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Bernie’s Q&A: Hunter, Lincoln Project, Fauci, the other Goldberg, and more! (10/23) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)
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Now, let’s get to your questions (and my answers):
Regarding your “Fair Press” column, I think most voters are at the point where they use simple reasoning of which candidate they feel is the lesser danger to their way of life. But I think there is now a chance that swing voters, fed up with what they see and read which they know to be BS, might just cast their vote as a mandate against a bias Press & social media. Could such a vote if it happens begin to start turning the Press back around to get closer to the middle? If not then, how does this issue ever turn back around? -- ScottyG
If there's a media backlash... manifested by voters choosing Trump over Biden as a protest against media corruption ... will that the the press to wake up and do its proper job? I don't think so. Too many journalists are on a mission -- not only to rid the nation of Donald Trump but to "enlighten" those they see as deplorable. The cancer has spread. I don't see a move to media sanity anytime soon. I hope I'm wrong.
Loved your commentary on the media, Monday. My hope is that those undecideds, and those who are leaning Biden but don't much care for him other than he's not Trump, will look at how unfair, transparently unfair, the media, to include social media has been in it's "coverage" of the President, and find that more repugnant and distasteful than the President himself, and vote for him in response. I'm sure my English comp prof would tear this paragraph to shreds, long-winded. In closing, heard the comments of Michigan Governor Whitmer: "If you want these lockdowns to stop and go back to normal life, vote for Biden". So is she actually saying it's all been a ruse? Her draconian edicts were all about making lives as miserable as possible and hoping it ends up hurting Trump at the polls? -- John M.
I don't blame you, John, for hoping that those undecided voters see how "transparently unfair" the media have been and vote for Trump. But I don't see it. As for Governor Whitmer: She's a politician and politicians say what they think they need to say to win ... for themselves or a member of their team. That's why she's saying what she's saying.
With all that has occurred the past 4 years, I am predicting that if Trump wins, a good portion of the country will go up in flames. What say you? The Oracle of Ashville! -- Lee K.
Violence in the streets is more than an outside chance, I'm afraid. A landslide victory one way or the other MIGHT calm things down. Cowardice pols have allowed the mayhem to go on for too long. The rioters aren't afraid of the authorities. A narrow victory for Donald Trump could wind up with what you say.
Hey, Bernie: What do you think of The Lincoln Project and its leaders? Have any strong opinions one way or another on Rick Wilson or the others? Also, would you characterize Lesley Stahl's 60 Minutes interview of The Lincoln Project principals three weeks before election day as good journalism or a free infomercial for the anti-Trump campaign? Best regards. -- Gary D.
Not a fan of the Lincoln Project or its leaders. Some of its leaders are Morning Joe regulars on MSNBC. That tells me all I need to know. Didn't see Leslie Stahl's interview with its principles, so I can't comment. Sorry.
Bernie, I just do not understand the "never Trump" Republicans who agree with Trump on the issues but claim to be voting for Joe Biden. Is this really all because they find Trump that obnoxious? Despite Trump's many flaws, he is still far more conservative than Bush, and far more successful at winning national elections when compared to McCain and Romney. While Bush, McCain, and Romney may look and act like what you would expect from a President, all three of them embraced liberal policies that made many Republicans pull their hair out and/or stay home on election day. So far, Trump wins elections, carries out conservative Republican policies and, unlike the other 3, actually connects with a population of Republican voters that has been laughed at and overlooked for years. Trump's personality may rub folks the wrong way, but did Republicans already forget the last 3 guys they had as the head of their party? -- Joe M.
I wrote a piece for this website that I haven't posted yet. Here's a sneak preview of how the column begins:
"I’ve pretty much been in lockdown at home since the virus hit and so I’ve have had plenty of time to contemplate the great mysteries of life. Is there a God? What was here before the universe? Why in the world would lifelong conservatives vote for Joe Biden?"
So, I'm as puzzled as you are, Joe. However, John Daly recently wrote a column for my website, where he provides a possible explanation.
John Daly wrote this in his latest article on your website:
"When the leader of the free world — a man who carries a tremendous amount of weight with his political base — regularly disseminates misinformation about a deadly virus, stokes baseless doubt in the best tools and simple practices available to mitigate that virus, and actually facilitates additional spread of that virus by organizing big social events, those who’ve placed trust and faith in him will do the same.
This is the most consequential failure of the Trump administration, on an extraordinarily important issue that should (and would, in normal times) transcend politics. For all of Biden’s faults (and there are plenty), virtually no one believes he would be spending his time in office, during the current health crisis, pretending the virus isn’t dangerous, stoking COVID-19 conspiracy theories, ridiculing mask wearing, undermining and mocking his medical professionals and scientists, calling on states to “liberate,” and holding huge in-person events in his honor."
Do you think that a lot of Americans see this issue as THE ONLY (or at least most important, transcending) issue for them in this election? We can argue about ideology and legislative policies all day long, but we're are 9 MONTHS into COVID-19 (which has changed everyone's everyday lives), and Trump is too often making it even harder for regular people to get through this safely and knowledgeably. -- Ben G.
For some, COVID-19 is in fact the most important issue. For others, it's the economy. But when so many voters are concerned about the virus -- and how the president is handling the crisis -- attacking Dr Fauci doesn't strike me as a smart move. More Americans trust Fauci, after all, than trust Trump. But Donald is who he is and even saying things that make it harder for him to win won't stop him from saying those things.
Hi. I know that conservatives, or at least those who watch a lot of Fox, etc, are pretty invested in the Hunter Biden stuff. But do you think the story resonates with anyone else, especially swing voters? I haven't seen any indicators of that. I know that part of it is because the mainstream media hasn't done much reporting on it. But I get the sense the regular voters don't really care much about a candidates' relatives, no matter how screwed or unethical up they are. -- Byron M.
You raise an important point, Byron. First ... the pay for play story, if true, is both legitimate and serious. But you're asking whether it resonates. Let me share with you the thoughts of a prominent GOP pollster, Frank Luntz, who said this:
“Nobody cares about Hunter Biden … why is [Trump] spending all his time on him?” Luntz asked. “Hunter Biden does not help put food on the table. Hunter Biden does not help anyone get a job. Hunter Biden does not provide health care or solve COVID. And Donald Trump spends all of his time focused on that and nobody cares.”
Have you ever been on a television program, radio show, or podcast (presumably to talk about politics), where afterwards the host or producers told you that never want you back? lol. I'm just asking because these days, and with your strong opinions, I'm thinking a lot of people would be worried about someone with an independent mind offending their viewers by not being partisan enough. -- Lance R.
Never happened, Lance. But note that I'm not on Fox anymore. They let my contract expire. And even though they never told me why, it's obvious that I was too critical of President Trump. Their viewers didn't like what I had to say. Social media lit up after my appearances -- with lots of negative comments. Fox will tolerate anti Trump talk from liberals but not so much from conservatives. So in a sense, I guess I was told never to come back. Ask me if I care?
Bernie, have you ever met, or are you related to, the professional wrestler named Goldberg? I'm asking because I've noticed some physical similarities between you two. Also, if you were a professional wrestler, which song would you use for your entrance theme, and what would be the name of your finishing move? -- John D.
The wrestler Goldberg, as you put it -- his name is Bill -- is my twin brother. So, duh, I guess I have met him. Are you high or what?
My entrance song would be "The Hills Are Alive with the Sound of Music" ... and my finishing move would be the one where I shoot and wound the guy with an AK 47 -- but only in Red States where that's legal.
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.