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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:
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.”
“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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