Tom Blumer has written for several national online publications  primarily on business, economics, politics and media bias. He has had his own blog,, 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
September 13, 2015, 11:01 PM EDT

Paraphrasing the title of a song Linda Ronstadt made famous, the tune the Associated Press's Juliet Linderman sang Saturday morning in the wake of Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's decision to not to seek reelection was: "Poor, Poor, Pitiful She."

That's right. Rawlings-Blake is a victim who is being "dogged by critics who questioned whether she was fit to lead." Linderman made that portrayal possible by ignoring, as the press has for months, two important things enough Baltimore residents to matter surely remember. The first is that the Mayor admitted to making a conscious decision to allow rioting to occur on the night of Saturday, April 25. The second, publicly exposed by a sheriff from another Maryland county who came to Baltimore hoping to help preserve order, is that she ordered police to stand down, giving rioters free rein to pillage and plunder on Monday, April 27.

September 12, 2015, 7:42 PM EDT

Friday's report on the federal government's budget deficit through August told us that with one month remaining in the fiscal year, Uncle Sam will certainly "achieve" an all-time single-year record in tax collections accompanied by all-time record spending.

The Associated Press's Martin Crutsinger apparently didn't consider either item newsworthy. Instead, he decided that the real news is this year's projected deficit will be the lowest in the past years — even though that projected shortfall of $426 billion, though quite likely is by no means certain.

September 11, 2015, 9:00 PM EDT

"Never forget"? Sometimes one wonders if they even remember — or want to.

Both the New York and National versions of the New York Times print edition contain no mention of the anniversary of the terrorist attacks 14 years ago in New York and Washington which brought down the World Trade Center buildings, seriously damaged the Pentagon, and killed almost 3,000 people in four different locations: the two WTC buildings, the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

September 11, 2015, 1:37 AM EDT

Though it's not exactly a secret that supporting John Kasich is hardly an indicator of genuine conservatism, Buckeye State liberals frequently whine that the Columbus Dispatch is a right-wing rag which gets behind Ohio's Republican Governor at every turn.

If the Dispatch is so instinctively conservative, how does one explain reporter Darrel Rowland's apparent original exercise in cheerleading as he covered Hillary Clinton's Thursday appearance at the Columbus Athenaeum, a historic building whose meeting hall has a capacity of 1,250? Rowland, unlike his colleagues in the national establishment press, failed to note the existence of quite an expanse of empty space at the event.

September 10, 2015, 11:14 PM EDT

Today's Monthly Wholesale Trade report from the Census Bureau covering July was the latest in a wave of disappointing reports on business activity this year. Wholesale inventories remained very high, while sales turned in a seventh consecutive month of year-over-year declines.

Much of that sales decline is due to the fall in oil prices during the past year. But even after factoring that out, wholesale sales are either flat or declining, leading one to wonder how the economy could have grown at all during the past year or so. Josh Boak at the Associated Press appeared to understand that there are some problems out there, but his Thursday morning report understated their seriousness, largely because he doesn't seem to understand that a high level of inventories can be a very dangerous thing:

September 10, 2015, 4:02 PM EDT

On Megyn Kelly's Fox News show on Wednesday, Andrew Napolitano sharply criticized the city of Baltimore's agreement to pay $6.4 million to the family of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old black man who died in police custody there in April.

The Associated Press and most of the rest of the establishment press are describing the city's payout, which was approved on Thursday, as a "settlement" — an odd and inappropriate term, given that Gray's family had not yet filed a lawsuit, i.e., there was not yet a court case to "settle."

September 10, 2015, 1:16 AM EDT

The folks at the New York Times must believe not only that their reporters are entitled to inject their opinions into hard-news stories, but that they can also inject their own "facts." Oh, and they can change those facts at will over time to fit the circumstances.

Sheryl Gay Stolberg's Wednesday story about the city's $6.4 million settlement with the family of Freddie Gray appearing in Thursday's print edition is a perfect case in point. Stolberg recast events following Gray's death to claim that there was only one night of rioting, when there were clearly two — even though contemporaneous coverage at the Times itself identified two separate nights of riots.

September 9, 2015, 10:31 PM EDT

It would be easy to conclude, based on its treatment of a story about Illinois lottery winners suing to force the state to disburse their payouts, that the Associated Press really doesn't want readers and its subscribing outlets to learn about it.

This "keep them in the dark" approach is consistent with a previous AP story on the state's failure to pay lottery winners. Let's start with that story's headline. Noted by yours truly on August 31 before the lawsuits were filed — "Lottery Winners Don't Get Largesse, But Get Left Out" — it was in my opinion deliberately vague and incoherent. The AP's headline at this evening's unbylined story, given the existence of the lawsuit, is even worse: "Amid budget debate, Illinois Lottery stops some payouts." Those who only get headlines in their newsfeeds on their phones, tablets and computers and don't click to read the story will have no idea that any legal action exists.

September 8, 2015, 3:21 PM EDT

Democrats' current and potential candidates for their party's 2016 presidential nomination continue to complain about various aspects of the economy. They continue to make no connection between their complaints and the fact that Democrat Barack Obama has been in the White House for over six years. Obama has for the most part operated either under the conditions created by the 2009-2010 Congress or, when resisted, by unilaterally ruling through executive orders and arbitrary regulatory actions.

Establishment press outlets, likely recognizing the candidates' hypocrisy, mostly fail to carry their complaints — and when they do, they make no attempt to note that the candidates are citing areas the Obama administration has either failed to address, or has attempted to address counterproductively. This pattern of behavior became so obvious yesterday as a result of Vice President Joe Biden's appearance in Pittsburgh that National Review and IJ Review contributor Stephen Miller tweeted the following:

September 6, 2015, 11:51 PM EDT

A popular meme in the wake of Friday's jobs report seen at many media outlets is that August's reported job growth of 173,000 seasonally adjusted jobs is a virtual lock to be revised up by 50,000, or 78,000, or perhaps even more, since such revisions during the past three years have been unusually large.

Well, since they opened that can of worms, let me make clear to everyone that even if those revisions materialize, August will still have been a singularly unimpressive month.

September 6, 2015, 9:00 PM EDT

At the New York Times, a Thursday report by Alan Blinder and Tamar Lewin, with assistance credited to two others, originally identified Rowan County clerk Kim Davis, the center of national attention who has been jailed over her refusal to issue marriage licenses containing her name to homosexual couples, as a Republican. (The press has been mighty quiet about acknowledging that Ms. Davis would be okay with licenses being issued as long as they do not contain her name.)

Obviously, the "editors" must have thought, she has to be a Republican to be such a stubborn dinosaur. Problem is, she's a Democrat and was elected as a Democrat, facts that that have been widely known — including (not kidding) by the Times itself on September 1, in a writeup which Blinder co-authored, and in Rowan County election records available online since last November. The Times has added the following "correction" at the conclusion of the pair's report:

September 5, 2015, 11:30 PM EDT

Here's a little parlor exercise readers can conduct with their friends who think that high-tech CEOs are the innovative saints of the universe.

The game would be to take the first three paragraphs of Michael Liedtke's Associated Press report on the collusion settlement to which that industry's major players just acquiesced, and revise it to reflect a different industry far less favored by the press. Then accurately point out the following: "There is no way this industry would gotten as much sympathy from the press as the AP gave these high-tech titans." After the jump, readers will see how I revised the AP's original first three paragraphs as if the settlement occurred in the oil industry, followed by what the AP's Liedtke actually wrote Thursday afternoon:

September 5, 2015, 10:43 AM EDT

In the past week, several pundits and alleged "experts" have been on a mission to tell us rubes that Hillary Clinton's email and private-server controversy doesn't rise to the level of being a scandal. They have absurdly argued that even if she "technically" violated State Department protocols and even broke some pesky laws in handling her communications while she was Secretary of State, Mrs. Clinton's actions weren't serious enough to warrant prosecution.

In making that argument in an August 27 column ("The Hillary Clinton e-mail ‘scandal’ that isn’t"), Washington Post columnist David Ignatius heavily relied on one Jeffrey Smith without revealing Smith's political connections to Bill and Mrs. Clinton and his professional advocacy on behalf of Democrats. After getting caught, while never recognizing his critics' existence, Ignatius incompletely disclosed Smith's obvious lack of objectivity in a manner which would have been barely tolerable during newspapers' dead-trees era, and which is completely unacceptable in the digital age.

September 4, 2015, 11:58 PM EDT

On Thursday, the Associated Press published the equivalent of press release promoting a pro-Muslim billboard campaign orchestrated by the Islamic Circle of North America.

The writeup's author, Rasha Madkour, failed to get any kind of skeptical comment from anyone about the nature of the campaign, and utterly failed to tell readers anything about the Islamic Circle's or its spokesperson's past (and possibly still-present) terrorist ties. Instead, readers were given the equivalent of a feel-good story about members trying to "reclaim the message" of Islam.

September 3, 2015, 11:54 PM EDT

The press's failure to tell the public how seriously the U.S. economy is struggling is not the most egregious exercise in reality avoidance we've seen during the past several months. The willful denial of Iran's intent to destroy Israel and its Western enemies, the refusal to acknowledge the inherent institutional ugliness of Planned Parenthood, and the failure to accurately characterize Hillary Clinton's deliberate circumvention of established national security laws and protocols (all because "Her personal privacy was more important than the national interest") are clearly worse.

Nevertheless, the economy-related deceptions have not been unimportant. The press promotes the general impression that, well, conditions aren't ideal, but they're the best we can hope for — and besides, our mess isn't as bad as what we're seeing in rest of the world (and by the way, if the U.S. economy does tank, it will be the rest of the world's fault, and certainly not Dear Leader's). Let's compare Wednesday's exercise in furthering that impression at the Associated Press and compare it to what is really happening.

August 31, 2015, 11:37 PM EDT

Silly me. I really thought that every state's lottery operation was walled off from the rest of its finances. They collect bets, pay out winnings and administrative costs, and turn over the profits to general fund. End of discussion. No muss, no fuss. Right?

In Illinois, based on recent developments, we know that's obviously not the case — leading me to wonder how many other states potentially have the same problem the Land of Lincoln currently has. You see, the state is about to move into the third month of a budget standoff between Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and its Democrat-controlled state legislature. As a result, because the lottery's operations are at least in a legal sense commingled with the rest of the state's finances, its comptroller has been forced to cancel payouts of lottery winnings greater than $25,000. It appears that very few media outlets outside of Illinois are interested in covering this obviously important story. Why?

August 31, 2015, 6:00 PM EDT

This is obviously sarcasm: Right behind all the positive racial healing we've seen during Barack Obama's presidency is the vast improvement in the degree of civility heard and seen in leftist discourse.

Obviously, that's not so. Hillary Clinton calls GOP presidential candidates "terrorists" and invokes Nazi-era images of illegal immigrants being "loaded into boxcars." The press — which would treat either utterance as front-page news if said by a Republican or conservative — gives her a pass, and some of its members are virtually cheering her on. Barack Obama calls his opponents "crazies," arguably even including some Democrats on matters on the Iran "deal," aka the "orchestrated surrender to Iran's nuclear ambitions." Former Bill Clinton administration and current Hillary Clinton insider Paul Begala joined the parade today as he attacked Dick Cheney:

August 31, 2015, 3:00 PM EDT

On Saturday, "more than 20,000" people — perhaps as many as 25,000 to 30,000, according to some police — marched through the streets of Birmingham, Alabama at a Glenn Beck-led "Restoring Unity" rally chanting "All Lives Matter." The event has been described as possibly "the largest march in Birmingham since the civil rights marches of 1963."

Searches at Google News and at the Associated Press's main national and "Big Story" sites indicate that no establishment press outlet gave the rally national coverage. The AP only managed to push out terse three-paragraph and seven-paragraph local stories. Meanwhile, a Reuters story on the less than peaceful march by the "Black Lives Matter" crowd attended by an estimated 325 (compared to an expected 900) in Minneapolis was carried at Yahoo News and the New York Times (at least).

August 31, 2015, 12:32 PM EDT

In the course of evaluating a claim made by the Alliance Defending Freedom, a prolife group, PolitiFact Georgia's crack investigators learned from a spokesperson for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America that the organization "does not provide mammograms at any of its health centers." Since such facilities must be licensed by the Food and Drug Administration, no PPFA facility can legally perform a mammogram.

The claim ADF made in a tweet is that "ZERO @PPFA facilities are licensed to do mammograms." On August 21, despite PPFA's de facto acknowledgment that ADF is correct, PolitiFact Georgia determined that ADF's claim is only "Half True."

August 30, 2015, 11:47 PM EDT

Miami Herald sportwriter and columnist Greg Cote, whose career has entered or is about to enter its third decade, seems to have incorporated a sideline into his work: glib, ignorant political commentary.

One such example surfaced at the end of his August 25 Random Evidence blog post. Apparently, Cote believes that anyone who has ever received any kind of government benefit or has made use of a government service at any time in their life is a flaming hypocrite if they believe that Uncle Sam and other public entities should be able to survive on less money than they currently spend. They're also hypocrites if they believe that the federal government has become far too intrusive in our everyday affairs and threatening to the fundamental freedoms identified in the naton's Constitution. Greg, who clearly should stick to sportwriting, has convinced himself that such people are "anti-government":