Bernie’s Q&A: NYT vs. Tom Cotton, Joe Biden, Chris Cuomo, and more! (6/12) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)
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Now, let’s get to your questions (and my answers):
I am stunned by Joe Biden saying between 10 and 15 percent of the people in America are not very good. That equates to about 35M to 52M people. Will a statement like that help in bringing people together? Or would it contribute to the opposite? -- Ray K.
Biden's comment may bring back memories of Hillary's basket of deplorables, which didn't do her a lot of good. But let me ask you a question Ray: What percentage of Americans do you think are bad people? My problem with Biden's comment wasn't that he was totally wrong -- there is some percentage that are bad. My problem is that I suspect the entire group he targeted were Americans who support Donald Trump. Are they really the only bad ones in this country? What about the looters? Do they count in Joe's calculation? What about young men who shoot and kill other young men in places like Chicago and Baltimore. Are they bad people in Joe's world?
If there are so many false narratives out there, and misreported and misinterpreted facts, such as the statistics behind unarmed black deaths vs all other police related deaths and then silence when there is black on black death & cop killings; who then is failing the country by not providing the truth required to quell these false narratives and subsequent consequences?
Both the current rioting and the Covid situation have significantly damaged this country and innocent lives based on a lot of misinformation. Who is really failing us? -- ScottyG
Good question, Scotty. The media are failing us. Their agenda doesn't included real statistics about rogue cops killing unarmed black men. That percentage is very small. But you'd never
know that by watching CNN or MSNBC. Journalists also fail us when they interview activists who say things that are provably wrong, but the reporter just sits there like a potted plant and doesn't challenge the false information. Politicians are also failing us. They just say what will help them win re-election. Not many are speaking truth to power. Activists want to defund or flat out eliminate police departments. Cowardly politicians say good idea. I've had enough! All of this has me searching for mindless television at night. I can't take the BS anymore.
Seems to me that if Trump wins in November we will have more violence and riots in the big cities (possibly even before the election too as a warning to scare people). If Biden wins, do you see the Dems being magnanimous or viewing the results as a mandate to go further left. If police forces in blue areas are emasculated what happens to enclaves like Beverly Hills etc ? -- Michael F.
If Biden wins he will cave to the hard left. He doesn't strike me as a strong guy with real convictions. If Trump wins you may very well be right about more violence and riots. The left is on a new kick to defund the police. But as you rightly ask, what happens when the thugs go after homes in Beverly Hills? What happens, Michael, is that the same lefties who don't like cops, will demand police protection.
From one day to the next, you have to ask yourself, "what the ****." We have had over a week of rioting and looting,with perhaps more to come, and what do we hear out of the Progressive Left: defund the police, some calling for doing away with police all together, leave policing to community groups. Yeah that'll work! And how about those who have said the burning and looting might be just what was needed?!! The AG of Massachusetts actually said a good burn might be the purge this country needed. When leading law enforcement officials are saying things like that, I mean, are you kidding me? And finally, all that said, you have to wonder who would want to be a cop these days? Mediocre pay, treated like dirt. Can you imagine how the NYPD felt knowing that all the people they arrested for looting and vandalism would be right back out on the streets within 24 hours thanks to NY's "bail reform laws"....book em and release em, no bail involved. Every time I think Trump is doomed and can't win in November [much of it of his own doing ] when I hear things like this it gives me hope that the average Joe&Jane would not at all be happy with the the way the Dem's have moved further to the left with their policies. Less police, no police, seriously.???? -- John M.
Let me address your last point, John -- about the average Joe and Jane out there. I've wondered if there is a new Silent Majority out there. I honestly don't know. If there is, it will help Trump. But if we've moved left as a country, if more and more Americans think the country is fundamentally racist and so excuse rioting, say hello to President Biden. To me, this is the big political question of the moment: Does the Silent Majority exist in America today?
The police are always in the news. There are lots of good cops and a few bad cops. I'm a white guy - sort of - Italian, and I've been all over the world, many times, for work and pleasure ... to the EU, all over Asia, Mexico, and the rest of the third world ... and stopped by the police numerous times for numerous reasons. I smile. I ask questions in a respectful way. I have nothing to hide. I live through it. My advice to anyone of any color ... if the police ask you to do something ... do it, respectfully. If they say, "Stop!", then stop. If you don't, then all bets are off (serious implications). If the "request" is not appropriate, there are scores of ways to complain, however, "Just do it". My two cents. -- Mike S.
My feelings precisely, Mike.
A few quick points/queries: how long before God Bless America and The Pledge of Allegiance will effectively be banned? If The Democrats could rewrite the Constitution, what would they add or eliminate? Or does it not matter so long as you have the "right" judges? Will Keith Ellison try the Minn. cops just before the Nov elections? Finally, have the past 10 days proven that violence works and the threat of violence (or the occasional "boisterous protest" ( gotta be PC) ) can be used from time to time to keep issues alive and keep certain groups more engaged? -- Michael
Regarding your first question ... if the left takes control of this country, there's a good chance they will impose speech codes. They are the biggest single threat to freedom of speech. Will they ban God Bless America or the Pledge of Allegiance. Let's just say they sure as hell won't encourage either.
Violence, I'm afraid, does work ... in that it gets the attention of the media and politicians. But not in a good way. They give lip service to saying rioting is bad, but their emphasis is on the conditions that supposedly led to rioting and looting. You'll never hear any liberal journalist state what to me is obvious: Some people just plain like breaking windows and stealing stuff. They're not doing it because they're oppressed. They're doing it because they like sneakers and Rolex watches -- especially when they're "free."
Quick question on journalistic ethics (since I honestly don't know the answer): Let's say you're asking someone questions for a story, and the person is giving you all kinds of newsworthy information. Then, the person suddenly says, "That's all off the record, by the way." From a journalist's perspective, is it really off the record, or does that person need to tell you beforehand that it's off the record? Thanks! -- Tom R.
The person must tell you beforehand that what he or she said is off the record. Otherwise it's not. That said, I'm sure it doesn't always work that way. If the source has given the journalist good information in the past, it's not likely the journalist will risk losing the source over a failure to say, "This conversation is off the record." Also if the source says something that might hurt a cause the journalist agrees with -- that too might lead to keeping the conversation off the record. But as a general practice: The ground rules have to be established before the interview starts.
I find the article you wrote on Monday, at this time, a distraction. To me it is just like when white people throw the Black on black crime card up. Yes there are problems in the back community. But why does no one ever talk about white on white crime? People kill and harm people in their own communities. Let see the numbers across the board. I am sure you will see they are all within a few percentage points. My other problem is that your article and many people ignore the steps that are taken locally in Chicago to curb this trend. It may not be perfect. But to imply that nothing is being done, or that the communities don't care, is wrong. But if you are not in the community, how would you know? And don't get me started on systematic policies that have broken up the black family. Why cant we give the current movement time to breathe. Pun intended. -- Douglas S.
Hey Douglas ... my point is that elite white liberals -- in order to show their good racial manners -- will lament white on black crime but virtually ignore black on black crime. And it makes me wonder: Don't those lives matter ... or is homicide only an issue when the victim is black and the perpetrator is white?
Isn't the sad fact that the leading cause of death among young black men is homicide a legitimate topic to write about -- at this time or any time?
I defer on these matters to Shelby Steele who has written extensively and eloquently about white liberal guilt. He's far more blunt than I've been. He's black.
I wasn't saying that nothing is being done. My complaint is with elite white liberals -- not people in the community trying to do good. I never said those communities don't care. So your point that I'm not in the community isn't relevant.
I hate what that white cop did to George Floyd. But I also hate the mayhem that has become all too routine in parts of Chicago. And as a journalist, I lament the fact that 85 shootings in one weekend and more than 20 deaths isn't big news. Re-read what Lee Habeeb says about that. Thanks, Douglas -- and feel free to let me know what you think of my Off the Cuff this week on the subject of "systemic racism".
What are the facts and your opinion on what just happened at the New York Times? I'm referring to James Bennett's resignation as its editorial page editor. And what about the publisher, Sulzberger - does he have blood on his hands as the woke are eating their own? -- Steve R.
What happened at the NY Times is this: The children at the newspaper of record threw a temper tantrum because the read an op-ed they didn't agree with ... and the so-called grownups, instead of telling these snowflakes to grow up, caved ... and agreed that the Times had made a terrible mistake. And Bennett resigned or was forced out. This is what's been happening on college campuses for a while now. The liberal authoritarians are on a roll. Kind of like the French Reign of Terror without the guillotines -- yet.
Dear Bernie, CNN's Chris Cuomo was "unknowingly" caught in the background of his wife's online Yoga video... naked. Him, not her. Given Cuomo's high opinion of himself and the shape he's in, along with his flare for Reality TV-style broadcasting (like that staged "emerging from the basement after covid" silliness), what do you think the chances are that this incident was not "accidental" at all, and that it was a publicity stunt for his show? -- Bruce A.
I have absolutely no idea. But that's not to say you're not onto something, Bruce.
"Time Magazine Person of the Year?" ... Wait for it ... The Hypocrite. Potus and family, many members of Congress, lots of evangelicals, priests, pastors, reporters, political commentators, CEO's, Hollywood persona ... and I, are all hypocrites. I feel I am an environmentalist. I'm a vegetarian. I live part-time in a spectacularly beautiful part of the world, off the grid - in East Maui, near Hana. On my property, I watch over at least 2000 mature trees in this lush rainforest. I used to feel slightly superior to most of you. I'm not. Far from it. My wife works for a major airline. We fly for free. I fly all over the place, burning up the atmosphere that my trees help produce, as we go. I have more than one home, and more than one car, and not a Tesla to be found. I am in a serious dilemma. You, Bernie, might be one of the few true non-hypocrites out there ... or is it, I dare say, unanimous? -- Aloha, Mike
You may be a hypocrite, Mike, but life seems pretty damn good. But if you're troubled by your supposed hypocrisy ... here's a suggestion: Go off to a monastery for a few months; take your wife with you ... and leave the house keys under the doormat for my wife and me. Your place sounds pretty nice. Deal?
Your Wednesday Off the Cuff was your best to date. I would like for your thoughts to make it to the minds of most of the people in the USA. How can we help make that happen? -- Ival S.
Thanks very much Ival. But be assured, as a friend of mine put it, there's a better chance that they'll join the KKK then go along with my idea. Put the word out anyplace you can about this website. The more people who listen and read my commentary, the greater the chance that some of these ideas will catch on. Word of mouth is a powerful force.
I'm hearing that much of the violence and rioting and looting had the hooligans picking up devices that were planted alongside the roads so that rioters could easily use these devices to break into stores and cause damage. I'm also hearing that "white supremacists" have infiltrated the peaceful protesters and deliberately caused mayhem and destruction to denigrate the cause. Is there any evidence that white supremacist groups have been doing this? Or is this a left-wing talking point being used to deflect focus away from anarchist groups such as ANTIFA, whom I believe that left wingers support? Thankfully I can say this (and what I wrote last week) here because the woke crowd has apparently taken over TWITTER. Your thoughts? -- "It was our ENEMIES who did it, NOT our ALLIES" Regards From The Emperor
Hello Your Emperorness. Let me start with your question about weapons planted alongside the road. Every time I hear that on TV, I become suspicious. If the reporter knows this, and others presumably know this, where's the video? Why aren't you showing it to your audience? I'm guessing it's because it's a phony story. Someone heard it and it soon took on a life of its own. I'll believe it when I see it.
As for white supremacists infiltrating peaceful demonstrations: I'm not buying that either. I think left wing pols and activists planted the story to put blame supposed Trump supporters for the mayhem.
Once upon a time we had editors/producers who checked scripts to make sure the reporter got his or her facts right before putting stories on the air. Those were the good old days.
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.