Bernie’s Q&A: Christie, Biden, Rather, Election Conspiracies, and more! (12/18) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


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Bernie’s Q&A: Swalwell, Nessel, Paxton, Reagan (12/11) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)

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


I frequently pose to friends the question I will pose below in my attempt to better understand how people view themselves in the context of their being Americans. The question appears simple at first glance but is really nuanced in its attempt to get at the heart of identity politics and our shared American values and identity. So here goes:

Do you view yourself as a Jewish American or as an American jew (full disclosure : I am Jewish and have posed this to other Jewish Americans)? Larry Elder noted a few weeks ago that he is an American who happens to be black and thus views himself as a black American not an American black. While some find the question offensive and makes them a bit uncomfortable , the asking of the question has produced some very interesting discussions. In my opinion, discussions of this nature are crucial at this point in our history. — Michael F.

This is too nuanced for me, Michael. If I say I’m a Jewish American, that doesn’t suggest that I’m putting my religion over my nationality. I don’t like the word “Jew” — historically it was used as a slur as in, “He’s a JEW.” Bigots preferred that to, “He’s Jewish.” So my preference is “I’m a Jewish American” — it rolls off the tongue easier for me. And while I understand what you’re getting at, my choice would tell you nothing about my priorities.

I was just looking at the crime statistics for NYC as well as the statistics of people moving out. What’s your gut thinking on NYC? Do you see a long term shift in the demographics or do you believe it will return to pre-2020 conditions? — Tim H.

I know people who have left NYC during the pandemic. They may come back, but I think others will leave permanently. But some have the City in their bloodstream. They NEED to be there.

Mr. G, Would love to hear your thoughts on the recent ad campaign from CBS News. (“This Is WHY,” narrated by Norah O’Donnell in her most serious voice). Since the election, we have been bombarded with this campaign Do you find it as nauseating as we do? — Diane D.

I find all those campaigns a waste of money. People tune in to a particular newscast for a variety of reasons but one big reason is whether they like the news anchor or not. If they don’t, a slick ad campaign won’t change things.  In the matter of CBS News, it’s got very bad evening news ratings. I don’t think their ad campaign will change that.

On Fox News Sunday last Sunday, Chris Wallace made a somewhat big deal out of HHS Secretary Azar referring to Joe Biden as “Vice President Biden” instead of “President-Elect Biden.” While Wallace was right, were you surprised by the grilling on that point, and do you think it was appropriate? — Ben G.

I watched, Ben, and come away with a different take than yours. Wallace pointed out that Biden was the president-elect after Azar called him the vice president. But I didn’t see it as a big deal. Maybe I missed something, but Azar didn’t seem to be concerned.

Since I’m not watching the news any longer, at least for now, I’m not sure what kinds of questions I should submit. So let’s try this: What should I get myself for Christmas to help me get through the next two years? Any suggestions? I’m pretty well stocked up on bourbon, golf balls & ammunition. 😉 –ScottyG

Bourbon, good. Ammo, good. But together, not necessarily so good.

You are one of many, Scotty, who have been telling me they’ve cut back on their news consumption. I have too, if that matters. Something is going on in the news business. I think I’ll write about it next week.

As for your Christmas gift: How about a book, fiction, so you can escape reality for a while. Or …  Sponsored Ad - Lavley - If You Can Read This Bring Me Novelty Socks - Funny Dress Socks For Men and Women

Bernie, what happened to the Democratic Party? Why did it decide to be the party for only 4 very specific groups, those being upper class white liberals, African Americans, LBGTQs, and illegal immigrants? I live about 40 minutes from where the book Hillbilly Elegy took place, and you cannot find a legitimate Democratic Party operation or candidate with a search warrant unless you go into the downtown Cincinnati area. The area I am in used to have a lot of Bill Clinton Democrats, now it is overwhelmingly Red and overwhelmingly loyal to Trump. Why did the Democrats decide one day that white, rural, non-college educated Americans were no longer worth their time? Why is it now the party with values entirely based on the far left coastal communities? — Joe M.

Democrats made a big mistake and they’ve come to understand that they have to fix it. The elites took control of the party and, as is the way of elites, they look down their noses at those they consider either deplorable or what we used to call white trash. Your analysis is on the money, Joe … and if Democrats don’t figure out a way to get those rural, non-college educated white folks back, they’ll pay the price. They didn’t this time around only because so many voters could not bring themselves to vote for Donald Trump. But they can’t count on that when the GOP puts up a less abrasive candidate.

Pretty much every notable legal expert who isn’t a Trump shill recognizes that the election lawsuit filed by Texas’s Attorney General, Ken Paxton, is a complete joke (just like the 50+ lawsuits Trump and his allies have already lost). Paxton has been indicted for felony fraud, and it looks like he’s vying for a Trump pardon. Even so, Republican officials in 17 red-states have signed onto the lawsuit just to make Trump and his base happy. Do you find these continuing partisan attempts to overturn the will of voters as pathetic and purposely misleading as I do? I can only imagine the rage from Republicans if a Democratic president conducted himself this way. — Jen R.

Let’s get the easy part out of the way first, Jen. Republicans would, as you say, be screaming and yelling if a Democratic president did what Donald Trump is doing. But consistency is not something politicians of either party are known for. On the other matter: There are constitutional issues. Let’s see if the Supreme Court thinks they’re vital enough to address them. I can wait a few more days, but this will soon be over whether Donald Trump and his allies accept the results or not.

I have here a snippet of a story about the Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel:

“Responding to President Trump wishing attendees at a Georgia rally a ‘Merry Christmas’ and reminding them he had stated years ago that Americans would again use the phrase proudly despite those who would ‘try to take that word out of the vocabulary,’ Michigan Democrat Attorney General Dana Nessel issued a tweet (later deleted) in which she claimed her son had been ‘devastated’ when an employee at a store wished them a ‘Merry Christmas.’
Nessel tweeted that after her son asked her if they were the only Americans who didn’t celebrate Christmas, she told him, ‘No, and we are just as American as everyone else.’ She then insinuated that President Trump was unaware of such diversity by adding, ‘Glad Joe Biden knows that.'”

Nessel’s son was “devastated” when a store employee wished them a “Merry Christmas?” I fail to see how THAT greeting implied that she and her son are somehow “Un-American.” A Jewish friend I worked with would always wish me a Merry Christmas (as did my Muslim boss), and I always would wish him a Happy Hanukah and Happy Rosh Hashana. I have been asked on occasion if I’m a Jewish man. I’m not. The question didn’t devastate me either. Nor was I devastated on the rare occasions when I’ve been mistaken for a Scientologist or a Muslim or an atheist. Hell, I’ve even had gay men ask me if I’m gay. (I was not devastated on any of those occasions). I am routinely wished a Happy Father’s Day once a year, and I don’t have any children. NO, that’s not devastating either, although I may respond with “No children, but thanks for the well wishes anyway.”

I realize that it’s often presumptuous of many Americans to think that the people we run into throughout our daily lives are “just like us,” and perhaps we should be more aware of that. However, to be “devastated” and take so much offense at such trivial notions are petty and ridiculous, in my opinion. Have you (and/or your family) ever been wished a Merry Christmas, and if so, how did you handle it? Why do you think the culture has become so full of people actually LOOKING to be offended by petty crap? — “Happy RamaHanaKwansMas Regards” From The Emperor!

If ANYONE is “devastated” because someone wished him or her a “Merry Christmas” that person needs psychological help — and fast. I’ve been wished a Merry Christmas a million times and I say, Thanks, same to you. People look to be offended, as you rightly say, because that’s where they get their power; that’s when they can see themselves as victims — and victimhood has sadly become a source of that power. Merry Christmas, Emperor.

To date the WSJ did not even report the “Fang Fang” story, to my knowledge. Sometimes news reports inspire jokes that write themselves. This week’s news about the (dis)Honorable Eric Swalwell did just that. I will try to keep it clean. New possibilities for Ian Fleming’s estate and maybe an American counterpart to Agent 007: The Spy Who Loved Me (well maybe it wasn’t really love); From China With Lust; Congressman YES, YES. And please, let’s have that talk about collusion (or was it canoodling)? I wish we still had Carson or Leno to take full advantage of this diplomatic overture (trying to keep it clean Bernie)! — Michael

I looked up the word Doofus in the dictionary and next to the definition was a picture of Eric Swalwell.

Ari Fleischer announced a week or so ago that HE’s writing a book on liberal media bias. While he (or whoever is really writing it) will have plenty of material, I suspect only partisans will buy it since Fleischer himself is such a partisan (who runs daily interference for Trump on Twitter and Fox News). As the author of the defining book on this topic, do you think we’re past the point where ANY such book will find an objective audience who would actually learn something new from it? It seems to me that the cat’s now been out of the bag for a long time, and people either care or they don’t. Those who hate the mainstream media, and know Ari from Fox, will buy it (and he’ll enjoy a nice pay-day). Those who don’t will pass.  — Darin D.

When it comes to media bias there are few folks out there who keep an open mind on the subject. I think you’re right: If you believe there’s a liberal bias, you might buy the book. If you’re a liberal who thinks it’s a delusion, you won’t. And those who review the book who are mainly liberal, will likely pan it.

Have you watched the new Ronald Reagan documentary on Showtime? I gave it a try and quickly realized that it was another heavily biased liberal effort to try and tarnish the man’s legacy. Reagan was a historically important, widely beloved president (who won 49 states when he was re-elected), yet every documentary or mini-series on him ends up being an absolute hit-job. Do you think we’ll ever see a fair cinematic look at him? Or has there been one that I may have missed? — Brian M.

I have not watched the Reagan documentary … and I believe that since liberals in general and liberal filmmakers in general are not fans, he won’t get a fair shake. This is one more piece of evidence of the gap between the elites and regular folks — who as you rightly point out gave him a 49 state victory.

Rep. Eric Swalwell (a former Democratic presidential candidate) will not say whether or not he slept with suspected Chinese spy, Fang Fang, who had targeted him and other up-and-coming California politicians a few years back. (In other words, he slept with her). Which do you think was more difficult for Miss Fang, as a spy: having to seduce Eric Swalwell, or having to laugh at his notoriously awful jokes? — John D.

Fang Fang is the one who should refuse to say whether or not she slept with Swalwell. What woman in her right mind would want to admit to that? By the way, are you the same John D who was a very big fan of Mr. Swalwell, the one who was president of his fan club?

Editor’s note: Rumor has it that John D. is in fact the president of the Eric Swalwell fan club.

 


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Bernie’s Q&A: Trump, Williams, Levy, Obama, and more! (12/4) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)

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


I wrote months ago that as a household we were down from watching Fox News (half of the time in the background listening for key items) from six hours per day to about two. Now we are down to even less than one, strictly zipping through only two shows via the DVR. Do you project we are representative of a dying one sided cable news viewership? Are overall ratings on both sides crashing? –ScottyG

I can tell you this, for certain: Like you, I’m also watching less Fox News. The opinion shows, by and large, are predictable: Trump=Good, Biden=Bad. And the opposite at CNN and MSNBC. But cable TV viewers don’t want balance or fairness or NEWS on the opinion shows. They want to hear anchors to validate the viewer’s biases.  That said, here’s a news report I dug up for you, Scotty:

“Fox’s daytime viewership dropped 32 percent from the two weeks prior to Election Day to the two weeks after, the Nielsen company said.

“The post-election, weekday average daytime viewership of 1.63 million was roughly equivalent to that of CNN (1.68 million) and MSNBC (1.71 million). CNN was up 33% and MSNBC up 9% during that time period, Nielsen said.”

So, you’re not the only one cutting back on Fox. Newsmax has picked up some who have abandoned Fox … but let’s see how long they stay there. But others have left NOT because Fox isn’t loyal enough to Mr. Trump. They left because they’ve had enough of the same old same old. After a while, it gets boring.

How hard did you laugh when New York Times Associate Managing Editor Cliff Levy came up with this gem on Twitter: “We will scrutinize the incoming administration just as thoroughly as we did the outgoing one”? Personally, I had to have several physical therapy sessions since my sides ached from several hours of horse laughter. — Steve R.

I’m going to be generous and say Levy really means it. Acting on it, however, is another matter. In any event, however tough they might be on Biden, it won’t come close to the relentless negative coverage of Trump.

Kudos to Juan Williams for standing up to that clown Jesse Watters . I’m also curious as to how a third rate stand up comic like Gutfeld deserves a place on a so called news program. — Oracle of Ashville

You can thank Bill O’Reilly for the prominence of Jesse Watters. A blot on Bill’s legacy. But calling Jesse a clown is unfair. To the clowns.  As for Gutfeld, I remember when he was honest and tough on Donald Trump. Then, I guess, he read the Fox tea leaves and became one more sycophant. There are no limits to what these people will do to keep their jobs.

I know that you’re not a huge fan of Barack Obama, who is promoting his new book currently. Truthfully I was not a huge fan of his administration. Barack Obama himself seems like a decent enough man, but I really don’t care for some of the people he surrounds himself with. Reverend Jeremiah Wright comes to mind. The other is Eric Holder. BOTH of these clowns come off as hateful racists to me. Do you believe that Barack Obama genuinely liked and admired and respected these two men? Or were they just politically expedient and beneficial for him at the time? What is your personal opinion of Eric Holder’s performance as attorney general? Why do you think Holder stepped down from his position? Do you think maybe Obama had a talk with him about Fast & Furious and asked him to resign? Finally, how is it that someone Like Michelle Obama maintains a genuine and close friendship with George W. Bush when so many in her own inner circle despise him? — Strange Bedfellows” Regards From The Emperor

If I counted right, Emperor, you squeezed six questions in there. Nice try. Let’s just say that it was politically helpful for Mr. Obama to be seen as the Rev. Wright’s church. But when some of his sermons came to light, the good Rev became a liability and BHO dumped him. No idea how he really feels about Holder. Next time, try one really good question, Your Holiness.

Throughout this pandemic, Trump has been holding super-spreader events and stoking doubt in mask-wearing, while a number of Democratic leaders have been violating their own state/city rules and warnings to the public. All of this stuff is fueling the crazy idea that COVID-19 shouldn’t be taken seriously, even as our country sets new records for infections and hospitalizations, and the number of daily deaths is going up again. This whole thing will likely be over 5 or 6 months from now, but I can’t help but think about how many fewer deaths, hospitalizations, and long-haul sufferers there would have been if these “leaders” had just taken their most basic health-crisis responsibilities seriously. Do you think history will accurately depict just how disgracefully these people conducted themselves when our country desperately needed leadership? Or do you think it will all just be forgotten like everything else seems to be these days. — Ben G.

I think history will not be kind to Donald Trump on this matter, Ben … but I don’t think history will be kind to Donald Trump on most things. As for the Democrats who lectured us about not dining out and then did just that — they’re reprehensible. The mayor of Denver who told people to stay at home then flew down to Mississippi to see his family … ditto. For me, their apologies don’t cut it. They’re not enough. But in terms of history, yeah Ben, I think they’ll pretty much be forgotten.  What else is new, right?

It was reported on Wednesday that the last three former U.S. presidents (Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton) will get their Covid-19 vaccines on camera, as soon as they’re available, to promote public confidence in the vaccine’s safety. Do you think Trump will call them losers for not already having immunity, like he does? 😉 — Jen R.

Good one, Jen!

Do you think Trump’s insistence that the election was stolen from him, due to massive fraud in states including Georgia, will disenfranchise enough Republican voters in Georgia from voting in the run-off, and therefore losing the GOP control of the U.S. Senate?  — Barry M.

It might. And if it does, then I was wrong about Donald Trump. I thought he was a selfish man of bad character. But if his shenanigans wind up costing the GOP the Senate, then he’d be even worse than I thought.

Been seeing a lot of reporting that Trump plans to announce, probably during Joe Biden’s inauguration, that he will run for president in 2024. What kind of position do you think this would put other 2024 Republican presidential hopefuls in (including Trump allies like Pence, Haley, in Cruz), who can’t exactly win over Trump’s base if he’s still around soaking up all that base’s attention and affection? — Mike.

It would put them in a horrible spot, Mike. And for the very reason you mention. Trump’s loyal followers would never abandon him — so the others, even if one of them somehow managed to win the nomination, would be in big trouble in the general election — when Trump’s acolytes likely would sit home.

CNN chose not to air any of President Trump’s 45-minute long video address about election fraud this week on grounds that it was largely unfactual. Is this move justifiable, from a news organization standpoint? — A. R.

CNN was under no obligation to run the entire 45 minutes … but they could have had a producer listen to it and then run the most newsworthy part on the air. The other day, however, Joe Biden was announcing his economic team, an event that CNN and MSNBC covered live. Fox didn’t. So here’s the real problem: Even alleged news programs on cable TV decide what’s news based on what its biased viewers want to see. It’s about money, money, money … and ratings, ratings, ratings … and to hell with journalism.

Bernie, your former colleague Dan Rather tweeted this the other day: “Why is the Trump White House suddenly a very polite place to work? Everyone’s going around saying ‘pardon me.'”

Is it possible that he has hired Mike Huckabee’s joke writer? Or is he a long-time teller of lame jokes that he thinks are genuinely funny? Was he like this when you worked with him? And if so, were you under pressure to respond with a courtesy laugh, as to not hurt his feelings? Lastly, did he ever figure out it was you who pulled that much funnier joke of paying someone to chase him around New York, calling him “Kenneth,” and asking him, “What’s the frequency?” And did you ever think about suing the rock band, R.E.M., for royalties over the song it inspired? — John D.

Just between you and me, John D, I think the “pardon me” joke is funny. Dan’s got a genuine sense of humor. For real.  Some readers will believe you when you say that I hired that crazy guy who followed Dan around town and called him Kenneth. So let me state that I HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THAT.

And no, I did not think about suing R.E.M. over the song it inspired, but I am thinking of suing YOU for spreading slanderous lies about me. Please have your lawyer contact my lawyer and let’s see if we can work something out. I’ll settle out of court for a cool million. You good with that?

 


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


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Bernie’s Q&A: Emanuel, Biden, Jorgensen, 24, and more! (11/20) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yes to all of it. But …

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

 


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