Bernie’s Q&A: The Debate, Trump's Taxes, BLM, and more! (10/2) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)
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Now, let’s get to your questions (and my answers):
Lance Morrow had an excellent Op-ed in the Wall Street Journal - "Before Reporting Became 'Journalism'". I was interested in your thoughts on this particular passage:
"Let not the listener or viewer or reader be detained by thought but instead move briskly on to emotions, which are the addictive and highly profitable drugs in which big media traffic. News media become crack houses of information and, all the while, ruthless participants in the struggle for political power and for what the parsons on 'Morning Joe' call 'the soul of America.'" -- Steve R.
I'm with Morrow on this. News organizations are no longer where we can reliably go to get honest information. They are part of the problem. They pour gasoline on the fire every chance they get, especially cable TV news. It's good for business. And the people who want news to reflect their own opinions: They're a big part of the problem too. If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm disgusted with what passes for journalism these days -- and with the audiences that prop it up.
This is more a comment than a question. The Breonna Taylor tragedy seems to be a better example for the protests than the Floyd case. At least she was not a well-documented criminal. The man with her was justified in his actions and the cops return of fire was also justified, albeit excessive, so this is a situation that needs mitigating police procedures to avoid similar occurrences. But the Floyd matter, based on body-cam transcripts, indicates Floyd had self-inflicted the overwhelming majority cause to his death. When this is officially concluded, such as just occurred in Louisville, the rioting will really go nuts. So, while the cop was a complicating factor in contributing to Floyd’s death, I believe the riots are collateral damage from the lockdowns around the country. Had there not been the lockdown, the riots would have been far less violent and destructive, or even nonexistent. The riots would likely have been nonexistent had the media not fanned the fires, which they all did - if it bleeds . . . Ergo, the riots are, to a large extent, a direct result from lockdowns and from the blood-thirsty media. Does that (mouthful) sound kind of nuts? -- DonEstif
Let's just say, Don, I don't agree with much of what you've said. I don't agree that George Floyd "had self inflicted the overwhelming majority cause to his death." I think the cop with his knee on Floyd's neck was overwhelmingly responsible for the death. Calling the cops "a complicating factor" is putting it mildly. As for riots and the lockdowns: As for the rioting "to a large extent" the result of lockdowns and "the bloodthirsty media" -- I don't agree with that either. Do you sound kind of nuts? Could be, Don.
Bernie, you need to break your earlier proclamation and pull the lever for Trump. Every vote matters, we cannot let the socialist take over! -- Joe M.
I might have done that until I saw him in the debate. Now it ain't gonna happen. And if he loses, don't even attempt to put it on me and the others who prefer a GOP victory.
Let’s stipulate what you often say, Trump lies or exaggerates A LOT. That said, in 9/25's Q&A, a reader cited Trump’s recent quote where he said “...it affects virtually nobody...” in a jag about Covid. It was clear from the context that he was talking about children and teenagers. I saw the speech myself and it was even referenced in the preamble of the question. Trump is wrong a lot, but in this case the data backs him up. According to the CDC, the survival rates for Covid by age group are:
0.003% mortality is in fact *virtually* zero. Just because we may not like Trump or the way he speaks doesn’t automatically nullify facts if they happen to come from him. It’s the Left’s knee jerk reaction to dismiss *everything* that Trump says that has led to many of the bizarre reactions we’ve seen, such as calling Hydroxychloroquine “dangerous” and “deadly” despite the fact that it’s been in common use for 60 years and is available over the counter in virtually all countries other than the US. Medical doctors will tell you that there are more adverse reactions for young people taking Tylenol than with Covid. To borrow from a common saying, let’s not shoot the message (just because we don’t like the messenger). -- Keith M.
(Editor's note: John F. sent a similar comment)
I'm responding to your comment, Keith, the day after the debate ... so I'm not likely to give Mr. Trump the benefit of any doubt. I'm not a fan of shooting the message because we don't like the messenger, but the messenger needs to talk like a grownup and be clear ... something this president seems unable to do.
Have you seen Larry Elder’s documentary “Uncle Tom” about black conservatives, or Black conservatives? I found it very enlightening, compelling, and emotionally uplifting. If systemic racism exists in this country, it is mostly concentrated within the Democratic Party and it’s philosophy to Blacks that do not support it’s narratives and platforms. I would like to hear observations of this documentary especially by Black liberals, honest criticism and acknowledgement. Cheers! -- D.E.
I have not seen it ... but welcome any black liberals on this site (I'm guessing there are approximately NONE) -- to weigh in.
Hi Bernie, Really enjoyed your trophy culture segment on HBO Real Sports. Seeing the resulting entitlement and difficulty coping with demands of real life in the post-graduate medical education environment in my residents and medical students. Not sure why it was so hard to see that teaching our children how to be resilient and compete isn’t such a bad thing when it comes to succeeding in life. -- Enjoy your work, Jedd
Thanks very much Jedd. Give a kid a trophy for finishing in 17th place -- literally! -- and you're doing a lot of harm to that kid. He'll accept As in school and when it doesn't get it, he'll fold. The Trophy Culture is a very bad idea.
Mr. G, I HAD to go home for a funeral to NYC for a few days this past weekend. Covid aside, the very noticeable deterioration of most things the past year or two is just sad. The vibe, the look, the poor services, the litter, the lack of any secure feeling and the energy of NY to me seems to be Gone. I don’t blame the politicians, I blame the resident voters. They had NYC fixed for many years; so why do the people choose to go backwards? And what is the strongest pull for people to continue to vote for those who destroy quality of life? I’m not going back to NYC anytime soon, I don’t care who dies. --ScottyG
Sorry about your loss, Scotty. New Yorkers voted for their "progressive" mayor, now they can live with the consequences. I have no sympathy for them.
Bernie, You're probably familiar with the awkward silence on "Outnumbered" that ensued when Newt Gingrich called out George Soros for his work funding far-left district attorney's elections across the US. He was basically told that they wouldn't discuss this topic; he asked if it was "verboten". Subsequent comments by Harris Faulkner were to the effect that the show wasn't censored but didn't really explain the hands-off Soros approach. Is he so powerful that the most of the media, even of the right of center, won't touch him? His money has had a dramatic impact of the shape of our society and government, it seems to me. -- John F.
I watch as little of cable as I can get away with and didn't see that show. I know nothing about why Fox would put a lid on Soros bashing. Mystery to me.
Based on Tuesday night's debate, is Chris Wallace biased? -- Scott
Let's just say he was tougher on Trump than on Biden ... BUT ... Trump gave him more reason to sound like he was anti-Trump. Whatever you think of Wallace, Scott, Trump was worse. A lot worse.
I have an observation and a question. The observation: In 2003 or so, I watched two pro wrestlers engage in a debate about the Iraq War that ended with one body-slamming the other through a table. It was marginally more dignified than what we saw tonight. My question is: could Chris Wallace's late father Mike Wallace MAYBE have kept Trump in check, or would that have been too much even for him? -- Joel E.
No one could have kept Donald Trump in check -- and that's because Mr. Trump doesn't care about rules, decorum, civility or anything else -- except himself.
Bernie, since Biden went low with Trump, do you think he hurt himself among independents who were hoping he would be a more mature candidate? -- Joe M.
Maybe. But I think Donald Trump hurt himself more ... by behaving like Donald Trump.
Megyn Kelly put forth an interesting idea about how a moderator can better handle a completely out-of-control political debate like the one we saw on Tuesday. When a candidate, or maybe both candidates, won't stop talking over their opponent, and won't stop breaking the rules, she suggests:
turning off their microphones
taking the camera off of the candidates, and putting it on the moderator
She thinks it would only take a couple of times of doing that (depriving the candidate(s) of attention) to get them to fall in line. While it's sad that we should even have to consider such a thing when dealing with adults, I think she may be onto something. What do you think? -- Ben G.
You can kill the microphones if you want, but that won't stop Donald Trump from talking out of turn. As for taking the camera off the candidates, they probably wouldn't even know it. There's a better way to deal with debates that turn into food fights: find better candidates in the first place. I know: Good luck with that, right?
Bernie, Chris Wallace is getting a lot of flak for his role in the debate. Jason Whitlock said this in his article about Wallace’s performance, “Wallace played the role of Nero at the behest of corporate advertisers. The instructions given to Wallace and debate organizers were simple:
Create a choppy format that doesn’t allow either candidate to say anything of substance.
Escalate President Trump’s natural desire to be hyper combative.
Ask a series of pointless, race-related questions so that it appears you addressed the most important issue facing this country.”
Do you believe this was the case? -- JM
No. I don't think Chris Wallace was given any instructions. I think was in a bad position from the jump. The candidates were going to do whatever they wanted, no matter how many times Chris Wallace told them to play nice. No one can control Donald Trump, the chief offender. Not Wallace, not Biden and interestingly, not Donald Trump.
To me, the biggest revelation from Trump's taxes isn't that his accountant is REALLY gifted at saving him money through legal tax loopholes, but rather that Trump is by no means the "genius businessman" that he has long presented himself as (both in his brand and in his argument for becoming president in 2016). He inherited hundreds of millions of dollars and blew it on failed casino ventures. He was in serious trouble until Jeff Zucker (of all people) turned him into a reality star which revamped his image and replenished his finances... before he began losing big money again on real estate ventures, and eventually decided to run for president. What are your thoughts? -- Alex D.
I think you nailed it, Alex. If his accountant found legal deductions that brought his client's tax bill down, good for him. Only liberals think it's wrong to pay as little tax as the law requires us to pay. But you're right about this revelation that Donald Trump is not the genius businessman he wants us all to believe he is. But that part might get lost in the part about him supposedly paying "only" $750 in federal taxes in one year.
Bernie, Let's say that you're locked in a ruthless, every-man-for-himself paintball battle with other media pundits. All but four people have been eliminated: You, Geraldo, Donny Deutsch, and Jesse Watters. You only have two paintball pellets left in your gun, so you have to make them count. Would you:
A) Take out Geraldo (for once threatening to punch you in the face) and Deutsch (for once ambushing you with a panel of 5 angry liberals)?
B) Shoot Jesse Watters twice, just to knock that know-nothing smirk off his face?
-- John D.
This is a very good question. Very good! Here's what I would do: First, I'd tell Donny that Geraldo called him a moron. Donny is a moron but still would be offended enough to try to punch out Geraldo. Geraldo would then wrestle Donny to the ground. While they were tussling, I'd tell Jesse -- I would talk slowly because Jesse is, well, not too smart -- that he should break up the Donny-Geraldo fight because Donald Trump just called and told him to break up the fight. Since Jesse will do anything Donald Trump tells him to do, Jesse would jump in and try to break up the fight. At which point Donny and Geraldo would kick Jesse's ass while at the same time wiping that know-nothing smirk off his face. At that point, I'd give the paintballs to Donny and Geraldo who, given their massive egos, would shoot each other. End of story.
Please send my regards, John D, to the other residents of the Mental Institution.
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