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Bernie’s Q&A: Bill Maher, Joe Biden, Tara Reade, Brit Hume, and more! (4/17) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)
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Now, let’s get to your questions (and my answers):
Sites like the Blaze, Bill O'Reilly, and John Solomon's "Just the News" seem to be gathering steam these days. I know I have been taking a look at them, as I am tired of the same old stuff ad nauseam from all the cable news, which I think is driven by placating the left and right bases but even more so, by a corporate agenda to either destroy or build up President Trump (forget journalism for the most part). I definitely am hearing a perspective and news on these sites that are not part of the cable landscape. I view your site here on Patreon as part of that trend. What's your opinion of this development? Will it be successful? Are you satisfied with the response to your efforts? Thanks, again, for your commentary and your posts. I look forward to them as signposts in the journalistic wasteland (you can use that as a title for your next book, which I know you are eagerly anticipating...ha!) -- John F.
First, many thanks for the kind words and support, John, They are very much appreciated.
I completely agree with your analysis of cable news. It is, as you say, driven both by placating the left and right bases and "even more so, by a corporate agenda to either destroy or build up President Trump." That corporate agenda, John, is based on your other point -- placating the base. And all of it is about ... MONEY ... not JOURNALISM.
As for the Blaze, O'Reilly, and John Solomon, I'm not knowledgeable enough to comment with any expertise. But I caution you to keep an eye out for their biases too. All three lean right. If their choice of news does too, take note.
Thanks for your answer to my question regarding the leftist agenda and the possibility of the Democrats wrecking the economy and fundamentally transforming America if given the chance. You expressed concern if Bernie Sanders types were to be in power. My question is this: how do you define leftist policies and am I wrong in thinking that there are really no longer any moderates running the Democrat party? For example, are the following positions leftist or moderate: limitations on freedom of speech, open borders, single payer health insurance, compromising American sovereignty ( positions on UN, Iran , Paris accords etc), confiscation of guns legally acquired by millions of citizens ( I use the word confiscation in contrast to edicts limited to future gun purchases), and many other issues where all the Democrat candidates took what seem to me to be non-moderate positions? -- Mike F.
The examples you cite, Mike, for the most part are not liberal positions so much as they are progressive, left radical positions. Limitations on free speech are not liberal. Open borders are not liberal. Single payer health insurance? Debatable. Confiscation of guns? Unconstitutional. There may be a few moderate Democrats left -- Senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia comes to mind. But the energy and power in the party is not in the center; its on the left ... and moving further in that direction.
I have been critical of the WHO, the CDC, and the FDA in my commentary on social media. And, I have been attacked personally because of that. Many believe I am making a stand for Trump, and not Dr. Fauci. But I have been critical of both. It appears dedicated Republicans and Democrats don’t want to hear either side. Let’s face it; everyone was wrong. I want a nonpartisan commission to find out why we missed the boat on this and how we take corrective measures for the future. I know you don’t like to make predictions but how do you see this playing out? -- Tim H.
You're right when you say "dedicated Republicans and Democrats don't want to hear either side." The passionate right and the passionate left live in bubbles -- and they don't want anyone to burst them with a new idea. As for a nonpartisan commission: At some point, I'll predict, a commission will be established. Democrats would like it set up tomorrow hoping it will hurt Donald Trump in November. Republicans would like to hold off until after the election. As for the nonpartisan part: I don't know that anything is nonpartisan anymore.
Explain something to me: How do violent terrorists and hooligans like Bill Ayers & Bernardine Dohrn And Rev. Al Sharpton become left wing icons of respect? Why are two Weather Underground terrorists teaching college students instead of spending the rest of their lives in prison? Why is Al Sharpton a respected Democrat who the media looks to as a voice of racial consciousness when even a lot of black Americans have no respect for that race hustler? -- Power To The People (but only the politically correct people) Regards From The Emperor
Who controls most of the culture, the left or the right? Who controls the academic culture? The Hollywood culture? The news media culture? I could go on but you know the answer to all of those questions. So ... Ayers and Dohrn are respected members of a certain academic and media culture because they fought against a war that the left and much of America was against. Sharpton: He's done enough harm to be banned from TV for life. But who controls TV? Hope this helps, Your Emperorness.
One of your tenets of media bias is that members of the press don't get together every morning and plot the downfall of conservatives. They don't need to. They generally all think alike and move in natural coordination. Don't you think this is what's happening with the Joe Biden/Tara Reade alleged sexual assault non-story? Reporters and liberals in their Zoom meetings aren't concerned about this, have no curiosity about a liberal Democrat being accused, and it's just not a topic of conversation in their circles. -- Steve R.
Two things, Steve: When I wrote that journalists don't get together and plot their anti-GOP strategy, it was true. But that was a while back. Now I believe, "journalists" at CNN and MSNBC DO COME IN EVERY DAY and plot their anti-Trump business model strategy. So my opinion changed because the facts changed.
Now to Tara Reade: I have said, and will repeat here, that journalists salivate more when going after a conservative Republican than they would going after a liberal Democrat. That accounts for their lack of interest in the Biden/Tara Reade story.
Bernie, did you happen to catch Bill Maher taking shots at his fellow liberals? Every now and then his head explodes over the idiotic PC BS on the Left? [He was the Politically Incorrect guy on ABC 20 some years back] This had to do with calling the China virus - the China virus. -- John M.
I saw the clip. Maher is a strange cat. He can be a crazy left-wing screwball at times -- and an old fashioned (in the good sense) liberal at other times ... meaning he's against PC BS. I like that Bill Maher a lot more than I like the crazy left-wing Bill Maher.
I imagine you will be getting other questions or comments re Bill Maher's comments last weekend about the Wuhan or Chinese Virus. I will simply ask: What is the proper way to define "racist?" Has the left ever explained what constitutes racism and who can or should be deemed a racist? Can a non-white person be a racist? Will we ever have the dialogue ( meaning two way discussion and civil discourse) that Eric Holder called for ? If the term is used by someone in an undisciplined way, to what extent should that person be given credence in the future ( the boy who cried wolf syndrome)? -- Michael F.
Because of their promiscuous use of the word "racist" the word has lost its power. Too often it means nothing -- nothing more, anyway, than a way to shut people up with whom they disagree. People who throw the word around loosely lose their believability. But liberals in the media will continue to give them a platform because liberals in the media are, well, liberals.
Trump's false claim this week that he has "total authority" over governors to "re-open" states drew a lot of pushback from members of the media, and even political allies like Liz Cheney. Brit Hume, however, took to Twitter to go after Trump's critics. Here's what he wrote:
"POTUS claims of absolute power in Covid 19 emergency are constitutional nonsense, another of his serial exaggerations. The reaction to them are another case of media’s insistent focus on the stuff he says, as if that is more important than what he actually does. He constantly blusters and threatens all sorts of things, most of which never come to pass. In this instance, he is claiming supreme executive authority, but there is no sign he will try to exercise it. Indeed, he actions so far have been highly deferential to governors & mayors."
Brit seems to be arguing that the media should give Trump a pass on the things he says because Trump says a lot of stupid and untrue stuff (and they should just kind of be used to it by now). This seems much more like a partisan defense than a journalistic one. This idea that a president's words are unimportant never existed before Trump. What are your thoughts on this? -- Ben G.
Good question, Ben. Let me acknowledge that I'm not a big fan of Donald Trump. It looks like Brit was trying to criticize both sides -- first saying that Trump's statement was "constitutional nonsense." Between you and me, I'd have ended my tweet right there.
Since he didn't, you make a solid point.
Bernie, I will keep it in the realm of presidential politics and bias. [In regard to the Joe Biden/Tara Reade story,] the liberal media is doing one step less than what the right-wing media did for Trump. The left may be ignoring this to help Biden. The right actively helped Trump. Trump, who has accusations against himself, brought some of Bill Clinton's accusers to a debate with Hillary and sat them in the front. And Fox News (Hannity) interviewed them, all the while ignoring or playing down Trump's situation. But here is my question, Bernie. How did you cover that if at all? And for the record, you are right about the liberals. I just don't have a short or selective memory. -- Douglas S.
Both sides are corrupt in my view and if one side is a tad less corrupt than the other, OK ... I'd rather not get into that kind of nuance. I've written about the story and concluded -- as I said earlier in this Q & A session that liberals in the media salivate more when going after conservatives than when going after liberals. That doesn't mean that conservatives in the media are without fault. Hannity is a poster boy for all kinds of fault.
Mr. G, So Obama just gave us 12 a minute endorsement on why Joe Biden is more than capable of holding the most stressful job on the planet. If we are all nuts, yet we can easily see that Joe Biden, who by the way is not currently running around on a tiring, pressing and frantic campaign trail, can’t even keep his words and thoughts coherent from his cozy den; then what will the high ranking endorsing Dems and Media say in response should he bail out due to an “all of the sudden recent health related issue”? I think they’re nuts if you ask me. -- ScottyG
I don't think he'll bail out ... though I DO think the Dem establishment wishes he would. If he does, trust me Scotty, they'll have no problem "revising" their script.
Apparently it's okay during this pandemic crisis to push through bills and legislation that have nothing to do with COVID-19. In the past few days Virginia Govenor Northrum (also known as Govenor Blackface) has passed several anti gun laws, and decided to undo the States Voter ID law... just in time for the coming election. Not that it matters much as Virginia is a very Blue State and will go Blue in November, but someone tell me why we shouldn't have voter ID laws? How many things can you not do if you don't have a photo ID in this country? To many to name, but should people not have to prove who they are to vote? Democrats can deny it all they want, but this is about perpetuating voter fraud. Michelle Obama wants a system where you can print a ballot off of your computer...are you kidding me? -- John M.
If you need an approved ID to get on an airplane, and get a driver's license, and get White House press credentials, why not for an election? Democrats say the GOP wants to "suppress" voter turnout -- that's why they're for IDs. Republicans say Democrats want everyone to vote even if they're not legally allowed to, that's why they don't want IDs. I'm with you John. But we'll never convince liberals that we're right.
I was wondering what you thought about Vice President Mike Pence and how he is doing in his role leading the virus task force, how he handles himself in the daily media briefings when called on and in interviews he does on the various networks. It seems like he has a tough job and I wanted to get your views on he navigates it all as there don't seem to be many profiles or stories on him for his work. Thanks. -- Warren M.
Mike Pence strikes me as a very decent guy. As for his leadership of the coronavirus task force: Some things have gone wrong. It hasn't always been a smooth ride. But I don't know who's fault that is. I do know that the president makes statements that aren't always true and that only makes the vice president's job more difficult. You say, Warren, that it seems like he has a tough job. Bingo on that -- and not only in his role as the head of the task force. Serving under this president IS a tough job no matter what the VP's assignment might be.
I saw this story about the Kentucky governor. Even if his intentions are good, it seems extremely disturbing. Pandemic or not, I never thought any Democrat or Republican would tell law enforcement to take the license plates of those who attend church services, and then tell those people that they're forced to quarantine for 14 days. The right to religious freedom (and due process) doesn’t come from our government but it sure as hell seems like the government doesn’t see it that way now (even if they claim they are talking about more than religious mass gatherings when pressed on the issue). Let’s not forget that the left and a large bulk of our MSM has called people racist for suggesting that China shut down its wet markets in response to this pandemic. If I understand this correctly, China needs to change nothing but we in the US need to give up our faith? Similar fear drove us to make some regretful decisions in the wake of 9-11. Do you worry we will have similar regrets when this is over, or should the ends justify the means? -- Joe M.
I'm not sure that the freedom of religion outlined in our Constitution forbids government from telling people, in the event of a pandemic or other emergency, that they must shelter at home -- no travel except for emergencies. At some point the courts may have to weigh in. But on your broader point, the government is not compelling anyone to give up their faith. Faith, as a friend of mine says, isn't dependent on unhindered church accessibility.
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.