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
February 9, 2016, 2:54 PM EST

The headline at Nathaniel Friedman's Monday column at Salon.com is unmistakably clear: "Racist vitriol pours down on Cam Newton: Single-minded haters rush to judgment after a rough Super Bowl." Naturally, I went there expecting a long series of hateful tweets, social media references or other comments.

Friedman's column content, however, has no reference to "racism" at all — or to "racists," or even to "race." Perhaps the far-left website expected the writer to cover that topic, and then he didn't. Or perhaps the money-bleeding operation just wanted to put a clickbait headline out there to garner traffic. Regardless of how or why it happened, the headline's presence is irresponsible, as Friedman didn't even look at the criticism of Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton's relatively poor play and post-game conduct through a racial prism at all.

February 9, 2016, 8:56 AM EST

On Friday, in its January Employment Situation Summary, the government's Bureau of Labor Statistics served up a stack of lemons disguised as lemonade. President Barack Obama declared in a tweet that "We've recovered from the worst economic crisis since the 1930s," and the press dutifully fell in line.

The BLS reported that the economy added seasonally adjusted 151,000 payroll jobs and that the unemployment rate fell to 4.9 percent. As has been their habit for years, business reporters failed to label either key data point as "seasonally adjusted," even though they routinely apply that label to most other government data in their dispatches on the economy. The business press almost never looks at the raw (i.e., not seasonally adjusted) figures in any area. If they had looked at last Friday's raw jobs data, they would have wondered how the BLS could possibly have reported such a large number of additional seasonally adjusted jobs.

February 7, 2016, 5:43 PM EST

Hillary Clinton's campaign is in a place it doesn't want to be, and the New York Times really, really wants to help. Yesterday, Madeleine Albright told a New Hampshire audience at a Clinton rally that "there's a special place in Hell" for women who don't support Hillary. Her outrageous attempt to shame women into voting for Mrs. Clinton followed Gloria Steinem's Friday appearance on Bill Maher's HBO show, during which the 81 year-old feminist dismissed young women who support Bernie Sanders as only doing so because "That's where the boys are."

The blowback from these statements brought an emergency late Sunday morning Times dispatch. Reporter Alan Rappeport's ability to conduct damage control was limited, given that Albright and Steinem are on videotape saying what they said. In the process of trying, it appears that Rappeport and the Times may have done additional damage by uniting Albright's and Steinem's separate assertions in a common theme.

February 7, 2016, 12:36 PM EST

The past week has been tough on Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. The 2016 primaries and caucuses were supposed to be a coronation, not a a contest. They've seen that some of Joe Biden's donors, dissatisfied with the prospect of Mrs. Clinton or Bernie Sanders at the top of the Democratic ticket, want the Vice President to seriously consider jumping in. The sight of supporters at the Iowa headquarters of Bernie Sanders shouting "She's a Liar" as Mrs. Clinton appeared on TV on the night of that state's caucuses had to be unnerving.

What's really getting to Team Clinton more than anything else is how poorly she is faring among young people, particularly young women. It's so bad that "feminist" icon Gloria Steinem hauled out a tired, decades-old line so offensive that if a male candidate on the left or right were to use it, his political career would be over the instant the words left his mouth.

February 6, 2016, 7:25 PM EST

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin referred to Madeleine Albright's somewhat well-known saying, found on a Starbucks coffee cup, that "There's a special place in Hell for women who don't help other women." At the time, Albright, who served as Secretary of State under Bill Clinton, huffed: "Though I am flattered that Governor Palin has chosen to cite me as a source of wisdom, what I said had nothing to do with politics." She naturally followed that statement with an intense political attack on Palin and GOP presidential nominee John McCain.

Now that Democrat Hillary Clinton is running for president and is in danger of losing the New Hampshire primary by a substantial margin, Albright has decided that her statement has everything to do with politics, and that women who don't support Mrs. Clinton's candidacy and vote for her deserve that "special place in Hell."

February 6, 2016, 5:23 PM EST

Folks who get their news from a wide variety of sources likely know by now that there is enough concern about the electability of Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders that a prominent Democratic Party donor has "emailed dozens of fans of Vice President Joe Biden on Friday, urging them to remain prepared to donate if Biden jumps into the (presidential) race." But two outlets which have become de facto palace guards for Hillary Clinton's candidacy have either ignored or downplayed it.

The Reuters story went out shortly after 8 p.m. Friday. The Associated Press has not posted a related story at its national site. Though the New York Times is carrying Reuters story at its web site, the paper did not include the story in Saturday's print edition, and Biden's last name isn't even present on its home page.

February 5, 2016, 4:31 PM EST

Five items found at the Politico filed late Monday or early Tuesday reported that supporters of Bernie Sanders at the Iowa caucuses, while watching a live feed of Hillary Clinton's speech late Monday evening, began chanting "She's a liar!" The chants grew until they "took over the room," and didn't stop until Sanders campaign officials cut off the live feed being shown.

This is barely news in the rest of the establishment press, which has obsessed over the Ben Carson-Ted Cruz-CNN controversy, devoting an obviously inordinate amount of time to it and, as Cruz himself has shown, getting it wrong in the process.

February 4, 2016, 9:49 AM EST

On Wednesday, Christopher Rugaber at the Associated Press was tasked with covering ADP's morning report on January private-sector payrolls. At 8:15 a.m., the payroll and benefits giant estimated that the economy added 205,000 seasonally adjusted private-sector jobs last month.

Rugaber also attended the 8:30 a.m. conference call which followed the report's release. It's clear that he was on it because his coverage, time-stamped at 9:18 a.m., contains quotes from economist Mark Zandi dealing with a key topic the sunnyside-up Moody's economist addresssed in that call. So why did the AP economics writer fail to report Zandi's acknowledgment that fourth-quarter economic growth, which the government estimated was an annualized 0.7 percent on Friday, could close in on zero in its February or March revision?

February 3, 2016, 11:24 PM EST

One of the economy's more important bellwethers has been on a steep year-long decline which shows no signs of abating this year. It's barely news, and much of the sparse reporting seen has been incomplete and sloppy.

Truckinginfo.com reported today that "January was a tough month for truck manufacturers as Class 8 truck orders were down 35% compared to the previous month, according to a preliminary report from ACT Research." This follows a 2015 calendar year during which total orders came in 25 percent lower than 2014. A Google News search indicates that only Reuters and the Wall Street Journal found this information important enough to cover. Reuters might as well not have bothered, given the sloppiness of its report as carried at CNBC:

February 3, 2016, 6:36 PM EST

A great deal was made of Facebook's announcement last week that it would ban private gun sales on both its flagship website and Instagram.

Readers who only followed establishment press accounts can be forgiven if they came away from most reports thinking that the firm has some kind of algorithm or recognition system for enforcing the ban. That's not so.

February 2, 2016, 10:31 AM EST

In the November 2000 presidential election, the Big 3 TV networks prematurely declared Democrat Al Gore the winner before the polls in those portions of the Sunshine State in the Central Time Zone had even closed. According to one post-election study, the networks' arguably politically motivated calls cost Republican George W. Bush 10,000 votes, led to the most bitter post-election battle over presidential balloting in at least a century, and almost swung the election to Gore.

The Politico's Glenn Thrush appears to have engaged in a similar attempt to influence the outcome of Monday's Iowa caucuses. In an email sent out at 9:40 Eastern Time (8:40 p.m. Central), accompanied by a post at the web site with the same time stamp — hours before dozens if not hundreds of caucus discussions had concluded — Thrush irresponsibly "reported" that "both the Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton camps see her winning by a tight but clear margin of two to three points."

January 31, 2016, 11:36 PM EST

A Sunday morning report by Associated Press political writer John O'Connor acts as if the the sordid history of fiscal irresponsibility in the State of Illinois is a new development brought on by a stubborn Republican governor in just the past seven months.

What hogwash. The state has had a large backlog of delinquent unpaid bills for a decade, if not longer. Five years ago, a Democratic governor and a Democrat-dominated legislature enacted steep income and property tax increases, promising that the additional taxes raised would enable the state to whittle down the unpaid backlog, solve the state's horrific unfunded pension liabilities problem, and generally right the fiscal ship. Naturally, they did no such thing. O'Connor also didn't find any of the tax or bill-delinquency history worth recounting in his 800-word report.

January 31, 2016, 9:04 PM EST

In trying to explain the current situation in Venezuela, the Washington Post's Matt O'Brien, in a post at the paper's Wonkblog, also inadvertently identified two reasons why authoritarian socialist tyrants like Huge Chavez and Nicolas Maduro are able to achieve and retain power.

The formula is simple: When you first gain power, garner international and media goodwill by giving stuff away, like housing and gasoline. That wlll earn you props from the likes of O'Brien and liberals everywhere who have come to believe that doing so "is a good idea in general." Meanwhile, you can work in the background to overturn whatever checks and balances your country's political system might have. If the populace finally figures out what you're really up to and rises up in opposition, they can't stop you — even if your party gets blown out in elections and takes over what has become, thanks to you, an impotent legislature.

January 31, 2016, 11:45 AM EST

Those in the press who have insisted that the "Ferguson effect" is an urban legend will have a hard time explaining why the two cities with the most potential to be affected by this supposedly mythical phenomenon now have murder rates among the top 20 in the entire world.

St. Louis, Missouri, next door to Ferguson, where a leftist-"inspired" campaign of "protests," civil disorder and rioting began in August 2014, came in at Number 15, with a rate of 59 murders per 100,000 residents. The city's 188 murders in 2015 were up from 159 in 2014 and 120 in 2013. Baltimore, Maryland, where Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake infamously admitted in April 2015, as public safety was deteriorating in her city, that "we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that," was Number 19, with 344 murders (a rate of 55 per 100,000).

January 30, 2016, 11:56 PM EST

Observers can be excused for thinking that the politicial establishment is preparing the battlespace to convince us plebes that progress and economic growth are overrated. (That's sort of odd for people who call themselves "progressives," but making sense is not their strong suit.)

How interesting, for example, that Northwestern University economist Robert Gordon's book, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, was released on January 12, even though, as Bloomberg writer Noah Smith notes, Gordon "has been going around for several years making ... (the) case (that) ... the golden days of growth are over." Just in time for the arrival of a more visibly weak economy, Gordon's premise has been getting wildly disproportionate press attention. Smith goes further in his "Economic Growth Isn't Everything" column, referring to "the illusion of stagnation" (i.e., don't believe those weak stats, even if they go negative; everything is really fine), while reminding us of the supposedly marvelous things government has done and supposedly can still do for us.

January 30, 2016, 9:24 PM EST

As has been its habit during the Obama administration when the economy turns in a poor performance, the press's coverage of yesterday's report on U.S. economic growth focused on how much better next quarter's news will supposedly be. Especially in this instance, the beat reporters and pundits should have looked at whether or not yesterday's initial result will hold up, or whether it's likely to be revised downward.

The government's Bureau of Economic Analysis reported yesterday that the economy grew at an annualized rate of 0.7 percent in last year's fourth quarter. That's bad enough, but statements published by a leading GDP prognosticator before the BEA's release, once applied to yesterday's data, foreshadow a distinct possilbity that February's or March's revision will come in with a minus sign preceding it.

January 30, 2016, 10:25 AM EST

Friday morning, the government reported that the economy grew at a pathetic annual rate of 0.7 percent in last year's final quarter.

As it did in covering the disappointing Christmas shopping season, the business press partially blamed yesterday's awful result on the weather, i.e., warm weather.

January 29, 2016, 11:59 PM EST

This afternoon, Catherine Herridge at Fox News reported that "the intelligence community has deemed some of Hillary Clinton’s emails 'too damaging' to national security to release under any circumstances."

This eighth "smoking gun" — on top of the seven an Investor's Business Daily editorial identified last week — wasn't enough to move the Associated Press Bradley Klapper from the AP's default position virtually since Mrs. Clinton's private email server was discovered, naturally referencing unidentified "independent experts," namely that "it's unlikely Clinton will be charged with wrongdoing."

January 28, 2016, 11:55 PM EST

The Associated Press may be down to one person in the whole wide world who will tell its economics reporters what they want to hear when the federal government releases economic data. That's what you almost have to conclude after reading the wire service's reports on two of Thursday's major releases, namely last week's initial unemployment claims and December's durable goods orders and shipments.

The only outside source AP reporters Christopher Rugaber and Martin Crutsinger consulted in their respective reports about initial claims and durables was one Ian Shepherdson, chief economist with Pantheon Macroeconomics. Naturally, Sheperdson was sunnyside-up despite relatively troubling news in each area.

January 28, 2016, 8:32 AM EST

The hype machine was in overdrive at the Associated Press on Wednesday as economics reporter Josh Boak covered the government's mid-morning release on new-home sales.

Boak opened by writing that "Americans rushed to buy new homes in December at the strongest pace in 10 months." Good heavens, we're talking about only 38,000 individuals or families, or about 0.031 percent of the nation's roughly 123 million households. While that's a bit of an improvement over previous months — which is why that number converted to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 544,000, the highest figure since February — it's hardly the stampede implied by the AP reporter's use of the word "rushed."