Discover more from Bernard Goldberg's Commentary
Bernie’s Q&A: Sean Hannity, Jemele Hill, Lindsey Graham, Bernie Sanders, and more! (9/13) — 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.
Quick note: Just a friendly reminder to try and keep your questions relatively brief, for the benefit of the other members. Thank you!
Let’s get to your questions (and my answers):
Jamille Hill, who was censored and finally left ESPN for her political rants [mostly targeted at Trump] while in their employ is at it again. Her latest, black FB players should abandon white institutions and take their talents to traditional black colleges so they could also enjoy the financial gains that comes with having big time FB programs. So my question to her would be, why did she spend 4 years at Michigan State? No she's not a FB player, but if she cared so much about the plight of black institutions, why not sign on board? Or has she just recently become "woke"? -- John M.
Good question, John. I don't agree with most of what she says, but hey, she's entitled to her opinion. Who knows, maybe she evolved and, as you say, only recently became "woke." But it would be nice if some journalist asked her that question -- publicly and on the record.
Hi Bernie. You've written a number of negative comments about Sean Hannity. Do you at least give him credit for being almost alone in covering and to some extent helping uncover the corruption at the DOJ and the Russia hoax? Also, I suspect that one reason the corrupt actors may get away without prosecution is the dirt they possess on other people and even countries, given their years of inside information. What do you think? -- Michael E.
I'm no fan of Hannity because he's so damn partisan, so far up Trump's ass, that his very presence on TV annoys me. I don't watch anymore so I can't speak about his role in uncovering corruption at the DOJ. But I'm sure, he's not alone on that story. As for your theory on why they might get away with whatever they did ... let's first see if they get away with anything.
Regarding two of the "principled politicians" you referenced in last week's Q&A, Gowdy did talk a strong principled game while in office, but never seemed to produce any results or accountability which I found frustrating. But what is your take on Graham’s transformation from being McCain's (who was very anti-Trump) tag along to now being Trump’s Senate champion? Did you notice or feel Graham was shifting to Trumpville even before McCain passed? Was this a “values” based or politically calculated shift in your observation? -- Scotty G.
I don't know if he changed his values or if he figured it helps to be on Trump's team. I'm uncomfortable attributing motives when I don't know what they are. I still like Graham. But I'm a tad more skeptical of him than I used to be.
King Bernard... What are your thoughts on men with long hair?...and I’m gonna break a rule I promised you I wouldn’t..I’m gonna ask a second question..so please forgive me...since I’m familiar with the era in which you grew up...were you a hippie?...sally forth, I’m headed to a biker bar -- Greggo
I have a question for you Greggo. Are you high?
OK, I'll play along: I met Fabio once. He has long hair. It works for him. Not a fan of old guys with long hair they put in ponytails. But they can do whatever they want. I'm not the hair police. Though I did see Hair, the play.
Was I a hippie back in the day? No, they wouldn't allow it in the New York Yankee system. They were very strict. I played for the Bronx Bombers in the late 60s. But only hit 92 home runs in my short career.
Did you see Bernie Sanders' op-ed piece on how to save journalism? A ton of things stood out for me, but I wanted to ask you about two:
He attributes the biggest threat to journalism is coming from "Wall Street, billionaire businessmen, Silicon Valley, and Donald Trump." Sadly missing from this list are opinion machines that blur the lines between news and opinions.
He quotes Joseph Pulitzer as saying that journalism must "fight for progress and reform, never tolerate injustice or corruption, [and] always fight demagogues." In addition it must "oppose privileged classes and public plunderers, never lack sympathy with the poor, always remain devoted to the public welfare, never be satisfied with merely printing news, always be drastically independent, never be afraid to attack wrong, whether by predatory plutocracy or predatory poverty."
I may be wrong, but I don't think "privileged classes" meant the same thing to Mr. Pulitzer as socialists define it today - simply being white and rich. But beyond the class warfare, there are two other concerns:
What is the difference in journalism between reporting the news and being a social advocate/warrior? Does every news story filed must have some social agenda attached to it as Mr. Goldberg would attribute as Mr. Pulitzer's claim to be "journalism"?
The term "drastically independent" would seem to be about a lack of bias, but it really isn't. Independent does not mean unbiased - just not influenced by the same hand that feeds you. I sure would love your take on Mr. Sanders cure for fixing journalism.
Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions - it makes Fridays even more special every week. -- Steve
There's a lot in your questions, Steve. I'll give it a shot.
Yes, I'm familiar with Sanders op ed.
Bernie should remember that billionaires are keeping the Washington Post and LA Times afloat. But consolidation of news organizations has left us with fewer news outlets -- and that's a minus for all of us.
And yes, journalists take into account corporate interests, even if they won't admit it. It's not easy going after a corporation that owns your newspaper.
And yes, too much journalism is made up of covering crap. Just watch cable for a while and if there's video of something stupid, it'll be on the air.
As for Joseph Pulitzer ... Bernie forgets that he's the guy who helped invent yellow journalism, which is made up of stories involving scandals and crime, mainly.
Finally -- and I say finally because it'll take me a week and a half to fully answer your questions -- I don't believe journalists should comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable, which is taken for granted in many newsrooms today -- and which sounds like Pulitzer would approve. That's the job of ministers and social workers and even politicians. Not journalists.
Bernie Sanders wants journalists to cover the things that he's concerned about. Understandable. But hardly magnanimous.
I just finished "Justice On Trial", by Mollie Hemingway and Carrie Severino. I highly recommend it. The information was thoroughly researched, and the narrative was compelling. It struck me, however, that all of the inside information in the book came from the Kavanaugh/Trump/Republican side of the narrative. Nothing from Feinstein, Booker, Harris, Blasey Ford's camp, or the myriad hard left opposition. I would love to know more about their philosophies, strategies and tactics. I think there's another book coming out soon that will tell the story of the staunch Kavanaugh opposition. Is there no objective "inside baseball" anymore, and is this the price we pay for partisan journalism these days? I seem to recall even a liberal like Larry King had friends in the Reagan Administration, and Bob Woodward has regularly sourced Republican inside info for his myriad books and essays. -- Steve R.
You hit on an important point, Steve. You correctly ask: "Is there no objective 'inside baseball' anymore, and is this the price we pay for partisan journalism these days?"
I'm sure there are important books on all sorts of subjects that honestly deal with both sides of controversial issues. But when the subject is politics, there's a good chance we'll get partisan journalism. Full disclosure: When I wrote Bias, liberals pounced on me because I didn't delve into the biases at Fox. I told them that Fox had a very small audience at the time (2001) and that I would deal with their bias when they became a more influential source of news. They did and I did. One of the reasons, I suspect, I'm no longer at Fox.
It's OK to emphasize one side over the other. But to ignore the "other side" as you say the book does, is not the best kind of journalism. We live in partisan times. Almost nothing escapes the polarization.
Hi Bernie; I am a Bill O'Reilly premium member and now your premium member!! Quick question; If one is a racist when concluding they are not racist ...how about the abortion rights supporters? Since the majority of abortions performed by Planned parenthood are for minority women with almost 2/3 of their offices in minority areas ...are they not racist? Planned parenthood is a white women run organization aborting minority babies. Population control. What's your take? Thanks! -- Charles K.
I refuse to answer this Charles because you're a racist. Oh, you say you're not. That proves you are.
As to your point: You're not the first to make it. When everyone's a racist, no one -- and no organization -- is safe.
Bernie, loved the podcast on free speech. Here's an idea: how about red hat day across America, one that simply says FREE SPEECH. CNN should love it and what a field day for the pollsters out there. Also, Bernie, I am Jewish so this strikes close to home: Many synagogues are focused on "social justice" but talk little about justice ( as you noted last week, one of the hallmark American values). Is this simply a matter of politics on the pulpit? -- Michael F.
I'll get you Jeff Zucker's phone number and you can ask him what he thinks of your idea. If he goes for it, I'm guessing the hat would have to be BLUE.
Many synagogues are made up of liberal members. Hence, social justice. My wife and I quit our synagogue because of their left wing political worldview. We get enough of that in the general culture and don't need it from a religious institution too.
Is there anyone good to elect? That's my question. I think our choices are worse than before. Debt is rising with no end in sight by both parties. Trump is not bringing us together. Some are definitely weaponizing mobs to stifle free speech, to demonize and destroy with impunity and without mercy. Are you seeing any candidate on the horizon that will do us good? If so, who? -- Bill N.
I'm with you Bill. But -- as of now, anyway -- I like Nikki Haley. I think she'll run in 2024. Who knows if I'll still be a fan by then ... and who knows who else will show interest in running.
Here's a timely question that everyone was answering on Wednesday, I might as well ask you! Bernie, where were you on 9/11/2001, when we first realized our country was under attack? -- Tim T.
At home in Miami. At first I thought it was an accident. That fantasy didn't last long. I immediately called family in California, even though it was still before dawn out there. We stayed on the phone and watched together.
In times of crisis, television is like a national cathedral. It's where the nation comes together to witness the same thing at the same time. We could use more "coming together" -- without the horror of another 9/11.
Make sense of this for me if you could. What possessed Bernie Sanders to parade out Linda Sarsour at his campaign rally? As an American and a Jew I was a tad repulsed. What’s up with this guy?? -- Ronald M.
Bernie Sanders may have been born Jewish, but liberalism or progressivism is his religion these days. So parading out the likes of Ms. Sarsour was not controversial to him. It's what people with his political philosophy do. But I don't blame you for being a tad, or even more than a tad, repulsed.
In “A Slobbering Love Affair” you told of when you spoke by speaker-phone to a Journalism class that was assigned to read "Bias." Several of the students were angered by it. When the professor asked you if you didn’t believe that journalists should act as agents for change, you replied “Who's change? Yours or mine?” This was followed by a lengthy uncomfortable silence.
Your response to the professor was spot on (and obvious to me and a lot of your readers), but you caught the professor and his class totally off guard. Why do you think that was? Also, did any students express an understanding of your position as the discussion came to a close? And just how exactly did that whole situation finally end? -- The Emperor
Welcome back, Your Highness. I think I caught the class off guard because it almost certainly was made up of liberal students. This was NYU. And liberal students, especially in places like New York City, believe journalists should change the world -- for the better. And by better I mean how they see "better." I can't remember any students chiming in with support for my position, but that doesn't mean I didn't get through to some of them. As for how did the whole thing end: One of the students wrote a snippy, smart alecky piece in the school newspaper, maligning me and what I told the class. I called the professor and told her to never call me again. I talked to her students as a goodwill gesture and while I don't mind disagreement, I wasn't going to reward a snippy, smart-ass kid trying to belittle me, and return for another session. And I never did go back.
Hi Bernie, What did you think about the subject of gun control and Ilhan Omar's remark, "some people did something" being interjected into the memorial service reading of names of those lost on 9/11? -- E. Mars
I didn't watch any of the memorial service. It brings me down to re-live that day. As for her original comment about "some people did something" ... it was beneath reprehensible. I know nothing about it being injected into the actual service.
Hi Bernie, If you don’t mind, let’s talk NFL football for a minute. We Dolphins fans have suffered through far too many QBs since Dan Marino. With that said, I’m at peace with my team tanking for Tua Tagovailoa. I’d be glad to hear your thoughts. Thanks! -- Chris B.
I'm against tanking -- not playing all out in order to get the top draft pick. But if you're a Dolphin fan, you're desperate. And desperate people believe desperate things. Good luck, Chris. I root for the New York Football Giants ... so you can wish me good luck, too.
Sir, Prior to 2016 I consumed news from a variety of MSM sources but now I find that I have to hunt for news from proven credible entities, and MSM is almost never where I land in my search for information. It seems that Trump is the focus of every news cycle. At some point sooner or later, Mr. Trump will no longer be POTUS. How will the media become credible again? -- David E.
Very good question, David. The MSM have squandered their credibility and they won't easily get it back, if they ever get it back at all. It's one thing to be critical of President Trump. That's fine. But too many journalists are on a crusade against him. And regular folks see it and don't like it. Even liberal Democrats know the media is more biased than ever.
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.