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.




Bernie’s Q&A: Clinton, Klobuchar, Romney, Sanders, and more! (10/25) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)

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

Also, thank you for getting your questions in early this week to accommodate my travel schedule (questions that came in later will be added to next week’s Q&A). I appreciate it. Next week, we’ll go back to the Wednesday night (at midnight) deadline.

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


With the exception of Bernie Sanders, most of the enthusiasm for socialism seems to be from the younger crowd, where capitalism is practically a four-letter word. Do you think this is mostly caused by the 2008 housing bubble and deep recession? It seems like free market capitalism took a P.R. hit that it hasn’t been able to recover from. — Steve R.

Maybe, but I’m not sure the “younger crowd” thinks about stuff like that.  More likely, in my opinion, is they want “free” stuff — and Bernie is offering it to them.

Bernie, if perchance, President Trump is impeached and removed from office, is their anything to prevent him from running for President again? — Charles B.

Good question.  If he’s impeached and removed from office that means he will have served (less than) one term.  You can serve two terms as president.  So yes, while I’m not a constitutional expert, I believe he could run again.

10 years ago, you wrote “Crazies to the Left of Me, Wimps to the Right: How One Side Lost Its Mind and the Other Lost Its Nerve.” If you wrote a similar themed book today, in which you assessed the current state of both sides, what title would you use? Maybe something like, “Both Sides are Crazy. Help.” — Todd S.

I like your title, Todd.  Or maybe, “Democrats Are Nuts — And Republicans Aren’t Exactly Sane”  The picture on the cover would show AOC … and Donald Trump.

Hello Sir Bernie: It seems that whenever a teenager commits a violent and brutal crime, liberals argue against draconian adult punishments, citing studies showing that teenagers’ brains are not fully developed to the point of actually comprehending the choices that they make, and that the age of development is around 26.

Okay, I get that, but then how is it that Bernie Sanders and many on the left also want to lower the voting age to 16? I mean, by their logic, people that young wouldn’t have brains developed enough to cast an intelligent and well-thought out vote to help shape our country, right? Can you explain this paradox to me?  — Maturing Regards to you, from The Emperor

Emperor, my friend, surely you jest.  They want 16 year olds to vote because they figure they’ll vote for Democrats. But, you say, they just told us that the brains of 16 year olds aren’t fully developed.  Yeah, So?  This is not about logic, Emperor.  It’s about politics.

Bernie: Very well done Off the Cuff on LeBron James. But, are we all surprised to find that another social justice leftist so willing to preach to the rest of us is a raging hypocrite? The terms social justice, leftist and hypocrite have become synonyms. It is always “I have a free speech right to tell you how to live as long as it doesn’t affect me. Live the way I tell you so I can continue to live the lavish lifestyle I have without any cost to me.” — Dennis C.

Social justice leftists, as you say Dennis, have a tendency at times to be authoritarian and hypocritical.  But let me point out that they don’t have a monopoly on hypocrisy.  As I’ve written, white evangelicals like to tell people about the correct way to live their lives … then support a man who has mocked their values his whole life.  So there’s enough hypocrisy to go around.  I can do without the sanctimony from the left and the right.

What do you think about Amy Klobuchar? As I’ve watched the debates, she’s been a moderating influence to those around her and seems less cataclysmic, and more realistic about incremental steps. But I don’t actually know enough to know how she would govern, only that she seems to have a sense of realism. I don’t agree with most Democratic moral values, so I’m not likely to vote for her, but if I had to vote for a Democrat, would you say she might be the least destructive? — Bill N.

You’re on to something, Bill.  Relatively speaking, she’s a lot more moderate than a lot of the others, including co-frontrunner Elizabeth Warren.  But the key word is “relatively.”  They’re all left of center and, like you, that’s not for me anymore.

Bernie, are you as frustrated as I am with these behind-closed-doors impeachment proceedings? We the people should be able to see these proceedings and judge for ourselves, but with the Dems and Schiff in charge, we’re supposed to believe everything is on the up and up?!!! And, they conveniently leak just enough “incriminating” info. Then there’s the most obnoxious, overbearing politician in history [beats Trump IMO] Hillary “the election was stolen from me” Clinton. Just go away all ready. I’d love for someone to ask her if she feels Trump stole Wisconsin (where she didn’t bother to campaign) from her as well. You know Hillary, the one you didn’t bother to campaign in! But no one will, and now she accuses Gabbard and Stein as being Russian assets!  — JM

There’s a line about this, JM, in a Rolling Stone article.  The line is, Hillary is nuts.

As for the behind closed doors proceedings.  Republicans obviously don’t like it.  And for good reason.  At some point, the proceedings will be open for all of us to witness.  If Democrats try to run roughshod over the minority, the American people will notice.  And it may very well backfire on Adam Schiff and his posse.

Is Hillary Clinton helping the Dems cause in any way whatsoever? What can possibly be her real mission? I don’t believe her actions are tact, they are mentally flawed behaviors IMO. –Scotty G.

Losing hurts, Scotty.  And she apparently hasn’t gotten over her loss in 2016.  Is she helping the Dems.  No.  If she thought she’d get the nomination, would she jump in.  Yes, I think she would.

Having grown up in the Boston area saturated with democratic liberals…. have the Democrats forgot about the history of Democrats from Massachusetts running for president? Teddy Kennedy could never get past Chappaquiddick. Mike Dukakis was a fine governor but was badly beaten. Mitt Romney, again a fine governor but badly beaten. Do you think the American voters can overcome their historic dislike and distrust of Massachusetts liberals and elect Elizabeth Warren? Thanks!! — Charles K.

It’s not the same country as it was back then, Charles. My gut response is that Senator Warren is too far left for the American people.  But if President Trump keeps alienating everyone except his base — especially independents — then anything is possible, including a President Warren.  If it needs to be said:  That is NOT a prediction.

King Bernard… what are your thoughts on carpet versus hardwood flooring?…and maybe a few words on marble countertops?…I’ve been watching cable news today…so much like the flooring…I’m off to lie………Greggo

Greggo, my friend, here’s what I think:  Take your meds and get some rest. That said, I prefer hardwood flooring. As for marble countertops:  I never understood how you could take marbles and make a countertop out of them.  Marbles be round.  Countertops be flat.

A lot of Trump people are going ape-sh*t over the discovery that Mitt Romney has had an anonymous Twitter account (since 2011), that he uses to read (and on rare occasion participate in) online political discussions (some of them having to do with him). Rush Limbaugh slammed Romney as a hypocrite (because Romney has criticized Trump’s tweeting) and said Romney is “thin-skinned, totally vain and, I now believe completely, totally jealous of Donald Trump.” Tucker Carlson called the account “a triumph of bourgeois passive aggression.” Dana Loesch tweeted “How does Romney have time for a secret Twitter account? Pettiness doesn’t count for less just because it’s done under an assumed name.

Now some facts: It takes like 30 seconds to set up a Twitter account, and Romney tweeted from his a grand total of 10 times over the last EIGHT YEARS. What on earth are these nutballz talking about? — Sam G.

I’m with you, Sam.  It’s all about one thing and only one thing:  The nutballz love Trump and will agree with everything he says and does.  That’s why they’re called nutballz, a term I believe you just coined.  Since Romney has been critical of their savior, Donald Trump, they must go after him.  #pathetic

Not a question- just a comment to let you know that we really enjoy your posts and the Q&A. It’s the only place we can get an accurate view of what’s going on politically. Thank you for all that you do. — Carolyn S.

A million thanks Carolyn, and I’m assuming you said that because you really mean it and not because I promised to send you a lot of money if you said it.  Seriously, your comment means a lot to me.  I appreciate it very much!

 


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: Shepard Smith, Project Veritas, Athletes & Politics, AOC, and more! (10/18) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)

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

Note to members: Due to some traveling I’ll be doing next week, I’ll need to have all questions for next Friday’s Q&A in before Tuesday, 10/22 at 5pm ET. Thank you.

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


Since the Mueller investigation was 2 years in the making, any chance the dems will delay and stretch impeachment investigation into late next year with hope of turning the senate and a chance to convict? — Beverly

I don’t think so, Beverly.  That would look way too political and likely to backfire on them.  I think there’s a good chance the president will be impeached and I think it’s likely to happen this year.  But anything is possible.

IMO, if you are in public life you should be required to accept an equal number of interview requests and not just pick and choose those who you know will be “friendly”. I applaud those who are doing it now, though they are few and far between, but c’mon, if you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen. Heard that said somewhere. For example, wouldn’t it be interesting for AOC to be interviewed by say, Bret Baier over at Fox. She’s maybe the loudest voice on the left but only accepts interviews from “friendly’s”. Get in the ring and field some tough questions for a change. I know, pipe dream. — John M.

Required?  How?  You want a law that says they must do an equal number of interviews with the right and the left? And what if they don’t?  Jail time?  That’s not to say they shouldn’t voluntarily do interviews with people who will ask inconvenient questions.

King Bernard…very easy and quick question…and only one word required in response…..who will win this year’s World Series?…and yes, I know the participants aren’t known yet, but I may not be alive next week….and you aren’t allowed to use the words ‘Yankees’..’Yanks’ or ‘Bombers’…and don’t try to give me that clever answer of NewYork either..even in Texas we know that’s two effing words….I’m off for BP (that’s blood pressure, not batting practice) — Greggo

Houston Astros, Greggo.  Hope you’re happy.  Guess who isn’t.

Over the weekend, CNN’s Brian Stelter had on three former Fox News people to talk about Shep Smith’s departure. One was “Campaign ” Carl Cameron, who brought up these points:

  1. FNC’s News department has “shrunk” in the Trump era, and journalists are now “vastly outnumbered by the opinion makers. And the opinion makers are more interested in playing to people’s bias than anything else. And it makes it very difficult for journalists to actually give people honest facts when the airtime is shrinking constantly.”
  2. “Over the years, there was not a history of Fox opinion hosts criticizing the journalists. And over the course of the Trump administration, more and more the opinion hosts have been criticizing the journalists. And so that really pits bias against straight journalism.”

What are your thoughts on these two things? — John D.

It’s the opinion people who bring in the viewers. And the money.  As long as they have ratings, they have the clout. Do opinion makers play to the audience’s bias?  Absolutely!  But I’m not sure it gives hard news journalists a tough time presenting facts.  As bad as Fox’s prime time sycophants are, I think the hard news side of FNC is pretty good, especially the Washington journalists.  Does opinion during the day as well as primetime squeeze out hard news? Sure.  But cable viewers tune in for opinion.  As I say, that’s where the money is.

Let me stray from the rest of your question to mention what I found troubling about the panel on CNN.  Everyone there praised Shepard Smith as the second coming of Edward R. Murrow.  Shepard Smith likes to tell anyone who would listen that he’s a hard news reporter, not a commentator.  Really, Shep?

Everyone knew how he felt about the president.  We’re not supposed to know how a reporter/anchor feels about the president or anything else.  Shepard Smith frequently blurred the line between news and commentary.  It’s what CNN, MSNBC and FOX do a lot.

He won’t be missed by Fox’s loyal pro-Trump viewers.  But he will be missed by liberal journalists who like Smith also blur the line between news and commentary — and detest the president.

As for the in-house fighting between Shepard Smith and Tucker Carlson.  Roger Ailes didn’t allow what he called “shooting inside the tent.”

If Shepard Smith left because he had had enough, good for him.  But I always found him to be sanctimonious.  He didn’t like the pro-Trump biases at Fox — while he was peddling his own anti-Trump biases.

Can’t make this stuff up.

If you missed this week’s edition of Off the Cuff, check it out.  It’s on this very subject.

A couple days ago ABC News ran a report on Turkey bombing Syria, but they used video footage from a Kentucky military-gun demo in 2017. I know mistakes happen, but how on earth can something as crazy as this happen? I don’t think this is political bias since the actual footage from Syria is plenty terrible, and a misleading video like that doesn’t make Trump look any worse. It just makes ABC look bad. — Andy D.

Good question, Andy.  How could this happen?  I have no idea.  But I hope the video editor didn’t want dramatic “bang bang” video — that’s what they call it in TV news — and figured, nobody would know the difference if he used hot action video from Kentucky.  But there’s no evidence of that. It’s just so crazy, as you suggest that it makes you wonder … what the heck went on over there.

If impeachment of Pres. Trump reaches the Senate, can Republican Senators require anyone they want to testify in this impeachment procedure? — Charles B.

I believe so, within reason.  The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court presides, so if the GOP says they want to call someone who’s in Antarctica and won’t be available for 6 months, the Justice can (again as I understand it) rule against that request.

Hi Bernie, I’d love your take on the recent tapes that have come out from Project Veritas showing how Jeff Zucker has been dictating the daily news cycle to all of his reporters and news personalities (Russia, racism, Ukraine and now impeachment). Of course a very similar story came out recently regarding Dean Baquet at the NYT. Seems to me that it’s bad enough when reporters slant the news to fit their own bias as you outlined in your book, but openly dictating and mandating a narrative feels like the death of journalism to me. What say you? — Keith M.

I’m with you Keith but I have a great big problem with hidden cameras and microphones.  I’m no fan of the guy who runs Project Veritas.  I don’t like what he’s doing at all, despite the information we get from it.  Did he edit the footage to make CNN look worse than they already look?  Who knows?  Does he have the same enthusiasm to go after conservative bias? No!  To your main point, Zucker is running a corrupt operation.  But he’s not alone in the world of cable news.

I guess I just don’t understand why Trump’s “trash talking” bothers you so much. I don’t believe you’re a snob, I’m from the same streets you are; it don’t bother me. Is it possible, that working in the eastern corridor media establishment so long maybe just a little elitism rubbed off? Just a question Bernie, it’s not personal. — Ralph P.

Ralph, trust me on this one … I’m the least elitist guy you’ll ever meet.  Trump’s trash talk bother me because he comes off like a thug, a low class jerk — not the President of the United States.  And as a friend of mine puts it, “It’s always amusing to me how the MAGA crowd thinks it’s ‘elitist’ to criticize a billionaire celebrity president for not showing people common decency.”  That’s what it’s about for me, Ralph — common decency, a quality missing in this man.

Hello Bernie, Firstly let me get my admiration for you as an Honest Opinion person said and out of the way. My question is. I look forward to the show Real Sports on HBO. The stories are informative, entertaining and sometimes sobering. But I have come to feel a malaise when Bryant Gumbel does his… well how should I say… Pontifications. It seems to be more pronounced with a Politically Correct bent over the last few years. So my question is. Is Real Sports a News Sports show or an opinion show by the host? Thanks for reading this and thanks for continuing some sanity in your Blog, etc. — Paul (just an old sports fan)

Real Sports is a news magazine show … with opinion thrown in by Bryant at the end in what is clearly commentary.  The problem some people have with that part of the show — and trust me, you’re not alone — is they disagree with the more political of his opinions. I do.

I find a great irony from the attacks by many against LeBron James as well as the whole NBA/China Syndrome. Since when do we really take the political opinions seriously of mega-rich athletes? Washington post, and others, who have been highly critical of Trump’s crusade against unfair and ruthless regimes, seem to have jumped on the bank wagon full of criticism with this one. This whole episode is packed with ironies from sneaker companies full fledged support of athletes who take a knee in our country but manufacture products in dictatorships. To Off-the-Cuff remarks about freedom and money in the NBA. I guess the media and others support a more dangerous enemy; Trump. — Tim H.

I’m sure this is my fault, not yours, but I’m not grasping your point.  I read it several times and I just don’t get it.  My bad.  As to your one question … about taking political opinions seriously coming from mega rich athletes:  Sometimes they’re worth listening to, sometimes not.  When Arthur Ashe or Billy Jean King talks about civil rights, they;re saying something we should consider.  When Dennis Rodman talks about his pal Kim of North Korea … not so much.

Have you read O’Reilly’s book, The United States of Trump? If so, any thoughts? — Joseph V.

I have not.  And there’s a reason:  If Bill went easy on his friend the president, it will affect how I view him.  I may at some point read it, or a review, but not yet.

Hi Bernie, What are your thoughts on Trump pulling out our troops from Syria, with the consequence that, if you believe the media, the Kurds seem to be pairing up with Russia and Iran? — Terry

There’s something seductive about his reasoning:  We don’t want to be engaged in endless wars. But like everything else, his move went against the judgment of people who understand these things.  He’s impulsive — shoots first asks questions later.  The Kurds have been good to us.  They’ve done a lot of the fighting against ISIS.  You can’t blame them if they feel betrayed.

Mr. G . Can you tell me how to get in touch with Chuck Schumer so that I can buy him a pair of properly fitting bi-focals? He’s driving me nuts. Thanks. — Lee K.

Yes.  I have his private cell phone number.  917 IMA Lefty.

Greetings Sir Bernie: While I know that the Syrian situation is very complex, I have to say that it was a very dumb thing for Trump to not only abandon the Kurds to the Turkish military, but to then FURTHER INSULT our most reliable Islamic allies by quipping that they didn’t help us in WWII is especially ripe for ridicule. Nonetheless, I have to wonder, what should the U.S. be doing in Syria? I mean, regime change, in my opinion, is unnecessary since the Assad regime really isn’t much of a threat to the U.S. Any chance that the Kurds would forgive us and help us again after this foolhardy decision from Trump? — Kurdish Regards, From The Emperor

As I mentioned earlier in this Q & A session, more than a few Americans will buy into the president’s idea that we should not get bogged down in never ending wars in far off places.  But there is such a thing as loyalty to friends — a concept unknown to this president.  So, will the Kurds forgive us and help us again.  Why should they?  Why should they put their lives on the line for a country that threw them overboard when they became an inconvenience.  Just asking’, Emperor.

 


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Bernie’s Q&A: Trump and Syria, Chuck Todd, Elizabeth Warren, James Harden, and more! (10/11) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)

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Editor’s note: Just a friendly reminder to please try to keep your questions relatively short. Thank you.

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Hi Bernard, This whole impeachment mess….DEMS appear not to be legislating, just investigating. The impeachment inquiry will lead to impeachment but there won’t be votes to convict. I think this will backfire on the DEMS in 2020! Your thoughts? — Gary N.

You’re right that the inquiry almost certainly will lead to impeachment but there won’t be votes in the Senate to convict.  That said, I think it’s too early to tell who will be hurt more, Democrats or Republicans.  Check out the column I posted this past Monday.  It concludes with the idea that while Democrats in Washington and on the blue coasts may think impeachment is a great idea, moderate swing voters in Middle America may not.  Stay tuned.

Bernie: Lots of references in the news today about whistleblowers. Did you consider yourself a whistleblower when you wrote your famous original Wall Street Journal column and subsequent book, “Bias”? If so, do you think it’s ironic that Dan Rather took such huge exception to your commentary since he pretty much made a living celebrating and utilizing whistleblowers on 60 Minutes? — Steve R.

Bing-Freaking-O, Steve.

I could leave it there, because you nailed it, but let me briefly explain.  While I didn’t consciously set out to be a whistleblower, that’s what I was.  And yes, I found it ironic that Dan — and others — who as journalists looked down everyone else’s throat, didn’t like it when one of their own looked down theirs.  If I had done what I did, but worked for a drug company, they’d feature me on 60 Minutes and portray me as a great big hero.  But because I wrote about them, and the news business, I became radioactive.  I stayed at CBS for 4 and a half years after the WSJ op-ed, then left to write Bias.  Who got the last laugh?

Elizabeth Warren is dealing with another controversy about her bio. Despite long saying that she was fired from a teaching job because she got pregnant (a story she uses when campaigning on certain policies), it appears that the job was hers to keep, but she left it by choice. 5 years ago, I think this type of thing (and the Native American fiasco) would have ended a presidential campaign. But with Trump showing that one can regularly make up all kinds of crazy stuff, and still win the presidency, do you think voters are now just conditioned to accept this type of thing as normal/acceptable? — Jen R.

Once again Jen, I think you’ve hit on something.  First, yes, Trump has lowered the bar regarding honesty … so Elizabeth Warren’s BS doesn’t quite have the impact it might have a few years ago.  But also, Ms. Warren is one of THEM.  Journalists share her values (by and large).  They protect their own.  And if that’s a tad harsh, then how about this: Journalists always salivate more when going after a (conservative) Republican than a (liberal) Democrat.

What are your thoughts on Chuck Todd’s outburst on Senator Ron Johnson last Sunday, where he accused Johnson of spreading, “Fox News conspiracy propaganda stuff” and then started shouting over him? Johnson was definitely deflecting a lot of direct questions, but I’m wondering if Todd went overboard by yelling at a sitting senator. Your thoughts pls. — Norm

I don’t think either of them looked good.  But I find it interesting that Chuck Todd accuses the senator of spreading Fox News conspiracies when he’s got a show on MSNBC — a channel that spread Trump colluded with Russia conspiracies for more than two years.  Senator Johnson should have pointed that out … but he was too busy answering a question he wasn’t asked.

Greetings Sir Bernie. I’m curious if you’ve seen any of the following plays and what opinions you may have about them: “Hamilton” “Book Of Mormon” “Angels In America” and “Rent.” If you have not seen these, is there a particular reason why you avoided them? — Theatrical Regards From The Emperor

I have not seen “Hamilton” because I was close friends with Aaron Burr who didn’t like Hamilton.  Nor have I seen “Book of Mormon” because we Mormons didn’t think it was as funny as those godless liberal theater critics did.  As for “Rent” … missed that one too, but I did rent an apartment in Miami a long time ago. Does that count?

You’re a strange cat, Emperor.

Curious if you ever used a ghostwriter for any of your books, and what your general thoughts are on public figures (especially media people) using ghostwriters. If those thoughts are negative, don’t worry… I won’t tell O’Reilly. 😉 — Barry L.

Never used a ghostwriter.  If anyone doesn’t like the words, blame me.  If a TV type or a politician can’t write and uses a professional writer, the publisher probably won’t want it acknowledged.  Takes a bit of the authenticity away. And in case you’re wondering, Barry … yes, I did write this answer all by myself.

Years ago, you told Bill O’Reilly (on his show) that Whoopi Goldberg was your cousin. Was it flattering that Bill had so much faith in you as a truth-teller that he actually seemed to believe you for a moment? — John D.

Obviously, Whoopi is NOT my cousin.  She’s my sister.

How’d it go, John D, at your gig last week doing standup for 5 year olds at Chuck E Cheese in El Segundo?  I heard you killed.  Oops, that could be read the wrong way.

I have defended Trump on a number of things but I see no defense of what he just did in Syria. He impulsively moved a hundred U.S. troops to a different part of Syria to allow Turkey to slaughter the Kurds (who we vowed to support and who helped us big-time against ISIS). The larger result, by all the experts’ estimation, will be more Middle Eastern instability, lots of ISIS prisoners being set free, and ultimately additional ground wars involving Americans. But somehow, the pro-Trumpers are defending what Trump did by saying “it’s time to end the endless wars”? WHAT ARE THEY TALKING ABOUT? This reckless pullout stuff is what we got all over Obama for doing! — Jack S.

You’re right, Jack.  It is a seductive message … that “it’s time to end the endless wars” … a lot of reasonable people believe that.  But actions have consequences and this president is, as you say, impulsive.  He doesn’t think things through.  And you got another point right:  If Obama had done this … the Trump sycophants would be all over him, calling him a traitor … and worse.  As the president might tweet: #verysad

Hello, Bernard: Gregg Popovich, Steve Kerr, ESPN and the rest of the NBA social justice warriors love to speak out against Trump, their supposed authoritarian president. But they seem, curiously enough, to have no strong opinion when the true authoritarians in China tell the NBA to knock it off with Daryl Morey’s support for Hong Kong and human rights. How embarrassing that James Harden apologized for an American voicing support for democracy. I guess I’m sadly amused, but not surprised. You? — Gary

James Harden should have never apologized.  Let’s leave it at that.  As for the others, I don’t want to be too tough on them.  Some stay in touch with the news, some don’t.  They may not know enough about the situation in Hong Kong to intelligently comment. Of course, there’s the elephant in the living room:  money.  They’re walking a fine line — if they condemn China they’re putting the entire league in a financial tight spot. It’s easy for you and me to want the same guys who talk about social justice here in the USA to speak out about China, but we don’t have money in the game.

This would be an acceptable answer, if asked about Hong Kong:   “We agree with Commissioner Silver:  We have American values, and free speech is high among them.  Daryl Morey has the right to say what he did.”

While that would have fallen short of an outright endorsement of the Hong Kong protestors, it would have been good enough, for now, for me.

There are many who despise Trump, however, unless you’re a far left loon, you have to see that the Dems are a bunch of clowns led by the likes of lying Shiff and Pelosi, etal lying through their teeth doing whatever they can legally or not to have this impeachment inquiry kicked off well prior to the 2020 campaign. For Schiff to lie about not having any contact with the whistleblower and mouthing a parody of what he believes Trump “really” was saying when he spoke with the Ukrainian President I mean, c’mon. At one point do people who believe in honesty and the rule of law, regardless of political affiliation say “I don’t like Trump, but I don’t like what the Dems are doing even more”? Hopefully there are more of them out there than we know. — John M.

I think you’re on to something, John.  I think there are a lot of folks out there saying, “I don’t like Trump but I don’t like what the Dems are doing even more.”  I’m not at all sure that Democrats understand that.

I know everyone wants to talk politics, but I need to ask the really important questions. I shared my dad’s dream to see a baseball game in the House that Ruth Built. He was side-tracked by Adolf Hitler, and the two times I tried to take my family, we had to cancel. Neither of us made it. So, my question is: did my dad and I miss something special by not being able to watch the Bronx Bombers in the old stadium or not? And do you have a special memory there? I suppose why I enjoy your writings is I think you made a difference and changed things. Is there one special investigation where you went home and said Honey, break out the Scotch? And lastly, if Sean Coleman was sober and got into a fight with James Bond, who do you think would win? — Tim H.

Tim, I have one lasting memory of my first time at the old Yankee Stadium.  It was a twilight doubleheader.  I was with my father, who had to get up before dawn the next day to go to the factory.  So we were only going to stay for the first game, or maybe just part of it. We had bleacher seats — 75 cents each — that’s all my father could handle.  We walked from the darkness of the underground tunnel, beneath the bleachers, into the early evening open air. I will never forget the color of the grass.  It was emerald green.  I had never seen anything like it.  I’m not kidding:  It was like having a religious experience.  That image is ingrained in my memory.  And I’m glad it is.

Can’t remember any story when I came home and said “Honey, break out the Scotch.”  And not just because I don’t drink.  As a rule I don’t celebrate after stories.  I’m never out to “get” someone who’s done something wrong.  I just present the story and you can think whatever you want … and you can say, “Honey, break out the Scotch.”

As for your last question:

It depends on which Bond. If we’re talking about a straight fight (no razor-sharp, flying derby hats or other weapons), Sean could definitely beat up the Bonds played by Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan, and Timothy Dalton. Likely Sean Connery’s too (sorry, Bond purists). Hard to say with George Lazenby (who wasn’t around very long, but seemed pretty tough), and I do think Sean would have a hard time with Daniel Craig.

That said, I of course liked Sean Connery’s Bond, but was a big fan of Roger Moore’s James Bond.  I liked the dry sense of humor Roger brought to the character.  And didn’t like Daniel Craig’s Bond.  No fun at all.

 


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Bernie’s Q&A: Schiff, Hunter Biden, Drudge, Watters, and more! (10/4) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)

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

Editor’s note: Just a friendly reminder to please try to keep your questions relatively short. Thank you.

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


Bernie, I’d like your take on my theory about the general public’s interest in the impeachment inquiry proceedings. Of course when I say “general public”, I mean NOT the Kool-Aid drinking folks who watch Fox, CNN, and MSNBC daily. My prediction is ratings on those networks or any other network televising the proceedings won’t increase that much….the general public is tuning this out due to 1) exhaustion over the last 3 years of non-stop media hysteria and 2) perception of just further political arguments and skepticism of the charges. What say you? — Jeff

I’m with you on the “exhaustion” point you make.  But in the United States of Entertainment, impeachment is a pretty good show.  I do NOT think the public will tune it out if it gets that far.  But as always, I could be wrong.

Editor’s Note: This next question came in last week, but after the Q&A deadline. Thus we moved it to this week.

Just finished watching Acting DNI Msguire’s testimony . Schiff now wants the “whistleblower” to testify. Well the whistleblower is not relevant. The relevant ones are the “numerous” people who “gossipped”. They are the whistleblowers. Do you think they will be exposed ? Or does Adam Schiff go down in flames again. — Joseph V.

I too would like to know who “gossiped” to the “whistleblower.”  When he testifies, he may very well be asked.  But I doubt he’ll answer.  As for Adam Schiff:  If he had an ounce of introspection he’d see how rabidly partisan he comes off.  IF.

California just passed a law that would permit college athletes to profit on their image and likeness. These seems, to me, a good compromise in the debate over getting paid or not. I don’t support paid athletes at the collegiate level. In my humble opinion, getting a 1st class education is worth much more. This approach would even help those athletes in the less profitable sports. Tennis players could endorse a local sporting goods store. Swimmers could endorse speedos (chuckle). Anyways, just wanted your thoughts on this. — Tim H.

Hey Tim.  First, I’m not at all sure how many athletes even want a so-called first class education.  Given the choice between that and cash for playing football, I think most would choose the latter.  But getting paid for the use of their likeness:  Sure, they should get paid.  Why should a billion dollar company be able to use their likeness to make money while the actual athlete gets nothing?

Hi Bernie, Left wing progressive You Tuber Kyle Kulinski (whom I respect despite often disagreeing with) reports that Saudi Arabia has been committing genocide in Yemen, that it was not Iran but Houthi rebels tho attacked the Saudi oil fields (with Iranian weapons) because of Saudi atrocities being committed in Yemen (with support from America), and now the Trump administration is sending American troops and ground forces to help defend the Saudis, bringing America & Iran closer to all Out war! Do you know if any of these claims are true, and what are your thoughts on these allegations? — Marching Orders Regards from The Emperor

It’s now obvious that Donald Trump isn’t the only one who exhausts me, EMPEROR.  I have no idea who Kyle Kulinski is and don’t want to know.  I barely know what You Tube is.  Since I’m not in Yemen, or Saudi Arabia, or Iran … since Donald Trump doesn’t personally tell me if he’s going to send ground troops to help defend the Saudis, all I know is what I hear on the news and read in the paper  — which is the same stuff as you hear and read.  I have many thoughts on the New York Yankees, none at the moment on your many scenarios.  But, next time the president rings me up, I’ll ask him about all your concerns.  I won’t tell him you’re the Emperor, though.  That would only make him jealous, being a mere president.

Hi Bernie. My assessment of why we have a sad group of candidates running for president is that the media and social media have destroyed our election process. They dig up dirt on candidates from when they were children that has nothing to do with how competent they are. They shred the candidates apart and tear up every word they say. I believe there are many great leaders out there (on both sides) who would a be great as president, but with the mutilation they have to go through- no thanks! Your thoughts? — Chris K.

I think you’re right, Chris.  Who would want to run knowing that if they ever picked their nose in public, it’ll be all over the news?  Despite that, there are people out there who run anyway.  Last time around there were about a thousand Republicans running and this time the same number of Democrats.  So how do we account for that?  A sincere belief that they can lead the country in the right direction?  Sure.  That along with a massive amount of ego and a thirst for power.

Regarding impeachment, the Dems have put their last bullet in a pistol and stuck it in their mouth. Now they’re trying to decide if such geniuses as Jerry Nadler, Adam Schiff and the hysterical, intellectually arrested 12 year old girl running the House caucus should be allowed to pull the trigger. Plus, isn’t it at least a little fair to compare this to the felonies that Bill Clinton did in fact commit and the Dems didn’t think were a big deal? — Dennis C.

Dennis … I think you meant “isn’t it at least a little UNfair to compare this to the felonies that Bill Clinton did in fact commit … ”

Impeachment may in fact turn out to be a political mistake for the Democrats, as you say, but I think you’re way off base on the Clinton analogy.  Bill Clinton was impeached, technically, because he lied under oath.  But in the minds of millions of voters he was impeached over sex.  And his poll numbers went up, not down.

Donald Trump on the other hand is accused of inviting a foreign government to investigate a domestic political opponent.  That, in my opinion, is quite different from impeaching a president over sex.

But you’re right about Dems not thinking Clinton’s impropriety was a big deal.  And now Republicans don’t think Mr. Trump’s encouragement to investigate Joe Biden is a big deal.

I guess it depends on what team you’re rooting for, Dennis. Principles?  Who needs principles, right?

King Bernard… sorry I was absent last week…had a little legal problem concerning the Mann Act…all better now but something is bothering me…not sure if you’ll touch this porcupine…BUT…how did you make it all those terrific years with O’Reilly and never slapped Jesse Watters so hard it would jar his future grandchildren?…that dude just rubs me the wrong way and seems so crooked that if we swallowed a nail he’d spit up a corkscrew….I’ll hang up and listen….. — Greggo

Greggo, my friend, Jesse Watters annoys me more than he annoys you — if that’s possible.  He once put his foot in the door of a university president who didn’t want to talk to him.  It was at the guy’s house! I contacted Watters and said if he ever tried that at my house he’d leave with one foot.  I blame O’Reilly for this.  He’s responsible for this idiot.

On Tuesday President Trump tweeted, “Congratulations to President Xi and the Chinese people on the 70th Anniversary of the People’s Republic of China!

It upset many people. Jay Nordlinger responded with this tweet: “Disgusting. Stomach-turning. The Communist dictatorship in China is one of the most illiberal regimes of our time: murderous, enslaving, lawless — endlessly cruel. It stamps its boot on the face of the individual. It is the antithesis of everything that America stands for.”

I’m with Jay. Why do you think Trump does stuff like this? Is it just plain ignorance to history and foreign realities, or does he really somehow admire brutal regimes? — Andy

I don’t think he … thinks!  It’s not that he admires brutal regimes — though, he might.  It may be that he’s ignorant of history and foreign realities, as you say.  Or it may be that he needs a deal with China so he compliments the dictatorship.  He’s just not sophisticated — or a “stable genius” if you know what I mean.

Does the recent Hunter Biden discovery have the potential to finally blow the lid off of our politicians abuses of becoming super rich during their time in Congress and also getting extreme privileges for their children including preferential Ivy League educations and then unqualified for and ridiculously overpaying jobs? Ie. Chelsea Clinton and many others. Shouldn’t this all be part of “Draining the swamp”? — ScottyG

Most Americans know that if you have connections you’re way ahead of the game.  But liberals are the ones constantly telling us how the rich get away with all sorts of things.  And then Hunter Biden gets a big payday because his father’s the VP and Chelsea Clinton got a job as an NBC News correspondent, also with a hefty paycheck, because of her last name.  Yes, GOP kids also get advantages because of who their parents are, but it’s liberals, mainly, who portray the well off as a bunch of cheaters getting away with murder.  So when Hunter or Chelsea get a cushy job they don’t deserve, it irks us more than when the Bush girls or the Trump kids may benefit from their father’s position.

The media and Democrats are always saying that Trump has destroyed the norms and traditions of our government. It seems to me there is some truth to that. It also seems that the media, permanent government, leftists, and Dems have contributed a great deal to ending traditional norms. Since before Trump, the level of vitriol has amped up so high that there’s nowhere to go. He’s a treasonous criminal, nazi, white nationalist, and every other “ist.” His admin staff and appointed officials have been leaking from day 1, and everything that sounds a little off is blown up to be the next Watergate. Former Intelligence officials are paid contributors on cable news channels! My question: Who has changed traditional norms more; the establishment political and media class or Trump? — Dave E.

Why pick one, Dave?  I think you got it right.  Both sides have contributed to the polarization in America.  And it started before Donald Trump was elected.  The media, by and large anyway, have 20/20 eyesight when it comes to the president’s behavior, which in my view leaves a lot to be desired.  But they’re not good at all in analyzing the other side, the name-calling from the left.  They’re not good, in other words, at putting responsibility on themselves.  I’ll end where I began: Both sides have a lot to answer for.

In the 2020 election, I have a strategy the Dem candidate can use. Whomever the candidate is should totally ignore Trump, his nasty nicknames, and his antagonistic remarks. Just run on whatever the platform may be and point out why they would make a good President. Never mention Trump by name, and if specifics arise, always use the term “the current administration,” not Trump. Have televised town halls and do not debate Trump one on one. I think ignoring his name would drive him further up the wall than he is now. What do you think? — Warren K.

Interesting idea, Warren.  But if Donald Trump can’t control himself, you think the Democratic candidate can?  You think Biden or Warren can go 10 minutes without mentioning the president’s name?  But it would be fun to watch things unfold if they followed your advice.

I am not sure if you follow the Drudge Report, but I have noticed recently that the headlines he uses are not flattering to Trump and that he is linking to a lot of stories written by the New York Times and Washington Post. I am not saying that linking to these stories is bad, but those organizations certainly are not writing anything at all that favors the President. Do you think Drudge has soured on Trump, and could losing his influence hurt the President? — JM

I noticed the same thing, JM.  And wondered what you’re wondering:  Has Drudge soured on Trump.  I don’t have any inside information, but it’s either that — or he’s presenting both sides in a fair and impartial way.  That may not please a lot of folks on the right, but it would be a welcome change from partisan websites.

Bernie; I know you don’t like anyone saying the media is all fake news but it’s tough to accept since all media appear to have an agenda. When do you believe the media moved from reporting the news truthfully to creating the news for maximum profit? And… could that have been hastened by global news reporting… like the Israeli Palestinian conflict with all that fake news?  — Charles K.

I don’t know when it started, Charles, but I do know that cable news accelerated the spiral downward.  They’re not the only ones with an agenda.  Let me be clear about that.  But it’s more blatant in the world of cable.  I’ve said this before:  Cable news is not a journalism model.  It’s a business model.  Give the viewers what they want; validate their biases; throw them red meat so they’ll come back for more.  The culture is polarized and the news media both reflect that polarization and contribute to it — with their agendas.

Now that the emotions of the NFL-kneeling and Brett Kavanaugh stories have died down, I wanted to look more soberly at the subject of protesting. Other than outside of abortion clinics, conservatives just don’t think or act so vocally upon our side of social justice. Why do you think it is mostly liberals taking to the streets and the microphones to protest seemingly every action they disagree with? Regarding Kaepernick and the screeching masses at the Kavanaugh hearings: Free speech is enshrined in the Constitution, but our soldiers fight and die for the flag, and when they’re buried, their coffins are draped in the flag. In addition, the confirmation of a Supreme Court justice should be orderly and not subject to disruption. Every constitutional right has its limits. Shouldn’t protesting have its limits as well? — Steve R.

Protesting does have limits.  You can’t call for the imminent overthrow of the government … or take a microphone an call for the assassination of the president.  But the Constitution gives us a lot of leeway … we can say a lot without being silenced and we can protest any issue we want, as long as we keep it within reasonable bounds.  I’m guessing, Steve, you’d set the boundaries a lot tighter than I would.

What’s your take on this whole Ukraine thing? Sounds like fake umbrage again. It’s not wrong to want to find out what really happened. How would we find out if Biden and son did something wrong? Democrats won’t be investigating it. So Donald has to let it go? I think not. At the same time, you have to be careful to not have crossed a line. Seems to me he should have had the FBI or DOJ do the search and perhaps saved his bacon. It’s messy. What is different having the House trying to sway an election to find out if there was wrong doing on Trump, but Trump can’t find out in return? It makes no sense. Your take on this? — Bill N.

I’m pretty much with you.  But the president should not have asked a foreign leader to investigate a political rival.  That’s where he went wrong.  If he had stayed with his first request — to help the U.S. government find out what Ukraine’s role was in the 2016 election, no problem.  But he didn’t stop there.  And Democrats don’t need much of an excuse to yell, IMPEACH HIM!

 


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