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Bernie’s Q&A: Trump, Williams, Levy, Obama, and more! (12/4) — 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.
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Now, let’s get to your questions (and my answers):
I wrote months ago that as a household we were down from watching Fox News (half of the time in the background listening for key items) from six hours per day to about two. Now we are down to even less than one, strictly zipping through only two shows via the DVR. Do you project we are representative of a dying one sided cable news viewership? Are overall ratings on both sides crashing? --ScottyG
I can tell you this, for certain: Like you, I'm also watching less Fox News. The opinion shows, by and large, are predictable: Trump=Good, Biden=Bad. And the opposite at CNN and MSNBC. But cable TV viewers don't want balance or fairness or NEWS on the opinion shows. They want to hear anchors to validate the viewer's biases. That said, here's a news report I dug up for you, Scotty:
"Fox’s daytime viewership dropped 32 percent from the two weeks prior to Election Day to the two weeks after, the Nielsen company said.
"The post-election, weekday average daytime viewership of 1.63 million was roughly equivalent to that of CNN (1.68 million) and MSNBC (1.71 million). CNN was up 33% and MSNBC up 9% during that time period, Nielsen said."
So, you're not the only one cutting back on Fox. Newsmax has picked up some who have abandoned Fox ... but let's see how long they stay there. But others have left NOT because Fox isn't loyal enough to Mr. Trump. They left because they've had enough of the same old same old. After a while, it gets boring.
How hard did you laugh when New York Times Associate Managing Editor Cliff Levy came up with this gem on Twitter: "We will scrutinize the incoming administration just as thoroughly as we did the outgoing one"? Personally, I had to have several physical therapy sessions since my sides ached from several hours of horse laughter. -- Steve R.
I'm going to be generous and say Levy really means it. Acting on it, however, is another matter. In any event, however tough they might be on Biden, it won't come close to the relentless negative coverage of Trump.
Kudos to Juan Williams for standing up to that clown Jesse Watters . I'm also curious as to how a third rate stand up comic like Gutfeld deserves a place on a so called news program. -- Oracle of Ashville
You can thank Bill O'Reilly for the prominence of Jesse Watters. A blot on Bill's legacy. But calling Jesse a clown is unfair. To the clowns. As for Gutfeld, I remember when he was honest and tough on Donald Trump. Then, I guess, he read the Fox tea leaves and became one more sycophant. There are no limits to what these people will do to keep their jobs.
I know that you’re not a huge fan of Barack Obama, who is promoting his new book currently. Truthfully I was not a huge fan of his administration. Barack Obama himself seems like a decent enough man, but I really don’t care for some of the people he surrounds himself with. Reverend Jeremiah Wright comes to mind. The other is Eric Holder. BOTH of these clowns come off as hateful racists to me. Do you believe that Barack Obama genuinely liked and admired and respected these two men? Or were they just politically expedient and beneficial for him at the time? What is your personal opinion of Eric Holder’s performance as attorney general? Why do you think Holder stepped down from his position? Do you think maybe Obama had a talk with him about Fast & Furious and asked him to resign? Finally, how is it that someone Like Michelle Obama maintains a genuine and close friendship with George W. Bush when so many in her own inner circle despise him? -- Strange Bedfellows” Regards From The Emperor
If I counted right, Emperor, you squeezed six questions in there. Nice try. Let's just say that it was politically helpful for Mr. Obama to be seen as the Rev. Wright's church. But when some of his sermons came to light, the good Rev became a liability and BHO dumped him. No idea how he really feels about Holder. Next time, try one really good question, Your Holiness.
Throughout this pandemic, Trump has been holding super-spreader events and stoking doubt in mask-wearing, while a number of Democratic leaders have been violating their own state/city rules and warnings to the public. All of this stuff is fueling the crazy idea that COVID-19 shouldn't be taken seriously, even as our country sets new records for infections and hospitalizations, and the number of daily deaths is going up again. This whole thing will likely be over 5 or 6 months from now, but I can't help but think about how many fewer deaths, hospitalizations, and long-haul sufferers there would have been if these "leaders" had just taken their most basic health-crisis responsibilities seriously. Do you think history will accurately depict just how disgracefully these people conducted themselves when our country desperately needed leadership? Or do you think it will all just be forgotten like everything else seems to be these days. -- Ben G.
I think history will not be kind to Donald Trump on this matter, Ben ... but I don't think history will be kind to Donald Trump on most things. As for the Democrats who lectured us about not dining out and then did just that -- they're reprehensible. The mayor of Denver who told people to stay at home then flew down to Mississippi to see his family ... ditto. For me, their apologies don't cut it. They're not enough. But in terms of history, yeah Ben, I think they'll pretty much be forgotten. What else is new, right?
It was reported on Wednesday that the last three former U.S. presidents (Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton) will get their Covid-19 vaccines on camera, as soon as they're available, to promote public confidence in the vaccine's safety. Do you think Trump will call them losers for not already having immunity, like he does? ;) -- Jen R.
Good one, Jen!
Do you think Trump's insistence that the election was stolen from him, due to massive fraud in states including Georgia, will disenfranchise enough Republican voters in Georgia from voting in the run-off, and therefore losing the GOP control of the U.S. Senate? -- Barry M.
It might. And if it does, then I was wrong about Donald Trump. I thought he was a selfish man of bad character. But if his shenanigans wind up costing the GOP the Senate, then he'd be even worse than I thought.
Been seeing a lot of reporting that Trump plans to announce, probably during Joe Biden's inauguration, that he will run for president in 2024. What kind of position do you think this would put other 2024 Republican presidential hopefuls in (including Trump allies like Pence, Haley, in Cruz), who can't exactly win over Trump's base if he's still around soaking up all that base's attention and affection? -- Mike.
It would put them in a horrible spot, Mike. And for the very reason you mention. Trump's loyal followers would never abandon him -- so the others, even if one of them somehow managed to win the nomination, would be in big trouble in the general election -- when Trump's acolytes likely would sit home.
CNN chose not to air any of President Trump's 45-minute long video address about election fraud this week on grounds that it was largely unfactual. Is this move justifiable, from a news organization standpoint? -- A. R.
CNN was under no obligation to run the entire 45 minutes ... but they could have had a producer listen to it and then run the most newsworthy part on the air. The other day, however, Joe Biden was announcing his economic team, an event that CNN and MSNBC covered live. Fox didn't. So here's the real problem: Even alleged news programs on cable TV decide what's news based on what its biased viewers want to see. It's about money, money, money ... and ratings, ratings, ratings ... and to hell with journalism.
Bernie, your former colleague Dan Rather tweeted this the other day: "Why is the Trump White House suddenly a very polite place to work? Everyone’s going around saying 'pardon me.'"
Is it possible that he has hired Mike Huckabee's joke writer? Or is he a long-time teller of lame jokes that he thinks are genuinely funny? Was he like this when you worked with him? And if so, were you under pressure to respond with a courtesy laugh, as to not hurt his feelings? Lastly, did he ever figure out it was you who pulled that much funnier joke of paying someone to chase him around New York, calling him "Kenneth," and asking him, "What's the frequency?" And did you ever think about suing the rock band, R.E.M., for royalties over the song it inspired? -- John D.
Just between you and me, John D, I think the "pardon me" joke is funny. Dan's got a genuine sense of humor. For real. Some readers will believe you when you say that I hired that crazy guy who followed Dan around town and called him Kenneth. So let me state that I HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THAT.
And no, I did not think about suing R.E.M. over the song it inspired, but I am thinking of suing YOU for spreading slanderous lies about me. Please have your lawyer contact my lawyer and let's see if we can work something out. I'll settle out of court for a cool million. You good with that?
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.