In court filing, New York Attorney General Letitia James says Trump lied about his net worth inflating it by $2.2 billion!

Attribution: crazylary51

Dear Commons Community,

Donald Trump defended his real estate empire in a face-to-face clash with the New York attorney general, Letitia James, suing him for fraud, testifying at a closed-door grilling in April that his company is flush with cash.

Trump, in testimony made public yesterday, said it was a “terrible thing” that Attorney General Letitia James was suing him over claims he made on annual financial statements about his net worth and the value of his skyscrapers, golf courses and other assets.  As reported by the Associated Press.

Trump’s lawyers released Trump’s 479-page deposition transcript in a flurry of court filings ahead of a Sept. 22 hearing where a judge could resolve part or all of the lawsuit before it goes to trial in October. James said evidence shows Trump fraudulently inflated his net worth by up to 39%, or more than $2 billion, in some years.

Sitting across from James at her Manhattan office on April 13, Trump said, “you don’t have a case and you should drop this case.” Noting his contributions to the city’s skyline, Trump said “it’s a shame” that “now I have to come and justify myself to you.”

Interrogated about the truthfulness of financial statements he gave to banks, Trump repeatedly insisted that, legally speaking, it didn’t matter whether they were accurate or not.

“I have a clause in there that says, ‘Don’t believe the statement. Go out and do your own work.’ This statement is ‘worthless.’ It means nothing,” Trump testified. Given the disclaimer, he said, “you’re supposed to pay no credence to what we say whatsoever.”

In a legal filing yesterday, James urged Judge Arthur Engoron to grant summary judgment on one of seven claims in her lawsuit — that Trump and his company defrauded lenders, insurers and others by lying about his wealth and the value of his assets.

To rule, Engoron needs only to answer two questions, James’ office argued: whether Trump’s annual financial statements were false or misleading, and whether he and the Trump Organization used those statements while conducting business transactions.

“The answer to both questions is a resounding ‘yes’ based on the mountain of undisputed evidence” in the case, James’ special litigation counsel Andrew Amer said in a 100-page summary judgment motion.

Even if Engoron rules on the fraud claim, he would still preside over a non-jury trial on six other remaining claims in the lawsuit if it is not settled.

Trump’s lawyers are asking Engoron to dismiss the case entirely.

They argue that many of its allegations are barred by a statute of limitations and that James has no standing to sue because the entities Trump supposedly defrauded “have never complained, and indeed have profited from their business dealings” with him.

Trump, the front-runner for the Republican nomination in next year’s presidential election, has been indicted four times in the last five months — accused in Georgia and Washington, D.C., of plotting to overturn his 2020 election loss, in Florida of hoarding classified documents, and in Manhattan of falsifying business records related to hush money paid on his behalf. Some of Trump’s criminal trials are scheduled to overlap with the presidential primary season.

James sued Trump last September, alleging he inflated the value of assets like his Mar-a-Lago estate for at least a decade. Her lawsuit seeks $250 million in penalties and a ban on Trump doing business in New York.

Trump testified that he only had the financial statements made so he could see a list of his many properties and said he “never felt that these statements would be taken very seriously,” but that financial institutions would occasionally ask for them. Some of the values listed were based on “guesstimates,” he conceded.

Trump answered questions with such verbosity at the April deposition — veering from evasiveness to bluster to filibuster at times — that one lawyer worried his seven hours of sworn testimony could go until midnight.

It was a reversal from a deposition last year, before James filed her lawsuit, in which Trump refused to answer all but a few procedural questions. At that earlier deposition, Trump invoked his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination more than 400 times.

Trump testified in April that his company, the Trump Organization, has over $400 million in cash. He claimed Mar-a-Lago is worth $1.5 billion and a golf course he owns near Miami is worth $2 billion or $2.5 billion. He said he believes he could sell another golf course he owns in Scotland to the Saudi-backed LIV golf league “for a fortune.”

“Do you know the banks were fully paid? Do you know the banks made a lot of money?” Trump testified. “Do you know I don’t believe I ever got even a default notice, and even during COVID, the banks were all paid? And yet you’re suing on behalf of banks, I guess. It’s crazy. The whole case is crazy.”

Trump is not expected to testify in court if the case goes to trial, but video recordings of his depositions could be played.

In his deposition, Trump testified that once he became president, he stopped paying much attention to his business because he needed to focus on world affairs.

Another case of Trump lying.  He lies about everything including his finances, his involvement with the January 6th insurrection, and his weight!


Bret Stephens on America’s Role in Responding to China’s Declining Economy!

Dear Commons Community,

The New York Times columnist, Bret Stephens, had a piece yesterday entitled,   “How Do We Manage China’s Decline?”  It provides commentary on what our country should do to deal with China’s economic dilemmas of high unemployment (21%), a real estate market crash, and capital flight.  He makes several suggestions, all of which make sense,  However, his basic theme is that we live in one global economy and any major wobble for a top player such as China is a problem for all of us. 

His conclusion is that we should pursue a policy of détente.  To quote:

“We should not seek a new cold war with China. We cannot afford a hot one. The best response to China’s economic woes is American economic magnanimity. That could start with the removal of the Trump administration tariffs that have done as much to hurt American companies and consumers as they have the Chinese.

Whether that will change the fundamental pattern of Beijing’s bad behavior is far from certain. But as China slides toward crisis, it behooves us to try.”

Most definitely!


Mark Thompson, former CEO of “The New York Times” and BBC Director General, to take over CNN!

Mark Thompson

Dear  Commons Community,

Mark Thompson, former CEO of The New York Times between 2012 and 2020, and former director general of the BBC between 2004 and 2012, is to be appointed chief executive, chairman and editor-in-chief of CNN later today. As reported by The Telegraph.

David Zaslav, Warner Bros. Discovery chief executive, said: “There isn’t a more experienced, respected or capable executive in the news business today than Mark, and we are thrilled to have him join our team.”

Mr Thompson, 66, faces a challenge in rebuilding a newsroom that has been gutted by layoffs following cutbacks under owners Warner Bros. Discovery. CNN is attempting to right-size its $50 billion debt following last year’s merger between Warner Media and Discovery.

CNN is also struggling to adapt to the rise of streaming and has faced collapsing ratings and revenues.

Mr Thompson’s most pressing challenge will be deciding how the network portrays Donald Trump’s second tilt at the White House and his string of criminal charges.

CNN surged to its best ratings in 40 years during the Trump administration as the network went on the attack against the President’s chaotic tenure.

However, the US network, which has typically attracted a left-leaning, liberal audience, has endured a collapse in viewer numbers since the election of President Joe Biden.

In recent years Warner Bros. Discovery chief Mr Zaslav has sought to pull CNN back to the centre ground and away from its competitive stance towards the Republican Party.

In October 2022, Chris Licht was hired as CNN chief executive and began shifting the network towards the political centre. Mr Licht, a former executive producer of Stephen Colbert’s The Late Show, told staff that viewers had “lost trust in the news media” and criticised journalistic “group-think”.

Despite Mr Licht’s efforts, CNN’s audience figures and advertising revenues plummeted. By March, its viewer numbers were down 61pc compared to 2022, averaging just 473,000 in prime time, according to Nielsen.

While cable viewership has fallen across the board, CNN’s decline has been far steeper than that of rival Fox News.

In May, the network gambled by offering an interview to Mr Trump in an effort to boost ratings and attract conservative viewers.

However, the Republican Presidential favorite bulldozed through CNN’s attempt at a serious interview, repeating claims the US election was rigged and calling interviewer, Kaitlan Collins, a “nasty person”.

His remarks were met with cheers from the audience. The Atlantic reported in June that Mr Licht had told CNN staff ahead of the interview that the audience would be “extra Trumpy”.

The debate failed to recapture audiences and CNN fell to its worst week for daily viewers since 2015, with just 429,000 tuning in.

Mr Licht was forced out shortly after.

The newsletter Puck first reported Mr Thompson’s appointment. CNN also considered former BBC journalist James Harding for the top job, according to Semafor.

Mr Thompson, who started working at the BBC in 1979, took charge of the corporation in 2004. He notably suspended comedian Jonathan Ross, its highest paid presenter at the time, in 2006 following a controversial prank call show with Russell Brand.

He joined the New York Times in 2012 where he spearheaded a resurgence at the paper, turning the liberal city broadsheet into an international media brand with millions of subscribers.

Mr Thompson said: “I can’t wait to roll up my sleeves and get down to work with my new colleagues to build a successful future for CNN.”

We wish Mr. Thompson well!


2023 Changing Landscape of Online Education (CHLOE) Report Just Released!

CHLOE 8 Report cover


Dear Commons Community,

The eighth installment of the Changing Landscape of Online Education (CHLOE) report, produced by Quality MattersTM and Eduventures®, offers an overview of the current state of online learning in higher education as well as insights into its future development. The report was compiled by surveying chief online officers (COOs) — professionals well-suited to assess the current state of this ever-developing field — at U.S. two- and four-year colleges and universities. 

The majority of survey participants report increased student demand for online and hybrid learning juxtaposed with decreased demand for face-to-face courses and programs. Most participants also say that their institutions are aligning or working to align their strategic priorities to meet this demand. Notable findings from the 50+-page report include: 

  • Face-to-Face enrollment is stagnant or declining. Fifty-seven percent of COOs report stagnant enrollment of traditional undergraduates in face-to-face programs, and another 24% report declining or sharply declining face-to-face numbers. Adult undergraduate and graduate student face-to-face enrollment show even greater declines.
  • Online and hybrid enrollment is growing. COOs report either growth or strong growth for fully online and hybrid programs (36% and 20%, respectively). 
  • Institutions are quickly aligning their strategic priorities to meet online/hybrid student demand. Approximately 50% of COOs confirm that their present strategic plans and resource allocations support a greater emphasis on online and multi-modal learning but that many face resource constraints. Another 36% indicate that a reconsideration of strategic priorities is currently underway.
  • “Quiet” quality assurance. While 60% of COOs report that their institutions do QA benchmarking for online courses and programs, and 64% say they do QA for online teaching and technical support for students, less than 15% communicate to students that they are doing so, potentially missing valuable opportunities to improve student success and enrollment/retention rates.

Congratulations to all involved in producing this valuable work!


Matt Lewis: Trump and Ramaswamy Show Us How the Worst Get to the Top!

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Getty/Reuters

Dear Commons Community,

Matt Lewis, senior columnist for the Daily Beast, had a piece earlier this week entitled, “Trump and Ramaswamy Show Us How the Worst Get to the Top,” that provides introspection on the state of our politics in the age of Trump and Ramaswamy.  He borrows his theme from the economist, F.A. Hayek. Here is an extended excerpt.

“How is it that tech bro Vivek Ramaswamy, a self-described “skinny kid with a funny name” who has never held public office, rarely even votes, and has been on both sides of numerous issues (including his take on Donald Trump), became the hottest commodity in the Republican Party? How was he considered one of the big winners of Wednesday night’s debate (second only to Ron DeSantis in the first post-debate poll), despite his unctuous and demagogic performance?

If you want my honest answer, why should we expect anything less?

In his classic 1944 book The Road to Serfdom, F.A. Hayek wrote about “Why the Worst Get on Top.” As Hayek explained, “the unscrupulous and uninhibited are likely to be more successful in a society tending towards totalitarianism.” Sound familiar?

I’m thankful that “totalitarianism” is not yet synonymous with America—but the larger point is that bad systems inexorably promote bad people who are willing to do what it takes to claw their way to the top. Today’s Republican Party is that kind of system.

I’ve been making this point since before Trump won the Republican nomination. And it has been repeatedly confirmed by Trump’s rise in the polls every time he gets indicted (we’re at four now)—and by his ability to effectively monetize his mugshot for fundraising purposes.

Ramaswamy’s rise is merely the latest sign of dysfunction in a party that idolizes not only Trump, but also Kanye West, Elon Musk, and Marjorie Taylor Greene (just to name three examples).

Still, Wednesday night’s debate—and the concomitant buzz surrounding Ramaswamy—reminds us that the problem isn’t Trump, per se, but a culture that rewards and incentivizes Trumpian behavior (which explains why a smart guy like Vivek would ape The Donald).

Sure, Nikki Haley, Chris Christie, and Mike Pence held their own during the debate (even garnering some applause). But as Never Trumper and ex-Republican Bill Kristol recently observed, “…about 75-to-80 percent of the Republican electorate is now for Trump, [Ron] DeSantis, or Ramaswamy.”

Once you understand (and accept) this reality, it’s easier to make political predictions regarding the GOP. Who wins? It’s almost always the “craziest son of a bitch.” Who wins? The people who have no sense of shame. The people who are willing to kiss your butt—or slit your throat—depending on the circumstances.

In this type of culture, attributes like decency, merit, and consistency become liabilities. Asa Hutchinson is too decent (read boring) to win. But the slick and fast-talking Ramaswamy is perfectly suited to thrive in this “Give us Barabbas!” era.

The fact that people like yours truly found Ramaswamy repellent during Wednesday night’s debate only proves that we are out-of-touch with the base of today’s GOP.

But at least we’re not alone. There are numerous reasons to dislike Ramaswamy. He’s cocky. He is often wrong, but never uncertain. And he’s a suck-up; he panders to Trump (calling him “the best president of the 21st century” during the debate).

In fairness, some of these criticisms say as much about us as they do about him.

Politicians who have paid their dues are understandably resentful of a rich, young tech-bro line-skipper, besting them.

And to more jaded journalist types covering the primary, Ramaswamy is the quintessential eager beaver who wants to be the teacher’s pet. He’s Uriah Heep. He’s Eddie Haskell saying, “Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Cleaver.” Sycophantic villains long ago became tropes precisely because audiences spotted and inherently disdained them.

“The real danger is not Ramaswamy or Trump…but what our enthrallment with politicians like them says about one of our two major political parties.”

That’s not to say the core of my criticism has to do with style. Flip-flopping on serious policy issues for cynical political reasons (as opposed to a sincere change of heart) is telling. Showing up out of the blue and thinking you have all the answers demonstrates a lack of respect, humility, and wisdom.

More specifically, his shallow political worldview (which includes an eagerness to hand over much of Ukraine to Vladimir Putin) is dangerous and borders on sinister.

Getting back to Hayek, though, the real danger is not Ramaswamy (who may just be enjoying 15 minutes of political fame) or Trump, per se, but what our enthrallment with politicians like them says about one of our two major political parties.

Politics is a lagging indicator, inasmuch as it is downstream from culture. But America eventually gets the political leaders we deserve. Eventually, our values and beliefs inform how we choose the people who will, to some degree, rule over us.

Horrifying thought, isn’t it? But don’t take my word for it. Just look at who’s leading the polls and who’s generating all the attention and clicks. Be afraid. Be very afraid.”

Trump is indeed the worst and Ramaswamy is on his way there!


‘No One Is Above The Law’: Republican Group Hits Trump In Damning Fox News Ad (Video)

Courtesy of The New Yorker.


Dear Commons Community,

A conservative group opposed to Donald Trump is putting the former president on blast in a new ad  demanding “consequences” for his misdeeds in the White House.

The spot below from the Republican Accountability Project, which will run on Fox News in several markets, points out that Trump’s constant lies had many people saying in frustration that “nothing matters.”

Trump told more than 30,000 of them during his four years in office, according to a Washington Post tally.

But the voiceover states it’s not true that nothing matters.

“Because in America, the rule of law still matters,” the voice states. “And that’s why Donald Trump has been charged with 91 felonies in four separate cases for attempting to steal an election, falsifying business records and mishandling classified information.”

Then, the spot points out what doesn’t matter… and what does.

“It doesn’t matter that Donald Trump was president of the United States. It doesn’t matter that he is currently running for the presidency,” the voiceover says. “This is America. No one is above the law. That’s why it matters that Donald Trump faces consequences for his actions.”

The video is part of a six-figure ad campaign, with spots appearing on Fox News this week in the key swing-state markets of Phoenix, Milwaukee and Atlanta.

That last location is where Trump was indicted most recently, on charges related to election interference in the state.

The campaign will also include a video billboard (see below) in Times Square showing all of Trump’s 91 criminal indictments:

The Republican Accountability Project has been running ads against Trump as well as members of the party who’ve enabled him and his lies about the 2020 election.

Keep up the good work!


Pope says ‘backward’ U.S. conservatives have replaced faith with ideology

Dear Commons Community,

Pope Francis blasted the “backwardness” of some conservatives in the U.S. Catholic Church, saying they have replaced faith with ideology and that a correct understanding of Catholic doctrine allows for change over time.

Francis’ comments were an acknowledgment of the divisions in the U.S. Catholic Church, which has been split between progressives and conservatives who long found support in the doctrinaire papacies of St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI, particularly on issues of abortion and same-sex marriage.  As reported by the Associated Press.

Many conservatives have blasted Francis’ emphasis instead on social justice issues such as the environment and the poor, while also branding as heretical his opening to letting divorced and civilly remarried Catholics receive the sacraments.

Francis made the comments in a private meeting with Portuguese members of his Jesuit religious order while visiting Lisbon on Aug. 5; the Jesuit journal La Civilta Cattolica, which is vetted by the Vatican secretariat of state, published a transcript of the encounter Monday.

During the meeting, a Portuguese Jesuit told Francis that he had suffered during a recent sabbatical year in the United States because he came across many Catholics, including some U.S. bishops, who criticized Francis’ 10-year papacy as well as today’s Jesuits.

The 86-year-old Argentine acknowledged his point, saying there was “a very strong, organized, reactionary attitude” in the U.S. church, which he called “backward.” He warned that such an attitude leads to a climate of closure, which was erroneous.

“Doing this, you lose the true tradition and you turn to ideologies to have support. In other words, ideologies replace faith,” he said.

“The vision of the doctrine of the church as a monolith is wrong,” he added. “When you go backward, you make something closed off, disconnected from the roots of the church,” which then has devastating effects on morality.

“I want to remind these people that backwardness is useless, and they must understand that there’s a correct evolution in the understanding of questions of faith and morals,” that allows for doctrine to progress and consolidate over time.

Francis has previously acknowledged the criticism directed at him from some U.S. conservatives, once quipping that it was an “honor” to be attacked by Americans.

Viva la Papa!


Farhad Manjoo on Artificial Intelligence, Creativity, and Copyright!

The author (Farhad Manjoo) asked the A.I. art generator Midjourney to show him “a small green fellow who has trained Jedi for 800 years.”

Dear Commons Community,

The New York Times columnist, Farhad Manjoo, had a piece yesterday on the  issue of artificial intelligence and copyright.  He provides a good review of the topic especially in relation to media companies facing serious questions about who owns what when content is generated in whole or in part by AI.   Here is an excerpt

“Media and entertainment industries have lately been consumed with questions about how content generated by artificial intelligence systems should be considered under intellectual property law. Last week a federal judge ruled against an attempt to copyright art produced by a machine. In July another federal judge suggested in a hearing that he would most likely dismiss a copyright infringement lawsuit brought by artists against several artificial intelligence art generators. How A.I. might alter the economics of the movie and TV business has become one of the primary issues in the strike by writers and actors in Hollywood. And major news companies — including The Times — are weighing steps to guard the intellectual property that flows from their journalism…

Another question is how we should think about potential infringement by content produced by machines. Current copyright law is designed to protect specific creative works, not a general creative style. But if A.I. can copy an artist well enough to essentially duplicate the artist’s work, could that rise to the level of infringement? In a recent paper, Lemley and his co-authors suggested the following hypothetical: Someone sets up a site that creates “an auto-generated story about Yoda” every time a user visits. If the site charges users for the content, Lemley and colleagues argue, it could infringe Disney’s copyright — even if a human did not create the words and images about Yoda.

Such scenarios may not be hypothetical for long; A.I. generators are very good at creating near-exact copies of many well-known characters. When I asked Midjourney to show me “a small green fellow who has trained Jedi for 800 years,” its output was pretty spot on. (see photo above)

Which raises a related issue: Can the prompts we give A.I. be protected by copyright law? There are already prompt marketplaces, in which people sell the particular incantations they fed to A.I. to produce certain works. Can that really fly?

No doubt these questions are important, but it’s not hard to think of reasonable answers. A.I. probably shouldn’t be allowed to create direct copies of existing works, but it seems wise to allow it the same freedom to remix art that humans enjoy.

I wouldn’t allow the most common prompts to be copyrightable — you can’t claim any creativity in asking an A.I. to draw a cat — but prompts with some level of human inspiration should qualify as protectable work. After all, when I ask Midjourney to make “a cat smoking a pipe photographed on a Civil War battlefield,” I am engaged in at least a certain degree of creative work. The pipe-smoking Civil War cat (see below) was conjured by my human brain. But are such simple strings of keywords — not much more than I would enter into a search engine — enough to qualify as copyrightable creations? At the moment, we don’t really know.”

Copyright is already a contentious legal issue.  Add AI generated content and a whole new arena for litigation evolves.


Requests to ban books at US public schools and libraries surged to a 21-year record!

Dear Commons Community,

Requests to ban books at US public schools and libraries surged to a 21-year record in 2022, according to data from the American Library Association.

Last year, the ALA recorded 1,050 requests to censor library books in 2022, a 70% increase over the 619 requests in 2021.

As attempts to ban books have ramped up, so has the number of books targeted in each challenge — a new trend, according to ALA data.

From 2001 through 2015, there was at most one challenge with multiple book titles each year. From 2016 through 2020, there were fewer than 20 multi-title challenges a year. In 2022, there were 331 multi-title challenges, a sharp increase from the 192 in 2021.

About 90% of all book titles challenged in 2022 were part of a multi-title ban request — a high in the ALA’s monitoring data.

“We are seeing less and less of what used to happen, which was an individual parent would see their student reading a book and look at it and have questions about it and take it to a teacher or librarian to have a discussion,” Deborah Caldwell-Stone, the director of the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, told CNN. “What we are seeing now is organized political advocacy groups go to school boards with an agenda with a long list of books they want banned because those books don’t fit their political, moral or religious agenda.”

For years, the average ban request targeted just one book. After the pandemic, the number of books in each challenge rose to an average of six per request in 2021 and seven in 2022, according to ALA data.

“I think a lot of those [issues] have really heated up again because of the pandemic with students being schooled from home and parents needing to take more of an active role and being able to see more of the curriculum through the online delivery and taking an interest that way,” Jason Griffith, an assistant professor of education at Penn State University, told CNN.

There has also been a surge in the number of school districts and public libraries facing requests to ban books during the past two years, rising to 501 in 2021 and 772 in 2022.

In 2022, there were attempts to censor books at schools and libraries in every state except Nevada and Delaware. Texas saw the highest number of both attempts to restrict books and the number of titles challenged in each attempt. In Texas, there were 93 requests to ban a total of 2,349 books — an average of 25 titles in each challenge.

While there were fewer attempts to restrict books in Florida than in Texas — and overall fewer books were challenged — Florida edged out Texas with the highest average number of titles challenged in each attempt. Floridians requested to ban 991 titles across 35 requests, for an average of 28 books included in each book ban attempt, the highest of any state in 2022.

Ban the books and keep the people ignorant!



‘The Price is Right’ and “Truth or Consequences” Emcee Bob Barker Dead at 99!

Dear Commons Community,

CBS announced yesterday … “We lost a beloved member of the CBS family today with the passing of Bob Barker. During his 35 years as host of The Price is Right, Bob made countless people’s dreams come true and everyone feel like a winner when they were called to ‘come on down.’ In addition to his legendary 50-year career in broadcasting, Bob will be remembered as a dedicated animal rights activist. Daytime television has lost one of its most iconic stars.”

PETA — with whom Barker had been involved for years in an advocacy role — also sang his praises in the wake of the tragic news, telling TMZ, “Bob’s influence on the entertainment industry is indisputable, but what mattered to him most was using his voice and prominent position to protect animals. Of course, everyone is familiar with his “spay and neuter your pets” sign-off on The Price Is Right—a show where he refused to allow fur prizes—but he was also one of the first stars to go vegetarian, more than 30 years ago.

“He joined PETA in urging families to stay away from SeaWorld, demanded the closure of cruel bear pits masquerading as tourist attractions, implored Hollywood to take action to protect animals used in film and TV, and, as a Navy veteran, called for the end of military medical drills on live animals.

“His generous donation allowed PETA to open its West Coast headquarters, the Bob Barker Building, in 2012, and it stands as a testament to his legacy and profound commitment to making the world a kinder place. To us—and to so many animals around the world—Bob will always be a national animal rights treasure.”

TMZ reports that Barker died peacefully at his home Saturday morning in L.A. His rep told TMZ Bob died of natural causes.

The longtime host of “The Price Is Right” actually got his start in game shows after legendary producer Ralph Edwards discovered him while listening to Bob’s radio show and hired him for TV.

Barker started off hosting the iconic hit, “Truth or Consequences” back in 1956, on which he starred until 1975. He also hosted a number of other game shows and programs over the years, including “Dream Girl of ’67,” “Tattletales,” ‘Miss Universe,’ and most famously … “The Price is Right,” which he produced and hosted until 2007.

Barker has appeared in a number of other TV shows and films over the years, oftentimes starring as himself. He got into a fight with Adam Sandler in “Happy Gilmore,” stood in as Neil Patrick Harris’ would-be biological father in “How I Met Your Mother,” and played himself in lots of other shows like “Futurama,” “Spongebob,” “The Nanny,” “Martial Law” and many others.

He had several minor bouts of skin cancer over the years, and suffered a nasty fall in in 2015 and 2017 that sent him to the ER. He fell again in 2019, and was treated once more at the hospital. On top of that, he was transported by ambulance twice in 2018 for back issues.

Safe to say, he’s had a lot of health scares over the years, especially of late. Of course, when the pandemic hit in 2020 … we checked in with him to see how we was dealing — and were pleasantly surprised to learn he was taking it in stride. Self-isolating wasn’t a problem.

We last saw him out in the streets of Hollywood back in 2016, when he was complaining to us about a bad foot he was dealing with. We chopped it up with him about TV, residuals, his basketball-playing days, and … a potential Sandler rematch. He was such a good sport and a sweet guy.

Bob’s wife, Dorothy Jos, died of lung cancer in 1981. They had no children, and he never remarried. Bob does, however, have extended family that have helped care for him in his later years.

As a child growing up in the 1950s, Truth or Consequences was standard fare on our 17-inch black and white TV.  I thought he and the show were most entertaining.

Bob was 99. May he rest in peace!