black kids than the police. He has every right to protest bad cops. But he’d have more credibility, with me anyway, if he spoke out about the ongoing problem in black communities that the cops are not responsible for.

Your “Off The Cuff” this week was alarming and yet all too concerning. This could be a proverbial No-win period for us (USA). I think we all realize this is a decision between the lesser of two imperfect choices. This is all very tiring, mostly because of the lopsidedness of what we hear and see in the news. There’s little sensible middle ground where people stand up for what is just the right thing to do. So based on your message today, what does the media have to do, or should be responsible enough to do if anything, to keep the peace on November 4th and the days and weeks following, regardless of who wins? — ScottyG

They should report the facts and keep their opinions to themselves. But they’ll weigh in on whatever side their Democratic allies are on.  By “they” I’m referring to the big name liberal news outlets — CNN, MSNBC, the NY Times, etc. So I stand by what I said in my Off the Cuff: November 4 is going to be ugly.

I’ve often wondered if the book publishing business for books penned by politicians and other public figures is a front for illicit funding of the politician by angel donors looking to advance the politician’s career and curry future favors. Example: a very junior U.S. Senator penned two books after a successful speech at the DNC several years ago. I can see a scenario where the political powers that be, approach their favorite publisher with a proposal that goes something like this – “We have a young rising star in our party that is going places. He has written a wonderful book about his vision for the future that we think you should publish. We can assure you that this book will sell right off the shelf during the first weeks on sale, 500,000 copies.”

How could anyone promise such a lofty initial sale? Donors and lobbyists, among others, would be the targeted group. Anyone with lots of money that wants political influence without the restrictions of campaign donations. How would this work? Donor A buys 5,000 copies at $35 (assumed) which costs the donor $175,000 (chump change for the rich and powerful). In turn, he donates the books to his favorite charity such as local libraries or legitimate charities to raffle off. The donor now has enriched his political protégé by $25,000 and has a $175,000 tax right-off and everything is off the books as far as political contributions are concerned. Ten donors at 5,000 copies each and it becomes pretty easy to ensure 500,000 copies are sold. Am I inventing a conspiracy or does this practice go on all the time? It is hard for me to believe that so many people are buying up all these books written by politicians when our electorate is so consumed with things more easily digested like Facebook, Twitter and the inane broadcast news. — Douglas C.

There are what they call in the business, “bulk sales” which mean what the name suggests. Not someone walking into the store, or going on Amazon, and buying one book. So what you say is possible. But if that happened — if the DNC bought 500 books or more at one time — the trade publications would pick it up and so would the NY Times — if they wanted to. If the RNC did that, they definitely would report it.

Janari Ricks, Secoria Turner, and Cannon Hinant were children senselessly murdered by black thugs. The first two children are black and the third is white. I won’t ask why the anarchists aren’t rioting on behalf of these victims because I can reasonably assume the answer to that. Nor do I need to speculate on why the lamestream media largely ignored these dreadful stories. However I am curious about your opinion as a news reporter. You wrote that there is no secret cabal of news reporters and editors sitting in a dark room secretly discussing how they can slant the news to push the liberal agenda and make conservatives look bad (although I think you may be reconsidering that notion). Nonetheless I ask—when news stories emerge which blatantly destroy the liberal narrative that the media likes to push, just how DO they behave behind closed doors? Does Don Lemon think “Oh I’ll just ignore this”? Do the people at CNN, the New York Times and MSNBC meet in a room and say “How are we gonna report this?” Do they say “Let’s bury the story on page 58 and leave out the pertinent details, even though we know if the races were reversed, we would make sure everyone in America knew their names and that the suspects are white?” Seriously, they must know that the general public sees through their narratives. How do you think they talk about these stories before reporting them? — “Ignoring The Elephant In The Room” Regards, From The Emperor

Welcome back, Your Royal Highess. You nailed by original position on how the bias comes out: No closed door sessions to concoct ways to get conservatives; no conspiracies; bias simply is the result of groupthink, too many like-minded journalists in the newsroom. That WAS my position.

Now, I do believe they get together, at places like CNN, and decide what will help their political team and what won’t. So they play down black on black crime because it doesn’t fit the acceptable narrative of white cops killing black people. They play it down because it might give bigots ammunition to use against black people. But I’m not sure the general public sees through this. CNN viewers like what they’re getting on CNN. Same with MSNBC and Fox. So there’s not likely going to be a backlash against the biased reporting. I’m not sure they talk about any of this in advance. Everyone knows by now what’s expected of them.

I’ve been following the Jerry Falwell Jr. story a bit, and though it’s pretty confusing, here are some things that stick out to me:

  1. Falwell and his wife somehow got involved with a hotel pool boy, who they brought into a long-term business partnership that included the pool boy having sex with Falwell’s wife as Falwell watched on.
  2. At some point, sexually incriminating photos were taken of Falwell’s wife (possibly with the pool boy), and there was some serious concern by the Falwells that the photos would go public (perhaps an extortion attempt by the pool boy).
  3. Donald Trump’s attorney at the time, Michael Cohen, was brought into the situation (I assume by the Falwells) to assist in keeping the photos from going public.
  4. The following year, during the 2016 Republican primary, everyone expected Falwell to endorse Ted Cruz because of their Christian ties and a close personal relationship between the two (Falwell had even pledged that endorsement to Cruz and his pastor father). However, Falwell instead (suddenly and unexpectedly) became one of the first evangelical leaders to endorse the morally bankrupt Donald Trump (at a time when Trump had very little cred with Christian conservatives, and was in desperate need of some).

I’m not a conspiracy person, but it seems to me that the Cohen link, and what he knew, could explain why Falwell changed his endorsement commitment. Your thoughts? — Ben G.

You COULD be right, but who knows? I sure don’t. Would I be shocked, Ben, if what you suggest actually happened? Nope!

Dear Bernie, Can you please deliver one of your “Off the Cuff” audio commentaries using Kimberly Guilfoyle’s speaking style from the Republican National Convention? I think it would be awesome. — John D.

That’s an excellent idea, John. But I’m afraid I’d break my microphone. It can only handle one million decibels — equivalent to 100 atomic bombs going off at the same time.


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