Bernie’s Q&A: Biden, Stirewalt, Pompeo, Woods, and more! (1/22) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)

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

Over the years various, universities have blocked free speech of non-liberals and that expanded to include the firing/forced retirement of professors for stating such seditious remarks as “all lives matter.” This trend of the redefining basic rights is expanding further as evidenced by various Congressional members’ (e.g., AOC) call for blacklists of Trump supporters with unspecified penalties to be imposed, and even Harvard is now considering withdrawing diplomas of selected Trump officials and supporters for sedition (or whatever). It seems that ‘woke’ (definition is fluid) is the new “Enlightenment,” with Trump and his supporters the new Louis XVI and the Ancien Régime. I’m afraid Pres.-Elect Biden has hands full if he really intends to unify this country, but he seems to be focusing a lot on Climate Change. I believe that we are nearing an American version of the Reign of Terror led by the new ‘enlightened’ elites and where valuable resources will be squandered on a possible threat that is 100 years away versus one that has greater immediate consequences, existential or not. Maybe this is an overly pessimistic view and Biden will be effective. What are your thoughts on this trend/state of affairs, if you believe it is dire at all? — DonEstif

Your observations are quite thoughtful. And I’m not saying that because I’ve written about the same things and come to the same conclusions. There are nut jobs on the right, but the cancel culture is overwhelmingly a left wing bludgeon — with one great big exception. Fox News cancels conservatives who say negative things about Donald Trump. They cancelled George Will, Colonel Ralph Peters, Erik Ericson, me … and now their own political editor Chris Stirewalt. This is way beyond ironic, even if the doofuses who make decisions at Fox don’t get it. FNC spends all day rightly lamenting the cancel culture — and they’re one of the biggest practitioners of the cancel culture..  You can’t make this stuff up.

Now, onto Joe Biden. Despite his gracious and optimistic inaugural address, he will have a very tough time bringing the country together — because we’re way too divided and I can’t thing of anything — literally, anything — that will bring us together anytime soon.  So, Don, I don’t think your view is overly pessimistic … and yes, I do believe the situation is dire. And my apologies if I’m depressing you with these observations.

Two things I’d love to do, is to vote for you president of the United States, and second, sit down and talk sports with you for an afternoon. — Barney G.

Barney, you’re way too kind. If you voted for me for president, they’d have to lock both of us up in an asylum — and for the same reason: You’d be nuts to vote for me and I’d be nuts to run. On the sports matter, trust me, I’m not being immodest: I don’t know that much. I peaked when I was 10 and living near the Yankee Stadium. But be assured I appreciate the very kind words.

What do you think of Pompeo as a presidential candidate for 2024? Also, have you ever listen to Geraldo’s radio program which is also a podcast? You should be on his show sometime. You both have reasonable ideas and thoughts. — Tony P.

I liked Pompeo more before he became a Trump sycophant. He’s very smart. I could like him again. As for Geraldo: He’s not a fan of mine. I once said something personal he didn’t like and he threatened to punch me in the face. He said that on TV no less. So, if he calls, I’ll think about the offer. But he won’t call.

Bernie, do you think one of the worst things Republicans can do as we move towards the midterms is determine its slate of candidates based on the candidates’ loyalty (or disloyalty) to Trump? At the end of the day, the best strategy for taking back the House is fielding the best candidates, not worrying about who did or did not kiss Trump’s ring. If the Republicans engage in internal fighting during the next two years over who was and was not loyal to Trump, the Democrats will be very happy come January of 2023. — Joe M.

Joe, you are absolutely correct. The problem, I think, is that Trump’s most loyal fans may demand that any GOP candidate be someone who kissed his ring. If the candidate didn’t, he or she likely won’t get the support of those loyal fans, who I fear will sit home on Election Day and hand victory to the Democrats.

Mr. G., I just got around to watching the Dec20’ Real Sports last night. God Bless you sir! Aside from my eyes being abused by Bryant G’s hideous sport jacket shout out to Wimbledon, my ears were abused by all your “woke” colleagues who dismissed anything the Right is concerned about including dead police officers because it’s the Left’s turn at the sympathy megaphone. How one sided can a group be? Would any of your enlightened colleagues not call the police if they had just been invaded, robbed and beaten because it was the criminal’s turn to express themselves? That was a tough watch. –ScottyG

How one sided can a group be, you ask? I AM diversity on that show. And let me share a secret with you: I’m getting tired of it.

Regarding Monday’s column about courageous liberals who need to stand up and speak out against the illiberal left: I see people asking who they are and where they can be found. As several people (myself among them) have been pointing out, the liberals’ heads will also be on the chopping block at some point in the future, but for some reason, they just don’t believe that it’s going to happen to them.  Maybe this is a better question:

HOW do we, the right, CONVINCE the liberals, (some of whom may be our enemies) that THEY are the ones who need to step up to the plate and put a stop to this? If they really want to be the champions of the underdog, conservatives currently fit into that category. Your thoughts are welcome. — “Love Your Enemies” Regards, From The Emperor

I have no desire, Your Royal-ness, to try to convince liberals to stand up and do the right thing. They need to come to that decision all by themselves. If they don’t … and if the cancel culture gets worse, as I suspect it will … there will be a backlash against the left in some form or another. As for liberals and progressives standing up for conservative underdogs … Your Majesty has quite a sense of humor, unusual among those who wear the crown.

I’m curious to get your comment on a statement made by your colleague Bryant Gumbel during the recent HBO Tiger Woods documentary. Woods was shown on the Oprah show describing for the first time his racial identity as “Cablinasian”. For the unaware, it stands for Caucasian/Black/Indian/Asian and is Woods’ acknowledgement of his multiracial background. Gumbel took issue with this, saying it disappointed many black people who wanted Woods to represent them in popular culture. Gumbel also said that Woods should identify as black because that’s what the population at large saw him as. I take issue with Gumbel’s assessment, especially in light of the left’s granting individuals their ability to self-identify by race, sexual orientation, and even gender. Plus, Woods is being truthful. He’s not just black, he’s multiracial, something shared by many Americans of his generation. My kids are significant parts Mexican, Italian (mother’s side), Scots-Irish and Russian Jew (my side). Shouldn’t they and Tiger Woods be allowed agency to be who they say they are? Surprised a liberal like Gumbel would have such a narrow mind on this issue, especially in today’s climate.  — Steve R.

We’re told over and over that minorities have the right to identify anyway they want. You can be overwhelmingly white, but if you had a black great grandmother, and you want to call yourself black, that’s your right. That said, I understand Bryant’s position. But you can’t have it both ways. Either we have the right to self-identify … or we don’t.

Bernie, a little potpourri for you this week. Mustn’t the NY Times no longer refer to itself as “The Gray Lady?” Am I the only one who thinks that Dr. Fauci gives a whole new meaning to the term Political Science? Has the label of white supremacy transcended race given the fact that Larry Elder and Candace Owens have been called white supremacists simply for arguing that no race should be deemed superior to any other race? And finally, how many people under the age of 30 were taught that fascism arose in Italy not Germany and that one of the key elements of fascism was the close relationship between the Italian government and the leading Italian corporations (known as corporatism)? I am hoping that four rhetorical questions count as one question on the Bernie-meter. — Michael F.

Re the Gray Lady question:  Huh? Where did that come from, Michael? Who cares what they call it? The Dr. Fauci question leaves me even more puzzled than the one about the NY Times. Next. That two black people have been called “white supremacists” is proof positive that the people who called them that … are idiots.  And finally, your question about the origin of the word “fascism” — let me go back to my response to your question about the Gray Lady: Huh?  And if the questions really are rhetorical as you say … why am I answering them?

[Regarding this week’s “Off the Cuff”]: Listening to biased commentary is not in itself foolish or a complete waste of time. It’s how one listens. Please note Francis Bacon….”Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.”. Is not what you –and I, in sympathy– are really lamenting is the loss of a reasonableness, an open mindedness, a balanced, contemplative disposition in our fellow citizens? A willingness to be challenged/engaged/upset by other points of view is a serious aspect of the truly civil individual. Is that not the great loss in the modern American body politic? Take care — Andrew M.

Here we have one more piece of evidence proving that the people who post questions here generally are smarter than everybody else on the internet. I guess I am lamenting the loss of reasonableness and open mindedness … because what we have now is not only the opposite … but a tribal partisanship that results in the loss of principles.  I hear way too many commentators telling us how bad such and such is … when just a week ago they were praising their guy for doing the same thing.  My goal is to drop out.  To stop being a witness to this garbage.

Thank you for the smart question.


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



Off the Cuff: Cable News Viewers Don’t Want Honest Commentary

Cable news viewers want to be entertained, not enlightened.

That’s the topic of my Off the Cuff audio commentary this week. You can listen to it by clicking on the play (arrow) button below.


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Bernie’s Q&A: Impeachment, Riots, Democratic Control, and more! (1/15) — 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):

You responded to BackPacker last week as to transitions in Dem leadership. I’d be interested in your thoughts on the GOP too? Is there anyone out there who can be “Reagan-esque” and find a way to present a common sense vision without the extremes we hear promulgated continuously these days? I cling to the hope there are still fellow citizens out there longing for such a message. — Paul M.

There are some good people on the Republican side but they’ll never be accepted by the fringe — and by that I mean the Trump diehards who will not vote for anybody who EVER said a bad word about their messiah. I like Senator Ben Sasse … and two Members of Congress — Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger. The ones I like the most are the same ones the MAGA loyalists hate the most. That alone tells me I’m on the right track. Please go back and read my column posted last Monday. In it I say the GOP has to cut ties with the rabid Trump base. Go after a bloc that’s winnable: moderates in the suburbs.

I understand the frustration and anger over the events at the Capitol which were criminal and the perpetrators need to be prosecuted. However I strongly object to the whitewashing of the events this summer in Portland, Seattle and the numerous other cities throughout the country by the Fascist so called Anti Fascist Antifa. Are we to believe the silence of the Left was not incitement? I’m 86 years old and sick and tired of the inference that Leftist Totalitarial Fascism is more Noble than their Nazi adversaries and is not Fascism at all. If you believe that BS I have a Bridge in Brooklyn for sale. Lenin , Stalin , Hitler were the same coin. A Fascist is a Fascist no matter how you try to dress it up. Any comment ? — Joseph V.

The partisan hypocrisy on the Left, Joseph, is overwhelming. As I said in my Off the Cuff report this week, there will soon be time for me to comment on that. Soon. But I’ve focused my time on Donald Trump at the moment. Give me a little time to pick up where you left off.

Yes Bernie, I believe Trump’s finally realized the system is not going to support his efforts for re-election. Looking to the future, I believe the media and politicians of both parties have mis-read what’s actually going to happen. They make everything about Trump, and he does a good job of doing the same thing, but I believe the Trump phenomenon is more about the people than it is about him. Yes, he’s motivated lots of people to vote and participate in the election process, but I firmly believe that he actually tapped into the frustration of the people towards the elites (media and politicians of both parties, etc.). This frustration can be tapped into by other people, provided they have the ability to inspire and excite. It will be interesting to see what happens the next two years. Given that even if Trump wanted to go away, the media won’t let him as they need him as a punching bag to prop up their ratings Do you have any insights as to who you believe might have the ability to excite and expand the Republican base? –Thanks, TJ (the General).

Conservative ideas presented by a decent person could inspire the Republican base. A politician who talks about cutting regulations that strangle business, limiting the scope of government, emphasizing the dangers of censorship by the “woke” authoritarian crowd … but talks about these things not like a street thug but like a good man or woman. Trump had more than a few good ideas … but he was a horrible messenger … because everything was about him. He needed applause 24 hours a day. The GOP needs someone who, unlike Donald Trump, will try to expand the base. Those people are out there. They will appeal to most Republicans — not the Trump diehards — and many if not most moderate swing voters. There’s hope — but only if GOP pols lose their cowardice and stop fearing the Trump fringe.

Bernie, as a previously right-leaning Independent, I was alternatingly, smiling, and horrified, the way you had to twist yourself into a pretzel, to maintain your “neutrality” in regard to Trump and his Republican enablers. Trump at his best, is incompetent. At his worst, he’s dangerous. We know where we are, presently. I’m happy to see that you have finally recognized a significant threat to our democracy — Aloha, Mike

Aloha, Mike. Yes, I’m on record for most of his presidency saying Donald Trump is a very bad person but not a threat to democracy. I thought that those who said he threatened democracy and western civilization as we know it were engaging in partisan overstatement. But that changed — and I wrote about it — when he wouldn’t admit he lost the election. I said that in a democracy we must have faith in our institutions — and that elections were the most important institution of all. If we lose confidence in elections, I wrote, our democracy is in danger. And I put the blame for weakening the trust in the election squarely on Donald J. Trump.

I take issue with you, Mike, when you contend that I twisted myself into a pretzel to maintain some kind of neutrality. I supported conservative values. I criticized the partisan media. And at the same time, I criticized the president. I took issue with the hard right and the authoritarian hard left. That’s not an attempt to be neutral. It’s an attempt to be honest.

Bernie, I know the easy answer these days is to blame the chaos on Trump, but violence is violence and it is wrong whether you commit it for the BLM or MAGA cause. Regardless of who is to blame for all that has happened (I am not referencing just the past two weeks), do you think we are missing an obvious instigator in the room, our social media addiction? It seems throughout history, society gets a little screwy when it finds a new addicting toy. For instance, the Civil War happened not too long after the proliferation of the telegraph which greatly sped up the nation’s news cycle. World War 2 occurred not too long after the peak of broadcast radio, and the events of the 1960s coincidentally happened after the explosion of television. Maybe, just maybe, one thing we could all do is put the phone or computer down, take a deep breath, and go talk face to face with someone who might seem a little different than us (feel free to stand 6 feet apart for now). Hiding behind a PC or phone is not healthy and all social media is doing is reinforcing people’s paranoia with a false belief that they are “liked” or “followed”. Who knows, maybe I am wrong and this is really just Trump’s fault and once he is gone peace will reign again…but just in case, is it time to put social media on the shelf? — Joe M.

What happened last week at the Capitol was Trump’s fault, as far as many of us are concerned. But peace will not reign when he’s gone. The polarization is too deep. The divide is too great.

You make interesting points, Joe. I think social media is a big factor adding to our divisions. Some anonymous idiot can go on line and call you all sorts of names and we don’t even know who the jerk is. I think cable news is also a factor. They also pour gasoline on the fire.

Donald Trump didn’t start that fire … neither did cable TV news … nor social media.  But all three made things worse.

Question for you. Do you agree with Dennis Prager’s 12-22-20 article? Do you agree with EVERYTHING Dennis wrote in his 12-22-20 article?

Also, you SHOULD be happy, honored even, about being the lone diversity on “Real Sports”! THE ONLY reason I watch it, is to see if you’re in it that episode! Without you, “Real Sports” would be a non-starter for me. SO–keep on keeping on! You are one of the ONLY bright spots on cable TV! –Sincerely, Frank C.

Very kind of you Frank, but I may soon be disappointing you regarding Real Sports. Stay tuned.

Regarding Dennis Prager’s article: There’s too much there for me to agree with wholeheartedly. I think Dennis makes a lot of sense. That’s as far as I’m comfortably going. That said, I’m glad he had a good time at a bowling alley. I’m not taking that kind of chance — just to bowl or hang out with friends and family.

I agree with you that Republicans have to kick Trump to the curb and move on. The question I have is whether Republicans will be able to compromise with Democrats and help Biden get any of his agenda? Biden ran on being able to work with Republicans. Can Republicans spurn Biden and still be competitive? — John R.

Biden has to show some flexibility to work with Republicans just as the GOP has an obligation not to simply be what the Democrats were for the past four years — the party of resistance. But Republicans have no obligation to give in to Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer simply for the sake of unity. Compromise is another matter. For too long, though, compromise has been seen as something akin to treason. Conservatives on talk radio hated compromise … and Democrats in the age of Trump felt the same way. And we wonder why we’re so polarized and why politicians are even less popular than used car salesmen?

What type of punishment/accountability do you believe Trump should receive for his role in Wednesday’s insurrection at the U.S. Capitol? He won’t resign. Pence and the cabinet won’t enact the 25th Amendment. The House might get impeachment, but Trump’s term will probably be over before a conviction. Do you think he should be barred from never serving in public office again? It seems that a ton of people on the right want no accountability for him at all, with the explanation that it would create more division. Now they’re worried about division???…  after saying nothing against, and even participating in, Trump’s endless lies about the election over the past couple of months? — Ben G.

Here’s what I think, Ben: Even if impeachment is warranted — I say “even if” because there are compelling arguments on both sides — I would rather the Democrats just let him slink out of town and let it go at that. And no, I don’t think he should be barred from ever serving in public office again. Not because I want him to ever run again — he won’t; imagine the TV ads the opposition would run — but I have a problem telling the entire American electorate they can’t vote for somebody — for almost any reason.  I have faith they won’t ever elect him to anything — just as I have faith that he’ll never run for anything. But I don’t want him barred from running … and I don’t want voters barred from voting for him if — on the million to one chance — that he ever runs again. And consider this: FDR locked up over 100 thousand Japanese-Americans during World War II. If a president ever tried that today he’d be impeached and convicted. Should FDR have been banned from ever running again? The slippery slope worries me.

Danish physicist Niels Henrik David Bohr once observed “Prediction is quite difficult, especially about future events”. But I am going to ask you anyway to predict what I perceive to be fallout on both major political parties on the kerfuffle on The President Donald, the 25th Amendment, Impeachment. What are your thoughts lies ahead between now and 2022 and 2024?

(Full disclosure: I did not vote for Trump, Hillary, nor Biden; Condi Rice in 2016 & Nikki Haley 2020 as write-ins as none of the clowns in contention deserved my vote. So I do not have a horse in this race, and as always very interested to hear your thoughts. ) –Gregg H.

My crystal ball remains broken, but I’ll give it a shot. If Biden is pushed to the left by Bernie and AOC, Democrats will pay a price in 2022. That’s how things work, historically. The party out of power picks up seats … and if Joe gives moderates a reason to fear the leftward movement … he’ll lose more than he would have. And that could easily mean that the GOP takes control at least of the House. As for 2024: I cannot see Donald Trump running. And if he does, he won’t even win the nomination. There will be more than a few credible GOP candidates. But … and this is an important ‘but’ … if the true believers refuse to support anyone who hasn’t kissed their savior Donald Trump’s rear end … or if Donald Trump makes trouble (as I suspect he will) … enough Republicans might sit home on Election Day 2024 and cost the GOP the election. But remember, I said my crystal ball was broken.

When Obama said he was going to “fundamentally transform the USA” did you ever think he meant what we are seeing now? And it happening so quickly? Because this change is obviously embraced and dare I say fueled by a liberal media, how can the legitimate Right ever recover and regain some semblance of balance? What is needed to shift the biased press, media & the tech billionaires back toward the center? Do we have to just wait for them to all expose and eat each other before normal folks achieve the “I told you so moment” for leverage to start the correction? Or are we screwed for at least a generation or so? — A very concerned ScottyG

Big Media and Big Tech are hopelessly left wing in their thinking … and as long as they can make money spewing their biases, they will. In fact, even if it cost them money, I think they will. Because in the world of media, anyway, ideology trumps even money.

Is it easier to find a “healer” in a tent than in Washington DC.? — Michael F.

Is that a biblical reference, Michael? As long as Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are in DC … as long as there are a few hard-line, true-believers in the ranks of the GOP, there will be no healing. I hope I’m wrong.

Bernie, you’ve said many times (and I agree) that profiles in courage are extremely rare in today’s politics. But I think what Liz Cheney did the other day, by strongly condemning Trump (the leader of her party) for his role in the U.S. Capitol attack, and endorsing impeachment and removal, was indeed a principled profile in courage. Do you agree? — Jen R.

I agree 100 percent. I’ll add Ben Sasse and Adam Kinzinger to the list, too.

Bernie, are you sick and tired of politicians constantly making Nazi comparisons? The Nazis were most hideous and vile people who committed the most unimaginable and horrifying crimes in the past century. It seems everyone from Joe Biden to Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats along with TV talking heads and entertainers paint President Trump and other Republicans with the hideous comparison far too often. While Trump is not saint, he’s certainly no Hitler or Himmler or even a member of the SS. Seeing Biden slip in a Goebbels reference last week was over the top for someone in his position I believe. To me, the Nazi reference been overused so much it’s lost all of its shock value or the meaning that it’s meant to convey. It’s just an easy crutch for these people to use. Of course it’s not going to happen but wouldn’t a bill by Congress to force everyone from making the wretched analogy be welcome? Thanks for your input. — Warren

I agree with everything but your last sentence — unless you’re kidding, of course. Comparing Trump to Hitler is repulsive. It shows no understanding of Hitler. It demeans the memory of those killed by that madman. But … I don’t want Congress passing laws telling us what we can say and what we can’t — beyond the obvious bans on falsely yelling fire in a crowded theater, and laws on libel and slander.

The best way for me to process these violent social/political events of the past 10 months is to take it out of the political realm. I was opposed to the violent actions of antifa and BLM when attacking and overtaking police headquarters and federal buildings in various U.S. cities. I was especially appalled at local politicians’ acquiescence to such actions. Arbitrary toppling of statues goes into the same category. I was equally appalled at last week’s stunning events when Trump supporters overtook and overwhelmed the Capitol. No politics in my thinking, just a reaction consistent to both sides. The common denominator among all these events is mob mentality, where individuals are influenced by their peers to adopt dysfunctional behaviors they never would have as individuals. There is much documentation of lynchings and other such events from the Jim Crow era where out-of-control mobs ruled over violent actions. Human behavior doesn’t change. It is ingrained in us. How do we avoid the glorification and encouragement of mobs in the future? We have done a poor job of it throughout American history. — Steve R.

A good start, Steve, would be for all decent people to condemn that kind of violence without regard, as you say, to politics. The problem in a word is hypocrisy. The Left rightly condemns the storming of the Capitol … but remained silent during the violence last summer. And some on the Right — some — were quick to condemn the left wing violence but aren’t quite sure that what happened at the Capitol was so terrible. Excuse the cliche but a plague on both their houses.

While I agree what Trump did was horrible (and certainly could be worthy of impeachment), how does this country heal if we keep rehashing prior wounds? The truth is that President Trump will be an ex-president in less than ten days regardless of whether or not a second impeachment proceeding/trial is held. Why are we doing this other than for political theater? Does either party even care about our country anymore? I know the Democrats are taking the lead on impeachment, but why aren’t more Republicans looking to shut this down for the good of the country as opposed to looking good for their future political careers? — Frank T.

Whether Donald Trump committed an impeachable offense or not — as I have said before, there are smart people who differ on this — with him leaving office in a matter of hours, I thought impeachment was unnecessarily widening the rift in this country. As for Republicans shutting the process down: Good luck with that. Thanks to Donald J. Trump the Democrats now control both Houses of Congress and can do pretty much what they want on this matter.

Several conservative commentators (Guy Benson and Noah Rothman to name a couple) have said that a number of Republicans in congress have told them that many more than 10 of them favored impeachment for Trump, but voted ‘no’ out of fear for their lives and personal safety [threats from Trump supporters]. I’m sympathetic, but it seems shameful for them to let those 10 do the heavy-lifting, and it seems un-American that important political decisions are being dictated by what is probably a genuine fear of being attacked or killed by their fellow Americans. Your thoughts? — Max the Great

I agree with you, Max, on all counts. While I understand the fear I don’t admire it. I do admire, however, those who as you say did the heavy lifting. Liz Cheney being at the top of that list.

I condemn what Trump supporters did at the Capitol. It was treasonous. Send the guilty parties to prison! While I’ve heard McConnell and Crenshaw unequivocally condemn this violence from their own party’s supporters, I did not hear Maxine Waters, Ted Wheeler, or Jenny Durkin do it during the ANTIFA/BLM “Protests”/RIOTS. So, for all the left wingers who are justifiably outraged and fearful of Trump supporters because they pulled these horrible actions, I would like to offer some observations:

The actions of January 6th 2021 are…

“…something some people did… an equivalent to the summer of love… from a group of disaffected people who were frustrated by the lack of fairness and objectivity in the mainstream media…from a group of people who should be allowed to vent out there frustrations…Trumpers are an IDEA, NOT AN organization”  

You get the picture. To paraphrase the late great Christopher Hitchens, “Liberal Democrats and their media cheerleaders, I just wanted you to hear what your arguments sound like once they’re played back to you. I thought you deserved that.”

I’m also hearing that if the protesters had been BLM supporters, they all would have been shot. I think this is a bunch of baloney since I didn’t hear of any black rioters or protestors getting shot during the riots in Portland, Seattle, and Baltimore… well, not by the police anyway..

What are your thoughts Hitchens’ “Hitchslap” analogy, and how do we bring the light of truth to the people hearing the lies that if it had been black protestors that they all would have been shot, but because they were white Trump supporters the cops supposedly spared them?

“We Conservatives Condemn OUR Violent Insurrectionists—WHY Can’t Prominent LIBERALS Do The Same For THEIRS?”===Regards From The Emperor

I think two things, Your Hiney-ness: Many on the Left have been hypocrites on the matter of riots. So you’re right about that. They rightly condemned the rioting at the Capitol but were pathetically silent about the riots, the looting, and the arson when the perpetrators were thugs more to their liking. That said … too many on the Right use liberal hypocrisy as an excuse — in an indirect way — to play down the mayhem that too many of Trump supporters caused. What they’re in effect saying is that, “Yeah, but they — the liberals — did it too.” I get it, I understand the frustration … but let’s not take our cues from the other side, especially when they’re being hypocritical.

And the second thing: I think your questions are too long.

Bernie, Do you think it hurts Mike Pence’s feelings that 197 members of his own party (including his brother, Greg) decided that the act of inciting rioters to try and kill him wasn’t an impeachable offense? Also, can you imagine having a brother who’s as big of a jerk as Greg? — John D.

Let me address your last sentence, the one in which you call Greg Pence a “jerk.” Such vulgar language may get you banned from ever asking another question here on this site. We, at don’t tolerate vulgar language. Jerk, Mr. John D, is a four letter word and we don’t tolerate four letter words here. Do you understand you dumb ass Mother-Fu****?

Editor’s note for members who are new to the weekly Q&A: Bernie’s always unreasonably hostile toward “John D.”, who — from what this impartial editor understands — is actually a tremendously nice guy who should really be admired by all.


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: Pardons, Vaccinations, TIME, Senate Control, and more! (12/25) — 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.

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

Bernie, great job on the Real Sports year end show. I felt like you were the lone voice of reason in a 6-on-1 discussion. Can you elaborate a bit on your relationship with the other correspondents on that program? You obviously have been at the game a lot longer than most of your colleagues on the show. Especially curious about the relationship with Mr. Gumbel, as you certainly would seem to have vastly differing views. I think the stories are so excellent and really well done by all, make no mistake. I’ve been watching since RS came on the air and never get disappointed by the outstanding content and quality of the product. Kudos to you and HBO for continuing the show under challenging circumstances. — Thanks, Mark H.

I see Bryant and the others as colleagues — we’re not pals. We don’t socialize, though Bryant usually throws a Christmas party each year that I don’t attend — because of geography more than anything else. As for differing opinions, I have said — out loud — that I AM diversity on the show. I’m not thrilled about that.

Dennis Prager writes often about the differences between the right and the left. Not just the obvious politics, but our paradigms and the way we see the world. We saw contrasting examples of this on display very recently. The left demands purity of their leadership and of the world as they attempt to create a government-mandated utopia. On display in San Francisco (shock!) is the name cancellation of two schools: One named after Abraham Lincoln for “not caring enough about black lives,” and the other named for Diane Feinstein for allegedly being sympathetic to the flying of a Confederate flag back in the 80’s. I won’t waste your space in describing how ridiculous this is to the rest of us. The religious right, on the other hand, has been criticized for backing Trump despite his personal and moral failings. The right’s reasoning was that Trump was a bulwark in support of their Constitutional rights to freedom of religion and free assembly. Indeed, Trump nominated three Supreme Court justices who two weeks ago upheld this very right and ruled unconstitutional the authoritarian shutdowns of religious gatherings in California and New York. You have written extensively about Trump’s sycophantic followers. However can you make a case that the right was rewarded for their lack of purity in a nod to pragmatism? — Steve R.

Isn’t it possible, Steve, to support Trump policies and still find him to be a man of very low character?  I have no problem supporting Trump’s tax cuts, his thinking on overzealous regulation, his picks for the federal bench … and still be convinced that he’s a chronic liar who would throw even his most passionate supporters over the side if it suited his purposes. As a thoughtful friend of mine puts it, “The problem isn’t with people supporting Trump on initiatives when he’s right. It’s with the unconditional defenses of anything and everything he does, often at the cost of forfeited principles.” My friend is right. You can detest liberals all you want, you can think they’ll wreck the country … but that doesn’t make Donald Trump a good person. Because he’s not.

All that said, I understand the essence of your question: that we live in a real world and so sometimes it makes sense to be pragmatic and support people we don’t admire. You’re right. Sometimes it does make sense. But it’s never an easy decision. And Donald Trump makes a difficult decision even more difficult. That’s how toxic the man is to many Americans. And while we’re at it, that’s a big reason he lost the election.

I live in a very Red county in GA. I voted early the other day for the two Senate Run-offs. I didn’t see one MAGA hat, not one American flag t-shirt, not one pick up truck with a Trump 2020 flag waiving. Nor did I see more than five “persons of diversity” on a line of over 200. So I’m confused at what I saw and I’m now concerned that my once conservative neighbors are going to vote for left leaning & eroding American values. I’m afraid the Anti-Trump sentiment vote is bleeding over into the Senate run-offs. We could be doomed. So what’s your one biggest fear if the Dems win the Senate? Or is one too difficult to single out? –ScottyG

My single biggest concern, Scotty, is that they MAY try to eliminate the filibuster rule. IF they succeed, that mans they’d need only 50 votes (plus the VP in case of a tie) to do whatever they want. And that includes adding blue states, lowering the voting age, allowing convicted felons still in prison the right to vote — and more. That’s my biggest concern but it won’t be easy to accomplish since ALL Republicans would be against such a move and I suspect a few Democrats also would be against it.  But it could happen.

What are you thoughts so far on Trump’s end-of-term pardons? All within his legal right, of course, but a pretty disgusting group of characters so far, and I expect by the time you answer this, they’ll be even worse people added to the list. — Ben G.

I’m with you, Ben. Donald Trump isn’t the first president to pardon political allies. But as with everything else about our current president, he’s worse.

Members of the U.S. House and Senate have been posting smiling pictures of themselves getting the new COVID-19 vaccine on their social media accounts. I get that they’re our elected leaders, and so they’re setting a good example by demonstrating to their constituents that the vaccine is safe. But there’s something VERY irritating about seeing certain members of congress, who’d for months and months followed Trump’s lead by publicly downplaying the severity of the pandemic (including scoffing at mitigation efforts like wearing masks and no large groups), be among the VERY FIRST to be granted safe, medical immunity to this virus. If these politicians would have been more responsible with their rhetoric in the first place, who knows how many fewer infections (and even deaths) there would have been among their constituents. Again, I get the current public awareness message, and I want EVERYONE eventually vaccinated, but the optics here are pretty irritating. Let me know what you think. — Jen R.

Once again, we’re on the same page, Jen. That Donald Trump has no shame — about anything — is one thing.  But that his sycophants join in just adds to the irritation.

When will people finally realize that TIME Magazine’s “Person of the Year” issue is an absolute joke? Rather than recognize and honor medical workers and scientists who’ve been dealing first-hand with the pandemic for a close to a year (to do their best to keep the rest of us healthy and alive), the magazine chooses Joe Biden and Kamala Harris who basically just campaigned? Like I said, an absolute joke. — Mary R.

Whoever does NOT understand that  Time magazine’s Person of the Year is a joke … is a joke him or herself. Once Time was a serious news magazine. Not any more.

The very expensive and posh Dalton private school in NYC has presented a list of woke demands from faculty members of color for the very progressive liberals who pay high end dollar to send their children there to learn all those wonderful leftist values that the uneducated masses and rubes in flyover country shun. About 100 faculty members signed onto the list. Here are some of the demands.

The requirements could, no doubt, cost millions — a cost that will likely be passed on to parents through tuition hikes. Ironically, Dalton is one of the city’s most progressive schools, leaving progressives — not conservatives — ultimately responsible for the school’s pervasive climate of systemic racism.

Care to bet that these same dunderheads would be shouting accusations of racism if parents who sent their children to a public school in Brightville, Tennessee raised a fuss over such demands? Now there is a backlash from several parents who are threatening to remove their children from the Dalton School. Now that there is a backlash, maybe the left wingers will say “Hey, maybe we were wrong all this time for pushing this agenda.  It never actually helped minorities, and now it’s making hypocritical fools out of all of us.”  Fat Chance, I know.

How is it that so many liberals are so clueless to the fact that, like Dr. Frankenstein, THEY themselves have CREATED THIS MONSTER woke culture of appeasing the perpetually aggrieved, and now that there is starting to be a backlash against this woke nonsense, do you think this asininity will eventually go away?  At least Dr. Frankenstein admitted he was wrong, once the angry villagers showed up with the torches and pitchforks. –Torches & Pitchforks Regards From The Emperor

I keep hoping for a great big backlash against this left wing progressive woke bull crap. A great big nationwide backlash. Some parents are threatening to leave, you say. And many are staying, right? They deserve what they get … just as Portland, Seattle, LA, NY and other cities run by progressives deserve what they get. This is their problem, not yours, Your Worship and certainly not mine.

Bernie, Do you plan on using your secret network of elite “deep state” insiders to secure early VIP access to the coronavirus vaccine? If so, could you do me a solid and send some of it my way? I feel like the anti-maskers in my town have been trying to cough on me since March, and could use a break. — John D.

I’ve already received the vaccine from my friends in the deep state. I drank it. It tasted good. It came in a soda can and tasted like root beer but I was told it was the vaccine so I must have been, right? I can’t figure out why all those “regular” non-elite people are getting shots in the arm. Drinking the vaccine is much easier and less painful.

As for doing you a solid — nice street talk, by the way Homey — that would be wrong. If I help you out what about my million other close friends? What about them?

Regarding the anti-maskers in your town who have been coughing on you: How do we know you’re not antagonizing them somehow? How do any of us know that you’re not wearing a sign when you stroll the streets that says: “Sneeze or Cough on me.”

And, for the record, just because someone walks up to you and sneezes or coughs on you doesn’t make them a bad person. A little understanding wouldn’t kill you, John D. But that sneeze might, I guess. So good luck.


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: Christie, Biden, Rather, Election Conspiracies, and more! (12/18) — 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.

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! 

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

This year controversy stirred at the University of Texas over “The Eyes of Texas,” a song that has been sung for decades at the beginning and end of every UT sporting event. In my lifetime it has always been considered a song of unity. As Texas Monthly wrote, “The Eyes of Texas is not your typical school song. It’s something closer to a prayer.” It is whispered in the ears of babies just a few days old, and dignitaries such as Lady Bird Johnson have had it performed at their memorial services. It recently came to light that the song had its genesis in 1903 when it was used in various minstrel shows with white performers in black face. This news caused a backlash among many black athletes and other social activists, who refused to participate in the song’s performance. While I understand and acknowledge the racist history of my once-segregated home state and state school, this seems to me a giant step backwards. Despite its racist roots, until recently The Eyes of Texas was a song of unity among all Longhorns of various races, incomes and backgrounds. We had moved on and moved the song forward to a more enlightened, inclusive message. To me this is just one example of moving the culture backwards in our inability to detach ourselves from our worst history. What is your opinion of these occasions when art, history and institutions collide? — Steve R.

I’m pretty much with you, Steve. Kate Smith, a woman beloved by much of America, was posthumously cancelled because way back when, she sang songs that rightly would be considered racist today. So no “God Bless America” by Kate Smith at Yankee games (and, I’m sure, other places). Instead of ridding the nation of its vestiges of racism, it creates, I think, more division. “Racist” was once a powerful word. Not anymore. It’s been watered down to include way too much.

A recent headline in the Oregonian screamed: “Black Teen Killed By White Man Over Loud Music In Parking Lot.” I think we all know it would have read differently had the races of the two involved been reversed. Here’s a snippet of the story.

Terrible tragedy, right? I read a similar incident some time ago about an elderly man who shot and killed a younger man in a movie theater. Why? After the previews were over and the movie was starting, the victim was still chatting away with his family at normal volume, and this was disturbing the elderly couple sitting behind them. The older man either asked or told the chatty guy to be quiet since the movie was starting. Rather than quiet down, the victim threw his popcorn at the older man, who immediately left, returned to the theater with a weapon, and fired. Skin color wasn’t mentioned in the story, so I assume that they were both the same. 

Let’s state the obvious: Neither victim deserved to be murdered, and if convicted, the shooters should go to prison. HOWEVER, can we agree that these two people would still be alive if they’d been decent neighbors and good citizens instead of behaving like aggressive inconsiderate jerks? Is this victim blaming? I don’t think so. WHY did the guy in the movie theater feel justified in throwing popcorn instead of quieting down? Why was the 19 year old “black teen” playing loud music at four o’clock in the morning and disturbing hotel guests, and why did he refuse to turn it down when confronted?

What are your thoughts on incidents like these, and was it really necessary to emphasize the skin color since I don’t think that this was necessarily racially motivated?  — “Aggressive Dumb Asses Get Shot By Other Aggressive Dumb Asses” Regards—-From The Emperor

Journalists bring race into the story even when it’s not especially relevant — if the victim is black and the guy with the gun is white. It’s what liberals do to show their racial manners, to show how they’re concerned about victims of racial injustice — as they see it. The incident in question may have involved racism. But it may not have. Do we know if the gunman would have done the same thing if the guy playing the loud music were white? And you’re right: If a black guy shot a white kid playing loud music, most liberal journalists would not have brought race into the story.  For the record, loud music or no loud music — in the middle of the night or at high noon — you don’t get a gun and shoot the guy playing the music. The black guy is dead. The white guy’s life will soon be over — after he’s convicted and spends the rest of his life in prison.

Bernie, call me crazy but I think [the Hunter Biden story] is actually the SECOND major story the media covered up or ignored during the 2020 election in order to help their pal Joe. The other major story was the shockingly quick development of a Covid vaccine. All of the media and its “experts” laughed and mocked President Trump when he said we would have a vaccine by the end of the year, and guess what…the media was wrong again! The reality is none of this is a surprise and the media cannot act like it did not know it was likely to happen since clinical trial progress in the US is made publicly available on How much do you want to bet this was another story the media conveniently ignored until after Nov 3? How much do you want to bet if Biden pulled off a similar feat they would start running stories calling for him to be anointed President for Life? — Joe M.

There’s a thread, Joe, running through the mainstream media’s behavior — how it handled the Hunter Biden story and how it’s now handing the story about the success of President Trump’s Warp Speed project. And the thread is simply this: Too many journalists are anti-Trump and pro-Biden … and were willing to throw their integrity over the side to help ensure that Joe Biden would win. I understand that this may sound simplistic and maybe even paranoid.  But it’s neither. It’s the blatant corruption of journalism in America.

Do you have any knowledge as to who writes the scripts the anchors read on any of the cable news shows – CNN, FNC, MSNBC, NewsMax, OAN. Is it the producers? Is it the anchors themselves? Is it a group effort? Are they following orders from above as to language or buzz words? Who decides what guests to have on the shows and what questions to ask them? How much discretion do the anchors have? How much is all this governed by focus groups, opinion polls and viewer feedback? Here, I’m not talking about the overtly opinion shows. Second, do you know who decides what stories to cover, the priority and the frequency of coverage? Yes, I know it may vary among the networks and a network’s policies may change with management. — Bob H.

When O’Reilly was on Fox, he wrote every word in the show, but that’s not how it works 99 percent of the time. There are writers and producers who write scripts and the anchors either tweak, edit or re-write. Best of my knowledge there are no formal orders regarding buzz words, etc … but at CNN, to use one example, everyone knows how the boss, Jeff Zucker, feels about Donald Trump … so no one is going to step out of line. As for what governs their decisions … on cable it’s ratings. They know what their viewers want and that’s exactly what they give them.  Finally, as to who makes editorial decisions on what to cover, there’s usually a group of producers and the anchors who weigh in.

As we move into the Biden era, given what we have seen from the press for the past decade plus, especially the failure to report stories that do not fit in well with their bias, how should we approach news reports going forward? Put another, how do we know we are getting the news, the facts and the truth about a particular subject? What can we do to be aware of what is happening or should we just give up, ie, don’t ask because we won’t tell? — Michael F.

I no longer know what to believe when I watch the news. Once, if I heard a reporter or anchor tell me something I generally knew it was true or if not, it was an honest error. No more. That’s one reason I watch less and less cable TV … though I do watch Special Report on Fox at 6p ET.

I think we’re doomed. After listening to your “Off the Cuff” remarks this morning, I am convinced now more than ever that we are in a serious decline in this country on all fronts – and are heading full-steam into the abyss. Criminals are now victims. Police are the enemy. We are $30 trillion in debt, much of it owned by China, and they want to hurt us. We are electing some of the most ‘bizarro people’ ever to hold government office. We now live in a PC driven fascist state with the activist removal of statues and re-naming of schools and sports teams. We are also in the midst of a race and culture war – fighting each other over every single thing one can imagine. I could go on and on – but you get the idea. Given your understanding of world history, and the demise of past empires like the Ottoman, Roman, Persian, British, and the collapse of Soviet Russia – what are your personal feelings about where we are headed as a nation. Are doomed to a similar fate? Sure looks like it. — Pistol Pete

I’d like to answer your question Pistol Pete but after reading it more than once I have to go JUMP OFF THE ROOF OF THE TALLEST BUILDING IN TOWN.

As to where we’re headed: If this continues we’re headed toward more polarization, more hatred of the other side, more destruction of basic civic values that hold a society together.

I was a big fan Pistol Pete when you played at LSU. Thanks for writing … it must be hard … SINCE YOU DIED IN 1988!

Bernie, Tell me if I’m following this correctly: Trump and many in the GOP and rightwing media have been pushing crazy conspiracy theories about massive election fraud for weeks. When called out for what they’re doing, they explain that most Republicans think the election was rigged, and so they have to fight the good fight for them. But the only reason so many Republican voters  think the election was rigged in the first place is because Trump, the GOP, and the right-wing media keep telling them it was rigged! Do you find this as ridiculous as I do? — Ben G.

Yes!!! And remember, the answer to all questions regarding TV in general and that includes cable TV news is … MONEY. They pander for dollars. That’s yet another reason a lot of sensible people are tuning out cable news.

Someone asked last week I think about your old colleague Dan Rather. I seem to remember you saying a long time ago that Rather never spoke to you again after the Wall Street journal column (or was it after Bias came out?). I’m curious: Now that more years have passed, has he still not spoken to you? Either way, would you think he has ever come to acknowledge how right you were about a bunch of things? Or do you suspect he’s still very much in the bubble of denying liberal bias even exists in the media? Thanks. — Alex D.

After my WSJ op-ed about liberal bias came out in February of 1996 he has not uttered a single syllable to me. It should be noted that I left CBS News in 2000 — so I don’t run into Dan anymore. Do I think he has acknowledge that I was right, you ask. No way. Dan has many good points but one bad one: He either can’t … or won’t … take serious criticism seriously.

It appears that Chris Christie has become a born-again “wear a mask” advocate, after spending over a week in the ICU suffering from the coronavirus. He even recently filmed a “wear a mask” PSA that is starting to air on television stations all over the country. I think this is good but why on earth haven’t we been seeing PSAs like this since WAY back in April when health experts were largely and finally on the same page about masks being very helpful in lessening the spread of the virus? Instead, masks have been politicized, mocked, and treated like some kind of attack on liberty. I can only imagine how many fewer people would have become infected if there had been a broad bipartisan and multi-cultural effort to get people to take mask wearing seriously, for the sake of those around them. — Philip S.

You’d think that SOMEBODY would have thought of such a public service ad campaign. The president could have but he was one who didn’t wear a mask almost all of the time. But I don’t recall Joe Biden putting up campaign money for such a campaign, either. Yours is a good idea, Philip. Too bad no one actually launched such a campaign back in the spring.

Was wondering if you were you ever asked to guest host the O’Reilly Factor on any of Bill’s days off. That used to be a pretty common practice, with other people filling in. — Joseph R.

I made clear I had no interest in doing that. Besides, the show came out of New York and I was living in Miami.

Bernie, I know you don’t exactly celebrate the holiday, but I thank God every day that Bill O’Reilly, President Trump, and Jesse Watters won the War on Christmas. Personally, I was getting sick and tired of not being able to say “Merry Christmas” out loud without being dragged into the street and severely beaten with the trunks of “holiday trees” by latte-drinking liberals. Don’t you agree that as a nation, we owe these three an enormous debt of gratitude for doing what they did (I’m still not clear what that was, exactly) to triumph over retail-store ad-marketers, negotiate their surrender, and restore Christmas spirit across the land? — John D.

You have a point, John D. But if you wear a hat nobody will notice it.


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.