Bernie’s Q&A: Swan, Barr, Social Media Bans, Maxwell, and more (7/31) — 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, did you see Jonathan Swan's interview clip with Trump about Russian bounties on our military? I think Swan has become a very sharp and prepared interviewer. Was interested in your take on him, and also the fact that Trump has never even brought up the "bounty" issue with Putin in the 8 conversations they've had since it became known. -- Alex
I also think Swan is a solid journalist. As for bringing up the bounty issue with Putin: What if Trump did? Putin would deny it. What then? But not bringing it up -- in eight conversations -- gives ammo to Democrats who still think Trump and Putin are collaborating on something or other.
Trump gave an interview with Barstool Sports, and during the interview said, “It used to be in the old days before this, you'd write a letter and you'd say this letter is very big. You put it on your desk and then you go back tomorrow and you say, 'Oh, I'm glad I didn't send it,' right? But we don't do that with Twitter, right? We put it out instantaneously, we feel great, and then you start getting phone calls -- 'Did you really say this?' I say, 'What's wrong with that?' and you find out a lot of things."
He later said it's his retweets that tend to get him in trouble, not necessarily his own tweets. Regardless, has hell frozen over? I never thought Trump would regret any of his actions, including retweets or tweets. -- Joe M.
I was pleasantly surprised too, Joe. But just because he seemed contrite doesn't mean he really was and it sure doesn't mean he won't do again precisely what he suggested he regrets.
As the MLB season began this past week, and as the NBA and NFL seasons beckon, it appears that kneeling will become a regular part of our professional sports leagues (and no doubt college athletics as well). Here are my suggestions and questions. Instead of kneeling during the national anthem, why not instead have a separate one minute of silence before or after the playing and singing of the national anthem (with players as and fans having the ability to show their support by kneeling or otherwise)? Racial issues could be highlighted without showing disrespect for the flag or America. Would this not be consistent with the claims made by those taking a knee that they are simply trying to draw attention to the need to address systemic racism and are not intending to show disrespect for America or those who serve in the military (and those who have died in service to the country). One final question. Is there a time limit as to how long the kneeling should continue or will this be part of pregame rituals for a very extended period of time? -- Michael F.
Here's my take, Michael: I think people go to sports to escape politics. At some point (soon) fans may grow tired of players taking a knee before a game ... and looking at slogans on NBA uniforms ... and the rest. If we weren't so hungry for live sports during this pandemic, fans might tune out -- a form of protest too. They still might.
As for a time limit on the kneeling: Shorter is better than longer. And even though I'm not a fan of taking a knee, it is silent and non disruptive ... so take a knee, get it over with and play ball.
Dear Mr. Goldberg: Longtime follower, but newly-minted subscriber and former TV journalist who read your “Bias” books, and raised in your neck of the woods, The Magic City of Miami! And may I add, best $4 I ever spent!
You wrote in your July 13 column that “Americans are exhausted with this president” and you mentioned several negative descriptions of his behavior. No argument here. But you also wrote that people are “exhausted with the non-stop controversies and chaos.” I was surprised you didn’t include the liberal media and Democrats who have tormented Mr. Trump from the get-go. Am I cherry picking? Speaking of the liberal media, I just read an entry about it in Wikipedia, and did you know they pay you a high compliment when they label your “Bias” book as “toxic”? Meanwhile, the site describes a competing book from the other side that “challenges the widespread conservative belief in liberal media bias...that the media as a whole, is not biased liberally, but conservatively.” That sounds like word-salad to me but wasn’t that the point of your books? Thanks for all you do! -- James F. in Florida
Hey James. Thanks for the kind words. Yes, I did say that people are exhausted with the non stop controversies and chaos. I think the polls back up that belief. And yes, liberal journalists who are out to get this president certainly contribute to that chaos. I've written about that many times over the years, if not in that particular column. As for my book being tagged as "toxic" -- sticks and stones ...
In my last book, A Slobbering Love Affair, I quote two liberal political journalists who acknowledge that there's a liberal bias. They're just not troubled by it. But even open minded liberals know that liberal bias is real.
Bernie, Rutgers is this your alma mater, right? RU announced it will change its standards of English instruction in an effort to stand with and respond to the BLM Movement. In response, Leonydus Johnson, a speech pathologist and Libertarian activist said, the change makes the racist assumption that minorities cannot comprehend traditional English. He called the change "insulting, patronizing, and in itself extremely racist." "The idea that expecting a student to write in grammatically correct sentences is indicative of racial bias is asinine. It has become very clear to me that those who claim to be anti-racist are often the most racist people in this country"....... more dumbing down of America by the Democrats. Once upon a time you couldn't get into college without strong English schools, not to mention pass the SATs. I know it's a different world, but how low are we going to go with reducing standards in the country? We already rank low in many educational categories in comparison to the rest of the world. SMH -- John M.
Rutgers University, my alma mater, opened its doors in 1776 -- 10 years before the United States of America became a reality. Henry Rutgers must be rolling over in his grave over this latest moronic move by Rutgers. When I went there, Rutgers was considered a blue collar Ivy. They told us at orientation to look at the student to the right of us and then look at the student to the left. One of the three of us, we were told, would be there by the end of the year. If you didn't know proper grammar you wouldn't have gotten in and if you did you'd be one of the three that didn't make it after a year. Now, grammar is racist. Another reason I refuse to support Rutgers when they call for money.
I believe that Ghislane Maxwell is entitled to due process under the law, but Donald Trump actually WISHING HER WELL!? WHY!? I'm surprised the biased lamestream media didn't make more out of this! This is dumb even for him! Also, when Jeffrey Epstein got that slap on the wrist in Florida years ago, I have a theory: Since Epstein's attorneys were an infamous conservative (Ken Starr) and an infamous liberal (Alan Dershowitz), Starr threatened all the "respectable" and vulnerable left wing perverts out there, and Alan Dershowitz did the same thing with the right wing pervs in order to land that slap on the wrist from the prosecutor. What do you think, Sir Bernie? Is that how you believe it may have gone down? Is Ghislane Maxwell in danger of being suicided" in prison? And WHY oh WHY did Trump wish her well? Damn F---ING DUMB if you ask me! -- "Watch your back, Ghislane, and I wish you well" Regards, From The Emperor
Let me address just one of your points, Sir Emperor ... the one about Trump wishing her well. I almost fell off the couch and spit up the snack I was munching on when I heard that. How stupid does one have to be to say that? Don't answer that Emperor. I'm not sure which is dopier, his wishing her well comment or saying that we won two "beautiful" world wars. You can't make this stuff up, Your Highness.
Biden's campaign turned down a Chris Wallace interview on Fox News. If "Sleepy Joe's" handlers cannot handle a TV interview with a fair-minded journalist like Chris Wallace, how do they think Joe will survive a 'cage match' with a 'rototiller' opponent like Trump in the presidential debates? They should re-think their decision and consider Chris Wallace a 'spring-training' exercise, but that would be an intelligent move. -- Peter E.
There's a very good reason Joe Biden turned down the interview, Peter. The reason is Biden would get so confused by the questions that everyone would know that he really has lost a few of his marbles. As for the debates, I think Trump would make a big mistake if he gets nasty. That'll engender sympathy for Joe. Good rule of thumb: Never make fun of people who might have early onset of dementia. But I don't know if our president can control his instincts. Best to let Joe sink himself ... assuming he gets questions from journalists that go beyond, "What's your favorite color, Mr. Biden?"
A couple of interesting notes on Facebook. A picture of a Mask in its wrapping had a disclaimer, which I will paraphrase, Wearing a mask does not guarantee you protection from Covid-19. The second is the video of a few days ago where so called physicians were in front of the SCOTUS building talking about Covid-19 which was pulled stating it was fake news. My confusion is what is fake? The picture definitely had the declaimer and the physicians did hold a press conference. If Facebook asked you, what would you recommend as a process to determine what is fake or not. In my opinion, post what you want. As a user I don't have to read what I don't want to. -- Tim H.
It's my understanding that Facebook (or was it Twitter?) pulled the video because the doctor declared that hydroxychloroquine is a literal "cure" for COVID-19 -- which it isn't. As for the disclaimer, that comes from lawyers who don't want to be sued by someone who says, "I thought the mask would protect me -- and it didn't." As a general rule, I don't want social media companies to determine what's true and what isn't. As I say, as a general rule. But if someone says eating grapes is a cure for cancer, some idiot might believe it. That might be an exception to my general rule. Same with declaring that a drug is a cure for COVID-19.
I saw this re-tweet from Brit Hume after the Barr hearings yesterday:
By @AndrewCMcCarthy:“What happened on Capitol Hill Tuesday was a debacle to despair over because Democrats do not act this way because they are preternaturally rude. They act this way because their voters expect and demand that they act this way.”
So, Do anywhere near a majority of Democratic voters expect this type of behavior From the elected officials? Are civil minded Democratic leaders “afraid to speak out” as well per your Weds “Off the Cuff”? Isn’t there a strong possibility that a good number of Dem voters might sit this one out in November as well? -- ScottyG
We won't know until Election Day if Democrat voters approve of the appalling behavior of Jerry Nadler and his nasty gang of authoritarian progressives. You ask, if Democratic leaders are afraid to speak out. They're in on it -- that's why they're not speaking out! Anything to discredit Barr and in the process discredit the Durham report that will show how Democrats knew Donald Trump wasn't colluding with the Russians and proceeded to investigate him for more than two years anyway. If Biden somehow manages to lose, those hearings will be a big reason.
I am going to quit watching the evening national news. Today there was an article in the local Minneapolis Star Tribune about a guy they call “Umbrella Man.” Early on, the national press was pushing the narrative that it was White Supremacy that was causing the riots in Minneapolis. This was disproved by a local network TV news organization. Tonight, on ABC evening news they focused on Umbrella Man who they have identified as a White Supremacist. Maybe he his, who knows. But ABC pointed out that no riots occurred prior to him walking down the street breaking windows and to paraphrase, “he caused the night of destruction”. So according to ABC evening news, the good people of Minneapolis who would never break the law came out and chose to break the law with hammers, Molotov cocktails, and other devices because a single white individual white man? Am I in the twilight light zone? -- Tim
No Tim, you're not in the twilight zone. But a lot of journalists are.
Bernie, I have a somewhat complex disagreement with your suggestion that there will be even more looting and rioting if Biden becomes president. It's true that this stuff has been happening in cities governed by impotent Democrats, and it's also true that neither Trump nor his sending of federal officers are to blame for the violence (as some Dems have stupidly said). BUT, I do think that a lot of this stuff (which started with George Floyd before morphing into its present form) is being done to spite Trump. I think these anarchists love doing this in what they view as Trump's America, and they wrongly feel justified in taking on the president this way, because he has been such a divisive and combative figure. Again... I don't blame Trump. But I suspect if Biden were to win, they'd actually lose some of their will to fight. And if Trump were to win, the violence would more likely continue and even intensify. Not that anyone should base their vote on that (they shouldn't!). Does that make any sense? -- Ben G.
I'm with you Ben in that if Trump somehow, some way, manages to win, the mayhem will intensify. But if Biden wins, the anarchists won't be satisfied. It's not unusual that in revolutions -- and we're in the midst of a cultural revolution right now -- the leaders often turn on their own. They won't be happy until they fundamentally change America. They may even go after Bernie Sanders before this is over. Given the nightly chaos, if Donald Trump weren't so unlikable, he'd win in a landslide.
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.