Bernie’s Q&A: Impeachment, CNN Debate Bias, the Robach Video, and more! (1/17) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)
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Now, let’s get to your questions (and my answers):
Bernie, I like your input although I don't always agree with you. But you do make some salient points. You rail against the toadies on Fox News. I tend to agree with you as far as identifying Hannity, Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham as toadies. But I find the reporters and other commentators well balanced. My question is, what about the toadies for the democrats and socialists on CNN. MSNBC, ABC, CBS and NBC? -- Victor P.
I've commented more than once, Victor, that CNN and MSNBC are the same as Fox in that their commentators pander to their audiences just as Fox commentators pander to theirs. And while the people on Fox's prime time lineup cover for the president, the people on CNN and MSNBC's prime time line up bash everything Trump does.
As for reporters on Fox, by and large I think they're very good. I think the Fox Washington bureau reporters are excellent.
Now to ABC, CBS and NBC: Their biases aren't nearly as blatant as those on cable mainly because they don't have opinion shows per se. Do they lean left? Basically yes. But not like Fox leans right or the others lean left.
When my high school graduation was coming up many years ago I couldn’t wait. I believe the vast majority of my class in the late 60’s left high school with great optimism. And I believe us baby boomers made the world a vastly better place. We took what our fathers and mothers did and made it better. I may be wrong, but I don’t believe kids leave high school today with that same optimism. And more directly, I believe left wing positions have a lot to do with it. Your thoughts? -- Tim H.
I haven't spoken to high school kids in quite a while, so I don't know if you're right, Tim. But I think you're on to something when you talk about the influence on them coming from the left. When I was in high school -- whether it was said out loud or not -- there was a sense that America was a great country. Now, one gets the impression that its America's imperfections that are highlighted. And polls have indicated that young people embrace socialism more than capitalism. So, as I say, good chance you're on to something important here, Tim.
Last week someone brought up the leaked Amy Robach video where she talked about having the goods on Jeffrey Epstein, but not being allowed to report on the story. Part of that video that seems completely forgotten is where she said, "It was unbelievable what we had. Clinton—we had everything."
She was obviously talking about former president, BILL Clinton. A dubious relationship between Epstein and Clinton should be a HUGE story, but as far as I've seen, Robach hasn't been pressed by anyone in the media to explain what exactly she "had" on Clinton. Is it malpractice to just drop the topic (as the media seems to have), or is it possible that whatever Robach found was understood to be too thin/unreliable to warrant additional media attention? -- Ryan S.
Here's the problem, Ryan: Amy Roach ain't talking anymore. Her job security might be on the line if she talked. But if she had said, "It was unbelievable what we had on Trump -- we had everything" ... then, and pardon me stating the obvious, there'd be a whole bunch of interest in what she meant -- and ABC probably wouldn't have killed the story.
Bernie, I continue to look forward to this every week. Good questions, good answers. Thanks for doing this in lieu of writing another book and am enjoying your weekly audio clip as well.
Regarding the "assassination" discussion (from last week): my online Merriam-Webster site lists the first definition of assassinate is "to murder (a usually prominent person) by sudden or secret attack often for political reasons." No doubt that the attack was sudden or secret....the "for political reasons" part is what I contend doesn't fit necessarily. But then again that was itself modified by "often", which would imply not exclusively. I think my reaction to the MSM's characterization of the attack as an "assassination" is because I am interpreting their comments (correctly, I believe) as trying to cast this in the worst possible light, undermining its legitimacy. If they wanted to fairly discuss its legitimacy, I think they could have used another word....as the Emperor said, this word brings to mind to most people folks like John Wilkes Booth and Brutus. -- John F.
I've been thinking about this since the question came up last week. You and the Emperor make good points. And I acknowledged that I understood the concern about using that word. Was it to try to cast the attack in the worst possible light? Knowing how too many reporters think ... yeah, good chance. Here's the other thing about the word assassinate: We generally use it when the person killed is a great person -- Lincoln, JFK, MLK, etc. By putting Soleimani in that group journalists invite blowback. You make a good point.
Also, here's a link to a NRO story that I think you'll like.
While the constitution states clearly that the Senate has 'sole' authority to try impeachments and the Chief Judge (SCOTUS) 'presides', can the judge impose his will on the Senate and, possibly, do things like call/demand for witnesses, or compel the presentation of other documents or evidence? -- Andrew M.
Don't know what he CAN do, but I do know what Justice Roberts WILL do. He will do everything he can to try to stay invisible, to try to insure that he doesn't come off as a political player. So, he won't call or demand witness testimony or compel the presentation of evidence -- though he may have to rule on questions about all of those things.
Whenever I hear Greta Thunberg and the other alarmists criticizing carbon footprints and the like, I NEVER hear them complaining about or addressing the nations that cause the most damage (China, India, and Russia). These people almost always gripe about changes that they say the western nations need to make, especially the U.S. (and its citizens). Why? If they're really that concerned about climate change, wouldn't thy be trying to get the worst offenders to make the biggest changes? Yet they don't seem to be doing this. Your thoughts? -- Global Warming Regards From The Emperor
Once again, you hit on an important -- yet overlooked -- point ... leading me to believe you should give up your Emperorship and become an editor at the New York Times. No joke. As for why Ms. Thunberg and the others lay off the most serious polluters, it's likely because attacking them isn't as satisfying to the left as attacking the United States and the other western nations. Crazy, right? But I suspect we both know it's true. To progressives, we're the bad guys -- whether the subject is race, gender, class or climate. It's their default position. I have a hard time imagining Ms. Thunberg coming out and blasting China and Russia. And if she did she'd never become Time magazine's Person of the Year. She'd be investigated instead as a right wing shill.
Maybe I shouldn't be, but I was stunned last week at the response among the media and others from the left after Trump had Soleimani killed. It's one thing to question Trump's foreign policy and the potential for escalation, but so many on the left sank to a new low in their defense of this dictatorial terrorist. They were singing his praises and mourning his loss. It was despicable. Is there any self-awareness from this large group of leftists, and do you think this is one of life's examples where hatred makes fools of the haters? -- Steve Rogers
I'd put it slightly differently, Roger. It's not that the left is defending Soleimani. The Dispatch (Stephen Hayes's new site) ran a pretty good fact-check on this claim.
It's that the knee jerk response from the left is that President Trump was the one who was escalating tensions in the region, that he was the one taking us to "the brink of war." Bulletin: The Middle East was never Switzerland. I don't know when it was last stable and safe.
The left has a nasty habit of blaming America first. That, I think, is what we have been seeing -- more than liberals and progressives mourning Soleimani's death.
How will we (the folks in the middle) ever put up with another four years of a Trump administration should he win, since the unhinged Left is already way off their tracks? My TV News watching days will be over I’m sure. -- ScottyG
Good question and here's a non political answer: There's more to life than politics. A lot more. Spend less time watching cable news and more time doing things that make you happy. I used to watch a lot of Fox. No more. And I feel better. Besides, we, as a nation, have survived a Great Depression, two World Wars, 9/11 and a lot more. We'll survive whoever is elected president -- and the predictable noise from cable TV that surely will follow.
This morning (1/14) every sports radio broadcaster on the dial was saying Joe Burrow just completed the greatest college football season in history, on the greatest college football team in history. It was a great season (probably one of the better ones in the last 40 years), but the game's been around for 150 years and I am pretty sure all of the broadcasters on air this morning have only covered the sport for about 15 - 20 years. Why does the media get so dramatic about events and classify many of the good things that happen as the "greatest ever" (and many of the bad things that happen as the "worst ever")? Maybe they are doing it to drive clicks and ratings but it undercuts their credibility. -- Joe M.
They sound a lot like a certain president who also thinks everything is the greatest ever. That said, maybe it's just the excitement that goes with witnessing the "greatest" game ever and the "greatest" season, etc. Maybe these analysts get caught up in the moment. And maybe -- maybe -- they're really onto something. But if they're not, if a real reporter goes back into the archives and determines this wasn't the greatest anything, then yes, it undercuts their credibility. Speaking just for me, I don't take it all that seriously.
Mr. Goldberg, With the recent Astros cheating scandal which outrages me, I wonder what your thoughts are surrounding the punishment? I applaud the Astros ownership for the moves they made immediately following the MLB announcement. Having said that, I still wonder why Pete Rose, who earned his rightful spot in the Baseball HoF for his on-field performance, also earned a lifetime ban for betting on his own team, and yet the Astros don't have to vacate their World Series from 2017. At the very least it should have an asterisk, no? -- Tim R.
The kind of cheating the Astros are guilty of corrupts the sport and (to put it mildly) tarnishes their World Series win, I'm with you on the asterisk. And if the perpetrators got a lifetime ban I wouldn't have lost any sleep over it. If MLB wanted to vacate their championship season. that would be OK with me too. Like you, Tim, I recognize that this is a big deal and in a way transcends sport. It tells us about a culture that puts winning at all costs over everything. And if you think you can get away with cheating, hey why not give it a shot? Well, the why not is that now a bunch of people are out of work -- and I hope humiliated.. I wonder if the players are embarrassed. They certainly should be. They were the ones who benefited most from the cheating.
In your "Off the Cuff" interview with George Carlin, you said he made you think. That comment brought to mind the "Dilbert" cartoonist, Scott Adams, and his latest book, "Loserthink". Have you interviewed him? What is your opinion of Scott Adams and his view of the world? -- Ival S.
Have not read the book, Ival, and usually don't follow political cartoons. I know a little about Adams -- over the years he's been an independent thinker ... but more recently a big Trump fan. I'll give him credit for being public about that since he lives in California.
In this week's Democratic debate, Bernie Sanders was asked by the moderator whether he'd told Elizabeth Warren that he didn't think a woman could win the presidency (a claim Warren had made about a private conversation between the two). Sanders flatly denied having said that.
The moderator then immediately turned to Warren and asked, "Senator Warren, what did you think when Senator Sanders told you a woman could not win the election?”
In other words, the moderator totally disregarded Sanders' denial, and presented the original claim as a matter of fact to tee up a question for Warren. What are your thoughts on this? Pro-Warren bias, or clumsy mistake by the moderator? - Trevor M.
I thought it was a perfect example of crummy, biased journalism -- and not a clumsy mistake. I think she believed Warren's story and didn't believe Bernie's, and so thought she could ask the question the way she did. But what she should have asked Senator Warren is: You just heard Senator Sanders deny your version of the story. Is he lying?
There's another theory floating around. That CNN has chosen sides. Warren's side. And they want to hurt Sanders. And this was part of their game plan. I'm not subscribing to that. I have no facts to back that up. But would I be shocked given how far CNN has fallen? No.
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