Bernie’s Q&A: Jessica Kwong, the War on Christmas, Clinton, Bloomberg, and more! (12/6) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

— Jake H…tired of the BS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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: Dream Presidents, San Francisco, Liberal vs. Conservative, and more! (11/29) — 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.

Due to the holiday, not many questions came in this week. I hope you and your families all had a great Thanksgiving!

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


Bernie, please share your thoughts if possible given limited space on the contrasted visions of the left and right regarding America. I like to think that the conservative vision emphasizes maximum personal freedom with individuals having the freedom to make choices as to how to live their lives and pursue their own versions of happiness. There is a role for government but it is a limited role ( certainly when compared to those who favor more government control and regulation). For the life of me , I cannot understand the vision of those who favor more government control. Is it simply the quest for Shangri la and a utopian society regardless of whether such quest is fruitless (or even counterproductive)? Or is it merely about obtaining and maintaining power through an appeal to emotions?  — Michael F.

I think you’re analysis is right on the money, Michael.  Let’s be generous and at least for the sake of discussion say it’s not about the left’s quest for power.  Instead, I think it’s the liberal belief that government is the best way to achieve a better America.  They don’t trust business, by and large.  Their Shangri la demands lots and lots of money and only government can raise what they need — or at least some of what they need.  There’s a role for government, of course. But conservatives, as you say, believe less government is the better way to go.  Count me in.

Hello Sir Bernie. After listening to your Off The Cuff remarks, I have to ask, WHY in the world do the good citizens of San Francisco continuously vote in politicians who refuse to allow police to enforce loitering laws and public urinating and defecating along with tossing needles all over the place… well, you get the picture. Seriously I don’t get why even the most left leaning elites Would allow their once beautiful city to become the cesspool of crime and disease simply to satisfy a sense of virtue signaling—-your thoughts? — Golden Gate Bridge Regards From The Emperor

You have every reason to be in a state of disbelief.  But I suspect the uber left in SF don’t want to do anything that might make them look anything like conservatives.  So, since conservatives would have the sense to take actions to deal with crime, etc … the left is hesitant to do the same.  It’s crazy, Emperor.  And trying to figure out crazy is, well, … crazy.

As you’ve written about before, you interviewed Donald Trump (twice I believe) before he became president. And it’s safe to say he didn’t strike you as presidential material. I curious though if you’ve interviewed anyone (not necessarily a politician) who you did believe would make a good president, based on his/her views, character, and leadership qualities. — John D.

My first choice would be the late (obviously great) William F. Buckley.  Need I explain why?

Bill Bennett also comes to mind because he’s not only smart, but cares about values.  That said, he’s been a disappointment in the Trump era since he either defends the president far more than he should — or only gently chides him.

I’d love to pick someone like Alan Dershowitz because he has principles — and stands by them, unlike so many others in the public eye.  But Alan is — in his words — “a proud liberal,” and so when it comes to matters of policy, we find ourselves on different sides of the line. Sorry Alan, I can’t put you on the list.

George Carlin would have been great in the Oval Office; certainly better than a lot of pols who occupied that room. Talk about a no BS disruptor!!!

I haven’t interviewed him (in person), but there’s a fellow who handles all the complicated stuff for my website who would make a truly magnificent president.  I’ll call him John Daly, but I’m not sure if that’s his real name or a pen name; he’s also a mystery writer.  I believe he was born in the United States but for all I know he snuck into this country from Ukraine.  But he’d get my vote.

Please be patient with my recollection and details of the question. Sometime ago (I believe the 80’s) you commented on a survey where somewhere around eighty percent of journalist stated they voted for Democrats. A decade later and the same survey found the same same percentage claimed to be independent. Obviously they learned from the first survey. You have written, to which I agree, that they don’t realize they are Biased. Just curious as to your opinion. What do you believe the results of that survey would be if it was directed at Federal government employees, less the military? — Tim H.

The point I made, Tim, was that a lot of journalists claimed to be independent when in fact they were Democrats. Now onto your question:

I suspect a lot of federal employees are Democrats, perhaps because Democrats more than Republicans are drawn to government and aren’t put off by the stifling bureaucracy.  I also suspect that many of those who are Democrats (or Republicans for that matter) would claim to be independent to hide their real partisan feelings.  That way when a Democrat bashes a Republican president — or the other way around — the basher can say, “I’m an independent — not a partisan.”  And therefore, we’re more likely to take the criticism seriously.  In the world of journalism almost all of them are Democrats no matter what they call themselves.

Mr. Goldberg, When Elizabeth Warren turned down the Fox News Town Hall, she tweeted, “Fox News is a hate-for-profit racket that gives a megaphone to racists and conspiracists — it’s designed to turn us against each other”. Former candidate John Delaney then said that “Democratic candidates have to campaign everywhere and talk to all voters.” The question I’d ask Elizabeth Warren is “how can you be the President of the entire United States when you feel that an audience as big as Fox News is made up of racists and conspirators?” And my question to you, Mr. Goldberg is “Why isn’t this question being asked now?” — Steve E.

It isn’t being asked because the people who should be asking — journalists — probably agree with Warren. This is one more reason, by the way, that I find Senator Warren to be a particularly nasty and cynical politician.

 


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Bernie’s Q&A: Malkin, Fuentes, Vindman, Ginsburg, and more! (11/22) — 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):


What’s up with Michelle Malkin lately? She used to be reasonable and intelligent. I’m sorry to hear that she’s been an apologist for alt right provocateur Fuentes. I would assume that she knows better but I have to wonder what is going on with her. What are your thoughts on why an intelligent and well informed conservative commentator would end up in such a position? — Apologist Regards from The Emperor

She’s been hard right for a while now.  I think she and others detest the other side so much that they’ll say and do things that strike reasonable people as unreasonable and unintelligent.  Besides, being reasonable is not a good business model these days.  Check out prime time cable on any news channel if you don’t believe me.

As for her association with Nick Fuentes, who is a Holocaust denier … despicable!  I’m not saying Malkin is anti-Semitic; I don’t know if she is or isn’t.  But speaking well of Fuentes, as she apparently has, because she agrees with him on immigration, is just plain dumb at best and reprehensible at worst.  She could easily have found someone who is not a bigot and shares her views on limited immigration to sidle up to.  The good news is that some conservatives have cut ties with her over this.

I used to watch (or have playing in the background) cable news upwards of 4-5 hours per day; I am now down to about 1-2. Do you see any evidence that this is a trend among TV news viewers? By the way, I credit you and this forum for this, and I thank you. — Scotty G.

Is this a trend?  It is with me, Scotty.  I watch far less than I used to also.  I watch the news but try to stay clear of the commentary — because it’s fundamentally without principles.  If Barack Obama did the things President Trump is accused of doing, the Fox prime time lineup would yell for his impeachment.  Now they defend everything Mr. Trump does.  And it’s the same with the liberal channels.  They’re yelling that the president should be impeached, but if it were Obama in the GOP crosshairs, they’d be defending him.  I don’t need this and so I watch far less than I used to.  And more than a few friends are like you Scotty; they also have either stopped watching cable news or cut way back.

Team Trump came after impeachment witness Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman pretty hard. Republicans on the panel (as well as Trump’s social media director) suggested Vindman was loyal to Ukraine, and the White House distributed anti-Vindman talking points to its allies, including on Fox News. Prior to that, Trump himself claimed Vindman was a disloyal Never Trumper who is out to get him. Due to threats and safety concerns, the Army has placed Vindman and his family under 24-hour security, and is even considering moving them to a military base for a while.  All this guy really did was voice concerns about unethical government conduct to get people to treat him like a traitor. Do you think there’s any coming back from how indecent political tribalism has made people? — Jen R.

Indecent is a good word for a lot of what we’re witnessing, Jen.  But what’s also troubling is how the tribes react. Each side defends its team and trashes the other. Principles be damned.  Can we come back from this mess?  I’m not sure the partisans on either side have any interest in moving toward a more decent place.  Something may come along to bring us together again, but in the short run I’m not optimistic.

Bernie: I really enjoy these Q&A’s, so thank you. In 2005 you wrote the book “100 People Who are Screwing Up America”. Who from the world of politics, media and sports were not on the list then but you would include now? Any on the old list you’d like to reconsider? — Steve R.

First, let me explain that the book was about people screwing up the culture.  So I had very few politicians on the list. That said, if I were to do an update — which I will not do — I’d put Adam Schiff and Donald Trump on the list.  In the media section, I’d add the heads of all three cable new operations for contributing to the corruption of journalism — by allowing the lines between news and commentary to be blurred … for money!

As for reconsidering those on the original list:  Maybe one or two here or there.  But I’d rather not go back and look. Mainly because I got no joy out of putting people on the list in the first place.

Term Limits. So many challenges would be solved. Everyone gets six years. Reps don’t need to raise money continuously. Senators vote their conscience – good or bad, as no need to pander to get reelected. The president does what she or he feels to best for the country. Again, no pandering to the base. I wonder how your readers feel? — Aloha, Mike S.

Even though you make a lot of sense, I still would prefer that voters be the judges of who stays and who goes, and for how long they stay or don’t stay.  But if your ideas went into effect, I wouldn’t protest or lose sleep.

Nigel Calder, the late, well respected British science writer referred to the Anthropogenic Global Warming Scare as the greatest scientific hoax in history..I definitely agree, what say you, Mr. Goldberg? — Stephen M.

On global warming, I stay clear.  I’m not a scientist.  But anytime 99 percent of journalists agree on something, I’m skeptical.  That doesn’t make me a denier.  But I’m not fretting over the end of the world in 10 or 12 years either.

Like you, born and raised NYer with love of NY sports. Boyhood highlight? Sitting with Milton Gross’s son, game 5 right behind Laker bench 1971, “ and Willis is hurt” ( Marv, WHN). But I digress. Jeter to Jorge is historically referenced as ‘The Flip”. For the first time I can remember you were inartful in your recollection. Submitted for historical accuracy only. Not a shot. Big fan as you know. — Ronald M.

It’s “The Flip” and I said “toss.”  Guilty.  I’ll be more careful next time, Ronald.

Regarding your previous Q&A statement: “If evangelical Christians ever developed a moral backbone, Donald Trump might change his ways. As long as you remain silent, he’ll remain vile.”

I write to him directly via the contact form with what I like and dislike. I write letters to the editor, and call out the good and the horrible. I’ll be voting for anyone but Trump in the primary. If he remains the lesser of two evils in November 2020, would you agree it’s not a slight against me as an Evangelical to pick the lesser of two evils? — Bill N.

Not a slight, Bill.  I understand the realities of politics.  And my gripe is aimed mainly at so-called evangelical leaders — the ones who preach morality for a living.  I’m good with you, my friend.

Bernie, you are taking the impeachment efforts way too lightly. It’s an attempted coup. The Democrats have used subpoena power to conduct secret hearings using testimony from a DNC operative. They are allowing hearsay evidence to be treated as first hand evidence. Due process suspended. There has been a 3 year planned and coordinated impeachment effort. Your thoughts? — Charles K.

Not taking impeachment lightly at all, Charles.  This is very serious business. And I believe the president will be impeached … and then NOT convicted.  I also think the progressives have wanted the president out from the day he won the election.  But, as I’ve written, while I’m curious as to who the whistleblower is, it doesn’t matter if he’s got political motives.  Whatever the president said in that phone call, he said.  That’s all that matters.  I never said his comments were worthy of impeachment … just that like so many other things he says they were stupid and needless and gave Schiff and company one more excuse to launch impeachment proceedings.  The big question is how this will affect independents next November.  And on that, I’m not sure if it will hurt the president or the Democrats.

Great analysis [on Schiff’s impeachment performance], but I would add just one more little consideration: Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She is getting up there and in poor health. If she decides to retire for health reasons, there will be another seat open on the Supreme Court for Donald Trump to fill. It’s obvious they think it will be hard to win against him with the bench they have, so they want to cripple him or wear him down like they did to Sarah Palin, who stepped down as governor of Alaska due to the constant suits by democrat special interest groups.

If the democrats had been smart they would have found a way to work with him in case another vacancy opened up to negotiate for a moderate candidate. If another vacancy opens, he will never work with them after all of this. Without Obama, the democrats just don’t seem to be playing their cards right for what they want. What do you think? — Frances

First, Frances, I don’t think Ruth Bader Ginsburg will step down before the next election — no matter what condition she’s in.  She’ll hope he loses, then step down and let a Democrat pick her successor.  If he wins, and if she remains in poor health, then, yes, she’ll have to retire and President Trump will pick another conservative (assuming the GOP hangs on to the Senate).  As for working with the president in hopes that he’d pick a moderate, his base would not be happy with that.  Moderate to them is a synonym for weak and wimpy.  And all he cares about is pandering to his base.

 


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Bernie’s Q&A: Amy Robach, Trump’s Kids, Brian Stelter, Elizabeth Warren, and more! (11/15) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)

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

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


With the recently so-called “hot-mic” video about the Epstein scandal, and now the ex-ABC supposed leaker being fired by CBS raises some serious concerns about transparency, among other things. Do you think if Amy Robach had any actual journalistic conscience or backbone, she would just go somewhere else to get “all of it” out there for the public to judge independently, ABC Executives be damned? — Tim R.

Asking her to quit her job, it seems to me, is asking a lot. And accusing her of not having journalistic backbone and conscience, strikes me as unfair.  We all live in the real world; not everything is ethical all the time.  We can’t quit whenever something happens that we encounter something that doesn’t meet our high standards.  I’m just being realistic.

By the way, the “supposed leaker” who got fired by CBS News says she wasn’t the leaker.  And she sounds convincing. If she really wasn’t, CBS should say, Sorry, and re-hire her.  Let’s see if they do.

Elizabeth Warren says that the middle class won’t pay for medicare-for-all. She could be right, because it could take all the money that the rich have. But what she’s not saying is that the middle class is going to pay the full bill for climate change. How so? The rich already are getting soaked, and the poor have nothing to give. The middle class is going to get soaked for as much money as possible just shy of bankrupting us. That’s a pretty coy play. Next time Warren mentions climate change, let’s ask her how much money she is looking for per year so we can do the math. — Bill N.

I suspect the national news media won’t look at the math as closely as you or I would like.  Why?  Because they share her progressive values.

Hello again, mr. Goldberg! Have you seen/read any of the Amy Robach story on how ABC covered up an Epstein scoop for 3 years? What do you think? Another question also: I just heard the song “Stuck in the middle with you” by Stealers Wheel, did that song by any chance inspire your book title? — Best wishes, Carl-Simon P.

I saw the tape and heard what she was saying.  I have no idea what’s true and what isn’t.

As for the Stealers Wheel song:  It has no influence on the title of my book, Crazies to the Left of Me, Wimps to the Right.  But … when I did interviews about the book on radio, a lot of hosts played the song.  I had to make clear, I wasn’t in the middle.  I was on the right.  But they couldn’t resist playing Stuck in the Middle — and that’s OK with me.

Bernie, Self coming to the USA back in 1977, I have noted a shift in society, especially since the late 1990s. As someone involved in Boy Scouts, I’ll use their creed of the three points of the Scout Oath to illustrate my point. Duty to God, Duty to Country (and others), and Duty to Self. It seems society has now reversed the order with Country (others) running a distant second and God running a very distant third or not at all. It seems the collective well-being of society is being marginalized in order to worship at the alter of the Self. I’m all for self-esteem and the 1st amendment regarding religion or no religion, but I’m also for a healthy society from which we can all grow and strive together. A little more us and a little less me. Your thoughts? — Paul T.

We’ve been moving in the ME direction for a while now.  The 70s were the so-called Me Decade.  As a reporter at CBS News, I once said the 80s were the Me and my Stock Broker decade.  My crystal ball is broken so I can’t say if we’ll move back in the other direction any time soon.  But I agree, a little more US and a little less ME is probably a good thing for a nation.

Mr G. , Do you think Trumps’ sons are helpful at this point for their Fathers campaign? Even within their base? I’m beginning to feel not so much. I don’t think he needs their whining and stooping to Lib levels as seen on ABC Thursday and they should just keep the stooping and whining to Dad IMO. — ScottyG

The base loves Donald Trump and if his sons are speaking up for him, that, I believe, won’t be a problem for the president or his base.  The real problem is that the most loyal portion of the base is not that big.  And he can’t win just with his hard core base.  I’m sure of that, but not at all sure the president understands that.

A couple of questions:

  1. What do you believe to be the most bias reporting over the past 50 years that proved totally opposite of MSM reporting?
  2. What do you believe to be the biggest sports story of the past 50 years either positive or negative?

— Tim H.

Reporters got the AIDS story wrong and scared the hell out of everybody in the process. Let me be clear:  If even one person has AIDS it’s a tragedy.  But journalists repeatedly said it was going to spread to the wider population, beyond the high risk groups.  That wasn’t simply a case of bad reporting; it was bias reporting too … because liberal journalists were championing a group of people who were often discriminated against.  I reported for CBS that the disease was not speaking to mainstream America — and caused quite a stir in house.  Check out my reporting in Bias on the subject.

Press coverage of Donald Trump is right up there, too, when it comes to bias reporting.

Biggest sports story: Here are are few possibles:  The NY Rangers win the Stanley Cup — and I was in Madison Square Garden watching.  Or maybe the NY Giants win the Super Bowl after David Tyree makes a great catch holding the ball against his helmet.  Or it was when Derek Jeter tossed the ball to Jorge Passed — one of the great moments in NY Yankees history. Wait:  Could have been the 1973 NY Knicks NBA championship.

Are you noticing a pattern here.

But probably the biggest sports story of the past 50 years is when in a pickup basketball game, I couldn’t miss.  Whatever I threw up, went in.  That’ the day I earned a new nickname … White Kobe. (My old nickname was Silk — as in smooth as.)

OK, for real:  Miracle on Ice, 1980, USA beats Russia at Lake Placid and (one game later) goes on to win Olympic Gold.

In view of the current polarization in our politics, ie:Nazism attributed to the right, Communism/Socialism to the left, do you think it’s possible for the leaders of both parties to root out all of the people with those leanings and have them form their own parties so that reasonable politicians can get back to doing the people’s business or is this a fantasy? What do you think if Harris Faulkner on FNC’s Outnumbered. I find her opinions fair and reasonable. What say you? — Joseph V.

To your first question about rooting out the fringes:  Not going to happen.

I try to watch as little cable news as possible.  Opinion shows are hopelessly biased.  But based on the little I’ve watched of Ms. Faulkner, I guess she’s fairer than most.

Bernie, What do you think about Michael Bloomberg entering the race? Trump already refers to him as “Little Mike.” — Clark F.

I knew President Trump would call him that — because Bloomberg is short and Trump is a juvenile delinquent.  Not sure he’ll enter the race, though.  If he does, get back to me and we’ll pursue.

Bernie: I wanted to get your take when you hear Democrats utter the phrase “put country before party.” Nancy Pelosi used it when she wanted to Republicans to join her party in the Ukraine inquiry. It was used at the service for Elijah Cummings when it was said that he always put country before party. Have you ever known a Democrat to do put the country ahead of the party especially in modern times? It’s the same when media elites urge Republicans to be bipartisan and cross the aisle for legislation while the same is never mentioned for Democrats. It’s seems to always be a one-way street. Thanks. — William M.

I’m with you, William.  Good points.  There’s a reason for this:  Journalists — too many of them anyway — think the liberal position is the reasonable position … which means that the Democratic position, to them, is the reasonable, civil position.  That’s why Republicans are called upon to live up to Democratic so-called standards — and not the other way around.

With Brian Stelter inviting former Fox News people on his show to criticize Fox, I was wondering if he’s invited you on? — Casey

Yes he did.  After I wrote a piece back in March on this website about why I’m no longer at Fox.  I wouldn’t play his game.  I knew that he wanted me on because I was uncomplimentary of Fox.  And I knew if I accepted I’d spend all my time bashing him and not answering his questions — and that I’d look like the bad guy.  So I turned down the invitation.

I’m reading Kim Strassel’s book Resistance (At All Costs). It’s about Trump’s opponents being more destructive than Trump himself to America and its institutions. She describes the shocking behavior of civil servant bureaucrats in Executive Branch agencies. 95% of these servants contributed to Hillary and despise the man they’re supposed to answer to. After Trump was elected, they didn’t even try to hide the ball in working against the president’s agenda that they are being paid to carry out, calling themselves patriots and whistleblowers. You have called out media bias throughout the years, but I think this Deep State bureaucratic bias is even worse. With the media, I can choose to read, ignore, disagree, etc. With government agencies and the judiciary, they have the power to make direct rules that govern my affairs. I’m very interested to get your opinion. — Steve R.

There’s a permanent bureaucracy that sticks around when presidents come and go.  That’s probably a good thing. Government couldn’t function very well if everyone left when a new president came in.  But … they have to be non-partisan.  And when they’re not we have the situation you (and Kim) describe.  I don’t know how to combat the situation … but if anyone is caught crossing the line, it seems to me the administration has the right to dismiss that person (assuming they actually broke an established rule).

Whether it’s worse than a biased media … that’s up to each individual to decide.  But a biased media is a real danger to our democracy.  People need to have faith in the media — to believe what they report.  When we lose faith, we don’t know what to believe.  And when they tell us that someone powerful in government is doing something wrong, we might not believe them.  Then what?

King Bernard…..I hate to get semi-serious…BUT…Understanding that your background is in ‘hard news’ (which you were terrific) and now knowing that one of your side gigs is in sports (which you are equally sensational, but don’t get cocky)…what are some of the similar and different aspects you have borrowed to make that smooth transaction — Omaha, Omaha…hut, hut, hut………….Greggo

Greggo, nice hearing from you.  I guess the “institution” lets you use the computer every now and then.  As long as they keep sharp objects out of reach, I think we’ll be just fine. (insert smiley face here)

The transition was easy because I see both hard news and sports news as … news. It doesn’t matter if the story is about a train wreck or horses dying on the racetrack.  I cover each the same way.  The transition was also easy because I don’t do traditional sports stories — about who’s a better quarterback, this guy or that guy.  Those stories hold no interest for me.  The stories I do on Real Sports are more newsy than a lot of stuff I did at CBS.  And thanks for the compliments.

Do you know why in almost every print or media interview is the persons party listed? I recently saw a list of every states college football coaches salary compared to the governors, after every gov. was either r. or d. why is that necessary? — Lee K.

Sometimes it’s important to know what party a politician is aligned with.  It helps us understand why he or she did what they did.  Not sure why it matters in the case you mentioned about football coach salaries vs. governor salaries.  But it can’t hurt.

Greetings Sir Bernie: Ben Shapiro has repeatedly stated that Bernie Sanders was kicked out of a commune several decades ago because he was allegedly too lazy to contribute to the commune, preferring instead to pontificate about the greatness of socialism. Do you know anything about this? To my knowledge, Ben Shapiro doesn’t offer a premium Q&A like you do here, so I figured that I would ask you if you had any details about this allegation. — Working Together For The Benefit Of All Regards, From The Emperor

Once again, Oh Enigmatic One, you’ve stumped me.  I know nothing about Bernie’s life in the commune.  Nothing. Sometimes I think you’re just trying to make me look dumb.  If that’s true, you’re doing a good job.  Congratulations!

 


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Bernie’s Q&A: Catherine Herridge, Lou Dobbs, Katie Hill, Baseball Greats, and more! (11/1) — 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, so they will be added to next week’s Q&A. Thanks.

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


Which Democrat with a plausible chance to win the nomination has the best shot at beating Trump? Will Hillary or Bloomberg enter the race? — Rod P.

A few months ago I would have said Joe Biden.  Now, I’m not so sure.  And I don’t believe either Hillary or Bloomberg will enter the race.  Though, Hillary would love to be drafted.

Bernie, During the Democratic debates, a few of them made an issue of being raised by a single parent as though that somehow made them hard knock kids. My father was a single parent of four kids and struggled a great deal to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. So, I have no sympathy for those that think growing up with a single parent was some sort of hardship. What are your thoughts if any? — Terry J.

Here are a few thoughts on single parents, broadly speaking.  If they became single parents through some kind of hardship like death, divorce, or something like that, that’s one thing.  If they had a baby when they were 15 and became a single mom, that’s another.  I sympathize with the former and think the latter is an example of reckless behavior.  But Terry, for some kids growing up with one parent does indeed make them hard knock kids — some kids find themselves behind the 8 ball.  You didn’t.  And that’s good.  Who knows how tough it was for the pols who grew up with just one parent in the house.  Might they be trying to gain the sympathy vote?  Good chance.

Hi, Bernie, Trump-the-destroyer has, for better or worse, remade our political and journalistic norms. Whether we see the last of him in January 2021 or January 2025, who do you see as inheritors of the Republican party? Do you see it as a more populist, blue collar party, or a return to days of old? — The Fantom

I think Trump’s most loyal supporters are the kind of people who didn’t vote for McCain or Romney, who sat home on principle, and helped elect a liberal Democrat twice.  I think they’ll want another candidate like Trump when he’s back in New York.  And I fear a Republican seeking the nomination post-Trump, will pander to Trump’s supporters instead of trying to bring them over to GOP sanity.  Not sure I answered your question but I’ve wanted to get that out for a while now.

Going back to sports; if you could interview the following ball players, what would you ask them? One question only to each:

  • Mickey Mantel
  • Roger Maris
  • Yogi Bara
  • Jose Canseco

— Tim H.

Mickey:  Do you have any regrets about the kind of (alcohol driven) life you’ve lived.

Roger:  How tough was it for you chasing Babe Ruth’s single season home run record in New York, a place where fan can be brutal and often were to you?

Yogi:  When you got to the fork in the road, did you take it?

Jose:  (Pass)

It was just announced that Catherine Herridge is leaving Fox News for CBS News (after being at Fox for over 20 years). She’s been a very strong and credible reporter, so this seems like a big loss for Fox. Do you know Catherine, and what are your thoughts? — John D.

I do not know Catherine but am surprised by the news.  Cable gives reporters a lot of air time, which for some people is like real air, oxygen.  She’ll be seen a lot less often at CBS because the news is not on all day long — except online. That may be the future and Catherine may be OK with that.  I wish her the best.  She’s very good.

Bernie, I think we’re close to the same age, I can’t recall a time when the print and visual media were so anti, full of hate for any President as they have been for Trump, from day one. Even Nixon did not receive this kind of constant negativity. Trump is who he is, I get that, but it’s not like the man hasn’t had some successes. Today [10/25] he was honored at an all-black college for having pushed the Criminal Reform Act across the finish line. Obviously this has had a positive affect on many in the African American community. You’d never know it happened [receiving the honor] because other than Fox, no other media outlet [that I saw] made mention of it. Even Nixon received some “atta boys”. There are a lot of things to dislike about Trump, but one has to admire his “stick to it ness” I wonder how many, if any, of his predecessors could withstand the constant barrage of negativity that he has. BTW, also agree with the comment made last week about appreciating this discourse here and your unbiased comments and responses.  — JM

There’s no question that the supposedly objective news media hate this president — and don’t hesitate to show it every chance they get.  But there’s also no question that this president bring much of it on himself.  I root for neither of them.

The Washington Post took a lot of criticism after headlining ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s obituary with “Austere religious scholar at helm of Islamic State dies at 48.” This is a ridiculous way for a Western obituary writer to categorize a top-level Islamic terrorist, of course, but I’m more fascinated that this perspective made it through multiple levels of oversight (I would assume anyway) before being published in one of America’s biggest newspapers. I get that a win for Trump is an annoyance to the liberal media (maybe that’s the explanation for what happened here), but the idea that NO ONE at the WP was self-aware enough to foresee the ridicule they’d get for this boggles the mind. Or did they foresee it, and just not care? — Greg S.

When you live in a bubble, there’s no one there to stop you from making stupid mistakes.  Liberal journalists live in a comfy liberal elite media bubble — and in that bubble, the incredibly ridiculous headline didn’t raise any eyebrows. When those living outside the bubble noticed, only then did the Post change the headline.  That’s how bias — liberal or conservative — comes about. Life inside the bubble feels safe, but it can be a dangerous place, especially for journalists.

Bernie: I may be wrong (and if so, I apologize), but I detect a note of glee in your column [about Trump’s impeachment poll numbers going up]. Let’s be adults. This impeachment nonsense is NOT good for the country. Do we really want to have an election and the other side immediately start an impeachment crusade? How is this a good thing? By the standard the Dems are setting, no POTUS could pass the test. High crimes and misdemeanors has become irrelevant. We don’t like him (her) so we have to overturn an election we could not win by the rules. Do we really want this to turn into an endless cycle so the Dems can try to turn this into a one party country or ruled only by the Washington political establishment?  — Dennis C.

Dennis, my friend, you are wrong. As I wrote earlier this month, I think impeachment would only divide this country more than it is already divided.  The election is only a year off.  What’s the rush?  If Donald Trump is as bad as his many critics say he is, the American people can “impeach” him at the polls.  Less trauma that way.  As for me, no glee regarding impeachment.

Back when Lou Dobbs would come on O’Reilly’s show, I disagreed with him a lot, but he never struck me as demented or sycophantic. These days his bizarre Trump sermons on Fox Business, where he re-writes history, demands absolute loyalty to the president (comparing dissenters & critics to traitors), and spreads conspiracy theories all over the place, are as deranged as anything I’ve seen on cable news. The other day, he even claimed that Trump seldom talks about himself. What??? Does Dobbs really buy what comes out of his own mouth (which would make me think he’s mentally unwell), or do you think he knows exactly what he’s doing, and that he’s doing it 100% for ratings? — William H.

I wouldn’t discount the ratings part of your question.  There are media whores who will do just about anything for ratings.  But in Dobbs’ case, I think he just may be a true believer, a Harvard educated version of the folks who attend Trump rallies.  But I’m not discounting how ratings play into his act.

Bernie, what about Trump spokespeople (and Trump himself) saying that people who are against Trump are “human scum?” The new deplorable. Where’s the outrage? — Casey

You won’t get outrage from the people who worship at the altar of Donald Trump.  They see him as a kind of savior who can do no wrong.  But there was plenty of outrage on the left.

Bernie, do you think it is too soon for Trump to panic over his polling numbers? He is still a candidate running against an unknown opponent. Would you agree that Trump won a decent number of independent votes in 2016 simply because he was not Hillary Clinton and that those same independent voters might vote for him again simply because he is not Bernie, Elizabeth, or Joe? Would the independent voters in the poll you cite want Trump impeached and removed from office if they knew a liberal socialist would take his place? — Joe M.

All good questions, Joe.  First, yes, a decent number of independent voters in 2016 voted for Trump because he wasn’t Hillary.  Second, those same voters might indeed vote for him again because he’s not one of the 2 Dem frontrunners.  Third, would the independent voters in the Gallup poll want Trump impeached and removed from office if they knew a liberal socialist would take his place?  That, my friend, is the BIG question.  And the answer may very well decide Donald Trump’s fate.

Bernie, have you been following the NYT’s 1619 project and can you please comment on whether this (and similar projects) are more or less likely to foster unity in the U.S.? I am starting to question whether the “Amercian experiment” will continue to be successful ( no doubt the NYT would question my premise) in a world of identity politics and increasing tribalism? — Michael F.

I have not followed the 1619 project because I don’t like being depressed.

Bernie, you have been around politics a long time. It is my belief that, except for a brief congratulatory call on an election result, almost every call a US president makes to a country receiving, or desiring, US aid has strings attached–the dreaded quid pro quo. Trump, as always, blurred things by mentioning Biden as an afterthought (and if you read the transcript you can read that he mentions Biden only towards the end of the call), but do you believe his tying aid to investigating 2016 election corruption was a crime? I do not. — The Fantom

I don’t know if what the president said on that phone call constitutes an impeachable offense.  But what he did was stupid — because there’s a clear implication that Ukraine would not get the U.S. aid if the Ukrainian president didn’t “co-operate” with Mr. Trump.  That’s the quid pro quo even if it wasn’t blatant and even if the Ukrainian president claims he wasn’t pressured.

Biden’s role in getting the Ukrainian prosecutor fired and whether he did that to help his son would be better dealt with during the campaign, should Biden get the nomination.

[Regarding your Donny Deutsch “Off the Cuff” audio], I honestly don’t know what they are teaching in these colleges. If Donny had had any kind of education at all, he should have known the same things that you set forth. What happened to European History? Did all of these guys major in Ethnic Studies or Basket Weaving? It seems like much of what is going on in the commentary sphere is proof of Alexander Pope’s dictum that a little learning is a dangerous thing. — Oliver H.

I think it’s as simple as Trump Derangement Syndrome.  It makes people crazy.

Bernie, It seems to me that Trump has not been given the space and trusted staff to function as POTUS. Prior even to day one of the presidency there have been leaks, administrators who refuse to do their job, and constant internal spying that does not serve forward movement of his agenda. Can you think of a POTUS that has had to deal with anything like this? Not to mention about 98% negative coverage in the MSM. Trump causes himself plenty of trouble no doubt but these challenges do not allow him to run the Executive Branch. — Dave E.

A friend of mine sent me a note on this very subject.  Some people think Donald Trump is a victim — in the crosshairs of his own people.  Others think his people are trying to save him from himself. As for the MSM:  Yes, journalists can be and often are  brutal;  some wake up each morning trying to figure out how to bring him down.  But as you say, Trump brings a lot of it on himself.  Both sides have a lot to account for.

The left is getting gutsier these days, enough that I fear that if they get into power, our government could pass laws that actually limit free speech by making so-called “hate speech” a crime. I don’t support racists, but they DO have the same rights as the rest of us. And of course, there’s always that danger that it will be the LEFTISTS deciding what types of “hate speech” should be outlawed and what is legal. I can’t help feeling that if anyone criticizes Islam, the left will come down and pounce, whereas if the same person criticizes Catholics, Evangelical Christians, or the Orthodox Jews, THAT would be overlooked. What are they going to do if a gay black Catholic criticizes Islam? Your thoughts are always appreciated. — First Amendment Regards, From The Emperor

There was a time when I thought the idea that liberals of all people would try to shut down free speech was just plain crazy.  Those times have passed.  I’m not saying they’d succeed — there are too many conservatives and some honest liberals who would fight any attempt to limit speech — but would they try?  Good chance, Emperor.  Good chance!

What are your thoughts on the Rep. Katie Hill story? She just resigned following nude photos of her published on a conservative website (apparently sent to that site by her husband), and allegations of an affair with a staff member (which is against House rules). Some are saying she was pressured out by “prudes,” and that a man wouldn’t have faced as much criticism in the same situation, but I have A LOT of trouble believing that. — Ben G.

So do I.

 


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.