Tom Blumer has written for several national online publications  primarily on business, economics, politics and media bias. He has had his own blog, BizzyBlog.com, since 2005, and has been with NewsBusters since December 2005. Along the way, he's had a decades-long career in accounting, finance, training and development.

Latest from Tom Blumer
March 15, 2015, 10:21 AM EDT

Thursday night, Fox News's Megyn Kelly went after the press's and the political class's continued lionization of a "protest movement based upon a lie," namely those sowing slow-motion anarchy in Ferguson, Missouri following the death of Michael Brown, and "a segment of our political leaders and pundits" egging them on by giving them undeserved visibility and sympathy.

Members of Congress who propped up the odious "Hands up, don't shoot" lie came in for a special mention.

March 14, 2015, 10:26 AM EDT

The only surprise should be that anyone is surprised.

Those who are used to how frequently the word "unexpectedly" appears in reports about disappointing economic data certainly won't be at all shocked at a Friday Bloomberg News report by Steve Matthews and A. Catarina Saraiva telling readers that "U.S. economic data have been falling short of prognosticators' expectations by the most in six years." The report has three problems. First, it treats the latest U.S. jobs news as an upside surprise, when it's really the result of difficult-to-justify seasonal adjustments. Second, it acts as if the appearance of lots of downside surprises in key areas is a recent phenomenon. Finally, it fails to explain a likely underlying cause, namely that Keynesian-trained economists and analysts can't imagine that their models might be misleading them.

March 13, 2015, 11:43 PM EDT

The business press's ability to keep up the appearances of "recovery is just around the corner" for over 5-1/2 years has been simultaneously amazing and disgusting. One of their strategies has been to define a "new normal" which is only presented that way because everyone knows deep-down that as long as the left controls economic policy, the nation's economy won't ever really get any better than it currently is. Another involves lowering the bar. An example of that would be the ridiculous new definition of full employment as representing an unemployment rate of 5.5 percent.

A third tactic, demonstrated in a Thursday Bloomberg report, is to feign ignorance.

March 13, 2015, 8:20 PM EDT

The Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, is hard at work putting a brave face on a shaky economy.

Just one example: On Thursday, after February consumer spending fell sharply for the third straight month, the wire service's Christopher Rugaber reported that "Freezing temperatures and snowstorms likely weighed on sales in February," and that "steep drops in gas prices dragged down sales" in December and January. While that was largely accurate, Rugaber then looked ahead, citing consumer confidence, at that point at "its highest levels since the recession," as a reason not to be concerned about the economy's long-term health. But today, when the University of Michigan's Consumer Sentiment Index "unexpectedly" fell by over four points from 95.4 to 91.2, defying expectations that it would barely increase, a search on "University Michigan" at its national site indicates that the AP didn't report it.

March 12, 2015, 3:49 PM EDT

In a writeup which shows that the wire service obviously hasn't studied the hateful examples of liberal-left hate collected by the Twitter curators at Twitchy.com, a Thursday afternoon Associated Press writeup claims that conservative "say" they're happy (with an implication that they don't really mean it), while liberals "show it" (supposedly meaning that they're genuine).

The reporter assigned to this pathetic piece of pablum somehow deemed worthy of "Big Story" status is Seth Borenstein, whose normal beat is twisting his reportage to convince America in light of mountains of contrary evidence and 18 years of flat worldwide temperatures that global warming-climate change-climate disruption is real. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):

March 12, 2015, 2:30 PM EDT

Less than five hours after its release, the government's news that retail sales fell by 0.6 percent in February — compared to a 0.3 percent increase expected by economists and analysts — is buried way down (about 6-8 screens, depending on your computer) on the home page of Bloomberg News, where the focus is supposed to be on developments in business and the economy.

Instead, the web site's main top-of-page story on its home page at 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time was about how "you" are getting richer. No, really:

March 11, 2015, 4:11 PM EDT

A Google News search at 3 p.m. Eastern Time today for stories published in March about "Eva Carmichael" (in quotes; sorted by date) returned only 11 items.

Who is Eva Carmichael? She is a 94 year-old woman who was murdered in Meridian, Mississippi on March 1. Based on the complete lack of press coverage outside of the immediate area, it's reasonable to believe that the nation's journalists don't think, in the popular parlance, that "her life mattered" all that much. And why is that?

March 11, 2015, 11:11 AM EDT

The University of Notre Dame won an important victory at the Supreme Court Monday morning when the Court acted in its case involving Obamacare's contraception mandate. Its "GVR" order (grant, vacate, remand) granted Notre Dame a "writ of certorari," vacated a lower court ruling against the school which would have forced it comply or face severe penalties, and remanded the case back to that lower court for reconsideration in light of the higher court's Hobby Lobby ruling last year.

In response, the Associated Press issued a terse, unbylined four-paragraph "We have to cover it, but we'll be damned if we attach any importance to it" report later that morning. After the jump, I'll compare AP's output to a far more accurate and thorough writeup by NewsBusters alum Matt Hadro at Catholic News Agency which recognized the potentially far-reaching implications of the court's move.

March 10, 2015, 4:03 PM EDT

Imagine if a Republican congressperson called Illinois' senior senator Dick Durbin "Dick Turban" in not one tweet, but two (Durbin has been given the nickname by several center-right pundits and commentators; but as far as I can tell, no national Republican politician has used it). Does anyone think it would take the establishment press over 15 hours (and counting) to report it?

Late Monday evening, Democratic Colorado Congressman Jared Polis referred to GOP Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton as "Tehran Tom" twice. In one of the tweets, Polis claimed that Cotton had asked "Iranian Revolutionary Guards for help in battle against US diplomats." Cotton is a military veteran who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

March 10, 2015, 2:11 PM EDT

A review of the "Big Story" archive at the Associated Press's national site on Jesse Jackson's name returns quite a few instances where the wire service has treated the "Reverend's" self-injection into stories considered nationally important as noteworthy.

In addition to the predictable plethora of stories relating to Ferguson, Missouri and "police-communities tension," Jackson's name has recently appeared in two stories about a Chicago area Little League team stripped of its national title over "falsified boundaries," tech jobs for minorities, an Ebola patient and several relating to the National Football League. But somehow, Jackson's endorsement of Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, who is challenging incumbent Chicago Democratic Mayor and former Barack Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel in its April 7 runoff election, is not a "Big Story" or present anywhere else on AP's national site, indicating that the wire service considers it a mere local item.

March 10, 2015, 10:15 AM EDT

Late Monday morning, reacting to a news Quinnipiac University poll about network trustworthiness, the Washington Post's Hunter Schwarz, at the paper's "The Fix" blog, pointed to Fox News's dominance and declared: "For millions of Americans, Fox News is the mainstream media."

Perhaps more surprising than Fox's dominance, but clearly supporting the statement Schwarz made, is the collective poor showing turned in by the Big 3 broadcast networks, whose combined most-trusted percentages came in just below Fox's.

March 8, 2015, 11:19 PM EDT

It has been eleven months since the firestorm over Mozilla co-founder and just-promoted CEO Brendan Eich ended in his resignation. Eich's "offense" had nothing to do with how he planned to run the business. What led to his departure shortly after he was named CEO was that six years earlier he had given $1,000 to those who supported the California Proposition 8 ballot measure prohibiting same-sex marriage in that state. Proposition 8 won the approval of a majority of the Golden State voters in November 2008.

Those who remained at the firm, which produces the Firefox web browser and the Thunderbird email program, appear to have convinced themselves that they had to do what they did to stay in the good graces of users, who they must have figured almost universally accept politically correct precepts and sanctions against those who won't bow to them. How's that working out? The answer is "not well."

March 7, 2015, 9:35 AM EST

Monday night, a Cincinnati-area same-sex "marriage" activist posted on Facebook and tweeted that he had been abducted and was in the trunk of his car. A short time later, police found 20 year-old Adam Hoover and determined that he had (very clumsily) faked his abduction, and would be charged with the crime of "making false claims." In the meantime, news of Hoover's abduction and then its false nature made it to several national news outlets, including the Washington Times, Huffington Post and Buzzfeed.

In its two reports on the story Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, the Cincinnati Enquirer posted the following introductory note:

March 7, 2015, 8:09 AM EST

Stocks took a beating yesterday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 279 points. The S&P 500 and the NASDAQ each declined by over one percent.

The subject line of a USA Today email I received shortly after the closing bell crystallized the establishment press "wisdom": "Dow plunges nearly 280 points as strong jobs data raises Fed rate hike fears." The problem is that even though the government's reported seasonally adjusted payroll job additions of 295,000 were indeed strong and beat expectations, the underlying raw data doesn't support the excitement.

March 6, 2015, 10:50 PM EST

One mantra that the left and most of the establishment press continually recites — and it's not surprising, given that so many people in both groups are forced to be members themselves — is that right to work laws are "anti-union." They cling to that position despite that fact that the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation accurately insists that it "is neither 'anti-union' nor 'pro-union,'" and that its "focus is on individual freedom."

Towards the end of the Associated Press's coverage of Wisconsin's legislative passage and Governor Scott Walker's imminent signing of right to work legislation, a Republican supporter made a point using real numbers which should give pause to those who claim that right to work is all about union-busting — but almost definitely won't:

March 6, 2015, 6:42 PM EST

In 2004, Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry infamously stated, in connection with an Iraq War spending resolution, that "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it."

Democratic Congresswoman Corrine Brown of Florida has done her own John Kerry imitation. She was against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress earlier this week, and expressed her disapproval by boycotting it. But in a press release issued shortly after that speech, she effusively praised it. The Tampa Bay Tribune's Alex Leary noted the breathtaking switcheroo on Tuesday. The rest of the establishment press has been utterly uninterested. There's even more to this story, as will be seen after the jump.

March 5, 2015, 11:19 AM EST

Leave it to a writer at Mother Jones to dispense condescending healthy eating advice while serving up a side dish of alleged historical racism with a tincture of capitalism bashing.

Kiera Butler, a senior editor there, didn't have to engage in either exercise to make her nutritional points, which may have some validity. She must have felt that her primary headline ("Why You Should Stop Eating Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner") was too boring, and that she needed to provide an attention-grabbing subheadline to get people to start reading her piece (book link is in original; bolds and numbered tags are mine):

February 28, 2015, 7:45 PM EST

As noted this morning (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), Jezebel's Natasha Vargas-Cooper wrote a Friday morning hit piece directed at Scott Walker, Wisconsin's Republican Governor, calling him a "conservative werewolf" for including a provision in the Badger State's latest proposed budget to elminate the requirement that universities report campus sexual assault statistics to the state.

Vargas-Cooper took this to mean that all such sexual assault reporting would end. Hardly. Hours later, an unbylined Associated Press story carried at USA Today (but still not carried at its national site) made it clear that a) the University of Wisconsin system had requested the provision, and b) such statistics would continue to be reported to the federal government. Jezebel's "correction" and Vargas-Cooper's spiteful tweeted reaction follow the jump.

February 28, 2015, 6:26 PM EST

After yesterday's government report on economic growth reduced the fourth quarter's originally estimated increase in gross domestic product from an annualized 2.6 percent to 2.2 percent, you just knew that the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, would try to ride to the rescue.

Late Friday afternoon, the AP's Martin Crutsinger gamely tried to concoct five reasons why we shouldn't worry our pretty little heads over a growth figure which confirms that the worst post-World War II recovery on record continues to be the worst post-World War II recovery on record. He only came up with four highly questionable reasons, while pretending he still had five (bolds and numbered tags are mine; I also numbered the reporter's reasons):

February 28, 2015, 9:45 AM EST

On Friday morning at Jezebel, a Gawker-affiliated web site, Natasha Vargas-Cooper thought she had Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker by the — well, you know.

In a post tellingly tagged "Conservative Werewolves," Vargas-Cooper was absolutely sure — so certain that she apparently felt no need to check any further — that Walker's proposed budget would allow its colleges to "to stop reporting sexual assaults." Vicious vitriol ensued (bolds are mine throughout this post):