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