Discover more from Bernard Goldberg's Commentary
Bernie’s Q&A: Biden, Wallace, AOC, Priebus, and more! (11/13) — 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: If you enjoy these sessions (along with the weekly columns and audio commentaries), please use the Facebook and Twitter buttons to share this page with your friends and family. Thank you!
Now, let’s get to your questions (and my answers):
Bernie, if I gave you 500 million dollars, could you create a news station or program that would be unbiased and attract an audience? My idea would be to have a [neutral] host/moderator with 2 guests on opposite sides of an issue. Plus, a few unbiased fact-checkers using computers in real-time. Not sure how you add pizzazz to this mix, but I assume you'll need some. Is it possible to create this kind of station, or program? How would you create the unbiased program of your dreams? The country is starving for something like this, I think. At least I am. -- Howard N.
Excellent question, Howard. But first ... If you gave me $500 million there's a good chance you'd never see me again -- unless you searched every island in the South Pacific.
That said ... while your idea is a good one there's a good chance it wouldn't do well. Cable news has instilled in its viewers a need for controversy ... for bias ... for hosts who kiss the rear end of their favorite politician and bash the other side's guy (or gal). As I've said many times before, cable is a business model, -- one that works by throwing red meat at the crowd, by validating their biases, and encouraging them to come back for more. Audiences no longer want to hear 2 guys on one side and 2 on the other. On Fox, you may have noticed, they'll have 4 conservatives and Juan Williams. They don't have 2 and 2 or 3 and 3. Reasonable people would like your idea but I don't believe it would garner sufficient ratings -- and the money good ratings bring.
Do you see Donald Trump making another run at the presidency in 2024? -- Sven
Absolutely not. And I hope I'm right.
Bernie, is it me or is Fox News committing ratings suicide right before our eyes? Is the network so dumb that it fails to realize that 95% of its audience is Trump supporting Republicans and that letting Chris Wallace be its mouth piece ensures it will be completely irrelevant in a year? If it stays the current course it will be well behind MSNBC and CNN within the next 6 months. -- Joe M.
I disagree. Chris Wallace is on the news side and while he offers up analysis, he's not Sean Hannity. Hard core Trump supporters don't like him because he's fair. And that, Joe, is the dirty little secret. Partisans don't want honest news no matter how much they say they do. Do Trump supporters really want the news on Fox to be biased on the conservative side -- like CNN's news is biased on the liberal side? I think many Fox viewers want just that -- slanted, biased, news that supports their own biases. As for your last point, Fox won't be behind MSNBC or CNN in 6 months or, if I had to make a long distance guess, in 6 years.
My scenario about the Democrats running Biden with the understanding he would stand down sooner rather than later was not a conspiracy theory. It’s the only way Biden heading the ticket makes sense. There is no way the party planners would expect Biden to function in office four years. It would be a disaster for the Democrats and the nation. Harris fills the prime slot and Sanders is brought in to help advance the country to the left. -- John D. P.
Biden will be there for 4 years unless his mental condition deteriorates to the point where he can't stay in office. But I adamantly reject the idea that there was a conspiracy to nominate him "with the understanding" that he would resign. No way!
It's Monday (following the Friday Biden wins) and Pfizer delivers the big news. Watching the market and wondering if the DOW will hit the big 30 mark. If I was a Biden advisor I would advise him not to change one Trump policy when he takes office. What would you recommend to the president elect? -- Tim H.
If Biden really wants unity, I'd advise him to give Donald Trump credit for pushing hard for a vaccine to be approved in record time. I'd advise him to be generous and gracious. If the hard left doesn't like it, tough noogies. That is, if he really means what he says about uniting the country -- or at least trying.
As Ballotgate continues, a few queries for the former sage of south beach (still a sage but no longer a Beach boy):
In this day and age which of our fearless elected politicians and members of the MSM should we look to for honest answers (this is not intended to be a left vs. right issue but rather one that gets to the heart of whose word should be trusted or is the "final" word these days)?
If the answer to #1 above is there ain't too many, then should Ballotgate be dismissed quickly or resolved more deliberately?
Can you help point me to the provisions in The Constitution that define the term " president-elect" or authorize the media (see #1 above) to declare when an election is in fact over. I realize that two wrongs never make a right but I must ask your view on whether there is more to Ballotgate than there was to Russia Russia Russia keeping in mind that Collusiongate lasted more than a few weeks.
Thanks. -- Michael F.
One of the results of our hyper-polarization is that we don't know who to trust ... and very often we wind up trusting no one. That's not good, of course, but it's understandable. So I'll offer no name in media or politics as the "final" word -- but I do like FNC's hard news journalists who I think are fair. Which leads us to ...
The Trump campaign has every right to pursue it's contentions of fraud in the courts. But the president will need evidence. Hard evidence and not simply unconfirmed stories. And he will need enough evidence to actually make a difference. Meaning ... if his team finds 3 thousand fraudulent ballots in one state or another, but he lost that state by 10 thousand votes, it won't be enough to make a difference. And so, if that happens, a judge likely would not undo the election. The dispute doesn't have to be resolved in the next 10 minutes, but sooner is better than later. I trust the courts will move quickly. And finally ...
The media has NO official power to declare a winner. It's a tradition, but that's all it is. Allegations that Donald Trump was involved with the Russians went nowhere. We'll know soon enough if the ballot controversy is substantive or not. But absent real evidence, the election will officially be over, whether Mr. Trump or his acolytes like it or not. As for your question about the term "president-elect" -- No, it's nowhere to be found in the Constitution. So what? And while we're on the subject, I don't recall Trump supporters concerned about the use of that term when he was called president- elect in 2016.
What do you think about this new TV News practice about cutting off Trump and or Administration spokespeople who are verbally charging the Dems with election fraud? Even FNC (Cavuto) is doing it now. Shouldn’t the News show the content then either refute or confirm it all later? Who do they they think they are, Twitter? -- ScottyG
I'm with you, Scotty. People know that politicians don't always tell the truth. They put the best light on their polices -- and themselves. So news people should let them have their say and then -- as you correctly suggest -- set the record straight. What they're doing now doesn't give them more credibility -- it gives them less.
Now that it’s inevitable that Joe Biden will be sworn in as the next President, prominent Democrats and media figures are saying the quiet part out loud. Michelle Obama tells us it’s not enough that they won, there are still millions of people out there who supported the status quo (and infers that they need to be ‘dealt with’). AOC is actually saying that they want to be sure that all quotes, tweets and articles supporting Trump need to be preserved so that their authors can be removed from society, and Jennifer Rubin is telling us that those evil Trump supporters need to be shunned from society and “the Republican Party needs to be burned down”. These, sadly, aren’t outliers. This has just started and there are many more examples. How do we possibly “heal” when one side isn’t satisfied with winning but insists that every individual who opposed them is personally and professionally destroyed? After accusing him of being one for the past four years, don’t Democrats realize this is what actual fascists look like? -- Keith M.
These are liberals who long ago forgot how to be liberal. They are authoritarians. Stalinists. And if Biden thinks he can heal the wounds that divide us, he's dreaming. As long as there are the likes of AOC and Jennifer Rubin out there mouthing off, he won't find the unity he says he's hoping for. They will sabotage any attempt at reconciliation, which is a very long shot even without people like that.
Like most of us in the country, I have a thousand thoughts on this last election, but I'll narrow my question to just a couple of topics. One thing that makes me proud and optimistic as an American in this democratic experiment is the fact that VOTERS still decide elections. In 2020, we found out who and what doesn't: Money, social media (especially the screeching Twitterati), traditional media, mobs, protesters, pollsters, pundits, academics, woke athletes, the Hollywood left, etc. And speaking of traditional and social media, it's obvious they will continue to double down on their resistance and vilification of conservatives. Waiting for media members to see the light is a fruitless exercise, and it appears the only way to truth and enlightenment is a robust replacement media. Do you see this happening as well? If so, what form and funding will this take? -- Steve R.
I think the media we have will continue to be the media we're stuck with for the foreseeable future, and probably beyond. But let's not let the viewers and readers of the news off the hook. The media are only giving them what they demand. The NY Times makes money on subscriptions. That's why there are so many borderline insane anti-Trump op-eds. The Times can't risk offending its progressive customers. Same with cable TV. If some moneybag type came along and funded a down the middle news operation, it likely would fail. Blame it on the audience that wants to hear its own biases validated in print and on TV.
Biden gave this speech on Saturday that the MSM slobbered all over, focusing on healing the nation, bringing us together, reaching across the aisle to get things done, blah, blah, blah. The far left radicals in his party apparently don't agree. Robert Reich has stated "we need a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to erase Trumps lies, comfort those who have been harmed by his hatefulness, and name every official, politician, executive, and media mogul whose greed and cowardice enabled this." Some clown named Hari Sevugen, a former Obama admin spokesman, said that anyone considering a former Trump staffer for employment should know there are consequences for hiring anyone who helped Trump attack American values [attack American values, ain't that rich]. Find out how at the Trump Accountability Project. So basically he's saying anyone who worked for Trump should be blacklisted, never work again. Comrade Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wants to have a list of Trumpers to witch hunt and paint with a scarlet "T". Sounds so healing to me. More like Soviet Russia, Castro's Cuba, Communist China. So here's my question, the MSM was all over Trump to denounce white supremacy, over, and over, and over. So when will the MSM call on "Joe the healer" to denounce this crap? -- John M.
When will the MSM call on Joe to denounce this crap, you ask. Echoing Chatsworth Osborne Jr. of Dobie Gillis fame: Surely you jest! But here's a suggesting for Joe the Healer: Tell the Stalinists who want black lists to shut the hell up. To back off! If he doesn't, he won't get the America he says he wants. The polarization will continue and likely get worse. And it will also tell us something about Biden: that he's too weak to stand up to the hard left fringe in his party no matter how authoritarian they are.
Media election desks have been 'calling' elections for decades and decades (based on incoming vote totals, regional trends, etc.) including Trump's win four years ago. I get that a lot of Trump supporters are upset that their guy lost (as it's turning out, by a lot more than we thought last week), but watching these people now insist that the media is overstepping its bounds, or displaying its "elitism," by having the gall to call the race before states certify their votes is ridiculous. This seems to be an ongoing thing, where MAGA people act like long established institutional norms are suddenly bizarre and invalid. Do you think this type of stuff will continue after Trump's out of office, or worsen going forward? -- Ben G.
If you're asking me, Ben, if hypocrisy is going away ... we both know the answer to that. Trump supporters suddenly don't like the term "president-elect." Where is it in the Constitution, they ask. Funny but they didn't ask that when Donald J. Trump was the "president-elect." Whether it worsens or not after Trump, it's bad enough as it is now.
One of the first thing the "victors" do, in this case the Democrats who may have won the Presidency but lost everywhere else, is to compile an "accountability" list to "punish" those people who had the temerity to serve their government in the Trump administration. Nixon had a list, McCarthy had a list. And weren't they so admired for that?? Where is your list, Trump, you Hitler in sheep's clothing?? How can these folks (Reich, Rubin) justify such reprehensible behavior? -- John F.
They justify their behavior because they're sanctimonious jerks. They think they know better than everyone else, that they're smarter and that their (progressive) blacklist is a good one while Nixon's and McCarthy's (conservative) blacklists were bad. This is why Donald Trump, even in defeat, got more than 70 million votes. A lot of his supporters were giving a great big middle finger to these elite idiots.
With the democrats winning the popular vote 7 of the last 8 presidential elections do you think it will be a while before we see another republican president? -- Kenny
Al Gore won the popular vote. W won the election. Hillary won the popular vote. Donald won the election. So Republicans can lose the popular vote and still win.
Regarding your Off The Cuff commentary this week. As much as I would like to believe that the progressive leftists of the Democrat party have been snubbed and rejected by voters, I don’t know if that is necessarily true. I am hearing progressive commentary stating that the elections where the democratic candidates were successful were actually both blue and purple districts where the democratic candidates actually ARE progressive left wingers, and the districts where the democratic candidates who lost to Republicans were actually centrist candidates NOT progressives. If this is true, then how can you claim that the Bernie Sanders/AOC Wing of the Democrat party was truly rejected, when even purple districts voted progressive leftists in? It sounds to me like more Americans are supporting progressive leftists than many of us would care to admit. Your thoughts are appreciated. -- “Forgive Them, Father; They Know Not What They Do” Regards from The Emperor
Without going into detail in every congressional district you reference, let me simply say this: If voters wanted the progressive agenda to become reality, they would have voted in a lot more Democrats to the Senate ... they would have voted in a lot more Democrat state legislatures (that will draw up redistricting plans in 2021) ... and they would have given Nancy Pelosi a bigger, not smaller, majority in the House. All that said, you may be right about the specifics of any particular race. And this from a Wall Street Journal editorial which ran under the headline: California's Progressive Thumping ...
"Democrats and unions in California are shell-shocked. Voters last Tuesday rejected a referendum that would have allowed racial preferences in state hiring and college admissions, defeated a massive business property tax hike, and rescued tens of thousands of gig economy jobs. What is this, Texas?"
In John Daly's column this week, he wrote in part about Reince Priebus's declaration that, even after Trump is gone from office, Republican leaders in Washington will need to be personally approved of by Trump in order to have a future in the party.
This is consistent with Trump's actions over the past four years: his heavy attacks on fellow Republicans who aren't "loyal" to him, that have resulted in some of them now gone from politics all together. What does it say about how weak the GOP is that even after Trump is no longer in office, the political futures of others in the party may still lie in his hands. -- Philip R.
It says that even after Donald is gone and playing golf in Palm Beach, his loyal supporters will still be around. They won't tolerate a moderate in the mold of McCain or Romney. In fact, several million supposed conservatives sat out those elections because they refused to support either of those candidates. So whoever the GOP candidate is, he or she will have to bend a knee to The Donald -- or risk losing this fan base -- and the election.
I think the real scandal surrounding Joe Biden (that no one is talking about) is the fact that he had much thinner hair in the 1980s than he does now. The photo evidence is overwhelming! America has never received an honest accounting or explanation of this. Are they plugs? Has he been using Rogaine with Minoxidil? Is he in the pocket of Hair Club for Men? And do you think the ridiculousness of Donald Trump's own hair took this issue off the table for Republicans? -- John D.
Let's start with Donald. After he loses in court he'll be hair today and gone tomorrow. Sorry, but I couldn't resist. Now, as to the serious part of your question, the one about Hair-gate: Did it ever occur to you, John D, that maybe the Joe Biden we see in pictures from the 1980s isn't the same Joe Biden who we see today? Could it be that that's why he looks so different? Because THEY'RE TWO DIFFERENT PEOPLE! Has that crossed you mind, John D? It's obvious to me that we have a Manchurian candidate thing going on here. The old Joe Biden -- the one we called Middle Class Joe -- is being held hostage in a basement somewhere in Delaware. Same as the new Joe Biden, the one we call President-elect. Confused? Me too.
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.