Bernie’s Q&A: Stossel, Kavanaugh, Gutfeld, Brown, and more! (9/20) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)

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Quick note: Just a friendly reminder to try and keep your questions relatively brief, for the benefit of the other members. Thank you!

Let’s get to your questions (and my answers):


I liked ABC News’s 20/20 back when John Stossel co-hosted it with Barbara Walters, in part because Walters at times appeared annoyed that Stossel had a very unique (especially for the mainstream media) libertarian perspective on stories (that conflicted with her more liberal views). Ha ha. I don’t think there have been any libertarian viewpoints on network news shows (even magazine-style shows) ever since. Do you think it will ever happen again? — Gary

Stossel –and I, for that matter — see the world differently than our colleagues.  Both of us just try telling the truth — not delivering the news from a political point of view.  Too many of our colleagues are liberal … but think their views aren’t liberal, but rather moderate, reasonable, middle of the road.  Maybe someday someone will come along with a “different” point of view.  And maybe not.

A few days ago, Greg Gutfeld was talking about the botched NYT story on Kavanaugh, and he took his criticism of the NYT much farther than a lot of people. He said that “almost all of the stories the New York Times have done are inaccurate and wrong…they’re all wrong.” He wasn’t saying it as a joke, and wasn’t even saying it about JUST Trump stories. He was literally saying it about ALL stories in the NYT. Trump himself liked the quote so much that he retweeted it. Doesn’t overreach like Gutfeld’s HURT otherwise REAL arguments against liberal media bias? — Alan H.

Yes!!!

Excellent observation, Alan. Dumb comments like that do indeed hurt real criticism of media bias. Gutfeld used to be a lot smarter than he is now. Now’s he’s a just one more of Fox News’s Trump sycophants.

Hey Bernie. Will you ever write a “slobbering” book about Trump and the right? Or maybe capitulation to Trump from the right and right wing media (fox news)? If not why not? — Franklyn D.

I’m done with books, Franklyn.  Too lonely.  And I hated hawking them on radio and TV. But your idea is a good one.

Bernie, Don’t you think there is an opportunity for a “bias-free” or “objective” news organization, out there? I’m an Independent – socially liberal, fiscally conservative guy, however, I can (somewhat) understand other folks views, including the 40% of the country, who likes President Trump. Any opportunities that you see? Aloha, — Mike

Hey Mike.  You’d think a bias free news outfit would be a big hit.  But journalism has become a vehicle for pandering to the biases of the audience.  That’s how cable operates and it’s even how the once prestigious NY Times operates.  They give the reader what he or she wants.  They want the audience to come back for more.  It’s a corruption of what journalism is supposed to be about.  All that said, Special Report on Fox is solid.  I recommend it.

Bernie, with a few exceptions, I’m usually not offended by President Trump’s comments. I may disagree but I’m more baffled why he can’t find a more graceful way to communicate his message. Most on the left including the main stream media find fault and seem to be highly offended by nearly everything he says. His comments are scrutinized with nuances, conjectures, dog whistles etc. On the other hand, when I hear politicians on the left such as the so called ‘squad’ make comments I find myself reacting much stronger to their choice of words and level of disrespect. Are they all doing the same thing or is there a difference between Trump vs. the squad? — Mike S.

The difference is Donald Trump is the president, so he gets more scrutiny.  But, of course, it goes beyond that.  Many journalists viscerally detest the man.  At the same time, they sympathize with the views of those on the left, especially if they’re “women of color” as with the so-called Squad.

Mr. G, After another failed hit piece by the NYT on Kavanaugh, why is there never any accountability for those who bear false witness, lie to Congress & waste tax payer dollars? Citizens and journalists included. — Scotty G.

The accountability ought to come from the pubic, in the case of journalism, Scotty.  We shouldn’t support new organizations that are clearly biased and pander to their niche audience.  But you can’t lock reporters up for being biased or for  getting things wrong — even when the mistake goes beyond sloppiness.  As for those who lie to Congress, that’s another matter.

At one point in our past, non-profits were good organizations with a foundation of giving. Perhaps in the days past when people had honor. Today, I believe non-profits should be obsoleted as a government tax haven. But in the last few decades the abuses by celebrities, professional athletes, colleges, political parties, and more importantly advocacy groups makes me sick to my stomach. I give a lot. And I would like to see this tax haven gone. The good ones will survive. This might be out of your scope but just wanted your thoughts. — Tim H

There are laws about non-profits getting involved in partisan politics, Tim.  Advocacy is something else.  In any case, don’t expect politicians to demand that non-profits lose their tax exemptions.  They’d look heartless when critics display kids in wheelchairs — wheelchairs paid for by … non-profits.  I get your point, though.  Just don’t give to groups you don’t like, right?

Leftists have long griped & complained that GITMO is unlawful and un-American. They claim that the unlawful combatants should be allowed Geneva Convention protections since America agreed to abiding by them. Nonsense! Say many on the right. Geneva Convention protections should not be afforded to the GITMO prisoners because Al-Qaida and the other terrorist organizations don’t abide by them, and America never made that agreement with terrorist organizations, Hence terrorists are not entitled to the Geneva Convention protections. Some prisoners have been released from GITMO and returned to cause death and destruction (which the left seems to ignore). What are your thoughts on this subject? — Best Regards from The Emperor

Prisoners at GITMO aren’t being tortured or deprived of food or medical care — whether they technically have Geneva Convention protections or not.  Legalese aside, I don’t lose sleep worrying about the civil rights of GITMO prisoners.  And I’m guessing, Emperor, neither do you.

Just when I thought the NYT could not go any lower than when they changed their headline regarding Trump urging unity vs. racism (because their insane readers demanded a change), I stand corrected. The article regarding Brett Kavanaugh that left out all of the critical facts to me was a new low. Your thoughts on how low the NYT can go? Is it even a newspaper anymore? — Respectfully, Mozik

Hey Mozik … listen to my Off the Cuff on this subject which went out 2 days ago.  How low can the Times go?  That remains to be seen, but I”m not betting on any serious soul searching at the most important newspaper in the solar system.  Introspection is not a strong point among journalists.

In the Dem debate, the subjects were racism, white supremacy, police abuse and shootings and other political crap. Have you read the book “The War on Cops”? These sorry excuses for presidential candidates throw out all the above mentioned sh*t, but never do they provide any statistics to support their claims. I realize perception is everything, but do you think any political pundit, or publication will ever fact check and call these fools out for their reckless rhetoric? — Terry J.

I’m with you Terry.  They have a dark vision of America.  And you’re right, they’re not challenged.  The moderators just sit there.  They may be called out by smart critics on the right … but don’t expect real journalism from the people who pretend to be real journalists.

King Bernard….let me get semi-serious (apologies to the GREAT Dan Jenkins)….but what are your thoughts on climate change, global warming or whatever the heck the libs are calling it these days?…and I’d like it in 15 words or less…I’m late for a waxing session… — Greggo

First, a piece of advice:  Get an agent.  You’re funny.  You can take your act on the road.

I care about the environment as much as the next guy.  As long as the next guy isn’t Al Gore.

Twenty words.  Sue me, Greggo!

Bernie! I live in VERY liberal Brooklyn, NY and here, many folks and family members believe the federal government introduced crack into our communities. Help facilitate my thinking on this matter, as well as provide recommendations for resources I can read later. Thanks — D-Rock

That was a theory put forth by a reporter (I believe) in San Jose, California many years ago.  It’s bunk.  Your friends and family are members of the Blame America First club.  They’re not necessarily anti-American … they just don’t like the America we currently live in.  As for resources, check the Google.  Enter, San Jose Mercury News … federal government introduced crack into America.  I’m sure you’ll find contrary FACTS.

It’s getting so tough to watch the NFL. These whiny primadonnas take most of the fun out of it. From players who sit out and demand new contracts (when they still have a year or two left on their current ones), to players like Antonio Brown who made a big deal out of the helmet he wanted to use and essentially sat out the entire pre-season before being cut loose. Did you catch the “garb” Cam Newtown showed up in for his post game press conference, was he auditioning for a part in the “Thelma & Louise ” sequel? I don’t know if there are any of them left, but one can only imagine what a player from back in the day (when they needed off season jobs to make ends meet) thinks about these overpaid clowns. — John M.

You nailed it, John.  NAILED IT!  Cam Newton’s kerchief was ridiculous.  Bronco Nagurski or anyone on the old Green Bay Packers or Chicago Bears teams would have kicked his ass.  Imagine if his coach was Vince Lombardi!!!

Local newspapers print articles from the NYT, AP, and other major papers without discernment, never holding them accountable for their biases. I examined 10 days of articles and they were wretched as could be, no corroboration at all, and all smear campaigns. My paper printed my letter to the editor, where I complained about the tainted pieces, but they never responded and haven’t changed. Why don’t local newspapers see their own blind spots? I think they hate Trump so much that they’ve lost all objectivity. What can we do, besides writing to our local newspaper, to convince them not to print the garbage that comes daily, always aimed to smear, smear, smear? — Bill N.

In fairness, Bill, I’m guessing the articles weren’t all part of a smear campaign.  But they probably were tilted left, when about political issues.  You’re lucky they printed your letter to the editor.  That’s something.  You can stop buying the paper, of course, but then you miss out on news you want, local news.  Keep writing and complaining.  They might write you off as a crank, but who knows, maybe an editor will say, “This guy’s got a point.”  But don’t bet on it.

 


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Bernie’s Q&A: Sean Hannity, Jemele Hill, Lindsey Graham, Bernie Sanders, and more! (9/13) — 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.

Quick note: Just a friendly reminder to try and keep your questions relatively brief, for the benefit of the other members. Thank you!

Let’s get to your questions (and my answers):


Jamille Hill, who was censored and finally left ESPN for her political rants [mostly targeted at Trump] while in their employ is at it again. Her latest, black FB players should abandon white institutions and take their talents to traditional black colleges so they could also enjoy the financial gains that comes with having big time FB programs. So my question to her would be, why did she spend 4 years at Michigan State? No she’s not a FB player, but if she cared so much about the plight of black institutions, why not sign on board? Or has she just recently become “woke”? — John M.

Good question, John.  I don’t agree with most of what she says, but hey, she’s entitled to her opinion.  Who knows, maybe she evolved and, as you say, only recently became “woke.”  But it would be nice if some journalist asked her that question — publicly and on the record.

Hi Bernie. You’ve written a number of negative comments about Sean Hannity. Do you at least give him credit for being almost alone in covering and to some extent helping uncover the corruption at the DOJ and the Russia hoax? Also, I suspect that one reason the corrupt actors may get away without prosecution is the dirt they possess on other people and even countries, given their years of inside information. What do you think? — Michael E.

I’m no fan of Hannity because he’s so damn partisan, so far up Trump’s ass, that his very presence on TV annoys me.  I don’t watch anymore so I can’t speak about his role in uncovering corruption at the DOJ.  But I’m sure, he’s not alone on that story.  As for your theory on why they might get away with whatever they did … let’s first see if they get away with anything.

Regarding two of the “principled politicians” you referenced in last week’s Q&A, Gowdy did talk a strong principled game while in office, but never seemed to produce any results or accountability which I found frustrating. But what is your take on Graham’s transformation from being McCain’s (who was very anti-Trump) tag along to now being Trump’s Senate champion? Did you notice or feel Graham was shifting to Trumpville even before McCain passed? Was this a “values” based or politically calculated shift in your observation? — Scotty G.

I don’t know if he changed his values or if he figured it helps to be on Trump’s team.  I’m uncomfortable attributing motives when I don’t know what they are.  I still like Graham.  But I’m a tad more skeptical of him than I used to be.

King Bernard… What are your thoughts on men with long hair?…and I’m gonna break a rule I promised you I wouldn’t..I’m gonna ask a second question..so please forgive me…since I’m familiar with the era in which you grew up…were you a hippie?…sally forth, I’m headed to a biker bar — Greggo

I have a question for you Greggo.  Are you high?

OK, I’ll play along:  I met Fabio once.  He has long hair.  It works for him.  Not a fan of old guys with long hair they put in ponytails.  But they can do whatever they want.  I’m not the hair police. Though I did see Hair, the play.

Was I a hippie back in the day?  No, they wouldn’t allow it in the New York Yankee system.  They were very strict.  I played for the Bronx Bombers in the late 60s. But only hit 92 home runs in my short career.

Did you see Bernie Sanders’ op-ed piece on how to save journalism? A ton of things stood out for me, but I wanted to ask you about two:

  1. He attributes the biggest threat to journalism is coming from “Wall Street, billionaire businessmen, Silicon Valley, and Donald Trump.” Sadly missing from this list are opinion machines that blur the lines between news and opinions.
  2. He quotes Joseph Pulitzer as saying that journalism must “fight for progress and reform, never tolerate injustice or corruption, [and] always fight demagogues.” In addition it must “oppose privileged classes and public plunderers, never lack sympathy with the poor, always remain devoted to the public welfare, never be satisfied with merely printing news, always be drastically independent, never be afraid to attack wrong, whether by predatory plutocracy or predatory poverty.”

I may be wrong, but I don’t think “privileged classes” meant the same thing to Mr. Pulitzer as socialists define it today – simply being white and rich. But beyond the class warfare, there are two other concerns:

  1. What is the difference in journalism between reporting the news and being a social advocate/warrior? Does every news story filed must have some social agenda attached to it as Mr. Goldberg would attribute as Mr. Pulitzer’s claim to be “journalism”?
  2. The term “drastically independent” would seem to be about a lack of bias, but it really isn’t. Independent does not mean unbiased – just not influenced by the same hand that feeds you. I sure would love your take on Mr. Sanders cure for fixing journalism.

Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions – it makes Fridays even more special every week. — Steve

There’s a lot in your questions, Steve.  I’ll give it a shot.

Yes, I’m familiar with Sanders op ed.

Bernie should remember that billionaires are keeping the Washington Post and LA Times afloat.  But consolidation of news organizations has left us with fewer news outlets — and that’s a minus for all of us.

And yes, journalists take into account corporate interests, even if they won’t admit it.  It’s not easy going after a corporation that owns your newspaper.

And yes, too much journalism is made up of covering crap.  Just watch cable for a while and if there’s video of something stupid, it’ll be on the air.

As for Joseph Pulitzer … Bernie forgets that he’s the guy who helped invent yellow journalism, which is made up of stories involving scandals and crime, mainly.

Finally — and I say finally because it’ll take me a week and a half to fully answer your questions — I don’t believe journalists should comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable, which is taken for granted in many newsrooms today — and which sounds like Pulitzer would approve.  That’s the job of ministers and social workers and even politicians.  Not journalists.

Bernie Sanders wants journalists to cover the things that he’s concerned about.  Understandable.  But hardly magnanimous.

I just finished “Justice On Trial”, by Mollie Hemingway and Carrie Severino. I highly recommend it. The information was thoroughly researched, and the narrative was compelling. It struck me, however, that all of the inside information in the book came from the Kavanaugh/Trump/Republican side of the narrative. Nothing from Feinstein, Booker, Harris, Blasey Ford’s camp, or the myriad hard left opposition. I would love to know more about their philosophies, strategies and tactics. I think there’s another book coming out soon that will tell the story of the staunch Kavanaugh opposition. Is there no objective “inside baseball” anymore, and is this the price we pay for partisan journalism these days? I seem to recall even a liberal like Larry King had friends in the Reagan Administration, and Bob Woodward has regularly sourced Republican inside info for his myriad books and essays. — Steve R.

You hit on an important point, Steve. You correctly ask: “Is there no objective ‘inside baseball’ anymore, and is this the price we pay for partisan journalism these days?”

I’m sure there are important books on all sorts of subjects that honestly deal with both sides of controversial issues. But when the subject is politics, there’s a good chance we’ll get partisan journalism.  Full disclosure:  When I wrote Bias, liberals pounced on me because I didn’t delve into the biases at Fox.  I told them that Fox had a very small audience at the time (2001) and that I would deal with their bias when they became a more influential source of news.  They did and I did.  One of the reasons, I suspect, I’m no longer at Fox.

It’s OK to emphasize one side over the other.  But to ignore the “other side” as you say the book does, is not the best kind of journalism.  We live in partisan times.  Almost nothing escapes the polarization.

Hi Bernie; I am a Bill O’Reilly premium member and now your premium member!! Quick question; If one is a racist when concluding they are not racist …how about the abortion rights supporters? Since the majority of abortions performed by Planned parenthood are for minority women with almost 2/3 of their offices in minority areas …are they not racist? Planned parenthood is a white women run organization aborting minority babies. Population control. What’s your take? Thanks! — Charles K.

I refuse to answer this Charles because you’re a racist. Oh, you say you’re not.  That proves you are.

As to your point:  You’re not the first to make it.  When everyone’s a racist, no one — and no organization — is safe.

Bernie, loved the podcast on free speech. Here’s an idea: how about red hat day across America, one that simply says FREE SPEECH. CNN should love it and what a field day for the pollsters out there. Also, Bernie, I am Jewish so this strikes close to home: Many synagogues are focused on “social justice” but talk little about justice ( as you noted last week, one of the hallmark American values). Is this simply a matter of politics on the pulpit? — Michael F.

I’ll get you Jeff Zucker’s phone number and you can ask him what he thinks of your idea.  If he goes for it, I’m guessing the hat would have to be BLUE.

Many synagogues are made up of liberal members.  Hence, social justice.  My wife and I quit our synagogue because of their left wing political worldview. We get enough of that in the general culture and don’t need it from a religious institution too.

Is there anyone good to elect? That’s my question. I think our choices are worse than before. Debt is rising with no end in sight by both parties. Trump is not bringing us together. Some are definitely weaponizing mobs to stifle free speech, to demonize and destroy with impunity and without mercy. Are you seeing any candidate on the horizon that will do us good? If so, who? — Bill N.

I’m with you Bill.  But — as of now, anyway — I like Nikki Haley.  I think she’ll run in 2024.  Who knows if I’ll still be a fan by then … and who knows who else will show interest in running.

Here’s a timely question that everyone was answering on Wednesday, I might as well ask you! Bernie, where were you on 9/11/2001, when we first realized our country was under attack? — Tim T.

At home in Miami. At first I thought it was an accident.  That fantasy didn’t last long.  I immediately called family in California, even though it was still before dawn out there.  We stayed on the phone and watched together.

In times of crisis, television is like a national cathedral.  It’s where the nation comes together to witness the same thing at the same time.  We could use more “coming together” — without the horror of another 9/11.

Make sense of this for me if you could. What possessed Bernie Sanders to parade out Linda Sarsour at his campaign rally? As an American and a Jew I was a tad repulsed. What’s up with this guy?? — Ronald M.

Bernie Sanders may have been born Jewish, but liberalism or progressivism is his religion these days.  So parading out the likes of Ms. Sarsour was not controversial to him.  It’s what people with his political philosophy do.  But I don’t blame you for being a tad, or even more than a tad, repulsed.

In “A Slobbering Love Affair” you told of when you spoke by speaker-phone to a Journalism class that was assigned to read “Bias.” Several of the students were angered by it. When the professor asked you if you didn’t believe that journalists should act as agents for change, you replied “Who’s change? Yours or mine?” This was followed by a lengthy uncomfortable silence.

Your response to the professor was spot on (and obvious to me and a lot of your readers), but you caught the professor and his class totally off guard. Why do you think that was? Also, did any students express an understanding of your position as the discussion came to a close? And just how exactly did that whole situation finally end? — The Emperor

Welcome back, Your Highness.  I think I caught the class off guard because it almost certainly was made up of liberal students.  This was NYU.  And liberal students, especially in places like New York City, believe journalists should change the world — for the better.  And by better I mean how they see “better.”  I can’t remember any students chiming in with support for my position, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t get through to some of them.  As for how did the whole thing end:  One of the students wrote a snippy, smart alecky piece in the school newspaper, maligning me and what I told the class.  I called the professor and told her to never call me again.  I talked to her students as a goodwill gesture and while I don’t mind disagreement, I wasn’t going to reward a snippy, smart-ass kid trying to belittle me, and return for another session.  And I never did go back.

Hi Bernie, What did you think about the subject of gun control and Ilhan Omar’s remark, “some people did something” being interjected into the memorial service reading of names of those lost on 9/11? — E. Mars

I didn’t watch any of the memorial service.  It brings me down to re-live that day.  As for her original comment about “some people did something” … it was beneath reprehensible.  I know nothing about it being injected into the actual service.

Hi Bernie, If you don’t mind, let’s talk NFL football for a minute. We Dolphins fans have suffered through far too many QBs since Dan Marino. With that said, I’m at peace with my team tanking for Tua Tagovailoa. I’d be glad to hear your thoughts. Thanks! — Chris B.

I’m against tanking — not playing all out in order to get the top draft pick.  But if you’re a Dolphin fan, you’re desperate.  And desperate people believe desperate things.  Good luck, Chris.  I root for the New York Football Giants … so you can wish me good luck, too.

Sir, Prior to 2016 I consumed news from a variety of MSM sources but now I find that I have to hunt for news from proven credible entities, and MSM is almost never where I land in my search for information. It seems that Trump is the focus of every news cycle. At some point sooner or later, Mr. Trump will no longer be POTUS. How will the media become credible again? — David E.

Very good question, David.  The MSM have squandered their credibility and they won’t easily get it back, if they ever get it back at all.  It’s one thing to be critical of President Trump.  That’s fine.  But too many journalists are on a crusade against him.  And regular folks see it and don’t like it.  Even liberal Democrats know the media is more biased than ever.

 


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Bernie’s Q&A: CNN’s “Climate” Town Hall, Impressive Conservatives, Real Sports, Epstein, and more! (9/6) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)

Welcome to this week’s Premium Q&A session for Premium Interactive members. I appreciate you all signing up and joining me. Thank you.

Quick note: A couple of questions came in after this week’s deadline. They will be added to next week’s Q&A. Thanks for understanding.

Let’s get to your questions (and my answers):


Bernie– I agree with your thoughts on Brian Stelter. He’s more of a media apologist than a media analyst. But this gave me an idea for question: Besides you of course, are there any media analysts that do a pretty good job? It seems like a much needed role, especially these days, but there seems to be very few media analysts out there, and even fewer who don’t come across as rank partisans. — Robert H.

It’s a good question, Robert, but I don’t have a good answer.  I occasionally read or listen to media analysts, but not enough to answer your question with any expertise.  That said, you’re onto something when you bring up their partisan tendencies.  If they write for a partisan website, for instance, then their analysis is likely to also be slanted. Regarding television:  CNN is clearly anti-Trump.  So Brian Stelter falls in line with the prevailing ideology at CNN.  Years ago, Jeff Greenfield was a media analyst for ABC News.  Jeff is an unapologetic liberal.  I don’t believe he ever tackled liberal media bias.

I’m sure there are some non-partisan honest analysts out there.  But as I say, I just don’t follow them closely enough to comment.  Apologies, Robert.

Bernie, here’s a good topic for a column (I’m sure you’re already on it): The Fake Feud Between Trump and Fox — Aloha, Mike S.

It’s not fake.  The president doesn’t understand what journalism is about.  He wants total loyalty — even from hard news journalists at Fox.  Check out my Off the Cuff audio commentary that was posted 2 days ago.

On HBO Sports you go from Russia sports corruption to air hugs and shadow tag at an American grade school. Is your staff relieved when they’re told they’re going to AZ versus RU? And do you work with the same staff members constantly on HBO Sports? Any good inside stories about HBO Sports you want to share with your loyal readers? We’ll keep it secret! — Tim H.

Some of the staff enjoys going to places like Russia.  Go figure.

I work with a variety of producers at Real Sports, not the same one all the time.  Yes, there are plenty of good inside stories about Real Sports.  But if I share them with you and my other loyal readers I’d have to kill all of you … right before my colleagues at Real Sports kill me.

Dear Bernie, Just a comment (regarding the psychiatrist on CNN who compared Trump to a Nazi): Having done a psych rotation in my training, having been around many psychiatrists & psych nurses – I came to believe there is a reason some people go into that field, they fit right in. — Beverly

Another good one, Beverly.  And your comment has the extra benefit of being 100% correct.

Bernie—Last week in one of your answers concerning Trump you stated: “He definitely is a first class narcissist. Whether this, along with his need to answer every attack, his childish behavior, etc, constitutes a diagnosable mental illness is out of my depth. But do I think he’s nuts? Yeah, I do.”

I agree with most of your views of President Trump, but as an experienced physician I know that there are three words that are more or less interchangeable when discussing a patient’s mental status: psychotic, crazy, nuts. If a person qualifies for any of these terms, they are simply unable to function in any setting. They couldn’t function as a street sweeper, let alone as President of the United States. Despite all his faults, from a medical standpoint it is clear that he is not psychotic, crazy or nuts. In my opinion you owe your readers a correction and perhaps an apology. — William W.

William, Your habit of subjecting common slang to scientific scrutiny, in order to discredit it with your medical expertise, is driving me nuts. And by “nuts,” I’m not saying I’m “unable to function in any setting”… nor am I saying that I’m “dry fruit consisting of an edible kernel or meat enclosed in a woody or leathery shell.”  But if you would like to offer an apology for driving me there (and by “driving,” I don’t mean in a car), I will consider accepting it.

What do you think are the cornerstone American values? Are these values truly American values or are they really universal values shared by all cultures/countries? Are we past the point where there is any consensus between the left and right as to any of these values as American values? Maybe a good topic for your next article. — Michael F.

Freedom, equality and justice are three basic American values — and have been our values since America’s founding. We don’t always live up to these values, but they are our core values nonetheless.  After that I’d go for the Amendments to our Constitution, starting with freedom of speech, of assembly and the freedom to worship — or not worship without government interference.  No, Michael, not all cultures and countries share those values; authoritarian regimes certainly don’t.  As for agreement between left and right:  The two sides, I think, tend to emphasize different values.  And more and more I’m not sure progressives care as much about free speech as we all used to.

Bernie, You’ve mentioned that you moved out of Miami because you were sick of dealing with the damage and persistent threat of hurricanes. Do you have any hard feelings toward President Trump’s predecessors for not even considering the use of nuclear weapons to destroy these hurricanes before they ever reached Florida? — John D.

Here’s my answer John D.  Get an agent and have him book you into Mr. Chuckles Comedy Club someplace in the good ole USA.

Greetings Sir Bernie: At the risk of venturing into Alex Jones territory, this whole situation with Epstein & the pedophiles makes me raise my eyebrows. The perfect storm occurs so that the guards and the cameras and prison staff fail, and so he’s found dead while on suicide watch. Now one of his close associates in France suddenly vanishes! Epstein was associated with a lot of very powerful people who likely would want him and any damning information permanently out of the way. And what’s the deal with that temple he had on “Pedophile Island?” Do you think there’s something rotten going on regarding all these mysterious incidents? — Conspiratorial Regards From The Emperor

You have reason to be suspicious — though he was NOT on suicide watch at the time of his death  — but I think he killed himself.  And I think Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman in Dallas.  UFOs?  Could be.

Bernie, which elected conservative leader do you believe does the best job of dealing with the media while sticking to his or her conservative principles? If you were the press secretary for an elected conservative, what advice would you give him or her? — JM

Good question, JM.  I like former congressman Trey Gowdy.  Also, I like Peter King, R-NY.  In the Senate I like John Kennedy, who’s funny, quotable and makes sense.  Ben Sasse from Nebraska sticks to his principles, most of the time.  So does Lindsey Graham, but he’s getting too close to the president, I think.  I’m sure there are others with principles who stick to them.

It takes a certain kind of person, a certain personality, to be a press secretary — or a corporate spokesman.  You’re the mouthpiece for someone else.  You’re not speaking for yourself.  So, you say things at times you believe, and at times you say things you don’t believe — because that’s your role.  Your boss calls the shots.  You follow orders.   As I say it takes a certain kind of person to do that job.  I’m not that kind of person.

But, to answer your question, if I did take a job I never would take:  I’d tell the person I was speaking for to … first and foremost … stand by your principles.  Easier said than done in the world of politics where winning re-election often trumps standing up for what you believe.

Bernie, On Wednesday night, did you happen to watch any of CNN’s marathon length townhall on climate change? If so, would you agree that listening to the Democratic candidates talk about banning everything from plastic straws to coal was way more painful than anything climate change could ever do to our planet? — Alex P.

Surely you jest.  No, I didn’t watch any of it — precisely for the reason you state.  Too painful.  I was afraid I’d lapse into a coma if I watched.  If they could bottle what CNN put on they’d have a cure for insomnia.

Bernard…. Dana Perino’s always posting pictures of her dog Jasper. Jonah Goldberg does the same with his dogs, and your buddy Daly posts a lot of photos of his pit-bulls. Do you have a dog, and if so, when can we see him/her? — David G.

I do have a dog.  And never.

I remember your Realsports piece on the guy who spends all of his time going to baseball stadiums across the country just to catch and collect home run balls (sometimes snagging them away from kids). Was he the screwiest guy you ever interviewed, or does he even make the top 5? — Bob

He’s up there, Bob. But the screwiest guy was someone out in Colorado who told Princeton he was an orphan who slept under the stars on a ranch in Utah or Nevada reading the Greek classics.  Princeton bought it and took him in. He was a great big liar.  He was also a big track star in high school, except he was too old to be in high school.  He was a total whack job.  Oh yeah, he was also a thief.  There’s more but it’s too complicated.

 


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: Obama’s “Controversial” Suit, Stelter as an Interviewer, Tulsi Gabbard, and more! (8/30) — 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.

Let’s get to your questions (and my answers):


Since the Mueller report did not produce the hoped for results, I now hear recession, recession, recession continuously in the news. Do you think the left is taking a new tactic of trying to convince people that it’s all down hill with Trump so vote for us and we’ll take care of you? It’s almost like they’re trying to talk us into a recession. — Beverly

I’m with you Beverly.  If it isn’t collusion  then it’s racism or its white supremacy or it’s … recession, recession, recession.  They’ll never admit it — except for Bill Maher — but the anti-Trump side is rooting for recession.  And yes, I think they are trying to talk us into a recession.

I have a theory about Trump lashing out at everyone who goes after him. Coming up in the public eye as he did in New York as a brash & publicity seeking promoter, one also becomes a big target for every slip and fall or similar “victim” & their lawyers: “Let’s get Trump & we’ll be famous and maybe richer!” Is it possible Trump learned that every little spark can become a costly bonfire if you don’t throw water on it right away, and now he’s using this same knee jerk, defensive action in politics ? Just a habit more than thin skin? — Scott T.

Hey Scott.  Possible but I think the problem goes way back, to his childhood.  He learned to fight back early in his life.  Not a bad trait when it’s kept under control.  But Donald Trump punches back at just about every slight.  Secure people don’t.

Bernie, you’ve gone on record as saying that you won’t be voting for any of the Democratic presidential candidates in 2020. Should I interpret this as you leaving the door open to vote for Eric “Pass the Torch” Swalwell, should he decide to run as an Independent? — John D.

John, I know you’re a big Eric Swalwell fan.  I’m guessing you also like the Baltimore Orioles, a team that’s  a million games out of first place.

If some catastrophe occurred — a really big one — and Swalwell was the only person running for president.  I still wouldn’t vote for him.  WAIT:  I just had a second thought.  Too bad it’s the same as my first thought.  And, yes, I know you’re having some fun with this Swalwell fascination of yours.  As they say, LOL.

A Trump fan buddy of mine keeps saying I should ignore everything Trump says and only pay attention to what he does (as in his policies). That same buddy also keeps saying that Joe Biden makes too many gaffes (AKA verbal mistakes) to be president. He doesn’t see the double-standard, and neither do a lot people in media (in both directions). Everyone is a hypocrite on occasion, but in today’s politics, its off the charts every day! How can some shame be brought back to politics and partisan people? CAn it? — Dave B.

First, I agree with your understanding of the situation, Dave.  Hypocrisy is out of control.  People root for teams — blue or red.  They’ll ignore the faults of their team and exploit the faults of the other team.  As for shame:  I’m not holding my breath.  It’s in short supply these days.

Do you think the Media is just as much at fault for creating today’s “Thin-Skinned” Trump? Any thoughts on what He’d possibly be like today if the Left Press would have been say 50% less Left? I fear I may already know the answer… — Scotty G.

I think a lot of the media have been irresponsible, Scotty.  I think a lot of journalists viscerally detest Donald Trump — and let those feelings infect their coverage of him.  So, since he lashes out at anybody who lashes out at him … yes, I guess he’d be less combative if the media were more fair.  But, he’s a narcissist and consistently gets things wrong — sometimes he just doesn’t know what he’s talking about, other times he’s lying.  So while we might have a less combative Donald Trump, he’d essentially be the same thin-skinned insecure person he is.  None of that takes the media off the hook for their biases against this president.

Did you hear the idiot on CNN this week that compared Trump to Mao, Stalin, and Hitler saying he would be responsible for more deaths than all of them combined !!!!! Based on what? Naturally there was no pushback from the CNN host. — John M.

I did hear him say that, John.  And he’s a psychiatrist, no less.  Trump Derangement Syndrome makes even smart people stupid.  Brian Stelter, the host, is the worst interviewer on television.  He’s a potted plant.  But in fairness, here’s the excuse he tweeted — if you choose to believe it:

“I agree that I should have interrupted after that line. I wish I had heard him say it, but I was distracted by tech difficulties (that’s why the show open didn’t look the way it normally does, I had two computers at the table, etc). Not hearing the comment is my fault.”

For what it’s worth, I don’t believe him.  I think that because Shelter hates the president so much, he just let the idiotic comment go by.

Bernie, As I read all the vitriol between the President and his detractors, couple with groups like Antifa and their counterparts, the ultra right, add the constant race card being played by anyone who thinks it will make them/him/her popular, I cannot wonder if this country is headed toward some kind of civil unrest in some form or another. Your thoughts? — Terry J.

Hey Terry.  I don’t think we’ve been this polarized since the Civil War.  1967 was a year of much discord, but it was over one subject … the Vietnam War.  Now it’s over everything.

I don’t believe we’ll see anything like a Red army fighting in the streets against a Blue army.  I don’t think it’ll come to that.  But individual one-on-one violence based on political differences? I hope I’m wrong but I suspect we’ll see that kind of thing increasing as the gap between left and right widens.

Hi Bernie: What is your opinion of Tulsi Gabbard? Do you think that she would make a good president? Why doesn’t the DNC establishment appear to be very excited about her? She seems like she could actually challenge Trump, because she doesn’t come off as insane. Your thoughts? — Anti-Establishment Regards to you from The Emperor

I’m not sure why, but I like her. I’d never vote for her, but she does come off as reasonable (relatively speaking) and certainly sane.  But she’s gotten no traction.  So most Democrats don’t view her the way you and I do.  And regards back at ya, Emperor.

Hi Bernie. Who’s your favorite Special Report panelist (not including Bret Baier of course)? — Tom C.

I like Stephen Hayes, and glad he’s back.  Jonah Goldberg makes sense.  I think Mollie Hemingway is smart, but too often comes off as a Trump apologist.  I also like A.B. Stoddard.  Not sure if I’ve seen Guy Benson on the panel but if he’s been there I like him too.  (I know, Tom, you asked for one name and I gave you a few.  Too hard to pick just one.)

Greetings, Mr. Goldberg! I am curious to know if you have heard of Ben Swann and his “reality check” segments. Are they worthwhile? Beneficial? Superfluous? — Carl-Simon

Don’t know enough about him.  Sorry.  But loved your song, “You’re so Vain.”

Oops:  that was CarlY Simon. 😉

Bernie, there’s a popular liberal media narrative out there that the Obama admin was “scandal-free” (despite Benghazi, IRS targeting conservatives, the wire-tapping of James Rosen and his dad, etc.), and that media conservatives had to come up with some controversy about Obama wearing a tan suit to invent a scandal. Yesterday MSNBC even commemorated the 5 year anniversary of the tan suit thing on their website, calling it “a symbol for the lack of scandals during the Obama administration.”

Am I crazy for not even remembering the suit thing? This seems like a classic case of “nut-picking” where one side picks out something said by a few wingnuts on the other side, and pretends it was some major obsession or movement. And what do you think about the idea that Obama was scandal-free? — Bob V.

I’m guilty too, Bob. I don’t remember the “tan suit thing” either.  As to whether the Obama administration was scandal-free:  Let’s just say that if Donald Trump were president when Benghazi happened … when liberals instead of conservatives were targeted by the IRS … when James Rosen was wiretapped … I think the NY Times would be screaming SCANDAL.

In last week’s Q&A, someone asked if you believe “Trump could be mentally ill or impaired.” You answered that you couldn’t say for sure if he has “diagnosable mental illness,” but that you do think he’s “nuts.” Is “nuts” one or both of these or something else? Thanks – have a great weekend. — David O.

Nuts is nuts, David.  You know it when you see it.  Sort of like pornography. But I’m not a psychiatrist and don’t pretend to be one.  That said, he may have no diagnosable mental illness.  He’s just nuts.

King bernard….need your quick pontification on this: Please name the won grammmatical error that’s is most drives ewe bronkers in todays media climate change public-cations;” I’ll hang up and listen. — Greggo

OK Greggo, you’re having fun right.  For the record (and I know YOU know this) … it’s ins’t won … it’s one.  Grammatical has 2 Ms … not 3.  The word is you … not ewe.  I don’t even know what publc-cations means.  And most important, my name starts with a CAPITAL B.

You’re a funny guy, Greggo.

Now, as to your question about what drives me bonkers:  I don’t read climate change publications.  And neither do you, Greggo.  But you are funny.

 


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: Pence, Kurtz, Tucker, Fox News Conflicts of Interest, and more! (8/23) — 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.

Quick note: Due to personal time constraints (including work travel) and a growing member list, I’d like to start limiting question submissions to one per member, per week. Most of you already do this, but I would appreciate the rest of you doing the same. Thanks for understanding.

Let’s get to your questions (and my answers):


Do you think the Convention of States effort will be successful? Do you see any value in having a COS? I would like to see term limits for Congress members put into effect, but worry that a COS could go “off the rails.” — Dwight B.

Dwight, this is one of those things I don’t give a lot of thought to.  Mainly because I don’t think it’s going to go anywhere.  And yes, it could very well go “off the rails” — but I wouldn’t lose sleep over it if I were you.  Again, I don’t think it will happen.

Though news commentators shouldn’t be held to the same professional standards as reporters, the incestuous relationship between our president and a number of Fox News commentators is really something. Fox News host Pete Hegseth recently married a Fox News producer at one of Trump’s golf courses. Kimberly Guilfoyle was a Fox News host while in a serious relationship with Trump’s son. Trump regularly promotes (on Twitter) books by pro-Trump Fox News people, and he reportedly has private discussions with Sean Hannity and others at the network all the time. Aren’t some of these things conflicts of interest, and shouldn’t they be disclosed to viewers? — Ben

No, Ben … SOME of these things aren’t conflicts of interests … ALL OF THESE THINGS ARE CONFLICTS OF INTEREST.  You got it right, my friend.  This is disgraceful and no REAL news organization would let it happen. Emphasis on the word REAL.

Bernie, I don’t watch as much of Fox News as I used to. When you and Bill left it was a turning point for me. However, I do still enjoy watching Howard Kurtz and his show Media Buzz. He and his show seem pretty balanced. Do you agree? — Michael T.

Hey Michael, small world … I don’t watch as much of Fox News as I used to either.  And When Bill left, that was a turning point for me too.  Re Howard Kurtz’s show:  Roger Ailes offered me the job and I turned it down.  I was busy with other things, like Real Sports on HBO.  Let’s just say it’s a lot fairer than Reliable Sources on CNN with Brian Stelter.  That show is one of the most biased on television.

Regarding your “Committee to Re-elect the President” column, there is another factor that you haven’t given enough attention, Bernie. It is the Dems themselves who are running for Pres. Not only are their policies unacceptable to a majority of Americans but the candidates themselves may be the largest group of mediocrities ever assembled to run for the job. Without listing their policy ideas, which one is worthy of voting for? Which one do you really want to be C in C of the US military? Handle the economy, deal with foreign policy matters? The answer is a loud none. As bad as Obama was at all of these thing he is better than any of this bunch. — Dennis C.

I agree with you, totally.  O’Reilly recently asked me, on his podcast, which Democrat I would vote for — if I had to vote for one of them.  I told him I wouldn’t play the game.  That I wouldn’t vote for any of them.  I added that I’d vote for you, Bill, before I’d vote for any of them.  And I would.

Bernie, in the ongoing quest for quality news analysis, I think one platform that often gets overlooked are podcasts. There’s a lot of insightful political/news commentary podcasts out there, and what makes them nice is that they aren’t constrained by time and television hard-breaks. Instead of squeezing in talking points before a commercial, podcasts let smart people delve into issues with more time and nuance. They also tend to be more honest and less partisan (not always, of course) because there aren’t network higher-ups breathing down the hosts’ necks. Are there any podcasts you listen to? I’d recommend Jonah Goldberg’s and the Jay Caruso/Ben Howe show. — Jen R.

I agree with your analysis, Jen.  But, and this is on me, I don’t listen to any on a regular basis.  That said, I did listen to a Guy Benson podcast recently and liked it a lot.  But generally, I’m on political analysis overload and limit the time I spend listening to that kind of thing.  That’s why I’ve cut back on my cable watching by a lot.  When I do listen I find them interesting — for the very reasons you mention.  (You ask good questions.)

King Bernard….staying with my short and sweet questions…who is your favorite Yankee of all time…and it can’t be Kevin Maas…. — Until next week ….Greggo

Your question may be short and sweet … but excruciatingly difficult.  My favorite that I actually saw play would be Mickey Mantle — with Yogi, Whitey, Elston, Roger, Hank Bauer, Bill Skowron, Bobby Richardson, Phil Rizzuto, Don Larsen, not far behind.  But then there’s Ruth, Gehrig and DiMaggio.  You’re killing me, Greggo!

Greetings Sir Bernie—-so I understand that Trump’s presidency has now been compared to the Second Coming Of Christ (or if you prefer—- the first arrival of the Messiah if you’re Jewish or other non-Christian). Now I have to ask—is Trump deliberately TRYING to anger EVERYONE now!? Is this a covert way for him to purposely lose the 2020 election rather than saying that he just might be in over his head and rather than admit defeat he is now spouting off blasphemy to anger his base with the rest of the country? I know he’s a narcissistic blowhard… but…seriously? — Apocalyptic Regards from The Emperor

Every day it’s something new.  Sometimes the other side starts it, sometimes he does.  All I know is that I’m exhausted.  Is the president deliberating trying to anger everyone?  Who knows.  This is who he is.  Either he creates controversy or controversy finds him.  One way or the other, I need a break — and if swing voters feel the same way, it’ll be bye-bye Mr. Trump.

Do you believe Trump could be mentally ill or impaired? Perhaps you might believe he’s just a first class narcissist. — Bob

He definitely is a first class narcissist.  Whether this, along with his need to answer every attack, his childish behavior, etc, constitutes a diagnosable mental illness is out of my depth.  But do I think he’s nuts?  Yeah, I do.

A couple of recent studies have highlighted the chasm in understanding the other side of the political spectrum. It has been revealed that many voters, as well as many commentators, think they have correctly sized up the other side’s philosophy when they are really far off base. These studies also point out that the group with the largest “understanding gap” consists of far left liberals when they opine about conservatives. I believe this may be why so many pundits got the 2016 election wrong, and reminds us that many prominent journalists, as well as coastal elites, simply do not understand average Americans. Calling people white supremacists and racists simply for being conservative may have the opposite effect as intended. Reasonable, clear-thinking Americans do not like being labeled, and vilified, as being something they are not. Do you think I am onto something? — Joseph R.

I think you’re 100 percent correct.  One hundred percent!  And if the Left doesn’t understand what you do, they’ll pay a price.  It’ll cost them their credibility (which is already in tatters) and may cost them the 2020 election.

Somewhat of a quiet week politically compared to recent weeks. The Mooch flip flop noise doesn’t count. I REALLY enjoyed Real Sports Tuesday night, Your story on Justin Tucker the Opera singer was very good. Did you discover that on the assignment and were you truly surprised by that aspect? I was also thrilled yet stirred to see Ken Greens story revisited, he is as resilient as any subject I’ve ever seen. Do you enjoy those assignments more than covering the political game? Great show! — Scotty G.

Thanks, Scotty.  The only reason I accepted the Justin Tucker assignment is because in addition to kicking field goals, he’s an opera singer.  If it were simply that he’s the most accurate kicker in NFL history, it wouldn’t have interested me.  The Ken Green story was painful.  I enjoy doing interesting magazine length TV stories — 10 -13 minutes or so — but I also like commenting on the political scene, which I do here on my website.  I don’t miss Fox.

Hi Bernie, in your opinion does Vice-President Mike Pence and other people in his cabinet believe all the nonsense that President Trump speaks? I have trouble believing that Mike Pence goes home at night and tells his wife how wonderful Donald Trump is. — George V.

Good question, George.  Whether Pence and the others actually believe the nonsense isn’t as important — to me — as the fact that they blindly defend it.  It takes a certain kind of person to defend BS.  Kellyanne Conway, for example, seems like a very nice person.  I understand why she defends her boss’s contradictions and lies.  That’s her job.  And in a sense, Mike Pence’s job too. Why they do it, is another question.  As I say, some people are cut out for that kind of work. Others aren’t.

I swear I’m not making fun of you. I’m truly curious, having seen some old CBS videos of you from the Reagan years. Have you always had white/silver hair? — Louis

It started turning when I was in college.  That was 5 years ago.

Hi, Bernie, a recent NYT’s article describes how many shows on Fox have shown declines in advertisers as campaigns threatening advertiser boycotts have ramped up recently. This seems to be a one-sided affair as I don’t read as much about this from conservatives versus progressive sites. What do you think about this tactic? Am I wrong that this is more from one side of the argument than the other? — theFantom

I think progressives are more likely to want to shut down speech they don’t agree with.  So instead of not watching a show on Fox they don’t like, they launch campaigns to encourage advertisers to boycott the show.  This raises a question:  What happens if — or when — the hard left has enough power to actually shut down speech.  Will progressives do just that, or at least try.  I think they would.

Bernie—From my perspective, the “Squad” and their friends are the first folks to openly verbalize aggressive anti-Semitism in over 70 years. They seem to be getting some support from various quarters. Are you concerned about this development? Could it portend worse times to come for the Jewish people? Is there anything that decent, God-fearing people can do to put this rabbit back in the hat? — William W.

Personally, I’m not worried.  I think most Americans — even traditional liberals — see them for the outliers they are.

Trump seems to have a need to manufacture ridiculous feuds with foreign allies over absolutely nothing (like the Denmark prime minister dismissing the idea of selling him Greenland) while bending over backwards to share oxygen with (and kiss up to) foreign adversaries like Kim Jong Un and Vladmir Putin. I guess someone could make the case (I don’t think a good one) that a flattery offensive against fellow narcissists like Jong Un and Putin is a smart diplomatic movie, but how on earth does needlessly insulting leaders we’re friendly with advance anything? Doesn’t it just make  America look dickish and them more likely to say “screw you” if we later need their help with something ? — Gabe

Gabe, we’re talking about Donald Trump here, right?  Stop with the logic.  Donald Trump goes after everybody who he believes went after him.  So when the prime minister of Denmark called his interest in buying Greenland “absurd” that’s all it took for Mr. Think Skin to go after her.  Does it make sense for the president of the United States to make a big deal out of this?  Of course not.  But we’re talking about Donald Trump.

 


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.