Bernie’s Q&A: Imus, Stern, O'Donnell, Wallace vs. Boothe, and more! (7/26) — 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.
Let’s get to your questions (and my answers):
Bernie. Correct me if I'm wrong but I'm sure I remember you giving Don Imus some pretty hard criticism in at least one of your books. But later on, you appeared on his radio show a number of times and you both sounded pretty friendly with each other. Can you talk about your history and relationship with Imus? Did he ever talk to you about what you wrote about him in your book(s)? -- Albert
Very observant, Albert. And you're absolutely correct. Good memory.
I was on his radio show when Bias came out and he was merciless. He hammered me. And not in a nice way. But it wasn't because he disagreed with what I wrote. It was because someone told him I would do his show first ... but (however it happened) I was booked on Hannity's TV show first. Imus was watching Fox that night ... and went ballistic.
But I came to believe he had no recollection of how badly he treated me. It was as if, when the show was over, so were the memories of what happened. And it turns out he was a big fan. When he retired I wrote him a note and told him how much I had detested him, how I wished he'd get hit by a bus for the way he treated me. And how I changed my view of him over time.
That kind of (let's call it) evolution doesn't happen a lot in life. I'm glad it did in mine. I think he detected in me a guy who has no use for BS and respected that. I appreciate it if that's what it was. And I miss him on the radio.
Hi Bernie. I'm generally familiar with your views on Don Trump. Personally, Ive disliked Trump for decades, considering him a narcissistic publicity hound. (I'm trying to be kind here). From my evangelical perspective, Trump was always last on my list in the Republican primaries. To the point, since the election I've bitten the bullet and consoled myself with the thought, "It could be worse-it would have been 'President Clinton'" Am I wrong on this Bernie? What are your thoughts? -- As always your devoted disciple, Alan D.
I completely understand your predicament and how you finally dealt with it. I couldn't bring myself to vote for Donald Trump; nor did I vote for Hillary. And for those who told me that my sitting out the presidential election, I essentially cast a vote for Hillary. Maybe. But that wasn't on me. It was on Mr. Trump. I did say this: If I thought the outcome in my state would depend on my vote, I would take a deep breath and vote for Trump. Fortunately, it didn't come down to that. But I find him so repulsive, so dishonest, so petty and mean, I just can't vote for him -- no matter who the other side puts up. I won't be voting for the other side, either, of course.
Hi Bernie, Of your many years of marriage, how many of them were spent together, what with your job and all? Did she go on some of your traveling assignments with you? Did absence make the heart grow fonder? -- Beverly
Here's a confession, Beverly. For many years while I was on the road I was sleeping with my beautiful female producer. She was very sexy. SHE WAS ALSO MY WIFE!!! We worked together on the CBS program 48 Hours. CBS put us on the same story as often as possible to save money -- one hotel room instead of two. When she left CBS and stopped traveling after our daughter was born, I hit the road without her ... and yes, absence did make the heart grow fonder. Great question, Beverly.
Howard Stern recently said that -- from conversations he'd had with Donald Trump (a former frequent guest on his show) and Trump's associates -- Trump's presidential campaign was really just a publicity stunt that grew out of control (others have said this too). Stern also felt it was unfair that clips from appearances on his show were used against Trump in the campaign (like Trump saying that avoiding STDs was his own "personal Vietnam"). Stern made the point that it's the culture of his show for guests to say provocative/sexual things like that, playing off of Stern himself (which I suppose is true).
What do you think about the publicity-stunt claim, and do you think public figures should enjoy a lower bar of judgement for what they say on a show like Stern's? -- Edward L.
I do think it was a stunt, of sorts. I think the goal -- after he would lose -- was to start a Trump TV channel. He'd like nothing more than being on TV all day. And no, I don't think a public figure should enjoy a lower bar of judgement. I think a public figure who goes on with Howard Stern is a fool who deserves what he gets.
I'm a big fan of Real Sports on HBO. I especially enjoy the end of the season round table wrap up show. Just wondering - of course no names mentioned - how many conservatives are joining you at the table? -- Neil K.
NONE! So much for diversity.
On Fox News Sunday this week, Chris Wallace was talking with the panel about Trump's controversial "go back" tweets directed at The Squad. He asked Fox News's Lisa Boothe (a very Trump-friendly commentator) if she thought, beyond whether or not it was smart politics, if what Trump said was "wrong" and "over the line."
Boothe danced around the question, pointing out past examples of racially charged politics. When Wallace asked again, she refused to answer, saying, "I'm a political analyst, Chris. That's not my job to say it was wrong or not. Ask his White House and his campaign. It's my job to analyze the optics and politics of this."
As Boothe said, she's an analyst. Not a reporter. And she's been offering her opinions on lots of political figures over time (she even took a shot at Robert Mueller later in the show, prefacing it with "in my opinion"). What she said to Wallace strikes me as an enormous cop-out in an effort to maintain her Trump-positive standing. Your thoughts? -- John D.
I watched the show, too, John and my thoughts are the same as yours. She couldn't bring herself to say whether the tweets were right or wrong ... but I'll bet she'd have no trouble commenting on whether Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton did something right or wrong. Wallace should have asked her if there's anything Donald Trump could do that would warrant an answer to the right or wrong question. Anything! Not that she cares, but I lost respect for Lisa Boothe when I heard her pathetic non answer to his question.
Hi Bernie, As it is with you, the long diatribes that masquerade as questions are becoming tiresome to us readers as well. You’ve politely asked several times for people to keep them pithy, but they persist. May I suggest imposing a strict 280 character limit as with Twitter? -- Keith M.
Keith, you're not the only one to make this point. Others are also annoyed at the long winded questions. Not sure a 280 word character limit is the answer, but from here on out, only succinct questions will be considered. Questions that go on too long are unfair to everybody.
I have not watched network news in years. I crave real journalism and was encouraged to read a report by Marisa Guthrie that CBS news president Zirinsky's goal with Norah O'Donnell was a 'trustworthy broadcast without a point of view'. I looked forward to the inaugural broadcast. The first 3 words out of her mouth were "Trump's racist tweets". I turned it off. Are these people all that stupid? Do you suppose Marisa Guthrie felt used by CBS and will write a follow up? By turning it off so quickly, do you think I missed O'Donnell talking about Rep. Omar's anti-Semitism? -- Michael E.
I worked at CBS News for 28 years. So let me tell you how it works there and at other mainstream news organizations. They don't acknowledge their biases. They believe "Trump's racist tweets" are fair because they believe -- as did other news organizations -- that the tweets were indeed racist. It would have been better had CBS (and the others) had either called them "tweets" with out the adjective -- if they were so obviously racist the audience would pick up on that without the anchor's help -- or call them "tweets that many have called racist." I doubt anyone's going to feel "used" for reporting what Susan Zirinsky said. And while I didn't watch the broadcast, it's a safe bet they didn't refer to Rep. Omar's comments as anti Semitic.
As a consultant in manufacturing I've seen portraits of presidents and other political representatives in lobbies of manufacturing companies. Typically when those representatives visit their facilities. They are non-political as well. The other night, a MN state representative was on Laura Ingraham and stated that the Minneapolis Star and Tribune had a mural of IIhan Omar hanging in their lobby. The StarTrib has had a slobbering love affair with this representative and two things dawned on me:
I've never been in the lobby of a major newspaper
Is it ethical for a newspaper to do this?
I have written the editorial staff for their opinion as has others and it has been met with total silence. They may do this for other political representatives but I fully doubt that. I just thought I would get your opinion on this. -- Tim H.
In my opinion, newspapers should not put up pictures of politicians in their lobby. It suggests support for that person. And even if the editorial board does in fact support that person -- Omar in this case -- it's still a bad idea because the news people are supposed to be non-partisan and objective. That you received no answer doesn't surprise me. The title of my second book (after Bias) was Arrogance. That's what their silence to your question represents.
Bernie—You have already expressed your disgust for Trump and the Squad and their back and forth insults. Don’t you think it would be better if Trump simply ignored these idiots and didn’t comment one way or another about them or their ideas? They seem to enjoy any publicity whether it’s good, bad or in between. Sometimes wisdom dictates that we keep our mouth shut! -- William W.
I'm with you William, but there's one insurmountable problem. Donald Trump is incapable of keeping his mouth shut; he can't NOT respond. A smarter man would let his people do the responding.
Greetings Bernie—-it doesn’t appear that Mr. Mueller revealed anything new this week when he spoke before Congress. Can you explain to me what exactly the left was trying to accomplish here? Yeah he acknowledged that Trump could be indicted after he leaves office, but Mueller didn’t say what evidence there is that could prove Trump committed any crimes. Could you please clear up my confusion? Best Regards --The Emperor
The Democrats were hoping that Mueller would bring his report to life. They were hoping the "movie" would be better than the "book" that almost nobody in the real world actually read. They were wrong on all counts. I felt bad for Mueller. It was clear that his team wrote the report and he was a figurehead. They were hoping the TV show would force Nancy Pelosi to yield on impeachment. The reviews are in and the show was a flop.
Bernie, I think it’s despicable that Buzz Feed and other sports commentators tried to sully Mariano Rivera’s HOF induction because he supports the President and Israel. Do you agree? I think Democrats embarrassed themselves in the Mueller hearings today, I think this endless mindless pursuit is worse for them than the squad, what are your thoughts? Have you ever met Brit Hume? He’s been around a long time, and I’ve never heard him brought up in a conversation about bias, he gives his opinion now, as he is hired to do. If you have met him, is he the straight shooter he appears to be? Hell of a week so far and it’s only Wednesday. So many questions, but I’ll limit it to 3. -- Respectfully, “Right wing Ralphy
I'm with you Ralph on the pathetic attempt to go after Mariano Rivera on the very day he was inducted into baseball's Hall of Fame. I'm also with you on the hearings, which should bring an end to impeachment talk -- but won't. Regarding Hume, I met him once, briefly. Very likable guy. I'm a big fan of his work. Even people in the opinion business have to be fair ... and Brit (unlike many others) is fair.
Okay so once again we have seen not only false accusations of racist rhetoric made by “a woman of color” on social media, but we also see that she is Democrat Representative from Georgia, Erica Thomas. Any ideas as to WHY these left wing FRAUDS are continuing to try to push this FALSE narrative when lately it has been proven over and over again that so many on the left LIE about racist allegations (Covington Catholic Students; Jussie Smollett; the elderly Mexican man who was racially assaulted by a black Woman in Los Angeles and NOT some white guy in a MAGA hat! What do you think it’s going to take to make this nonsense stop!? Do you think if the Covington Catholic school students win a bundle of money in punitive damages, that these leftist liars will learn their lesson? -- Best Regards From The Emperor
Let's leave the Erica Thomas issue aside since it's a developing story. Even if the kids from Covington Catholic win their case, it won't change how many on the left promiscuously toss around the word "racist." As for why some people flat out lie about racist accusations: There's power in victimhood. And some people will take advantage of that. I've said before that race is too hot an issue to fool around with. It would be nice if people thought about that before they falsely yelled racism -- and also before they toss the accusation around too loosely.
What is a personal passion of yours that you spend way too much money on? (I follow your writer friend John Daly on Instagram, and I'm betting his answer would be rock concerts. Haha.) -- David G.
I'm going to see (what's left of) the Beach Boys tonight. But that's not a passion I spend too much money on. Actually, I don't spend "too much" money on any passion. The best things in life are free.
Editor's note: David is right about that Daly guy. 😉
It was years before I realized that your "Weekdays with Bernie" segment on the O'Reilly Factor was named after the 80's movie, "Weekend at Bernie's." And of course, Dennis Miller's "Miller Time" segment was based on the 80's beer commercial, and the "Charles in Charge" segment with Charles Krauthammer was named after the cheesy 80's TV show with Scott Baio. Can you reveal which 80's loving Fox News producer came up with these unimaginative names? Was it Bill himself? -- Tom C.
Since I'm a real reporter I did some digging. It was indeed Bill O'Reilly.
I travel lots. All over the world. No one is happy. No one. Challenges everywhere. Let's take one unhappy situation - immigrants overwhelming Italia. Challenge? No. Problem? Yes. A boatload of 100 North Africans shows up off Italy's coast. Several pregnant women, who for lack of a midwife, will either lose their child, their lives, or both; folks, who for lack of a $5 tube of ointment, will lose their sight; festering sores; infections; malnutrition; you name it. The EU is not helping much. It's all on Italia. Do you tow the boat 30 miles back toward N. Africa, and cast off, with the attending human disaster? Do you let them land, with their attendant social disruption, housing, and medical costs? So, you let them land. You're a humanitarian. Next week, 10 boats want asylum. Then, 100. Then, 1000. There will not be one person left in N. Africa, or possibly in the entire continent in a few years. What would you do? We finally have a problem for which there is no solution -- Mike S.
Thank you Mike for totally and completely DEPRESSING ME. I don't have an easy answer. People who do this for a living don't have one either. But countries have the right to decide who comes in and who gets turned away. Reasonable people will disagree on the decisions those countries make. The obvious solution is to improve like in the original country so they won't want or need to leave. But that's another problem without an easy solution.
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