By Hannah Reich Berman

As an avid watcher of television news programs, I have become something of a news junkie. Along with many other people, I have found that the DVR is a perfect way to record all programs, both news and entertainment. But I rarely watch anything that is even remotely entertaining, since there is not enough time in a 24-hour day to watch everything that is of interest to me. Somewhere along the way, I chose to watch the news and skip the rest.

Fox News is my all-time favorite channel. I cannot remember the last time I tuned in to CBS, NBC, or ABC. But, knowing how important it is to hear both sides of a story–any story–I am proud to say that, from time to time, I do tune in to CNN or to MSNBC. It doesn’t last long because CNN has become an unreliable source of information and MSNBC is so liberal and so totally biased in favor of Democrats that they will say anything and report anything that attacks Donald Trump or his family. What they report does not have to be true–and often is not–but they report it anyhow.

The media has become an amazing tool for the left. Three producers from CNN had to resign recently after the cable news network was forced to retract and apologize for a story on its website involving a close ally of Donald Trump. The article was removed from last month after the network decided it could not fully stand by its reporting.

Apologies have occasionally been issued, but, in the long run, nothing changes. Clearly there is some bias on behalf of some of the moderators on Fox, but not all. The viewer does get to hear both sides of the issues, since Democratic as well as Republican guests are invited to speak on the nightly Tucker Carlson program. Carlson argues with them vociferously, but they get the opportunity to present their views, regardless of how absurd he feels some of their positions are.

Watching Fox News is as close to an addiction as I ever would want to come, but it behooves me to be totally honest by acknowledging that from time to time the news is so intense and so seriously overwhelming that I need some relief. Comic relief is always best, and I like it in the form of some small segments usually featured on the Lou Dobbs program. Dobbs has shown some people who are clearly nothing less than crazy. The two- or three-minute segments show folks engaging in extraordinarily dangerous stunts. While I don’t necessarily enjoy watching nuts as they put themselves in harm’s way, they do at least provide a brief respite from the political news.

It can become overwhelming to learn about all the committees and investigations. And it can be painful to see and hear how hard the liberal left tries to tear down our duly elected president. In addition, there is a huge level of frustration when one is presented with the fact that we do have a very thin-skinned president, one who tweets incessantly and who occasionally does wacky things. For example, he recently gave an interview to reporters from his archenemy, the New York Times, and proceeded to bash Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Sadly, President Trump sometimes fails to distinguish between his friends and his foes. Sessions has been a loyal and devoted friend from the very beginning.

Due to the seriousness of the topics presented on Fox programs that are hosted by Bret Baier, Lou Dobbs, Tucker Carlson, The Five, and Sean Hannity, some relief is a necessity. Some of these program moderators offer light-hearted and innocent segments, which is a welcome change of pace. But there is also relief even if it is provided by the aforementioned daredevils who perform incredibly dangerous stunts.

I recently watched such a stunt on the Lou Dobbs program. A man had a frankfurter sticking out of his mouth, which he fed to an alligator. That is correct, I kid you not; the frankfurter went from the man’s mouth directly into the animal’s mouth. The alligator, whose mouth was wide open and displaying about 80 razor-sharp teeth, swam up to the nut with the food and snatched it out of his mouth. This ferocious creature, a known killer, came within inches of the man’s face. It was only good fortune that prevented the crazy feeder from having his head bitten off. It was an act of daring that he performed repeatedly, and because it was mesmerizing, and because I had recorded the program, I watched it over and over. The stunt is nothing that any sane person would attempt.

Speaking for myself, there is another caveat here. Even if I were crazy enough to do such a weird and dangerous thing, there is no way I would ever part with a frankfurter. While it has been years since I have indulged my appetite for a juicy hot dog, I have not forgotten how delicious those things taste. With mustard and relish or with ketchup, in a bun or without a bun, if I ever allow myself the pleasure of eating one of those things again, I would never give it away. I would not give it to anyone, but especially not to a perpetually hungry alligator that is nothing more than an eating machine. Call me selfish, but that’s just the way I am–and that’s just the way it is.

Hannah Berman lives in Woodmere and gives private small-group lessons in mah-jongg and canasta. She can be reached at or 516-902-3733.



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