I’ve heard this at least 3 times on TV or at a show:
— Will's National Media 'Both Sides' Reform School (@bywillpollock) May 23, 2018
“I wasn’t a political blogger… but I am now.”
Even though it’s quite fashionable to have a newsletter these days—some of them are quite good—I started CrankyYank in November 2015 with no idea I’d be writing on politics and journalism-fails full-time. Journalists’ job is NOT to recite talking points handed to them by politicians; we’re tasked with elucidating trends, interviewing newsmakers and yes even predicting things via editorials and coverage choices.
Over the past 3+ years Big Media journalists passively and actively normalized a tyrant who was installed by Russia to break all the china in the shop. And they’re continually failing us. Just today I had to rebuke New York Times *again* for failing basic journalism.
— Will's National Media 'Both Sides' Reform School (@bywillpollock) May 22, 2020
Being first is not tantamount to being right; quest to be first very often causes error (see: Decision 2000). But incisive reporting choices can make a big difference in advancing knowledge and preparing for what’s to come. And that’s what this post is about.
I don’t have a giant platform but I want to lay this marker down as calling this stuff early and correctly—and as a plea for you to subscribe to CrankyYank and follow me on Twitter.
ACT I: PRE-INSTALLATION
[April 2016] Before #MeToo fake-moderate John Kasich had advice
Roughly 18 months before Harvey Weinstein was accused by multiple women of rape and assault, my goddaughter Samantha Clemmey asked Kasich about how he’d handle sexual-assault on college campuses. His faceplant-answer, “don’t go to parties with booze, lady” was precursor for how horribly our media and republicans would respond (or not) to “Me Too.” They’re still failing. Just this week Mediate inexplicably handed a platform to Matt Lauer for clicks.
[Aug 2016] ‘Weaponized Ignorance’ & nuclear codes
I was struck in August ’16 by a un-threaded tweetstorm from John Noonan, former national-security analyst for Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney (my old job), and I had forgotten all about it. Mr. Noonan was prophetic: “what really concerns me is the idea of a narcissist walking around with nuclear codes.” I should’ve tried to get an interview with him; I still might.
I’ve never seen a person with so much disdain for common courtesy and the reverence of this process than Donald Trump.
[Sept 2016] ‘Why does Donald Trump keep sniffing?’
Fat Nixon’s first debate performance boiled down to this moment 30-minutes into my liveblog: “It’s 9:31 and I’m turning it off. I’ve never seen a person with so much disdain for common courtesy and the reverence of this process than Donald Trump. All he’s doing is shouting down Hillary Clinton and we can’t have a substantive conversation about policy with that type of attitude. I will not give my time to this egomaniac.” Thanks to comedian and ex-Apprentice producer Noel Casler we now know why donald has the sniffles: he’s addicted to Adderall and lying about taking Hydroxychloroquine.
[Sept 2016] ‘All in service to his self-image’
During 2016’s “election” amazing creator pal Scott Bateman created Tumblr charts cataloging donald’s lies. I reached out for an interview and we’ve become pals and collaborators since. “All of it seems to be in service to Trump’s self-image, which is a horrible, horrible type of person to put in charge of everything.” With pandemic having killed 40k+ Americans that statement was prophetic indeed. Follow Scott on twitter; he’s prolific filmmaker and a mensch.
[Oct 2016] ‘Angry mall-walkers’ are today’s die-hard MAGA-cult members
Prior to The Installation in 2016 I had the privilege of having Robin Biro on as guest-blogger. Basically everything he reported—homophobic attacks, fake investigations and lunatic-fringe conspiracies from “angry mall walkers”—is still happening today. If anything predicted how donald would govern, it’s his piece.
[Nov 2016] Comey’s actions are particularly galling because he was unlikely hero of the Dubya regime
I *of course* reported on Comey’s “mildly nauseous” insertion in to Election 2016 because it was a huge deal and likely swung the result to donald. As I wrote on twitter I’m still baffled why it took so long for Loretta Lynch and Obama himself to excoriate Comey for being so full of himself and reckless.
ACT II: POST-INSTALLATION FALLOUT
[Nov 2016] Fourth Estate still F-ing everything up
I’ve reported on CBS’ Les Moonves—now excused from his own “Me Too” allegations—boasting about Trump being “good for business.” With CNN & MSNBC covering donald’s COVID19 Podium Lie-marathons they’re up to it yet again. Their latest failure is a post on how donald’s blamed everyone else for Coronavirus—including intelligence-community veterans—but takes no responsibility himself, as I lay out in my tweets. My “Fourth Estate is Dead” prescriptions still hold up to this day so I hope you’ll read/share.
[Dec 2016] Invented propaganda is fun!
“Pizzagate” might seem like a quaint, distant memory these days but au contraire—there’s an entire MAGA Hate Machine trying to get donald re-installed so he can avoid prosecution and prison. Their latest, “Obamagate,” crashed and burned so they’re searching for new nonsense. They are literally inventing workshopped-controversies in a wingnut lab to create “fog of unknowability” and sow doubt in Joe Biden and Democrats. See my post on “Scheming Democracy” below and read Bob Cesca’s “Trump 2020’s Death Star”.
[Dec 2016] ‘Feckless Antoinette’ Ivanka Trump & self-dealing
Pretty much anyone with eyes could’ve seen this coming: “All these promises of a firewall are utter nonsense, of course. Trump has no intention of a dividing line based on his and his family’s actions. Ivanka, after all, sat in on Trump’s very first meeting with a foreign head of state. And that’s just the beginning of his disgusting and alarming conflicts of interest that will gravely harm our country.” Remember, Julia Iofe was fired from Politico for telling the truth on Twitter about Feckless. She was awarded Chinese trademarks and illegal security clearance I had no idea how right that’d turn out to be.
[Jan 2017] Protestor ‘kettling’ a prelude to babies in cages
Snapping your fingers to make something illegal is basically what Trump did with inauguration protestors AND journalists covering it. Ignoring all precedent D.C. police used “kettling” to round up swaths of people and used inhumane-detention practices; sound familiar? This was donald’s opening act ahead of widespread extra-judicial incarceration of undocumented immigrants at the behest of Tangerine Tinyhands.
ACT III: BEGINNING OF TREASON
[Feb 2017] Mike “Misha” Flynn hits the fan
It’s February 2017 and I’m reporting on how super-cool treason stuff is starting to reveal itself. Through indictment of Mike Flynn, but also through incredulous “meh” comments of other republicans who just can’t even with how lame Russiagate is. “So we’re in the midst of exploring just how deep and complex the act of treason goes, and how far the Republican party will obfuscate to protect its hold on government. Watch this space.” We have our answer: they’ll do anything to keep don in power and avoid investigations in to their behavior. Fully a dozen U.S. repub senators would be subject of probes if they lost control of power.
[Feb 2017] Tangerine Saddam as ‘Executive Hoarder’ of hypocrisy
As of that writing president* donald had already broken all records for issuing executive orders, after repeatedly fake-railing against them when That Black Guy Before used them to convey and expand constitutional rights for Americans. That was predictive for today: he’s written on average more awful Monarch Decrees than President Obama by 10%. His latest is probably his worst: instead of using EO power to, say, manufacture PPE he decided “oh hey let’s make meat-packing plants reopen.” He’s literally killing Americans with his EOs while maintaining his “legacy” as most corrupt, hypocritical president* in American history.
[Mar 2017] ‘Has our government been hijacked by Russia?’
Turns out “has America been hijacked?” was the correct question to ask; after Jeff Sessions lied under oath we still don’t have a reckoning for all this canoodling of Russian contacts. Yes, we’ve been hijacked by Russia and it’s up to us in November to save Democracy and the world from evil. To this day we have NO ACCOUNTING of any calls or records of meetings between donald and Putin.
[May 2017] Where’s the rest of international intel?
Keith Olbermann’s segment struct me as critically important at the time and, to my amazement, even our allies have been quiet as church mice when it comes to evidence they’re holding of Fat Nixon. Spain let something slip that one time, but AFAIK that’s it. Prediction: after Trump’s defeated in November the intel-floodgates will open. Our global system of international intel seems to have faltered during COVID19 so watch for a full accounting on that when we hold Coronavirus Truth Commission.
[June 2017] Hostility to science is how we got COVID19 debacle
Early on post-installation I mused: “Trump and his cretins have taken a meat cleaver to anything scientific—including HIV & AIDS research, climate change data and SO much more. Their science denial is overt, creepy and an insult to the research we’ve done as a country.” which is precisely how we’ve allowed deaths of 100,000 Americans from Coronavirus. Fat Nixon ignored ALL signals intelligence *and* warnings from scientists on what was coming, and he’s got a political part of lemmings eager to enable him.
[July 2017] Brian Karem was first to pierce regime’s bubble
The disinformation-dam burst when Brian Karem *dared* to clap back at Sarah Huckabee; I was able to get an exclusive interview with Karem who spoke about that nonsense. Today, we’ve had “press secretaries” in name only who give no pressers and who get paid $170k to lie on twitter.
ACT IV: OH SNAP IT’S ABOUT TO GO DOWN
[Aug 2017] ‘If he had to cheat to win I’m OK with that’
“I alone can fix it” should’ve turned off convervatives. Instead we have RW weirdos succumbing to classic-cult technique of swallowing donald’s desire to get away with whatever he wants—like a King. we’ve seen how that played out and Russiapublicans are only happy to help. Trump, his GOP enablers and supporters are all in a suicide cult—and they’ll take down the country permanently if we don’t stop them in November. I feel like I called this early and correctly; cut to today and GOP has literally told grannies to kill themselves for the economy. Advice from suicide cult should not ever be heeded.
[Sept 2017] Exploiting 200m psychological profiles is fun!
In September 2017 it became clear to me that Trump—in concert with Google, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube—used patently illegal methods to exploit Americans’ fears and suppress voter enthusiasm. Past is prologue because donald’s 2020 MAGA Machine has a propaganda Death Star trying to get him reinstalled. Still haunted by Bard Parscale’s gal pal Theresa Hong giving BBC a tour of Cambridge Analytica’s abandoned offices.
how’s gal pal Theresa Hong doing Brad? such a delightful tour guide! pic.twitter.com/U7NY0bKxZ4
— Will's National Media 'Both Sides' Reform School (@bywillpollock) October 5, 2019
[Oct 2017] Foreshadowing Justin Amash: GOP & ‘Scarlet Letters’
I got extra cranky one day and decided to eviscerate cowardly Russiapublicans for being “inwardly annoyed” and “quietly perturbed” (looking at you Susan Collins). Either have the balls to speak out and leave the party or STFU. This signature cowardice continues to this day.
[Nov 2017] Swearing oaths on Juggs magazine would make more sense
We know they are fraudsters since GOP yutzes *constantly* violate oaths sworn on their bibles. So many are STILL in violation of their oaths of office.
[Jan 2018] Facebook: when criminals & crime scenes merge
[Feb 2018] Moscow Mitch retains Worst Person in the World status
Blocking Merrick Garland from SCOTUS seems quaint today: Moscow Mitch McConnell recently said “oh hey if blue states go bankrupt over COVID19 that’s just an added bonus!” This person is evil incarnate and we have to vote him out and make sure both he and his wifey, Elaine Chao, are investigated in to the ground.
[March 2018] Still billionaires’ world and we’re living in it
Third in a 3-part series, “Scheming Democracy” was my post recapping allegations from Cambridge Analytica’s whistleblower, Chris Wylie. Nothing has changed and I hold firm to my prediction that FB has *many* more CA scandals waiting in the wings.
[May 2018] Confessed felon Michael Cohen’s taxi medallions held clues
[May 2018] How’s that ‘Nobel Prize for Donald’ thing coming along?
ACT V: 2020: GOP TRIES TO STEAL DEMOCRACY FOR GOOD
[May 2018] News media’s *still* not calling them ‘lies’
[June 2018] Kemp is illegitimate: then and now
[Nov 2018] Subversive scandal nobody’s talking about
Of all my CY Originals this post is probably the one of which I’m most proud. Literally nobody is drawing a straight line between dominionist nutbag christian whites trying to install Apartheid in this country. Again: still happening. If we don’t stop them in November they’ll have finished their task.
[March 2019] News media: ‘self righteous white male toadfarts’
News-media organizations will NEVER apologize to Hillary Clinton for over-blowing her email server but the truth is far worse: they have learned literally NOTHING from their 2016 failures. Just look at the way they helped Barr cover up the Trump-Russia scandal. In fact they’re still enabling Barr today is sickening ways; WE SEE YOU.
[May 2019] Hypocrisy thy name is any f*cking republican
I know I wasn’t the first to make this charge but here it is anyway: if Obama pulled 10% of reckless unconstitutional/illegal stunts done by donnie republicans would burn D.C. to the ground. GOP and certain Big Media outlets have basically accepted the idea of having a monarch.
[July 2019] Acosta knows loyalty to Trump ain’t NEVER returned
[Aug 2019] Coronavirus is capstone to legacy of misery and death
Nobody could’ve predicted that bedbugs and staph infections would be precursor to nearly 100K dead from Novel Coronavirus, but that’s where we are. That post has been updated to show president* Tinyhands ignored COVID warnings and violated his oath of office—again. That post was a sad preamble to present day lockdowns, facemasks and fear.
[Aug 2019] Call-and-response to Fixed Noise’s national-security threat
After Ukraine scandal started to pop I posted this quick recap of all the ways donnie’s a national-security nightmare; three months later Wired came out with reporting on how Fixed Noise is a national-security risk. They are actually the same story (see below for my follow-story).
[Dec 2019] When Access Journalists become the story
Here we have another call-and-response post that proves Big Media has learned absolutely nothing whatsoever. First rule of journalism is supposed to be, “don’t become part of the story.” These days TV journalists are celebrities themselves and that fame goes to their heads. Enter Ken Vogel, who blocked me on Twitter before I could ask him for comment.
[Dec 2019] 70 days: tragic and deadly pattern of behavior
[Jan 2020] Fixed Noise’s reckless anchors are killing Americans
When Wired came out in December with a bombshell post “Fox (so called) News is threat to national security” I took it upon myself to augment that great reporting with important pieces they left out. Curiously, Fixed Noise was subject of mail- and wire-fraud investigation by DOJ; what happened to that? Cut to today and Fixed Noise anchors are telling viewers to follow donald down Hydroxychloroquine rabbit hole, reporting and tweeting VERY dangerous things. I’ve argued—and will continue to—that Fixed Noise has the funding, look and feel of Russian propaganda. Time will tell if that impression is correct.
[March 2020] Trump’s denial fueled spread of COVID19—and cheers for first-responders
I’ve seen other blogs/newsletters adopting this practice: ending with “good vibes” stories to soothe angst caused by earlier ones. My “Cure Your Crankies” segment helps me deal, and I hope it does for you too. I collected a bunch of feel-good vids documenting how Midtown Atlanta serenades doctors and nurses at 8 p.m. every night with applause and music. It’s a must-watch.
speaking of drinking if you'll permit some humblebrag I predicted Clorox-ghazi a month agohttps://t.co/pW4tvu7w1T
— Will's National Media 'Both Sides' Reform School (@bywillpollock) April 25, 2020
I’ll close this mega-thread with this: I correctly predicted Orangina Thinskin would cause spike in calls to poison control. As a full-time blogger for nearly 5 years I have to speak up for myself so—when coupled with the above coverage choices—please add CrankyYank subscription (it’ll always be free!) and follow me on Twitter. Cheers to being prepared to blow this thing out the water in November.
Will Pollock is a perpetually crabby New York City escapee based in Midtown Atlanta. He’s a freelance multimedia journalist, media analyst and author of two books (the award-wining Pizza for Good & Leaving Triscuit), with more on the way.
In 2001, Will earned his Masters from The Medill School of Journalism, graduating with highest honors from the magazine sequence. As permanent member of Journalism’s National Honors Society, he’s been active in monitoring, writing and blogging about media, politics and journalism ever since he graduated.
Obsessed with good storytelling and journalistic excellence, Will uses snark, humor and reason to distill dumb shit and make it fun. He is a seeker/maker of non-consensus news, and will help you cure your crankies by finding the nut in every story.
As for-profit media continues to fail us, it’s more important than ever to find reliable sources. Authentic storytelling exists—you just have to look for it. On this blog you’ll get ideas, not ideology. Sass with class. Reporting with rapport. Evidence with a touch of evil. You get the idea.
Support independent authors, writers, artists, journalists and professionals. Buy a book, leave a review, start a discussion. Show solidarity so that we can achieve greater balance and, in the end, learn more.