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Bernie’s Q&A: CNN's "Climate" Town Hall, Impressive Conservatives, Real Sports, Epstein, and more! (9/6) — 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: A couple of questions came in after this week's deadline. They will be added to next week's Q&A. Thanks for understanding.
Let’s get to your questions (and my answers):
Bernie-- I agree with your thoughts on Brian Stelter. He's more of a media apologist than a media analyst. But this gave me an idea for question: Besides you of course, are there any media analysts that do a pretty good job? It seems like a much needed role, especially these days, but there seems to be very few media analysts out there, and even fewer who don't come across as rank partisans. -- Robert H.
It's a good question, Robert, but I don't have a good answer. I occasionally read or listen to media analysts, but not enough to answer your question with any expertise. That said, you're onto something when you bring up their partisan tendencies. If they write for a partisan website, for instance, then their analysis is likely to also be slanted. Regarding television: CNN is clearly anti-Trump. So Brian Stelter falls in line with the prevailing ideology at CNN. Years ago, Jeff Greenfield was a media analyst for ABC News. Jeff is an unapologetic liberal. I don't believe he ever tackled liberal media bias.
I'm sure there are some non-partisan honest analysts out there. But as I say, I just don't follow them closely enough to comment. Apologies, Robert.
Bernie, here's a good topic for a column (I'm sure you're already on it): The Fake Feud Between Trump and Fox -- Aloha, Mike S.
It's not fake. The president doesn't understand what journalism is about. He wants total loyalty -- even from hard news journalists at Fox. Check out my Off the Cuff audio commentary that was posted 2 days ago.
On HBO Sports you go from Russia sports corruption to air hugs and shadow tag at an American grade school. Is your staff relieved when they're told they're going to AZ versus RU? And do you work with the same staff members constantly on HBO Sports? Any good inside stories about HBO Sports you want to share with your loyal readers? We'll keep it secret! -- Tim H.
Some of the staff enjoys going to places like Russia. Go figure.
I work with a variety of producers at Real Sports, not the same one all the time. Yes, there are plenty of good inside stories about Real Sports. But if I share them with you and my other loyal readers I'd have to kill all of you ... right before my colleagues at Real Sports kill me.
Dear Bernie, Just a comment (regarding the psychiatrist on CNN who compared Trump to a Nazi): Having done a psych rotation in my training, having been around many psychiatrists & psych nurses - I came to believe there is a reason some people go into that field, they fit right in. -- Beverly
Another good one, Beverly. And your comment has the extra benefit of being 100% correct.
Bernie—Last week in one of your answers concerning Trump you stated: “He definitely is a first class narcissist. Whether this, along with his need to answer every attack, his childish behavior, etc, constitutes a diagnosable mental illness is out of my depth. But do I think he’s nuts? Yeah, I do.”
I agree with most of your views of President Trump, but as an experienced physician I know that there are three words that are more or less interchangeable when discussing a patient's mental status: psychotic, crazy, nuts. If a person qualifies for any of these terms, they are simply unable to function in any setting. They couldn’t function as a street sweeper, let alone as President of the United States. Despite all his faults, from a medical standpoint it is clear that he is not psychotic, crazy or nuts. In my opinion you owe your readers a correction and perhaps an apology. -- William W.
William, Your habit of subjecting common slang to scientific scrutiny, in order to discredit it with your medical expertise, is driving me nuts. And by "nuts," I'm not saying I'm "unable to function in any setting"... nor am I saying that I'm "dry fruit consisting of an edible kernel or meat enclosed in a woody or leathery shell." But if you would like to offer an apology for driving me there (and by "driving," I don't mean in a car), I will consider accepting it.
What do you think are the cornerstone American values? Are these values truly American values or are they really universal values shared by all cultures/countries? Are we past the point where there is any consensus between the left and right as to any of these values as American values? Maybe a good topic for your next article. -- Michael F.
Freedom, equality and justice are three basic American values -- and have been our values since America's founding. We don't always live up to these values, but they are our core values nonetheless. After that I'd go for the Amendments to our Constitution, starting with freedom of speech, of assembly and the freedom to worship -- or not worship without government interference. No, Michael, not all cultures and countries share those values; authoritarian regimes certainly don't. As for agreement between left and right: The two sides, I think, tend to emphasize different values. And more and more I'm not sure progressives care as much about free speech as we all used to.
Bernie, You've mentioned that you moved out of Miami because you were sick of dealing with the damage and persistent threat of hurricanes. Do you have any hard feelings toward President Trump's predecessors for not even considering the use of nuclear weapons to destroy these hurricanes before they ever reached Florida? -- John D.
Here's my answer John D. Get an agent and have him book you into Mr. Chuckles Comedy Club someplace in the good ole USA.
Greetings Sir Bernie: At the risk of venturing into Alex Jones territory, this whole situation with Epstein & the pedophiles makes me raise my eyebrows. The perfect storm occurs so that the guards and the cameras and prison staff fail, and so he’s found dead while on suicide watch. Now one of his close associates in France suddenly vanishes! Epstein was associated with a lot of very powerful people who likely would want him and any damning information permanently out of the way. And what’s the deal with that temple he had on “Pedophile Island?” Do you think there’s something rotten going on regarding all these mysterious incidents? -- Conspiratorial Regards From The Emperor
You have reason to be suspicious -- though he was NOT on suicide watch at the time of his death -- but I think he killed himself. And I think Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman in Dallas. UFOs? Could be.
Bernie, which elected conservative leader do you believe does the best job of dealing with the media while sticking to his or her conservative principles? If you were the press secretary for an elected conservative, what advice would you give him or her? -- JM
Good question, JM. I like former congressman Trey Gowdy. Also, I like Peter King, R-NY. In the Senate I like John Kennedy, who's funny, quotable and makes sense. Ben Sasse from Nebraska sticks to his principles, most of the time. So does Lindsey Graham, but he's getting too close to the president, I think. I'm sure there are others with principles who stick to them.
It takes a certain kind of person, a certain personality, to be a press secretary -- or a corporate spokesman. You're the mouthpiece for someone else. You're not speaking for yourself. So, you say things at times you believe, and at times you say things you don't believe -- because that's your role. Your boss calls the shots. You follow orders. As I say it takes a certain kind of person to do that job. I'm not that kind of person.
But, to answer your question, if I did take a job I never would take: I'd tell the person I was speaking for to ... first and foremost ... stand by your principles. Easier said than done in the world of politics where winning re-election often trumps standing up for what you believe.
Bernie, On Wednesday night, did you happen to watch any of CNN's marathon length townhall on climate change? If so, would you agree that listening to the Democratic candidates talk about banning everything from plastic straws to coal was way more painful than anything climate change could ever do to our planet? -- Alex P.
Surely you jest. No, I didn't watch any of it -- precisely for the reason you state. Too painful. I was afraid I'd lapse into a coma if I watched. If they could bottle what CNN put on they'd have a cure for insomnia.
Bernard.... Dana Perino's always posting pictures of her dog Jasper. Jonah Goldberg does the same with his dogs, and your buddy Daly posts a lot of photos of his pit-bulls. Do you have a dog, and if so, when can we see him/her? -- David G.
I do have a dog. And never.
I remember your Realsports piece on the guy who spends all of his time going to baseball stadiums across the country just to catch and collect home run balls (sometimes snagging them away from kids). Was he the screwiest guy you ever interviewed, or does he even make the top 5? -- Bob
He's up there, Bob. But the screwiest guy was someone out in Colorado who told Princeton he was an orphan who slept under the stars on a ranch in Utah or Nevada reading the Greek classics. Princeton bought it and took him in. He was a great big liar. He was also a big track star in high school, except he was too old to be in high school. He was a total whack job. Oh yeah, he was also a thief. There's more but it's too complicated.
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.