Bernie’s Q&A: Donaldson, Bozell, Barr, Jeter, and more! (2/21) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)

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


What are your thoughts on Sam Donaldson publicly endorsing Mike Bloomberg for president, and even appearing in a campaign video for him? Some people are saying it’s evidence of media bias, and that it hurts the credibility of journalists. But isn’t Sam long retired? Is there anything ethically wrong with a retired journalist endorsing a politician? Seems to me that his political leanings would only be a potential issue if he was an active journalist. — Adam G.

I’m with you, Adam.  Sam retired a long time ago so there’s nothing unethical about his endorsement.  The downside of such an endorsement is that it makes you wonder if his liberal worldview affected his reporting.  But who am I to speak:  I was notoriously even-handed as a hard news journalist … but now that I’m a commentator, I’m giving opinions all the time.  I know I could be fair back then and be opinionated now.  So I’ll give Sam the same benefit of any doubt about his leanings as a reporter.

I think most people consider you the leading authority when it comes to exposing liberal bias (20+ years and running), but Brent Bozell has put a lot of time and effort into the same thing (though he’s a partisan and never really calls out bias from Republicans). I’m curious what your thoughts are on Bozell and his “Media Research Center” operation. Thanks. — Jerry

I like Brent and I think the MRC does fine work.  But, and you alluded to this, their concern is only with liberal bias in the news.  I have made it clear to Brent that I think MRC would be a powerful media force if it took on all bias, not just one kind.  But that’s not what they’re in business to do.  If they were equal opportunity watchdogs their funding would dry up.  Besides, Brent has no interest in going after conservative bias, given his politics. Again, I like Brent and I like the people at MRC, but they’re partisans — not impartial critics of the news media.  Too bad.  But it’s never going to change.

Bernie, did you watch [Wednesday] night’s Democratic debate? Were you surprised Bloomberg was a bigger target (and boy did he get hammered by the others!) than the frontrunner, Sanders? Plus Mayor Pete and Klobuchar were more vicious with each other than with Sanders. Do you get the impression that the other candidates think Sanders will ultimately be rejected by primary voters, and that’s why they aren’t all teaming up on him? Have they learned nothing from the 2016 Republican primary? — John S.

I did watch, John, and I wasn’t all that surprised by the fact that Bloomberg was the night’s biggest target. The others see him — or saw him may be more accurate given his dreadful performance — as a serious threat.  They felt they had to diminish him early, lest he and his money take off and cause them big problems.  I don’t get the impression that the candidates think Sanders can’t win the primary and that’s why they didn’t take aim at him on Wednesday night.  If he remains the frontrunner, he will be in their crosshairs.  We’ll know more after Nevada, South Carolina and Super Tuesday.

My father used to say, “The only thing worse than a sore loser is a sore winner.” I think we saw that twice in the last couple of weeks with people getting upset that they didn’t run the table, and then lashed out at the lack of purity in a particular vote:

  1. Trump won his impeachment acquittal and had every House and Senate Republican except Mitt Romney voting in his favor. The reaction of Trump and his supporters? Not pleasure in victory, but vitriol directed at Romney.
  2. Derek Jeter was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame but lacked one vote from a perfect ballot (this has occurred with every other baseball player in history not named Mariano Rivera). Still the Yankees fans came out of the woodwork with their righteous indignation. I heard one guy on sports talk radio advocate for finding and removing that one dissenting voter, calling his “no” vote a “dereliction of duty”.

Can we not enjoy our victories anymore, or are we too busy finding things to bitch about? — Steve R.

First, the specifics you bring up:  You’re absolutely right about the vitriol aimed at Romney.  It was unnecessary.  Why do it.  You won.  Be gracious.  But that’s seen as weakness by too many Americans.

Regarding Derek Jeter:  I’m with you again.  Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle … none of them were unanimous choices.  They all may have been bad decisions by sports writers, but with the advent of sports talk radio, a simple statement isn’t enough.  There has to be righteous outrage.  It’s good for business because that’s what more and more people seem to want — outrage.

And that’s the bigger point you raise, Steve:  That we’re so angry … about politics, sports, just about everything.  The polarization, the anger, keep getting more entrenched.  This is not good for the country or the American people.

AG Barr must have been going nuts and cursing Trump privately as the president tweeted about the Stone case and sentence. Barr was diplomatic in describing his frustration, but damn, Trump just doesn’t know when to stop.

That being said, I think Stone got screwed. Is there a Democrat involved in any of the crap of the last 3 years who’s doing any time? Clinton was winked through by Obama’s DOJ, Comey lies through his teeth, Brennan and Clapper perjured themselves, etc. Stone lied to Congress and he should do 7-9 years in prison?

How about the jury foreperson being a Trump & Stone hater? How did someone with her obvious bias get on the jury, much less be named foreperson? And it was an Obama-appointed judge who appointed her. Can the deck be any more stacked against Republicans and Trump? And yes, I admit he brings a lot on himself. — Thanks for listening JM

I’m pretty much with you JM.  Barr must have been really teed off with Trump’s comments.  But as you say, the president just doesn’t know when to stop.  And if he does know, he’s incapable of stopping.

You’re also right about the imbalance.  But remember, it wasn’t the judge who picked the juror … it was Stone’s attorney.  And it was the other jurors, again not the judge, who made her the foreperson.

But, for the record, Roger Stone did more than lie to Congress. He was convicted of 7 felonies, including tampering with witnesses in order to impede a federal investigation.

That said, 7 to 9 years strikes me, as it does you JM, as extreme.

I get the Liberal media pundits went all in on Avenatti because they so wanted his nonsense to hurt Trump, but why were they risking so much credibility (and now have major egg on their faces) over this guy? I’m more a middle ground guy, just an interested observer who thinks both fringes are nuts and the media is certainly “Biased” and I could easily tell this guy was a snake oil salesmen salesman. Who would be central in a similar case in your past experience where the media got so snowed like this? — ScottyG

First, you’re right:  The media went all in on Avenatti for just one reason:  He was bad mouthing a president the media, by and large, detest.  As for their credibility, they lost none with their fan base.  Fox viewers think they look stupid … not CNN and MSNBC viewers; they don’t care.

Can’t think of another situation where the media fell madly in love as they did with Avenatti.  But whenever they swoon, it’s usually over someone on the left who is bad mouthing someone on the right.

Bernie, As I follow the Democratic Party nomination process I notice that no matter the outlet the term “moderate” is misapplied. Mayor Pete, Amy, Biden, and Bloomberg are considered moderates. The policies they advocate are right of Sanders and Warren but hardly moderate. Do you think the reporting on these candidates is misguided, purposely biased, or just lazy reporting? Perhaps you have another explanation aside from my options. — David E.

I agree with your premise:  Even the moderates are left wingers. To put the best light on it, all the reporters are doing is saying Mayor Pete and Biden and the rest are “moderates” compared to the hard left candidates, Sanders and Warren.  It would be the same to describe GOP candidates as “moderates” compared to hard right candidates.  It’s shorthand.  But I — and I think you — would feel better if every now and then journalists would point out that “moderate” is a relative term … and that the positions of Democratic moderates are not middle of the road; they’re liberal positions.

Rush Limbaugh recently described Pete Buttigieg as  “a gay guy, 37-years-old, loves kissing his husband on debate stages.” And then he added, “Can you see Trump have fun with that?”

But of the sometimes bigoted comments Trump has made in recent years, I can’t recall him ever saying anything remotely homophobic. In fact, he’s made a number of supportive comments in regard to the gay community. Do you see this as a positive development within the GOP — a party whose members and leaders have sometimes given people reason to view it as homophobic? — Pete J.

I think Rush is the one who’s not comfortable around gays.  I don’t think Donald Trump would make fun of the mayor’s sexual orientation … if for no other reason than if he did he’d lose college educated suburban swing voters that he needs to win re-election.  Beyond that, I think you’re right, Pete:  I can’t recall Donald Trump saying anything negative about gays, either.

There’s often some virtue signaling from wealthy left wing elites—they will go to an expensive vacation spot or a fancy restaurant or venue, and say that they enjoyed it, but then complain that there were “too many white people” there and “not enough people of color.”

If so many white liberals want to experience diversity as much as they claim, since they often say that “diversity is our strength,” why don’t they attend some gangsta’ rap concerts or move to the proverbial “hood” or black neighborhoods to cultivate friendships with the residents? Why don’t they send their children to schools in poorer neighborhoods? Maybe their children could get part-time jobs there, or date from the more diverse crowd. I’m sure you sense the facetiousness of my query, but my sentiments are sincere. Your thoughts — Diverse Regards from The Emperor

Let’s stick with just one of your examples:  what schools liberals send their kids to.  I know liberals who talk a good game about mixing with all races and economic classes … while sending their kids to private schools.  Why?  Too many minority kids in public schools.  Hypocritical?  Sure.  But when your own kids are involved, sometimes you toss your cherished liberal principles over the side.  For the record, I’ve never heard anybody — liberal or conservative — say there are “too many white people” at the fancy restaurant they went to.  But I get your bigger point.

 


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Bernie’s Q&A: Trump, Romney, Pelosi, Prager, and More! (2/7) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)

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Do you think that Mitt Romney voted to remove Trump due to personal animosity for the president, or do you think he indeed believes that Trump’s abuse of power on Ukraine warrants removal, per the impeachment argument. — Don M.

That’s the million dollar question, Don.  I think Romney is sincere. I don’t think it was a revenge vote.  But more than a few people do.  Frankly, I see Romney as a man with far more integrity than some of the right wing fools who couldn’t wait to accuse him of treason.  I’m willing to take him at his word unless I have evidence or at least a strong suspicion not to.

Which was worse during the State of the Union: Trump refusing to shake Pelosi’s hand or Pelosi tearing up a copy of Trump’s speech. I’m not sure I care about either. LOL. — Michael

If Trump saw her hand extended than he should have been gracious — not a word one uses to describe the president. But what Pelosi did was blatant.  And so the Thumbs Down award goes to the speaker.

How annoying is it that liberal journalists who thought Romney was evil when he ran for president now think he’s a hero just because he sided with the Dems on impeachment? — Ryan G.

Just as annoying, Ryan, as the conservatives who once defended Romney from unfair Democratic attacks and are now accusing him of being a traitor.  But neither side surprises me.  See John Daly’s excellent column on this subject.

My last question raised the specter of John Roberts becoming an active presence in the impeachment trial by mandating other inclusions like witnesses and documents. You were not particularly concerned. I fear his decision to not read Rand Paul’s question may set a disturbing precedent where the SCOTUS Chief would become a serious factor in the calculus of any further –hopefully, never again– impeachments. What do you think? An addendum….It’s glaringly obvious that Schiff, his staff, and this ‘whistleblower’ were on terms of close association…..this issue may well affect public opinion on all of this… — Andrew M.

I’m just not as concerned as you, Andrew. At most, Justice Roberts decision regarding Senator Paul’s question — which reportedly had a connection to the whistleblower — caused only a minor controversy, if even that.  Roberts wasn’t there to be a potted plant.  His role was to make decisions.  I don’t think his decision on the Paul question will set a disturbing precedent.  Had he read the question out loud and named people tied to the whistleblower (or the name of the whistleblower himself) that would have caused a real fuss — and that would have led many — mainly on the left — to say he was taking sides.  On Friday night, January 31, Justice Roberts said from his perch looking over the the senators that he would not vote to break any ties.  That, I think, should put your mind at ease about the Justice setting any disturbing precedent.  He’s too smart to fall into that trap.

Bernie: I would be considered a “Reliably Republican” voter by pollsters and analysts, but in 2016 I voted for Gary Johnson for President. There was no way I would vote for Hillary, Trump’s personality and general conduct were too gross to condone, and I genuinely wanted (still do) a strong third party to emerge. I also considered Texas a reliably red state that was going to go for Trump anyway. In 2020, I’m definitely voting Trump because Texas is now shading purple, and I don’t want to waste my vote. I can see some independents breaking the other way because Hillary isn’t in the race. I know polling captures every little shift in voter tendencies, but do you think they are calculating the nuanced switching of voters like me? — Steve R.

While I, as a journalist, care about why you’re voting the way you are, I don’t think the pollsters care WHY you’re switching, just who you say you’re voting for.   And I’m not convinced people always tell pollsters the truth.  Some people might not want to admit that he or she won’t vote for a candidate who is black, to use just one example. So they lie to the pollster — say they’re supporting the candidate — then vote for somebody else.  Same with Trump supporters.  I think SOME won’t admit they’re voting for him, but vote for him anyway.  Again, the pollsters don’t care about your nuanced reasoning; just who you’ll be voting for … or more accurately, who you SAY you’ll be voting for.

I listened to your “Off the Cuff” about caucus system in Iowa. If I’m correct, in order to participate in the caucus you must show up in person and literally stand/sit for their choice. If that’s the case how does a journalist participate in the caucus and keep their political views private. On one hand, the right to vote is fundamental to what the country stands for – on the other hand in order to remain unbiased, a true journalist must remain politically neutral. It’s another – albeit smaller – reason to dump the caucus system. — Chuck S.

You lost me Chuck.  You’re asking “how does a journalist participate in the caucus and keep their political views private.”  A journalist doesn’t “participate.”  A journalist reports what’s going on.  Not sure why you think a journalist becomes part of the caucus.

I’ve heard Dennis Prager and others on the right say the decline of religion in the U.S. is helping leftist thought prevail among the younger generations, and that the goal of leftism is to get rid of religion completely (I don’t doubt this). However, I wonder if many of the churches have brought this on themselves. Long before the pedophilia scandals and Catholic Church cover-ups, many of the people I grew up with had pretty much become lapsed Catholics (non-practicing and uninterested in the church and observing its rules). And this is NOT limited to the Catholic Church. I dont expect you to know specifically why so many people of various denominations ended up feeling apathetic, but I’m curious what your thoughts are on this. — Religious Denominational Regards From The Emperor

I think Dennis Prager is an obviously bright guy.  But we part when it comes to religion.  If you are correct, that he believes the goal of the left is to get rid of religion completely, I’m not on board.  While it’s true that conservatives tend to be more religious, at least in a formal sense, than liberals — I see no concerted effort to rid the nation of religion.  If he’s talking about removing religious symbols from the public square, put there at taxpayer expense, then here’s another example where Prager and I would disagree.  If he’s talking about the so-called “war on Christmas” I thought that was a myth from the jump. As for younger generations:  Younger generations are often less religious than their parents. Religion and faith resonate more with older people who more often than their kids accept things without question.  Younger people question things and when you start to question matters of faith, there’s a 50/50 chance you’re going to become less religious than your parents and grandparents.

Mr. G, How have we gotten to this point where the far fringes are the leaders (I say that lightly) and the ones running for the highest offices? Is this media driven? There are plenty of good Pols closer to the middle who should be making noise and runs for leadership.  –ScottyG

The far fringes, as you put it Scotty, seem to have taken over a good chunk of the Democratic Party.  Less so the GOP.  Pols in the middle can make all the noise they want, but it won’t help if the voters reject them.  A few examples:  McCain was in the middle and he lost.  Romney was in the middle and he lost.  Millions of Republicans sat home on Election Day because they thought those candidates were too moderate — not conservative enough.

If the Dems nominate Bernie — a far left socialist progressive — we may learn that voters don’t want the fringe candidate either. Where does that leave us?  We may not want candidates who are out there playing deep left or right field … but if they’re in the middle they have to be really good pols with charisma.  Stay tuned.

 


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Bernie’s Q&A: Trump/Soleimani, Megyn Kelly, Royal Family Drama, and more! (1/10) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)

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Once upon a time whether you were Liberal or Conservative, one thing we could all agree on is that the national security of the United States and its citizens abroad was paramount. No longer. The hate for Trump knows no bounds and taking out a terrorist leader like Suleimani is being decried by Democrats. You even have some liberal media types calling Suleimani an iconic leader. I guess if Trump had taken out Osama Bin Laden the left would have canonized him. It’s really pathetic how this man can do nothing right in their eyes. You wanna dislike the man, have at it, but give him his due when it’s deserved. The left even does it’s best to downplay the vibrant and thriving economy…..when they even find time to discuss it between working on impeachment. — John M

You’re absolutely right, John … and Donald Trump, as you know, is not my cup of tea.  I just wrote a column on this very subject.  I plan to post it next week.  Donald Trump, despite what Democrats running for president say, isn’t the one responsible for heightened tensions in the region.  The Iranians are — something Biden, Sanders and the rest might want to consider.

A few months ago the Dems were in full meltdown mode over Trump withdrawing troops from Syria because they thought that would destabilize the region. Now they are in full meltdown mode because he is sending troops back to that area (Iraq mainly) to deal with the unrest being caused by Iran. It sounds like the Dems only strategy is to oppose Trump even when he does something they support, am I wrong? It seems so bad now that I am willing to bet that the Dems would become pro-life advocates if Trump came out in support of abortion… — Joe M.

You are NOT wrong, Joe.  If Donald Trump says its daytime, they’ll make a case for it being midnight.  The question is will the swing voters see through their presidential year politics.

By the time this question is answered almost an entire week will have passed, so please bear with me. First, when I think of “assassins,” I think of Sirhan Sirhan, Lee Harvey Oswald, and Gavrilo Princip, among others…so why did the mainstream media call the death of General Soleimani an “assassination” as I don’t believe that’s exactly what it was. For that matter, Bin Laden’s death was more like an assassination, but I would not label THAT incident an assassination either. As to whether the decision to take out this Iranian general was a good or bad idea, history and the near future will have to answer that question, but that has not stopped right winger Tucker Carlson and other pundits from giving their own opinion. And some left wingers are condemning this action because the general was an enemy of ISIS (although that doesn’t make him an ally of the U.S.), so I would like to hear your own personal opinion on Trump’s decision as well. — Instability In The Middle East Regards From The Emperor

As I’ve said before in this week’s Q & A, as far as Democrats are concerned, Donald Trump can’t do anything right.  It’s presidential year partisan politics — at its worst.  And it’s a very safe bet that if President Obama had taken out the Iranian general, the reaction from his fellow Democrats would be quite different from what we’re hearing now.

As for use of the word “assassination” to describe Soleimani’s death:  My dictionary says assassination refers to a deadly attack on “a prominent political leader.”  So, I think using that word is OK. But I understand your concern — labelling the U.S. as an “assassin” is jarring.  But not everything is a big deal. Let it go Your Highness.  You’re too big to fret about how some media type used the word.

Hi Bernie – I always enjoy your perspective on things and especially agree with your assessment on the lack of professionalism with today’s so-called ‘Journalists’. Generally, I find the Wall Street Journal to be the only news outlet that maintains traditional standards of journalistic professionalism. But occasionally even they surprise me.

Recently two articles appeared side by side in the online edition, both written by the same journalist (Michael Derby). The first headline read “Big Banks Seek Less Liquidity From Fed Amid Stable Money-Market Rates”. The second headline read “Demand For Fed Liquidity Rises, New York Fed Injects Nearly $100 Billion”. I thought the articles seemed at odds with each other, so I emailed the author. His response was “What’s your question? They’re from two different days”. The journalist apparently doesn’t see anything odd or contradictory with the two articles. Maybe I’m just too old to get it. True, one was dated January 7th, 2020 and the other January 8th, 2020. Am I missing something or is this just more anecdotal evidence of the lack of journalist professionalism? — David B.

I don’t think it’s lack of journalistic professionalism, David, but I do think the journalist could have been a tad more friendly.  Why not respond to you by saying … “Yes, it does look contradictory but things changed in 24 hours … but I can see how you might wonder what’s going on.”  I don’t know Mr. Derby but in general I think journalists often have a certain contempt for the general public.  How dare you question us, type of thing.  Make sense?

Bernie, how hard are you taking the decision of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to step back as senior members of the Royal Family? I know you follow British royal news rather closely, so I’m sure you have an emotional investment in this developing story. — John D.

Actually, I was thrilled to hear the news, John.  I got a call from Harry and Meghan just the other day and they wanted to know if they can stay at my house while in the States.  Sadly, I had to say no.  The Rolling Stones will be there when the royals wanted to visit and the Stones — hard as it is to believe — can get crazy.  I mean what if Keith or Mick hit on Meghan?  I don’t need that in my house.  But I did tell Harry and M (I call her M; she loves it) to try again some other time.

Can you compare today’s political environment to any other period even close in your days as a journalist? Are you concerned much that Trump’s unorthodox presidential approach is getting the US into any irreversible predicaments that would be overly painful to recover from? — Scotty G.

I don’t think we’ve been this polarized in a very long time.  1968 was not a good year but it was mainly about one issue, Vietnam.  Today, the divide is about everything.  Democrats are not the loyal opposition. They’re the resistance.  That’s worse than ever too.  As for “irreversible predicaments” … No, I don’t think we’re in that kind of trouble.  Time takes care of things that seem irreversible.

Hi Bernie. Why do you think the current crop of lefties/progressives think that they get to be the moral arbitrators of all of history and its important historical figures and they get to judge their worthiness? We shouldn’t be renaming college buildings, tearing down works of art and statues because of some perceived racism. Where did this arrogance come from? Thanks and go Vikings! — Garbralter

It is arrogance. I’m with you on that.  Liberals seem to think that not just smarter than everybody else, but better — which (they figure) gives them license to be the moral arbitrators you correctly describe.  And if you don’t believe me, just ask them.  They’ll tell you how wonderful they are.  Conservatives can be crazy too, but in a different way.

I spent part of my day Wednesday reading Wikipedia for information on what caused the Iraq-Iran War in the 80s because my brother challenged me on our dealings with Iran. I gathered that in the 80s, the US supported Iraq in their pursuit of power and territory and the reason was because Iran at that time was a ideological threat growing in capacity. Over two decades later, we dealt with Iraq because of Sadaam Hussein. Now we’re handling Iran. Help facilitate my thinking here. How, exactly, did the US support Iraq in the 80s? Did we make a mistake doing so? And do you have a book recommendation on the subject of the United States and its involvement beyond our borders? Thanks — D-Rock

Forgive me D-Rock but since I’m not a historian, I’ll keep it short.  Based on what I know Wikipedia got it right.  We supported Iraq because we didn’t want Iran to get even more powerful.  Then we invaded Iraq.  And you wonder why people don’t trust the government?  My favorite line about the Iran-Iraq War came from Henry Kissinger, who said, It’s a pity they both can’t lose.

Megyn Kelly has taken to filming independent interview videos for her website and social media, where she’s focusing on issues related to sexual misconduct. A few months ago she interviewed the CBS staffer who was fired for allegedly leaking the Amy Robach video about Jeffrey Epstein. This week she’s talking to other former Fox News women who’ve gone public about past sexual harassment at the network. She’s probably doing this indie stuff while she waits for a no-compete clause with NBC to expire (I’m just guessing), and I doubt she’s making any money from it, but I’m curious what your thoughts are about how she’s using her brand these days. Smart move to keep herself in the public-eye while also exploring a legit topic? — Jen R.

Once again, Jen, you nailed it.  Or at least I’m on the same wavelength as you.  I also think she’s keeping herself in the public eye … hoping for some buzz … money not the issue at the moment … and waiting for an opportunity to get back in the game.  If I’m wrong, I never agreed with you.  And never wrote this response.

 


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Bernie’s Q&A: Christianity Today, Chuck Todd, Evangelicals, the Monsey Attack, and more! (1/3) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)

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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 investors.com 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.

 


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Bernie’s Q&A: Jessica Kwong, the War on Christmas, Clinton, Bloomberg, and more! (12/6) — 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):


I read that Newsweek fired Jessica Kwong because she neglected to report on Trump’s secret trip to Afghanistan. Well, quite frankly, if the trip was a secret, and she misreported what Trump was doing over Thanksgiving because she had misinformation, I get that a retraction may be in order. But losing her job over it? I don’t read Newsweek, but I don’t believe there was anything especially malicious or slanderous about Trump in the publication…just wrong information. Truthfully, I would have been more annoyed as an American citizen if what was supposed to be a secret trip to Afghanistan had been revealed before it occurred, since our president’s security would be at risk; all she did was report erroneously that Trump spent his day on the golf course. Your thoughts? Thankful Regards From The Emperor

I’m with you, Emperor.  She says when she learned that the president was going to Afghanistan she tried to update her original story, which said he was spending Thanksgiving day tweeting and playing golf.  She puts the blame on an editor who didn’t update the story fast enough.  In any case, the death sentence — termination — seems way too harsh.

Who do you predict will be the Democratic nominee for president – Biden, Sanders, Warren, Buttigieg? Or will it be a dark horse like Bloomberg or Michelle Obama? — Steve R.

Not Bloomberg or Mrs. Obama … beyond that, I’m stumped.  If I had to hazard a guess — and that’s all it is — I’d say Biden.  But there’s a good chance he’ll do something dopey and be out of the running.  My dark house bet is on the mayor from South Bend.

I am a government employee (FAA) and a conservative. I’ve heard that the Senate is sitting on over 400 House bills. Virtually nothing is getting through or done. This circus of impeachment inquiries, etc., is keeping people occupied, both in and out of Congress, while the real work for which they were elected to Congress goes…nowhere. Some questions:

  1. From where you stand, just how bad is this situation in D.C.?
  2. Do you think that once the impeachment is over, elected officials will get to work and start doing their jobs (like working with the administration on budgeting and reducing the deficit, instead of always operating on a continuing resolution)?

— Jake H…tired of the BS

Hey Jake.  I’m tired of the BS too.  Government is set up to move slowly.  Everything needs consensus.  So, in a sense, things never run smoothly in Washington.  Corporations are more efficient than government.  The CEO and the board speak and things get done.  That’s not how government operates (for better or worse).

That leads me to your second question. I do not think Democrats will work with Donald Trump if he’s re-elected … and I don’t think Republicans in Congress will work with a Democrat president.  We used to have a loyal opposition. Now we have a resistance.  I see no light at the end of the tunnel.  Not yet, anyway.

How does America stop our divisiveness and Partyism. I’m not seeing it. Do we have to go through two more presidents to finally get sick and tired of rotten character? And will the Press ever come back to their senses? The two feed off of each other I think. Got any tangible things we can do today as a nation that regular people might agree on? If so, how would we get that into place? — Bill N.

The biggest problem facing America is the divisiveness you ask about.  And I don’t think things will get better anytime soon.  And the longer it goes the more difficult it will be to get to a more peaceful, less divisive time and place in this country.  If a charismatic person were elected president, someone who didn’t call the other side names and made a real effort to unite the country, that would be a start.  But again, I don’t see that day coming anytime soon.  The partisans like detesting each other.  They’re energized by seeing the other side as the enemy, not simply as a worthy opponent.  And talk radio along with cable news feeds off of the polarization.  They make money off of it.  Sorry, Bill, but while I hope I’m wrong, I see more of the same in the future.

Hi Bernie. I’m pretty sure that I remember you, more than once on The O’Reilly Factor, throwing a bit of cold water on Bill’s crusade against the “War on Christmas.” As a Christian, I never understood how a company asking its employees to say “Happy Holidays” was supposed to be offensive to me. Do you think this was a completely concocted “grievance” controversy ginned up by Bill and others on Fox News, basically as a publicity stunt? — Jen R.

Great question, Jen.  I think there were two factors at work.  First, some conservative Christians really did believe there was a war on their religion and on Christmas in particular — a war waged by secular liberals.  But where did they get that idea?  From cable TV, mostly.  Bill led the crusade and a chunk of his audience followed.  Which leads us into your question about a concocted grievance.  Never underestimate the power of ratings.  I think once the issue caught on, some Fox News hosts weren’t going to let a good crisis go to waste, if you know what I mean.

Why do Republicans & the GOP offer the American people a false choice between the extremes of pure socialism & pure capitalism, when every Western democracy –including the US– has chosen a position in the socialism-capitalism spectrum far from either extreme? — PolyG.

Excellent point.  Because those who do that are either not as smart as you — and I sincerely mean that — or they’re playing to their constituents who they feel they can rile up with extreme arguments.  Nuance doesn’t always play well.

A friend of mine recently made the point that while conservatives have gotten some things they’ve wanted from Trump that they NEVER would have gotten from President Hillary, we’d have actually had smaller budget deficits over the past 3 years if she had won. His logic is that with a Democrat in the White House, the Republican base would have still cared about fiscal responsibility, and so they would have pressured Republicans in congress to better contain spending (something they refuse to do with Trump). What are you thoughts? — Dennis B.

Your friend may be on to something.  President Trump certainly isn’t keeping a lid on spending — and his GOP buddies aren’t forcing him to.  But, as your pal suggests, if Hillary were running the show, the GOP would be a lot tougher on spending.  Holding the other team responsible for all sorts of things is a lot easier than holding your own team responsible.  That said, neither side is worried enough about the national debt — a crisis at least as important as climate change, in my opinion.

Related to last week’s Off the Cuff, what do you think of the Trump campaign making the decision to stop credentialing Bloomberg News reporters for rallies or campaign events (because they won’t be investigating Michael Bloomberg or other Dem candidates) — Gary N.

Petty and unnecessary, though I think Bloomberg News should behave like a news organization and investigate all the candidates, including their boss.

Mr.G, With all due respect, I’m guessing you might have a slight advantage on me in remembering The 60’s. Are these current times where we see The Left pushing such radical and immediate change in our society much different today in your opinion? Or is it just the topics have changed from Peace, Love & Drugs to No accountability, Free Stuff & Drugs ? — ScottyG

I’ve actually thought about this for some time now, Scotty.  I think the main difference between the 60s and now is that back then the nation was polarized pretty much over one issue — the war in Vietnam.  Now, we’re polarized over just about everything.  I think the divisiveness is worse today … and one of the biggest problems facing our nation.


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