Hunter, Joe and Their Pals in the Media

It’s not exactly a bulletin that the role of the press in a free country like ours is to cover the news – not to cover up the news.

But that’s precisely what many journalists did in the final few weeks before the presidential election. Let’s take a trip down memory lane.

Almost all major mainstream news organizations flat out refused to pursue a blockbuster story published in the New York Post about Hunter Biden’s business dealings with foreign entities – and whether or not they were above board.

That Hunter was cashing in on his family’s name was fairly obvious. Why else would a gas company in Ukraine pay him at least $50,000 a month for his expertise — when he had none?  But while making money by reminding people that your last name is Biden may not be illegal, it does raise questions. Was Hunter telling his Ukrainian and the Chinese business associates that he would put in a good word for them with his father who one day might become President of the United States?  Were they investing big money not in Hunter, but in Joe?

You’d think that would be something curious journalists might want to pursue — unless, of course, they wanted to put a lid on any news that might hurt Joe Biden. Liberals in and out of the media might say that’s crazy, except it isn’t.

CNN, which used to be a news organization, was especially dismissive of the Post story.

Jeff Zucker, who runs the network, said, “I don’t think we should be repeating unsubstantiated smears just because the right wing media suggests that we should.”

Brian Stelter, who hosts a media show on CNN, said the story was a “manufactured scandal,” that it was “a classic example of the right-wing media machine” — an obvious shot at Fox News, one of the few TV outlets that gave the story airtime. “They want you to stay mad and stay tuned,” Stelter said.

Jake Tapper said, “the right wing was going crazy” over the story.

Other liberal journalists were just as incurious, blowing off the Hunter Biden story as Russian disinformation, a Russian hoax, part of a Trump smear campaign, a non-scandal story, in essence, they said it was fake news.

Anne Applebaum, who writes for The Atlantic dismissed the story with a snarky, “There’s no ‘there’ there.”

And NPR’s Managing Editor for News, Terence Samuels, without a hint of embarrassment or shame, summed up much of the media’s contempt for the story when he tweeted, “Why haven’t you seen any stories from NPR about the NY Post’s Hunter Biden story? … We don’t waste our time on stories that are not really stories, and we don’t want waste the listeners’ and readers’ time on stories that are just pure distractions.”

And it wasn’t only Big Media that had no interest in whether Hunter Biden was peddling his father’s name in exchange for a big payday; Big Tech also suppressed the news.

Facebook and Twitter — where tens of millions of Americans get their news — censored the Post story on grounds that the information about Hunter might not be true or might have been hacked – something that never bothered them when the information was about how President Trump supposedly paid almost no federal income tax or was working for the Russians.

So anyone who got his or her news from those social media platforms in the final days of the campaign might not even know who Hunter Biden was.

But a funny thing happened on the way to Joe Biden’s inauguration. Now that his father has been elected president, Hunter Biden tells us that he just learned that the federal government has been investigating his “tax affairs” — an investigation that began in 2018 and reportedly includes inquiries involving potential criminal violations of tax and money laundering laws.

You might think that those award-winning journalists at the New York Times, who published all sorts of leaked information that made Donald Trump look bad, might have been able to find out about the FBI and IRS investigation of Hunter Biden. I’m making no accusations against the Times. Just wondering if they had the information and didn’t publish it – or didn’t even try to get it.

So what should we make of all those pious comments from so many journalists who had so little interest in the story – before the election?

Could it be that liberal journalists who made no secret of their disdain for Donald Trump, who thought he was a threat to democracy, were actually covering for Joe Biden in the weeks leading up to November 3?

More than a few conservatives think so.

“The news media helped silence a story and alter the results of an election. They are probably laughing in newsrooms all around the country,” Media Research Center vice president Dan Gainor told Fox News.

And Cornell Law School professor and media critic William A. Jacobson told Fox that liberals in the mainstream media appear to have “snuffed out the Hunter Biden scandal” in order to give a boost to Biden’s election chances.

“It would have seriously hurt Joe Biden’s campaign enough to make a difference in key swing states,” Jacobson said. “Rather than regretting this journalistic malfeasance, the perpetrators likely are quite proud of themselves.”

So don’t expect introspection from lazy journalists who told us “there’s no ‘there’ there” – and no apologies from those who said, without evidence, it was all a “Russian hoax.”

Journalists aren’t big on admitting their mistakes. Media culpas aren’t their thing.

Why Trump Lost

For many months now I’ve been saying that if Donald Trump were to lose the election, it wouldn’t be Joe Biden who beat him.  It would be Donald Trump who beat Donald Trump.

Of the 80 million votes Biden got, I doubt if there were 12 people in the whole country who affirmatively voted for him – as opposed to those who passionately voted against Donald Trump.  Such was the disdain more than half the country has for our current and soon to be former president.

He got lucky four years ago.  He won because enough voters were sick and tired of politics as usual.  They wanted something new.  They figured he’s a businessman and not a politician and so they decided to give him a chance.  They knew him from television — but they didn’t really know him.

After four years they did get to know him. And that’s why he lost.  His toxic personality finally caught up with him.

As Dan Henninger put it in the Wall Street Journal: “ Any close-to-normal first-term president running on Mr. Trump’s record—including the fast-track anti-Covid vaccine protocols—should have won the election with more than 300 electoral votes.”

Donald Trump is many things, but “close-to-normal” isn’t one of them.

Women, especially college educated suburban women, had had enough.  They saw him as vulgar, cruel, dishonest, and psychologically unfit for the high office he held.  So did a lot of other Americans.

Yes it’s true that the virus didn’t help. Winning reelection with millions of Americans out of work and more than a thousand dying every day isn’t a recipe for success.

In the beginning his daily briefings boosted his ratings.  But the longer he was on camera the more his character flaws became apparent, and his ratings faded.

People didn’t see him as a competent leader.  How could they when he made so many mistakes, which is a nice way of saying he lied about so many things.  The bragging about what a great job he was doing didn’t resonate after a while.  The fights with reporters didn’t help.

It’s true that much of the mainstream liberal media were aligned against the president.  They thought he was illegitimate from the start.  Their biases were blatant.  But fake news didn’t bring him down – despite the utter corruption of so much journalism about him.

Neither did an international criminal conspiracy to steal the election cause him to lose, an alleged plot to rig computers that supposedly gave more votes to Biden than he really received.  No one outside the Trump team and its most passionate supporters bought that story.

It was the moderate voters who were the ones that would decide the election.  But they also had had enough, including more than a few moderate Republicans. And those voters in Wisconsin and Michigan and Pennsylvania who chose Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton four years ago couldn’t take four more years of Trump chaos either. They were exhausted.

And there’s another reason Donald Trump lost.  His biggest fans in conservative radio and cable TV were nothing more than his enablers.  They excused everything he said and did.  They didn’t care if he made things up.  They were mere exaggerations they said, no big deal. His bragging wasn’t anything to take into account, either. Same with his nastiness, which they saw as toughness, and a welcome antidote to what they viewed as pre-Trump GOP weakness.

Had they really been friends instead of slobbering sycophants they would have held him accountable for his actions; they would have told him to knock off the combative behavior because regular folks don’t like that kind of thing.  Instead they said his personality shouldn’t matter, that the stakes were too high in this election for something so seemingly insignificant as personality to be taken into account.

But his personality did matter.  Voters might have cut him some slack over his handling of the virus if they just plain liked him.  His most passionate supporters liked everything about him.  But there weren’t enough of them to carry him over the finish line.

A short time before the election a conservative friend sent me an email, part of which I’ll share with you: “As for President Trump, he’s a guy who manages to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory almost every time he speaks or tweets. If the man just stuck to a prompter, and otherwise kept quiet, the media would still hate him, but have a lot less ammunition to play with. More important, he’d have the public on his side — and a much larger percentage of the public, for sure. One thing is certain: He possesses neither the skill set as a communicator nor the desire to be a statesman when it is a statesman we need right now in the Oval Office. If he does lose in November, he will need to look no further than the mirror for the reason.”

Except, of course, he won’t look in the mirror.  Donald Trump enjoys playing the victim.  And in a way he is – a victim of his own dysfunctional self.

Bernie’s Q&A: Hannity, Rich, Smith, Maher, and more! (11/27) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)

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

I voted for Trump’s re-election but in all honestly I’m glad he lost. I just can’t take any more! The scandals. The twitter outbursts. The conspiracy theories. It almost makes me long for the days of Obama’s presidency. At least the worst scandal we had to worry about was Fast and Furious! At what point do you see the Republican party taking a stand against Trump and the damage he’s doing to the party and country? — JT

Some Republicans have taken a stand. Some! But others are afraid to stand up to Trump because his most passionate supporters are unforgiving. If they stand up to Trump’s craziness, that part of his base will seek revenge at election time. He has a hold on these people. And that frightens a lot of Republicans who don’t want to be “primaries” next time around.

Hi Bernie: I continue to recommend you to anyone and everyone who laments the availability of “balanced” reporting. On that subject, you mentioned you like Bret Baier on Fox, as do I. Based on a very small sample size at this point, I am pleasantly surprised by Shepard Smith on CNBC. I think they are doing a decent to good job. Your take? — Paul M.

I can’t bring myself to tune in — yet — Paul. I remember his from Fox and I can’t get over his BS — that he’s objective and fair when he gave his opinions every 10 seconds. I don’t care that he was tough on Trump. That’s fine with me. But his sanctimony was too much. I may give him a second look, though. And thanks very much for the kind words. They are appreciated, my friend.

I hope your Thanksgiving day was happy and healthy (and filling). There must have been a blue moon out recently because I found out that not only had I made a mistake and was thus wrong about something during a discussion with my wife, but I also found myself agreeing with Bill Maher! Here’s the link.

The notion that liberals and Democrats need to stop embracing the progressive weirdos and perpetually aggrieved, and instead start using common sense is nothing new to right wingers. In fact, I recall a book I read years ago written by a brilliant man who I believe you’re familiar with—-it was called “Crazies To The Left of Me, Wimps To The Right” and it was very enjoyable. So explain something to me please—- that book is several years old, and Bill Maher is just NOW getting around to realizing and embracing the ideas discussed in that book? Worse yet, Bill Maher is trying to shake some sense into the left wing Democrats that many of us were griping about for decades. It was obvious to so many of the right wingers, but apparently a lot of liberal Democrats couldn’t see the hole that they were digging for themselves and simply labeled those of us they disagree with as “rubes and racists and homophobes and Islamophobes and fools and deplorables,” and this was BEFORE the advent of social media! In your opinion, why is it taking so long for them to see the obvious, and do you think that they’ll actually take heed now that people like Bill Maher and Conor Lamb are warning them? — “Black Friday Wake-Up Call” Regards From The Emperor

First, Emperor, let’s state the obvious: When conservatives say some “woke” progressives are borderline lunatics, the left by and large ignores us. But when Bill Maher says it, maybe they’ll listen. As for Maher himself … from time to time he has called out the Crazies to the Left … but this was an 8 minute monologue that says everything we’ve been saying for years. Better late than never. Now all we need is a funny guy on the right to call out the lunatics on our side of the line. Hope you also had a happy Thanksgiving, Your Royal Highness.

At least, in this crazy crazy year, most can at least be thankful we are still here corresponding. But what are we going to correspond mostly about in 2021? Do you predict we will still see more of Donald Trump than of Joe Biden on the “News”? Remember how annoying it was that Hillary just wouldn’t go away? I fear the worst here. –ScottyG

News organizations — especially cable news — literally can’t afford to move on from Donald Trump. He’s too good for the bottom line. Joe is kind of bland. Bland doesn’t sell on TV. So, Scotty, I’m looking into the brand new crystal ball I just got from Amazon and in it I see lots and lots of “news” about Donald J. Trump. Sorry.

As we move ever closer to a Biden presidency, I notice that usage of the term “white supremacy” seems to be accelerating rather than diminishing. Growing up, that term had a pretty clear meaning and was applied to groups like the KKK. Today the term has become somewhat ubiquitous although it never seems to be defined nor do those who throw the term around ever explain how it is actually manifest in everyday life. Are the mayors and city counsels of our bluest cities white supremacists and if so, why do they remain in power given the progressive voting tendencies of the blue city voters? If not then does that mean that these large blue cities are not bastions of white supremacy and thus the problems existing in such cities have nothing to do with white supremacy? Can you have it both ways ( in the real world not the world of doublespeak where we seem to be heading quickly)? I am also trying to understand what those who incessantly and wantonly use the phrase actually want, and if their objectives are as radical as they appear to be,whether we will get any pushback from those on the left who vote blue but are not looking for the destruction of America and traditional American values like free speech and the ability to have thoughts and hold views that are not held by the majority of people in their cities, towns, universities etc? If those voices are not heard from soon will the bluest cities be ones where mob rule (or the threat of mob rule which arguably is even more pernicious because of the chilling effect it creates) will become part of the social fabric of such cities so that those in the minority are unprotected and unwelcome and will be hounded ( see DC cafes as an illustration) until they submit (conform), leave town or express their minority views in hidden spaces ( harkening back to Spain in circa 1492)? Or am I just an alarmist because we will soon be returning to the Halcyon years of 2009-2017 when tolerance reigned (except on college campuses of course)? — Michael F.

You ask, Michael, what those who use the term “white supremacy” actually want. Good question. They want to shut down any conversation that doesn’t portray black Americans as victims. By blaming everything on “white supremacy” they can portray the problems involving race as “systemic” — based on a system where white people, simply because they’re white, are responsible for all the things that contribute to racial inequality. But be careful before you condemn this kind of thinking. I’m sure you’re familiar with the term “cancel culture.”

It was reported Wednesday that Seth Rich’s family won a seven-figure lawsuit settlement against Fox News over Sean Hannity, Newt Gingrich, and others using Rich’s memory (he was murdered) to spread a baseless, Trump-helpful conspiracy theory about his death on Fox News programming. The move apparently spared Hannity and Gingrich from having to testify under oath. One would think FNC would learn something from this, but I doubt they will. What are your thoughts? — Ben G.

In any normal business world, Hannity would at absolute least be told to go on vacation — for a few months  — a gesture by Fox to sort of clear the air. That is, if he wasn’t flat out fired along with everyone else at Fox who used the story to boost ratings.  But Hannity is too good for business to do anything sane like that. Will Fox learning anything from this? They’ll tell Hannity and his producer to be more careful but when something else juicy comes along that his audience will latch on to … it may very well happen again. And if it does, Hannity will get another pass.

Concerning your Off the Cuff this week – I found nothing to disagree with. However, as I listened to your narrative on President’s Trump’s post election behavior being a threat to democracy I thought of two questions for you. The premise of the questions are ugly from any direction. If you had a pick one choice for an outgoing administration to behave would it be as Trump and his people are behaving now – very publicly, or behave as the outgoing Obama administration did – meeting in private on how to disrupt the incoming administration? Which is the greater threat to democracy? — Rocco S.

Fair question, Rocco. Trying to disrupt the legitimacy of an incoming president would be the greater threat to democracy, in my opinion, because the chaos lasted for years into the Trump presidency. Trump’s nonsense would come in second. Neither, to state the obvious, looks good.

Bernie, Are you worried that your criticisms of our president, along with your legendary computer expertise, will result in Trump’s legal team adding your name to their list of conspirators who stole millions of votes for Trump, and gave them to Joe Biden? And if you were called to testify in court about your alleged collusion, and grilled by Rudy Giuliani on the stand, would you offer him your handkerchief if black hair dye began running down both sides of his face? — John D.

First the Rudy question: I would, of course, offer him my handkerchief — unless I just used it to blow my nose. But if he really needed it, yes, I would EVEN IF I just used it to blow my nose.  As for the Donald question: You know the saying, about how a picture is worth a thousand words? Look at this picture and tell me if Donald would ever accuse me of stealing votes from him:


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: Emanuel, Biden, Jorgensen, 24, and more! (11/20) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)

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

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel said this week that those over 75 years of age should be put at the end of the line for vaccine. He believes there is a moral problem living beyond 75. He is Jewish. Does he not remember another political leaders in 1932 , Hitler, had the same beliefs? Ambulances in the night ? Unfettered infanticide ! What the hell has happened to the Democratic Party? They show themselves to be just as totalitarians fascist as their Nazi adversaries! — Joseph V.

In 2014 Dr. Emanuel wrote an article in the Atlantic entitled “Why I hope to die at 75.” He pretty much didn’t think life was worth living after that.  Let’s just say I can’t wait until he reaches 75 in 12 years. And if Zeke punched out tomorrow, I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it. But please show me where Emanuel said that those over 75 should be put at the end of the line for the vaccine? He may have implied it but I’m wondering if he actually said it.

I find it interesting that liberals are lecturing us about accepting election results. Just look back to 2016. After Hillary lost they tried to bully the electors, including death threats, into overturning the result. Then roughly 60 democrats boycotted Trump’s inauguration. Then they gave us a multi-year witch hunt that was the Mueller investigations. Do they really have grounds to say anything? — Kenny L.

The short answer is no. But this hypocrisy runs on a two way street. In 2016, right wingers didn’t complain when news organizations called Donald Trump the president-elect. Now they don’t want anyone to attach that same title to Joe Biden. And how would Trump supporters have reacted if Hillary had said there was widespread, massive fraud in the election? You think they’d say she has a point? No, they wouldn’t. But now, many hard core backers of Donald Trump seem to believe any crazy conspiracy theory. Both sides are borderline nuts and it’s one more reason I’m on the verge of dropping out. I can’t take much more of this BS.

Now that Biden has “won” the election; Why are the Governors and Mayors in the trouble spots still allowing unruly protesting? Won’t they have to step up and squelch the potential violence if things get dicey in the next few weeks? Haven’t they achieved what they were looking for? — ScottyG

First, Scotty, why the quotation marks around “won”? Biden won. Trump is allowed to go to court but it’s not going to change anything. It’s not officially over yet but realistically … it’s over. As for local officials allowing unruly protests, it’s what weak politicians do. Maybe Joe will send in the troops to put down demonstrations if they continue after he’s sworn in. That’s a joke. But you knew that, right?

Joe Biden has called for “unity and healing” in speeches and interviews since being deemed President-Elect, yet leaders in his own party are stepping up the vitriol towards Republican candidates and voters. James Clyburn, Robert Reich and AOC among others have either referred to Trump as Hitler (for the millionth time), called for blacklisting Trump admin staffers in future employment and called for shaming Trump voters. Doesn’t Biden carry an obligation to call out and denounce these comments that openly advocate for vengeance? I would like to take Biden at his word, but unless he is willing to be a bulwark for unity among American, his wish for healing is just empty. — Steve R.

He definitely has a responsibility — to tell the Stalinists in his party to knock off the blacklist talk. If he doesn’t, then his words about unity are indeed empty. I’m with you completely on this, Steve.

Bernie, did you see this story making the rounds? It turns out that it is not enough for liberals to silence conservatives through their friends in the main stream media and online platforms (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, etc.) Now it appears the left wants to deprive Trump, and the Republican Party, of their attorneys. I am willing to bet all of the money on earth that these firms have represented people who have committed acts so heinous it is too disgusting to print. I am also sure no one on the left ever told them to deprive those individuals of their right to counsel. However, if these firms represent Trump or Republicans, than it is a bridge too far for the Democrats. How come no one is seeing the utter insanity of these tactics? How can 74 million people in this nation think the game the left plays is ok? — Joe M.

There’s a recurring theme in this week’s Q & A. And it involves authoritarian liberalism and hypocrisy. The same people who would support providing lawyers to represent Al Qaeda terrorists pro bono (for free) are against lawyers representing Donald Trump and the GOP. You can’t make this crap up.

“People know that politicians don’t always tell the truth. They put the best light on their polices — and themselves. So news people should let them have their say and then — as you correctly suggest — set the record straight. What they’re doing now doesn’t give them more credibility — it gives them less.”

That was what you said last week regarding Neil Cavuto of Fox News cutting away from President Trump’s WH Press Secretary when she was issuing bald allegations of widespread voter fraud in the recent presidential election. While at first I tended to agree that Mr. Cavuto shouldn’t have cut away from Kayleigh M. on that occasion, I do see good reason to do so – there’s usually good reason on both (or all) sides of most (genuine) controversial issues, ideologues notwithstanding.

As an advocate of journalistic ethics and one who is a patriotic American – usually these two traits do not compete – can you articulate where to draw the line on covering highly inflammatory statements devoid of credible evidence by a WH Press Secretary or anyone else issuing normally newsworthy statements? Or do we take it case-by-case? Or should there any line drawn? Are there any statements that a WH Press Secretary must provide credible evidence for if her statements are going to be carried on a major (or any) news network? What if the WH Press Secretary announced, without a shred of credible evidence, that Joe Biden has advanced Alzheimer’s and when he speaks publicly he’s on drugs (as President Trump once hinted)? What if the WH Secretary announced, without a shred of credible evidence that the Biden campaign bribed vote counters in PA, AZ, and GA to disqualify every fourth ballet for Trump? I could give more ‘what ifs,’ but you certainly get my gist.” Why would major news networks give her valuable airtime if what she said wasn’t worthy of at least serious consideration? — Bob H.

Good question, Bob. At first, I would let the press secretary say just about anything — including that Joe Biden is a Martian — and then in the Q & A say something like, “What are you talking about? How can anyone believe anything you say?” But if the inanities continue day in and day out, I might stop attending the news conference. It would be clear that all we’re getting is nonsense. I would do a story about all the lies the press secretary told. But at the outset, I’d let him or her say anything within reason — even if it’s not literally 100 percent accurate. By within reason I refer back to the quotation at the top of your question — about how politicians often exaggerate and put the best light on themselves. Voters understand that. When the statements are way beyond reasonable, the harm will attach to the press secretary sooner or later. There’s a price to pay for lying. One of the reasons Donald Trump lost, I believe, is because voters understood how dishonest he is.

Now let me ask you a question, Bob: What should reporters have said to Barack Obama, let’s say, after the 30th time he looked right into the camera and said, “If you like you doctor you can keep your doctor” and “Your premiums will go down under my plan”? Should reporters have interrupted him? Should they have turned their cameras off? Should the anchor back in the studio then have said, “The president is a liar — or he simply doesn’t know what he’s talking about? Or …  should reporters have allowed him to continue to mislead the American people — uninterrupted — and set the record straight later?

My point is that journalists need to treat both sides the same way. But I don’t expect that to happen with a corrupt bunch of “journalists” who act as PR agents for pols whose views they agree with.

Returning to a topic I have raised before. I will rephrase to make sure my point is clear. The First Amendment provides in pertinent part : “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…” If Congress seeks to limit or abridge speech rights (as now being discussed and advocated by many), doesn’t intellectual consistency allow or even require press freedom to also possibly be abridged/limited (using the standard articulated to justify abridgment of speech rights )? To be clear, I am talking about abridgement by Congress not private parties (although I would imagine 1A rights should not be subject to abridgement by executive order either). If the answer is that speech and press rights are different then what constitutes “the press” in this day and age? Under a living breathing Constitution should the definition of “the press” be substantially expanded, in which case maybe we can all become journalists? Certainly the possession of integrity is not a prerequisite to being a member of the press (at least not in this century). — Michael F.

I understand your question, Michael, and it’s a very good one. First, speech rights and press rights are essentially the same. So protections of speech also go for the press. But you’re hitting on a very important point: If (or when) the hard left takes over Congress and the White House they may very well try to abridge BOTH speech and press rights. Authoritarianism is in their nature. Of course, they’ll have “high-minded” reasons for their actions, but I wouldn’t put it past them to label anything they don’t like “hate speech.”

And, individuals who put out blogs or newsletters or anything like that, have the same Constitutional rights as the people who publish the New York Times. Finally, if integrity were a prerequisite to be a member of the press there would be far fewer members of the press.

It appears that the current ACLU has openly declared that they are strictly pushing a leftist agenda, and they are now actively working to CENSOR opposing (read: conservative) views—-imagine that! I recall once many years ago reading how one ACLU attorney who was asked about defending right wing causes, responded by saying “Show me a white conservative Christian Republican whose civil rights have been violated, and I’ll defend him.” (My view: I don’t believe racism was the cause of right wingers not getting their civil rights violated but rather religious right wingers weren’t generally known for putting themselves in positions to get their civil rights violated; however times have changed since then). Who would’ve thunk it, right? I’m wondering, was this perhaps always the agenda, but now they actually feel free and safe to actually declare it? Or was the ACLU of the 20th century actually honorable? How could an organization that claims to defend civil liberties actually promote censorship in America? What changed? Your thoughts are always welcome. “I may disagree with what you say, so I won’t defend your right to say it, and I’ll do everything in my power to silence you, especially if it makes my tribe look like a bunch of hypocritical losers!”—- Regards From The Emperor

I wrote about the ACLU in one of my books, 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America. And I make essentially the point you’re making, Emperor. That the ACLU was once a noble organization that protected civil rights. I was on the ACLU side when they defended the right of the KKK to march through Skokie, Illinois, a community with a large population of Holocaust survivors. That was then. Now the ACLU is a left wing outfit — and one of its lawyers actually favors banning a book by Abigail Shrier called “Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters,” Here’s a passage from the Wall Street Journal (an op-ed by the author of the book) quoting that ACLU lawyer:

“Abigail Shrier’s book is a dangerous polemic with a goal of making people not trans,” Chase Strangio, the American Civil Liberties Union’s deputy director for transgender justice, tweeted Friday. “I think of all the times & ways I was told my transness wasn’t real & the daily toll it takes. We have to fight these ideas which are leading to the criminalization of trans life again.” Then: “Stopping the circulation of this book and these ideas is 100% a hill I will die on.”

Get it? Stopping the circulation of this book and these ideas … he thinks … is a worthy goal, a hill he would die on. Case closed!

Thanks for another Off the Cuff segment. Isn’t it too easy to keep using the term “the media”. Do you believe that there are no actual balanced news organizations left in the country? Are all partisan? — Daniel M.

I use the term “the media” as a general description to describe news that isn’t down the middle. Most major news organizations — ABC, NBC and CBS, for example — have a liberal sensibility. Big city newspapers — the New York Times, LA Times, Washington Post — also lean left. But I do like Special Report with Bret Baier on Fox. And there’s a news show on WGN, a superstation out of Chicago, that I just started watching. It’s old school. Just the facts. No opinion.

Well that didn’t take long. Biden got right to work on returning Washington, specifically his WH staff, to the status quo by appointing two long time lobbyists to his staff. Ronald Klain will be his Chief of Staff, and Steve Richetti will be his Chief Counsel. I suppose we really shouldn’t be surprised. I doubt Biden, as long as he’s been in Washington, ever met a lobbyist he didn’t like. — John M.

Maybe we should consider ourselves lucky. After all, he could have picked lawyers from the ACLU.

Hi Bernie, Saw you on Bill O’Reilly this past Monday. Always appreciate your clarity and common sense. Agree that the “elites” in the media, the SWAMP and some in the sports world absolutely totally dismiss folks in “flyover country”. WE actually are self-reliant, happy, hardworking Americans. The “elites” have no relevance whatsoever in our lives. That is the reason MY cable has been cancelled; I no longer watch sports (which I love!) and there is not one Hollywood star I miss… As a “deplorable,” I believe the self righteous elites are incapable of fathoming our “alternate world.” Also work in healthcare as an RN near the frontlines…Does it sound as though I am bored with the name calling? Thanks Bernie! — Mary A.

I mean this sincerely: GOOD FOR YOU.  It takes a certain amount of courage to abandon the prevailing (liberal) culture. The elites (not all, of course) think “ordinary Americans” are hayseeds. Flying the flag on certain holidays, eating at a chain restaurant, going bowling  … are things the flyover population does — not them. Fine with me.  They can think ordinary folks are not up to their cultural standards. Ask me if I care. Again, good for you, Mary.

The case can be made that the constitution authorized the current government and the ones preceding it, or it was powerless to prevent it/them. Given that the national debt has doubled every decade since the late ’80s regardless of the party in charge, and that the Boston tea party played a pivotal role in the creation of the USA – does anyone care at all about the constitution anymore? Personally, I don’t think so given the low turnout for Dr. Jorgensen. What do you think? — Carl-Simon P.

People care about the Constitution — in theory. And they care about dying from a virus and paying their bills — in reality. Reality usually trumps theory. Besides, almost no one ever heard of Jo Jorgensen. True, she doesn’t get the airtime that Dems and the GOP get. But if more people were curious and wanted to find out more about the Libertarian party, they would. When the national debt explodes in our face, maybe they will.

Watching how Trump is handling his election defeat (endless conspiracy theories, declaring election victory, refusing to grant Biden national intelligence or even a smooth transition, etc.), are you heartened in your decision to take a pass on voting for him? — Ben G.

I’m still glad I didn’t vote for him — or Biden. So, yes, I guess I am heartened. On Thursday, I was watching Rudy and his team talking about a massively fraudulent election — and their allegations were beyond serious. If half of what they were saying is true, it’s the biggest scandal in U.S. history. If not true, they’re crazy. Literally, crazy. Here’s the problem, Ben: I don’t know what to believe anymore. I strongly suspect the allegations are nuts; that they’re just a bunch of wild conspiracy theories. But what if they’re true? Interestingly, only Fox and Newsmax covered the event.  CNN and MSNBC did not.

Bernie, you said in a previous Q&A that one of your favorite television shows is “24.” If it were President Charles Logan who had run for re-election on the this year’s Republican ticket, would you have bitten the bullet and voted for him to help defeat Joe Biden? What if Kim Bauer were the nominee? Also, were you sad when Edgar Stiles died, and were you happy to see William Devane get acting work outside of Fox News-aired commercials for gold? — John D.

Yes to all of it. But …

Instead of “24” I’d rather vote for the lead character on another important television program that mirrors reality — SpongeBob SquarePants. Though I’m not sure SpongeBob is over 35, which is a requirement to be president. I’m not even sure he’s human.  Fortunately that is NOT a requirement to be president.


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: Trump and the Media Deserve Each Other

You can detest Trump and also detest the way the media treated him. Partisans don’t see it that way.

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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