Countries with state-run media are often scoffed at by folks in the West. And with good reason.

Ri Chun-hee—the now-famous North Korea TV anchor, dolled up in a signature pink bathrobe marked by stiffened elbows—is Kim Jong-un’s go-to gal for big news announcements. She bellows about rocket launches, test explosions and whether or not Mr. Jong-dashian made a boom-boom that morning.

In the same way, state-run news agencies like RT America and others not only toe the national line, they are all-out agenda promoters and sanctioned advertising agencies for their respective regimes. (Sidebar: RT has courted and paid all sorts of U.S. political figures, including Ret. Gen. Michael Flynn and Jill Stein.)

Can you guess where I’m going with this? Fox News—long a champion of one Mr. Donald Trump—has become the private-sector equivalent of state-run TV. And that’s not to say all of FNC’s anchors are pro-Trump; they’re not. Shep Smith has been out front as critical of Trump’s hour-by-hour nonsense of bans, anger and Twitter diarrhea.

Which brings us to this specific tweet by Fox & Friends, the FNC mutual-admiration society that Trump often visits. The guys and gals on the curvy couch are calling newspaper slogans “anti-Trump rhetoric.”

This may be intended as tongue-in-cheek silliness. But the message it sends is that a phrase like “Democracy dies in darkness” constitutes media bias. Where fairness is foul. And that is a dangerous road to travel if you’re already a network who’s been accused of cheerleading Trump to the point of a lap dog.

Hannity is not journalism—he’s a tyrant’s penis butler. If government officials are in the game to make friends, they’re doing politics wrong. Ditto that for journalists.

I just purchased “Journalism Matters” t-shirts from the L.A. Times “free speech” store, and you should too. Click the image below for buying options.

As an unrepentant Honey Nut Cheerios junkie, I’ve been enjoying the nutty Os of goodness since they were launched in 1979—the days of corded phones, Atari games and tight-fitting Jordache jeans. Cut to present day, and we are awash in electric cars, personal entertainment devices and the spelling prowess of The Kardashians.

We also have a new #BringBackTheBees campaign from General Mills, whose HNC mascot is Buzz the cartoon bee. After pledging to give 100 million seeds to those who will pledge to work to save the honeybee, the company actually sent out 1.5 billion seeds.

I’m no fan of corporate conglomerates, but General Mills is doing something for the greater good here in supporting the honeybee. And the reaction to the campaign leaves me feeling heartened that the bees won’t be forgotten.

Here at CrankyYank we love our resistors, disruptors and all things peaceful-protest. Normally I’d not be so pro on the idea of ambushing someone going about their daily business, but in the case of Press Secretary Sean Spicer—someone who has lied and justified those mistruths from the presser lectern on multiple occasions—some civil disobedience is welcome.

Enter Shree Chauha, founder and CEO of Parents in Partnership—”an education startup organization that empowers parents to lead positive changes in schools and communities,” as she told Heavy.com.

She’s tweeted and written extensively about the kerfuffle at the Apple Store, and I’m awaiting comment from her. Meantime, Frank Conniff had a zinger on Tell Me Everything recently:

The genius of Sheila E cannot be overstated. With the death of Prince last year, revelations have come out that he has a massive collection of unreleased songs—”hundreds” of them with the “Glamorous Life” singer. Questions continue to swirl around who controls Prince’s estate and who would gain control over his massive library.

Unreleased songs are a potential goldmine. Michael Jackson, for example, earned $825 million in 2016, which is the largest single-year tally for any performer, dead or alive (People.com). A portion of that money was appreciation of his ownership stake in the Beatles’ catalog. But still, it proves that Prince’s estate and heirs—whenever that issue is settled—have even more cashola coming down the pike.

When it comes down to it, artists who have a collaborative stake in creative works should have built-in rights to preview and control them. I’ll update as events warrant. ❏

That’s a wrap guys. We’ll see you right back here next Thursday afternoon at 2 p.m.


Will Pollocksideways is an Atlanta-based freelance multimedia journalist focusing on pop-culture, politics, journalism & media, retail, real estate, travel, politics, and human interest. 

He is the author of two books (Pizza for Good & Leaving Triscuit), with more on the way. Sign up for the mailing list, follow on TwitterFacebook and Instagram—and check out the book links below.

Make sure to comment often—cranky loves company.

Support independent authors, writers, artists, journalists, reporters and professionals. Buy a book, leave a review, start a discussion. Thank a reporter if you like a story you see or read. Our success as a nation depends on your engagementand involvement at every level.

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