Bernie’s Q&A: Donny Deutsch’s Ambush, Ann Coulter, Bill Maher, the Mueller Report, and More (3/29)

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

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

I was channel-surfing one night, years ago, when I unexpectedly found you on CNBC being ganged up on by five — yes FIVE — obnoxious liberals. The show was The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch, and you were on it to talk about your book, 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America.

The “exchange” (for lack of a better term) was one of the craziest things I had ever seen on cable news. These people were shouting at you, repeatedly cutting you off, and launching into long, sanctimonious condemnations of what they thought you had written in your book. I say “thought,” because it was painfully clear (as you pointed out at the time) that none of them had actually read it, and thus were drawing some rather bizarre assumptions. They seemed more upset by the notion that you had the gall to write a book that was critical of a number of high-profile liberals.

In one of the more ironic twists (if my memory serves me), just a minute after you had gotten Deutsch to agree than only an idiot would compare Bush and conservatives to Nazis, he closed out the segment by suggesting that making a list (as you had done in the book) was Nazi-like.

The segment was highly edited (obvious to anyone watching it), I assume to make your detractors look better. Either way, in what made it to air, you held your own remarkably well.

Can you explain how this insane situation came about, as well as what was cut from the segment? — John D.

Editor’s note: It took a while, but we managed to find a partial clip (sorry for the poor quality) of what was aired of that segment. You can watch it by clicking here. Unfortunately, it cuts off before Deutsch completed his remark about “lists.”

Here’s how it came about, John:  A producer for the show called and asked if I’d be a guest to talk about my book.  She assured me the panel would be split — some who agreed with me, some who didn’t.  That seemed fair so I said yes. But it was a lie. Bookers/Producers on cable TV shows say whatever they have to say to convince a guest to come on the show.  Her value to Donny Deutsch was in securing guests — not in telling the truth.

Anyway, it was 5 against 1.  And none of the 5 liberals had even read the book, which didn’t stop them from hating it.  Think about that.  I’m invited on the show to talk about my book, to be grilled about the book — by people who didn’t read the book.

Donny Deutsch thinks of himself as a tough guy.  But he’s a coward and a punk — at least he was on that night.  Too bad for the 5 lefties that they were throwing spitballs at a battleship.  But since the interview was pre-recorded, they took out a lot of the stuff where I made Donny and his gang look like idiots.  But they did a pretty good job looking like idiots all by themselves.

The very next morning I got a call from Rush Limbaugh’s radio show.  Rush wanted me on to talk about the night before.  I went on with Rush and my book immediately went to #1 on the Amazon best seller list.

We could have had a civil, intelligent discussion on the Donny Doofus show.  But that’s not what he wanted.  He wanted a food fight.  That’s what they got and the food wound up all over him and his dopey guests — again, who didn’t have the decency to read the book before going on his show to attack me and the book.

After the taping, I called the producer to say the obvious, that she lied to me.  She apologized.  Blamed her superiors who she said misled her.  I told her she should quit, on principle.  She said she couldn’t afford to and as I recall she started crying.  Honest?  I had little sympathy for her or anyone else on that show.

Donny is an unapologetic liberal.  No problem there.  But he lacked the courage to make it a fair fight.  That’s why I call him a coward.  Fair fight or no, he and his pals looked like fools.  I’m happy with how I handled them.  As I say, my book went to #1 on Amazon; Donny’s show was cancelled.

As a journalist, should the details in the Mueller report on those that were not indicted be redacted from the report if the full report is released. — Tim H. (Editor’s note: This question was received back on 3/23)

I think as much as possible should be made public.  Exceptions, of course, are parts that might deal with national security, grand jury testimony, etc.  But just because someone wasn’t indicted doesn’t mean we shouldn’t know as much about him as possible — as long as we’re not talking about unsubstantiated rumors.  Those should not be made public.

In your capacity as a professional journalist, how do you view Geraldo Rivera’s attributes as a serious journalist, specifically during the last decade? — Matthew Q.

Let’s just say I’m not a fan.  With Geraldo, it’s usually about … Geraldo.

When that old Inside Edition outtake of Bill O’Reilly throwing a temper tantrum was released (Editor’s note: video is below), I think it’s safe to say that the intent was to embarrass him. However, even Bill’s fans seemed to get a kick out of it. O’Reilly himself joked about it as well. Two questions: Do you think people in the mainstream media underestimate the right’s sense of humor (ability to laugh at their own), and do you think there’s any similar unseen footage of yourself flipping out over a production problem (or anything else)? — Jen R.

I think liberals, both in and out of the media, underestimate conservatives on all sorts of things — sense of humor included.  As for similar unseen footage of me, Jen:  I HOPE NOT!!!

Sir Bernard–Pls proffer your views on Dennis Miller and Ann Coulter, as it appears both are used selectively and sparingly by conservative media..albeit their keen wit, not to mention being fairly easy on the eyes. — Matthew Q.

I like Dennis and don’t like Ann.  He’s smart and funny.  She’s smart and mean spirited.  I wrote about her in one of my books.  The chapter title was … Do the Ends Justify the Meanness?  I think she says provocative things simply to provoke, to stand out from the crowd.  She’s outrageous because it’s good for her business.  She’s entitled.  Not my cup of tea.

Edmund Burke was a strong advocate of “The Party” until he realized that “The Party” promoted itself above the country. And when they did, Burke became their fiercest critic. I see the Democrat party of today also turning against the nation but where is the Edmond Burke to call them out? — Clarence V.

Both Democrats and Republicans are loyal to The Party over principles.  Where were the Republicans when President Trump continued to bash John McCain, seven months after he was dead and buried?  A few spoke up.  But very few.  As for the Democrats, they’re worse:  For the past 2 years they crawled out of the woodwork, went on CNN and MSNBC, and declared that Trump was guilty of collusion.  Some said they had evidence.  And when the Mueller Report concluded there was no collusion, no conspiracy, no nothing … did they apologize?  Did they say their hatred of Donald Trump clouded their judgment?  No.  They said the report doesn’t mean he didn’t collude.  There’s a special place in political hell for people like that.

Profiles in Courage are hard to come by.  These days, very, very hard.

Bernie- Forgive me for yet another comment & question about Fox & Bill O’Reilly. I think O’Reilly was largely responsible for Fox’s growth because he spoke in a way that reached people with traditional values, and although he is a staunch conservative, he almost always presented the liberal point of view via one of his guests. He also had wildly entertaining segments, yours being one of them. Do you have an opinion about the effect of The O’Reilly Factor on cable news? — Joseph R.

I agree with your premise, entirely.  Bill changed the cable news landscape.  He conducted interviews that were both informative and entertaining.  Some liked it, some didn’t.  But it was a departure from what old school journalists had been doing.  Love him or hate him, he was a real pioneer.

We recently had a president who was cool, flip and glib and oh so Presidential. He was also grossly incompetent, inept and an utter failure. I don’t understand why so many people prefer that to Pres Trump. Yes, he can be brash and crude and insulting. He does, on a fairly regular basis, say things that make me cringe and I wish he would let an adult check out his tweets (as an adult I resent even writing that word) before they go out to the public. So what? He is trying,and I believe this is his real sin, to fix some problems. Your thoughts? — Dennis C.

You set up a choice, Dennis — either we prefer an incompetent, polite president … or a crude but effective president.  How about this:  A competent, effective president who is not vulgar, not petty, not dishonest and not vindictive.  That’s what I and a whole bunch of Americans prefer.  Some people don’t like anything about Donald Trump.  Others like his policies (at least many of them) but not his behavior.  That makes sense to me.  And that’s why if the next election is about the Trump economy and the Democratic socialist tendencies, Trump has a good chance of winning.  If the election is about Donald Trump and his character, I think even a lefty can win.  Also, if the Democrats overplay their hand and either push for impeachment or launch non-stop investigations after the Meuller Report said there was no collusion, that helps the president.  Stay tuned.

I’m guessing that you were not a conservative when you joined CBS News. When in life did you become a conservative? And what were the greatest influences in making you conservative? — Fred E.

Interesting question, Fred.  I grew up in a blue collar family in the Bronx — and everybody in the area was a Democrat.  In college I was a liberal, but not especially political.  Over the years, people have said, “You became a conservative when you started making money.”  That may be part of it, but not the main part.  The main reason I’m no longer a liberal is because — to paraphrase Ronald Reagan — I didn’t leave them, they left me.

I was for civil rights, but now I was asked to support affirmative action for a black student whose parents may have been successful middle or upper class folks, at the expense of a white Anglo Saxon protestant son or daughter of a coal miner in West Virginia.  How was that kid privileged?

I was for women’s rights, but now I was asked to support a woman who wanted to be a firefighter even if she couldn’t carry a man out of a burning building.

Abortion, maybe.  Late term abortion, NO.

So the greatest influences in making me a conservative were actually liberals who went too far in too many things. Liberals made me a conservative.

Any chance of you appearing on Stephen Colbert’s or Bill Maher’s shows? How about “The View” sometime? In light of The Mueller Report, I think it would be interesting to see someone like YOU bring the truth out in front of their live audiences, especially considering the rhetoric that they have been spouting for the last two years. Best Regards –The Emperor

I’m flattered, Emperor … but no on Colbert (who I find to be mean spirited) … No on Maher who asked me on his old ABC show several times but I choose not to be the token conservative making my case in front of his far left audience … and a great big NO to The View — but in fairness they wouldn’t want me any more than I want them.  But again, Emperor, thanks for the vote of confidence.

It sees to me that much of the media pays a great deal of attention to celebrities, as if their expert opinion matters. I could give a rat’s hat about what these people think. Your thoughts? — Terry J.

I’m with you, Terry.  The reason some media pay attention to celebrities is because they figure — rightly, I think — that the audience likes to hear from and see beautiful people. And when, to use one example, Robert DeNiro at the Tony Awards says F Donald Trump, journalists figure it’s too good to ignore.  Stuff like that gets clicks, and eyeballs which translate to ratings and circulation. It comes down to the fact that we live in the United States of Entertainment.  The “funny” thing is that celebrities think they’re smart because they’re famous. They have a great big megaphone and they use it to promote their causes.  That, I get. But …  News people ought to know better.

What was the reason you decided not to make more appearances on Bill O’Reilly’s podcasts? — Christopher S.

I actually answered this in a previous Q&A, Christopher. Here’s what I wrote:

“I’ve been on a few times but as I told Bill, I don’t like being a guest on his show to talk only about the media’s biases. I think the president brings a lot of the bad press on himself — and while Bill lets me say whatever I want, I know that he’s more interested in media bias than Trump chaos. So I’ve declined his invitation on more than one occasion.”

That said, I may return in the future.

Hi, Bernie: Love your work. Can you explain why Trump finally took what seemed to be the logical step and decided to declassify a number of documents that we have been wanting to see, only to backtrack on it and keep those documents hidden to this day? I have a hard time with that one. Thanks. — Jim C.

I’m having a hard time with it, too, Jim.  Maybe there’s something in it that isn’t good for … wait for it … Donald Trump.  Who knows.  Let’s hope he de-classifies the documents.  If he doesn’t, I will become very suspicious. And I won’t be alone.  Let’s wait and see.

Mr. Goldberg, you have written a lot about bias in the mainstream media, but what are your thoughts on bias in sports media, namely ESPN. For several years ESPN has been accused of having a liberal bias and it even admitted it may slant left in an article published by its ombudsman following the 2016 election. Do you have any thoughts on these claims and do you think politics has any place in sports reporting? Since John Skippers’ departure from ESPN, the network has claimed it is going to just “stick to sports”. — JM

Just sticking to sports isn’t a bad idea for a sports network, right?  But you ask a good question … and yes, I think liberal bias creeps into sports reporting.  When the story is about “Who’s a better shortstop, this guy or that guy” there’s not much chance of bias.  But when it’s about social issues that trascend sports — race, gender, even politics (teams visiting the White House) — then, just like non-sports reporting, bias is a possibility.  And since reporters — sports or otherwise — tend to be liberal … that’s the kind of bias we’re going to get.


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.

President Trump’s Secret Weapon

He can’t go 10 minutes without saying something – let’s be diplomatic here and call it … provocative.

He, of course, is President Trump, who has said some – more diplomacy – interesting things of late.

First, there’s Mr. Trump’s understanding of American history. He said he believes that President Andrew Jackson saw the Civil War coming and was angry about it.

Could be, but Andrew Jackson died 16 years before the war started.

Mr. Trump also said that Jackson “Would never have let it happen.”

Could be, again, but Andrew Jackson owned slaves in his native Tennessee and might very well have let it happen. And many historians believe the war was inevitable, given how long bad blood between the North and South had been simmering.

Then there’s North Korea.

President Trump said he would be willing to meet with Kim Jong Un “under the right circumstances” to defuse tensions over North Korea’s nuclear program.  “If it would be appropriate for me to meet with him, I would absolutely, I would be honored to do it,” Mr. Trump said.

A meeting is one thing — diplomacy is always a good place to start.  But honored to do it?

Honored … to meet with a despot who threatens the United States every chance he gets? Honored … to meet with a tyrant who doesn’t tolerate anything resembling dissent and isn’t averse to murdering his opponents?

Maybe the president was just being polite. Or maybe he was just shooting from the lip, improvising foreign policy on the fly. Who knows?

So let’s leave North Korea and go to the Philippines – and another authoritarian leader our president would like to sit down with (at the White House).

Maybe President Trump isn’t aware that since Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte took office nearly a year ago, he has overseen a campaign of extrajudicial executions of suspected drug addicts and drug dealers that has claimed more than 7,000 lives.

So, is a sit-down with a despot like Duterte — at the White House no less — a meeting that would give him a patina of legitimacy, good policy? Off the top of my head, I’d say no.

Despite all the needless turmoil he stirs up, President Trump has a secret weapon, unintended allies in unexpected places. They’re the Trump-hating progressives on the loony left who are doing their best to make him look good.

If it isn’t Stephen Colbert’s vulgar rant on national television aimed at the president, or left-wing masked anarchists violently disrupting May Day rallies, or liberal thugs on college campuses shutting down conservative speakers they don’t like — when they’re not yelling about “inappropriate” Halloween costumes, then it’s really important stuff – like accusing the president of bigotry because he calls their progressive heroine Senator Elizabeth Warren … Pocahontas.

Note to the crazy left: As a general rule, unhinged doesn’t play well among moderates who live between the coasts.

But now progressives have taken their anger to a whole new level: Some have actually cancelled their subscriptions to the newspaper they have long accepted as their progressive bible – the New York Times.

What ghastly sin did the Times commit? They hired former Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens, a Pulitzer Prize-winning conservative and a member of the never-Trump club.

If only, in his first column for the Times, Stephens had stuck it to the despised Mr. Trump. But he didn’t.

Instead, he had the gall to challenge the liberal party line on one of the left’s holiest of sacred cows – global warming.

“While the modest (0.85 degrees Celsius, or about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit) warming of the Northern Hemisphere since 1880 is indisputable,” Stephens wrote, “as is the human influence on that warming, much else that passes as accepted fact is really a matter of probabilities. That’s especially true of the sophisticated but fallible models and simulations by which scientists attempt to peer into the climate future.”

In other words, we can be sure of what’s happening now and what’s already happened but we can’t be certain of what’s going to happen years and years into the future.

Because of his blasphemy many Times readers had a meltdown of nuclear proportions. Taking to Twitter they said:

“Bret Stephens first op-ed for the NYT is an abomination”

“It’s really a shame what has happened to this once-great newspaper”

“Democracy dies in the darkness. So, too, the climate. Thanks, Times, for spreading fake opinion”

David French put it elegantly in National Review Online: “The only people who can’t recognize that our nation has a ‘smug liberal’ problem are smug liberals.”

But these smug liberals may wind up being Donald Trump’s ace in the hole, because a lot of Americans – whether they like Donald Trump or not — find left wing smugness far more annoying than the president.

Crazy as it sounds, they may turn out to be Donald Trump’s most potent political allies, as we get closer to 2018.

Stay tuned.

Weather Suddenly Doesn’t Matter in the Climate Change Debate?

protestThe other day, one of my liberal friends posted one of those sharable, meme images featuring a quote from comedian Stephen Colbert on her Facebook page. It has become a fairly popular quote – one that I’ve seen posted a number of times over the past couple of months:

“Global warming isn’t real because I was cold today! Also great news: World hunger is over because I just ate.”

The clever quip came from Colbert’s Twitter account last November. It was obviously designed to poke fun at skeptics of man-made global warming, who have taken notice of the record cold temperatures and snowfall throughout the country in recent years, and have used that data to chastise the true believers.

I may not share many of Colbert’s world views, including those he has on climate change, but I can still appreciate his humor. After all, there is indeed a distinction between the climate and the weather. Cold fronts alone are far from the most effective argument when challenging the conventional wisdom of man-made global warming.

Some on Colbert’s side of the debate have been downright hostile towards those who conflate climate with weather. Last summer, CNN’s Richard Weir had a visceral response to a Fox Nation headline used for a Washington Times article that found some irony in Al Gore attending an event in Denver on a chilly, rainy day, to discuss “the rising temperatures driven by climate disruption.”

The headline was “Climate Doesn’t Cooperate With Al Gore’s Group’s Visit to Denver EPA Hearings.”

Weir was not amused. “Weather is not climate, you willfully ignorant f*cksticks,” he angrily tweeted, referencing Fox Nation’s account.

He later apologized, but Weir’s sensitivity on the topic is clearly shared by many; his outburst was re-tweeted over 5,000 times. Colbert’s remark (which has been re-tweeted over 35,000 times) has absolutely gone viral; it seems to turn up everywhere and in many different forms.

Again, I get it. Climate and weather aren’t the same thing. What I don’t get is why so many vocal global warming believers don’t realize that this is the exact same argument they themselves have been using for many years (even decades) to try and prove themselves correct on the topic.

In March of 2010, former president Bill Clinton spoke at the Gridiron Club’s annual dinner, noting that it was the night before the start of spring, “otherwise known to Al Gore as proof of global warming.” The joke garnished a good laugh from the audience, as well it should have. Clinton likely recognizes that it has become second nature in this country (in large part due to environmental activism) to attribute practically anything to climate change.

I had this in mind when I took about 5 minutes to photoshop my own meme image and use it as the reply to my friend’s Facebook post: “I’ll stop pointing out how cold it is outside when you stop blaming everything else in the world on global warming. – John A. Daly”

As you can imagine, it hasn’t yet received a response or even a “like”… and it probably won’t.

Let’s face it: For decades, students have been taught in school that record high temperatures are proof of global warming. We hear how excessive rain and floods are caused by global warming. Drought is blamed on global warming. Hurricanes are blamed on global warming. Earthquakes are starting to be blamed on global warming. Even snow and cold are now blamed on global warming, as long as there’s enough of it to be considered “extreme.”

Somehow, these wild assertions don’t come across as absurd to the global warming proponents. They’re entertained, considered, and often accepted by the very people who cite “science” as their witness, even when those assertions are discredited by climate scientists who believe 100% that man is warming the planet.

As with many things in life – whether it be the media, politics, or the culture in general, I just want a single societal standard. If simply saying the word “science” can be used to defend a school of thought marred by wide-eyed hyperbole, desperately wrong scientific predictions, and falsified historical temperature data, it seems to me that saying “it’s cold” is a pretty fair and appropriate response.


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