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Bernie's Q&A: When Geraldo Threatened Me; Dan Rather, Ben Shapiro, The Conways, and More (3/22)
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):
Several years ago, Geraldo Rivera — on The O'Reilly Factor — threatened to give you a "bloody nose" over some comments you had made about his well-documented bias on Mexican immigration issues. (Editor's note: the video is embedded below). Do you know if there was any disciplinary action taken against Rivera for physically threatening a network colleague? Also, what was your reaction to his comment? Did you talk to anyone at Fox about it? -- Ben J.
I thought he sounded like a jerk and let it go at that. I doubt Fox said or did anything about it. Fine with me. Geraldo gets excitable at times. No harm no foul.
In light of the views and behavior of Ihan Omar and “AOC”, do you think they are a potential albatross for the dems, or an actual catalyst for bringing socialism to fruition? -- Terry H.
Interesting question, Terry. I'm guessing the grownups in the party will give AOC and maybe Omar "movie money" during the campaign to get them away from cameras and microphones. If they keep talking, yes, it could hurt the Democrats. But I'm not betting on it. As you suggest in your question, there are plenty of hard-left "progressives" who love what they're saying.
I read your books years ago, and there were a few things about Dan Rather that I'm curious about. Was Dan raised in any particular religion, and if so, did he practice any particular religion? Was he religious at all or is he atheist/agnostic? Thank you for these Q&A sessions, Mr. Goldberg. They are much appreciated. -- Ted B.
Don't know about Dan's religious background. But he grew up blue collar in Texas so I'll go out on a limb and say he didn't grow up atheist. Sorry I'm not much help on his religious leanings -- then or now. But I'll say this: Dan's a good guy who has one major journalistic flaw: He's either unwilling or unable to take serious criticism seriously. His tendency when the term "liberal bias" pops up is to do what most journalists do: circle the wagons. God bless him!
Wanted to get your opinion. I think Laura Ingraham does a great job on Fox and is really bright. Her name didn’t come up on your list of the best commentators. What am I missing, too much pro-Trump? On Juan [Williams], I just have to say that when he said he was concerned that Trump, if he lost in 2020, might not leave office voluntarily, that seemed ridiculous. Trump the businessman, will be happy to get back to his empire. Could the left really think that Trump would balk when the people speak? Juan lost me on that one. -- Jim A.
He lost me too. I know Juan and like him. He's a bright guy. But this is what Trump has done to people: made them a little nuts. The notion that Trump wouldn't leave office struck you as ridiculous. Struck me the same way. As for Laura, she is bright. Ivy League. Not my cup of tea. Yes, too pro-Trump and not enough hard-nosed analysis when it comes to the president. But she's better than some others on the channel.
Do you think if Robert F. Kennedy hadn’t been assassinated that he would have (i) won the Democratic nomination, and (ii) beaten Richard Nixon? -- James P.
That's like saying, "Besides that Mrs. Lincoln, how'd you like the show." Just kidding. Who knows, but I'd say there would have been a good chance. He was charismatic unlike Nixon and likable, unlike Nixon. If I had to guess, I'd say Bobby or Dicky.
Many point to the repealing of the Fairness Doctrine in the late 1980’s as the beginning of extreme one-sided politicized reporting. Fox News was one of the first instigators. What are you thoughts about the doctrine in light of the state of the news today? -- Mike S.
I don't think the federal government should be in the business of dictating content. But you're right, without mandated balance broadcasters were free to put on whomever they wanted -- and there's more money in hot opinion than in lukewarm moderation.
Mr G, What's been your favorite role in your media career? (And it's OK to brag on how many roles you've had - local reporter, network, cable sports, AP, pontificator, NYTimes best selling author and thorn in their side...) -- Gregg H.
I never really thought about that, Gregg, so thank you for encouraging me to consider your question. I think I like long-form TV journalism -- magazine news reporting as in my work at Real Sports at HBO -- and when it's not a food fight, I also like doing commentary. I got my start at the AP and I'm grateful for that. But wire service writing and reporting, and local TV, were not my favorites.
As a follower of Jesus Christ, my Christian convictions lead me to seek folks rooted in traditional thinking. To that end, Ben Shapiro is a person I trust to give me a fair assessment of any subject worth covering. I'm sure he's a fan of yours. What is your opinion of him and if invited, would you do a guest interview on his daily show or his Sunday Special? -- D-Rock
I have no idea if Ben is a fan or if he even knows who I am. I like him. He's smart. And yes, if asked, I'd be a guest on either of his shows.
A few years ago, you were on O'Reilly's show. I think it was a Friday. I forget what the discussion was about. But toward the end of your segment, you said you wanted to voice a criticism of FNC and that O'Reilly might not invite you back as a consequence. O'Reilly kept interrupting you before you could articulate the criticism. Soon thereafter - I think it was the following Monday - O'Reilly had you on and purportedly gave you the opportunity to say what you wanted to say on the show before. I forget what you said, but it was something mealy mouthed. You then proceeded to thank O'Reilly for allowing you to speak freely. What was the criticism of Fox News that you originally wanted to make that you thought might have you disinvited to O'Reilly's show? If you don't want to answer the question, I understand. I'm also curious as to the backstory. Did O'Reilly call or e-mail you to warn you about straying too far off the reservation? I know, that's a second question and you probably don't want to answer it. O'Reilly was so good to you. It would probably be disloyal to answer this question. -- Bob H.
Mealy mouthed? Me? Surely you jest.
I remember the incident but have no recollection of the specifics. O'Reilly is a fair guy and he knew I got short changed. That's why he had me back on. It's possible that I let his producer know I wasn't happy. But whether I did or not, Bill wasn't afraid to hear me out.
It's possible that I had just criticized something about the liberal media and wanted to make a point that Fox was guilty too. That's what it sounds like, all these years later, but I can't say for sure. I barely remember what I had for breakfast.
There is a young progressive YouTuber named Kyle Kulinski. His show is called Secular Talk. While he makes no secret about being a leftist progressive, he does seem to be somewhat fair in his commentary, although I don't always agree with him. Recently he was supposed to debate Ann Coulter at Politicon, but she backed off. He eventually debated Jessie Lee Peterson on Peterson's show. I would love to see an honest debate between two intelligent people from opposite ends of the spectrum, like Kulinsky and you or Ben Shapiro. I would say the same thing about you and Stephen Colbert, Bill Maher, and Dan Rather. Is there any chance of you reaching out to Kulinsky for a debate or even a discussion on his show? How about the others I mentioned? -- The Emperor
No. I know nothing about YouTubers. Sorry. Old School. But once upon a time there was a show on TV that you're yearning for. It was called Firing Line, hosted by Bill Buckley. Every week Buckley would debate some other smart person. It was civil and great TV.
I get that TV is a business and TV news is business, big business. So why would large capitalist business' like NBC, CNN, ABC, CBS seem to push leftist, socialist ideas? Some say George Soros is behind everything, but he can't possibly "buy" all of these large institutions. Can he? What is the motivation? -- Doug R.
I used to wonder the very same thing, Doug. But then it hit me: The only thing that trumps money is ideology. Even if they lose viewers by being too liberal or too conservative, ideology wins out. But then they figured out a way to make money by pushing ideology. Fox, CNN and MSNBC disseminate strong liberal and conservative opinions -- which pleases their audiences. Hence, money.
I have concluded that the Democratic Party died when Senator Lieberman retired from Congress and the Republican Party has faded away since Ronald Reagan finished his second term. The Dems should be rebranded the New Democratic Socialist (OXYMORON) Party and the Repubs renamed the RINO WHIG Do NOTHING Democratic Socialist (OXYMORON) Liters. I believe the BIG difference b between the 2 Parties in the 21st Century is that the OXYMORON Party wants "fundamental transformation" NOW and the RINO WHIGS just want the change to be slow. Your thoughts? -- Geoff M.
Let me get back to you, Geoff. I just re-read your question and my head hurts. That said, you're not alone in your unhappiness with BOTH parties. Whichever party captures the middle ground -- even if it offends the purists on the ends -- will win. At least that's been our history.
In your opinion is it becoming hard for President Trump to govern the country with all the personal distractions and accusations he faces everyday? -- George V.
Let's just say it can't be easy to govern when you're surrounded by non-stop controversy and at times chaos. If -- and let me emphasis the word IF -- the special prosecutor comes up with anything that shouts trouble for the president, these will look like the good old days. That's when distractions will really take a toll. But that's only "if" at this point.
I think many people are perplexed about the relationship of Kellyanne Conway and husband, George. How about this... When Trump’s done, she’s done. Kinda like what happened to Spicer. George, a Harvard/Yale guy, now becomes the Man, as he had the stones to speak “truth to power”...and, the money machine doesn’t stop. Any validity? -- Mike S.
I know nothing about their personal at-home relationship, Mike, but out in the open George is putting his wife in a tough position. Kind of unfair, I think. He says Trump has a mental disorder. Trump calls him a "whack job." And Kellyanne says you think the president is "just should take that sitting down?" My people have a term for this: OY VEY! Would be interesting to be the proverbial fly on the wall when they're at home and the subject comes up.
Hi Bernie, In the 30+ years that I've been visiting Miami, Joe's Stone Crab has always been my go-to for a great and uniquely Miami place to dine. As a long time resident of Miami, I'm wondering if you have a favorite place to eat for lunch or dinner. -- Keith M.
My favorite restaurant ON PLANET EARTH ... Is Joe's Stone Crab on South Beach. And I don't even eat the Stone Crabs. I LOVE the place. Recommend it highly!!!
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