Bernie’s Q&A: Biden, Harris, Dole, Woodward, and more! (9/11) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)
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Now, let’s get to your questions (and my answers):
Bernie - Does Joe Biden's candidacy remind you in any way of Bob Dole's 'honorary' run in 96'? Is it his turn? -- Peter E.
Haven't thought about it that way, Peter. If there's a comparison it might be to Hubert Humphrey in 1968. Humprhey wasn't a radical. Neither is Biden. Humprhey had a progressive wing to worry about. Same with Biden. Humprhey talked and talked and talked ... but had little to say about the violence in the streets, fearing a backlash from the left that supported the protesters. Biden has given lip service to his opposition to riots, but he's not convincing, also fearing a backlash from his left flank that supports the protesters.
My business has provided me the ability to see the world. My wife and I will seek street artists where we travel and purchase their art and note on the back where and why we were there. Street artists around the world are incredible talented and it makes for great memories in our home. Guests always inquire about the works and many now do the same thing.
I believe a community has the right to erect and remove statues to their choosing. But when I see them come down with rope hooks and sledge hammers by small mobs, that’s another story. Further, I would not support removing statues of Lenin in this country using the same methods, although they offend me. Or forbid the wearing of “Che” t-shirts which also offend me. Of course, I have boundaries.
Recently a bill was passed by the house to remove confederate statues from all national parks. It will never pass the current Senate. If you have toured Gettysburg, the statues of both union and confederate commanders and soldiers displays troop positions at key battle points. Yes, some were dedicated by states memorializing the service of the rebels. Are we now a country where one size fits all? Is the next step to eliminate hate speech that many European nations have adopted? And art, which is subject to interruption, now required to be neutral or to carry a message of context so we don’t need to interrupt? Was this bill from the house the start of a slippery slope? -- Tim H.
You've documented a very real and very scary trend: Leftists who are against free expression when it offends their sensibilities. You ask if the next step is to eliminate hate speech. I think it could happen here. Hate speech -- defined by illiberal liberals -- may become a criminal offense. That's the real danger: banning speech those in charge don't like. It could happen. And it could happen sooner than you might think. All that said, I can understand the opposition to Confederate statues and monuments in the public square. If a town council votes to take them down, at least they acted in a democratic way. But removing statues of Confederate generals from places like Gettysburg is not a good idea. Those statues don't honor the generals. They reflect history. Authoritarian regimes wipe out history. That's not what democratic republics do. At least, it's not what they should do.
I've watched and read your commentary for several decades (damn I'm getting old!), and I, like many, feel I know you, but I don't really. Can you provide us with a non-career bio, e.g., your schools, your interests, your family, etc. Some of the nuances of you - example: I adored Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Perry Mason (TV series), Have Gun Will Travel, Rawhide, Wagon Train, 60 Minutes (w/Kirkpatrick & Alexander), etc. Where did you go to school, what type of jobs did you have before journalism, what sports did you play, etc. Basically, the good stuff that helped develop/correct your character. Cheers -- DonEstif
Well, Don, let's start at the beginning: I was born in the Bronx ... went to elementary school on a street what was written about as an example of one of the worst urban streets in America. Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan campaigned on that street in 1980 and in one news shot you can see my elementary school, PS 61. I moved to New Jersey for high school ... worked at the Grand Union for a while ... then off to Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. Four days after graduation I began working at the Associated Press in New York. I left after a few years to go into television, in Miami. After that, CBS in Atlanta, San Francisco, New York, and back to Miami (for family reasons). My favorite all-time TV show was Homeland. Favorite movie, Casablanca. I'm a very big Sinatra fan. I keep family matters to myself to protect their privacy. But let's just say one member of my family -- my beautiful wife -- is beyond great and people constantly tell me, "She's the nicest person I ever met."
Can you comment on the ethical and/or legal obligations as a journalist when conducting an interview, such as the one Vice News had with Michael Forest Reinoehl last week, with someone credibly accused of a crime and who law enforcement is actively seeking? Is getting such a "scoop" considered a coup in the journalistic world or is it seen as unsavory? Can the media, by knowing the whereabouts of a fugitive and not revealing that information, be considered an accessory to a crime? -- Pete S.
Very good question, Pete. There are no hard unbreakable rules, but if someone were wanted for a serious crime and was on the run, I'd pass, especially if the crime he's accused of is murder. Here's why: The police are going to ask me where I interviewed him. If I say, "I can't tell you" and he goes out and kills someone else, that's something I don't want on my conscience. What if the subject of the interview is a pedophile? Is it okay to withhold his location? I'm sure I'd agree to interview someone who stole government documents that said the U.S. intentionally lied its way into a war that resulted in tens of thousands of American deaths -- and was on the lamb. But violent crime? Crimes against children? No.
"Just sent a Twitter thanking you for Off the Cuff on "When Sports No Longer an Escape..." thinking it was one of your finest audio commentaries. Then I read "Shouldn't ALL Black Lives Matter". I spoke too soon, but I am Irish by heritage, we do that often.
I live in Chicagoland, and I am amazed at how easily the community ignores the tragedy of the carnage which is sadly daily life on the South Side.
I am not at all surprised sports ignores it; ruins the narrative if they acknowledge it." -- Gregg
Thanks for the kind words, Gregg. Sports journalism is in the tank for Black Lives Matter. It's pathetic.
"Joe Biden will continue to say it’s happening [mayhem in various cities] in Donald Trump’s America. You’d think voters would see through this nonsense. But the polls tell us they don’t. That they’re still backing Biden. As the rioters move from downtown to the suburbs, reality will sink in. Those liberals who haven’t condemned the rioting will see what it’s like to have the mayhem on their street, in front of their house. "That’s when they may see the light and conclude that they need to vote for Trump. But I’m not (yet) betting on it."
That's what you said regarding the rioting, looting, etc. in various cities last week. I don't understand your logic. I get it as far as you saying that it's liberal Democratic local and state politicians who are allowing this stuff to happen. But I don't understand why if national voters "see the light" they'll vote for President Trump. If President Trump is NOW impotent to stop this mayhem or is NOW unwilling to stop it, why would reelecting him make this situation any better? In this case, the best the Trump campaign can logically say is that the presidential election will not make a difference as to the mayhem in various cities even if VP Biden is elected. I guess they can say that it would be even worse if Biden is elected, but probably that'd be unpersuasive to all but blind Trump supporters. And I know you're not one of them, far from it. I understand that logic is on life support in national politics. But I think Bernie Goldberg is still governed by it. What am I missing? -- Bob H.
Here's my logic, Bob: Donald Trump clearly is against the violence. He hasn't called in federal agents -- or the U.S. army, navy and marines -- to stop it because that's not only a last resort but one that his critics would use to label him a Nazi, a Hitler, and an all-around dictator who has no respect for democracy --but I suspect he'd call in the troops if he wins in November when he won't have to worry about voter reaction. Many of us who believe Joe Biden when he says he's NOT a crazy radical, don't think he's strong enough to stand up to those on his left flank who support the protests -- and blatantly or not, "understand" or even condone the violence. So even if Trump -- to use your word -- is impotent NOW to stop the violence, he won't be impotent if he wins. I just don't get the impression that Bernie Sanders, AOC, and the progressive wing of the Democratic Party is as troubled by the rioting and looting as Republicans are. So electing Trump increases the odds that action will finally be taken against the mob. There's no guarantee I'm right, of course, but that's how I see it.
I wonder, Bob, if you want the president to match his words with actions. Do you want him to send in the troops to put down the violence, to crush the rioters and looters? Do you think he'll do that if he's re-elected? If he does, what would your reaction be? Do you think Biden will do it if he's elected? If he doesn't and the mayhem continues, what would you suggest he do then?
You're obviously under no obligation to humor me with a response. I was just thinking out loud (so to speak). Take care.
What is more dangerous to the American people; a dishonest President or a dishonest Media? Seems to me there are way more checks & balances to protect us from a roque President than there are to protect us from a subjective, inflammatory & subversive Press. Think of what a Press like this could do to sway a push over President, isn’t that even more dangerous? -- ScottyG
You raise a very interesting question, Scotty. We can deal with a dishonest president by not supporting his policies and if he's up for reelection, voting for the other candidate. But a democracy can't survive without both a free AND a fair press. If we lose faith in the press, we won't know what or who to believe. So if I had to weigh in on which is more harmful -- a dishonest president or a dishonest press -- I'd go along with your conclusion ... a dishonest press can do more harm.
Kamala Harris toured Kenosha, Wisconsin a couple days back and took the time to meet with the the man shot by police, Jacob Blake,and his family. She referred to the family as fine people (the father is about a racist as one can be and is an ardent follower of Louis Farrakhan). She told Jacob, the man who has been charged with breaking into a woman's house as she slept, sexually assaulting her, then returning later to harass her (why cops were called) that she is proud of him! This can't be the same Kamala Harris who tore into Brett Kavanaugh like a pit bull on steroids over totally unsubstantiated 30 year old sexual assault charges during his SC confirmations hearings? Can it? BTW, she did not visit the woman the man she is so proud of reportedly raped, but "all women must be believed." And of course the MSM totally overlooked it. Megyn Kelly who tweeted about it was excoriated for calling her out on it. -- John M.
Once there was something resembling an impartial media in this country, an impartial media that would have questioned her about all the legitimate points you made. That time is gone. The media is an appendage of the Democratic Party and it's not about to ask "inconvenient" questions. But there's another problem: Republicans can't make an issue of all this either -- without looking like they don't care about Jacob Blake. Whatever he was, and whatever he did that day when he resisted arrest, shooting him 7 times in the back at close range looks like excessive force, an overreaction. That's why it's hard for Republicans to make the case against Blake or his father.
In a recent CNN segment, the network showed a very old and endearing picture of Joe Biden with his son... BUT they digitally removed the son's Washington Redskins logo from his hat (see below), presumably because it's just too controversial by today's standards. In my view, this is not only completely stupid, but it lends credence to the theme that liberals are trying to destroy our history through political correctness. Your thoughts? -- Ben G.
I'm with you, Ben. If I think about this anymore I'm going to get depressed. "Completely stupid" -- as you describe it -- may be an understatement.
Bernie, what are your thoughts on Clay Travis and the increasing role of politics in sports media. Mr. Travis (along with his team at Outkick the Cover, which includes Jason Whitlock), in my opinion, appear to be on the more conservative side of sports coverage, while ESPN, and a lot of other non-Fox Sports commentators, seem to be more liberal or even very far left (e.g. Jamel Hill, Peter King, Bomani Jones, etc.). Is cable sports coverage going the way of cable news coverage, where Fox and commentators like Travis, are more conservative, while the rest will fight over the liberal sports audience? If it is going down this path, is there any chance it can be stopped? -- Joe M.
Sports, as I've said before, was the place we went to escape the daily barrage of partisan politics. Those days, apparently, are gone. I'm not at all sure that Fox sports will be any different from other sports news outlets. Except for folks like Whitlock, they all seem to have signed on to the Black Lives Matter campaign. I'd ask athletes and commissioners what they know -- and what they don't know -- about BLM. That said, let me sum up simply with this: Most news organizations have a liberal bias and sports is no different. Even if ratings don't drop, sports won't be a place anymore where we go to escape politics. It will be one more place where we're exposed to politics and polarization.
Lately I’m hearing from liberal pundits that they fear right wing violence around election time, especially if Biden is declared the winner. I find that interesting considering the fact that all the current violence is coming from left wing anarchists. So that got me to wondering: how can they spout such nonsense with a straight face when all the evidence around them says otherwise, INCLUDING dunderhead Democrat mayors either ordering more police security (that they want to defund) around their homes or outright moving to a secret location? Next it got me thinking, why DON’T right wing conservatives protest & riot destructively in the streets like a bunch of spoiled brats having a tantrum when they don’t get their own way? Your thoughts are always appreciated. --“Beware Of Those Dangerous & Violent Conservatives Causing Havoc” Regards, From The Emperor
I have said that while I don't know who's going to win on November 3, I am sure of one thing: that November 4 is going to be the ugliest day of the year. I now have second thoughts: It's going to be even uglier than I thought. If the race is close, both sides will claim victory -- and there's a good chance there'll be protests and worse in the streets. Most of it will come from the left. But I'm not counting out the possibility that some right wing yahoos will be out there too. Even if the election ends in a landslide victory, it won't be seen as legitimate. And if it's close ... lights out!
I have been trying to figure out what America is going to look like and be like after the elections this November and also a few years from now. I had always hoped we were moving towards a society where skin color would increasingly become less relevant. The society that MLK envisioned if you will. Today it seems that that world ( a so-called colorblind world where skin color did not matter that much) is now viewed as racist itself ( talk about irony). So Bernie, where do we go from here? How does one stay positive and optimistic with all that we see and hear every day? How good can a society be when children are being forced fed a diet of hate and vitriol by schools, media and social media? Will there be a meaningful conversation about these topics and a focus on exactly what those demanding change actually want and what they envision society should or will look like in a few years? -- Michael F.
I'm not optimistic, Michael ... at least not for the foreseeable future. Profiles in courage are always rare, but now we're seeing an abundance of the opposite -- of cowardice. The schools, the media, the sports establishment are all on the same page -- that we're a racist country, that it's systemic, in our lifeblood. I'm not buying it and I know I'm not alone. Let's see if there's a silent majority that has enough of the lectures -- and if there is, how that silent majority reacts.
I just read John Daly's piece (on your website) on what Trump told Bob Woodward about COVID-19 back in February, versus how he grossly downplayed and spun the seriousness of the virus to the American people (and still does). I think Daly's right, and I don't buy the idea that Trump was just trying avoid panicking people. There's a huge difference between working to avoid a panic and actively telling people not to take a real threat seriously. What do you think? -- Brian C.
I think if Donald Trump's lips are moving, he's probably NOT telling the truth.
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