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
November 12, 2015, 11:55 PM EST

The "fact-checking" press has become a parody of itself during the past several years.

It's not only because of their irritating penchant for putting statements by Republicans and conservatives under a twisted microscope while ignoring drop-dead obvious falsehoods delivered by Democrats and leftists. It's because, among other things, the fact-checkers often admit that a statement is true, but then proceed to essentially say, "So what?" They also take policy goals articulated by candidates, which may or may not come to pass, render an opinion that it can't be done, and then pretend that they've actually proven something. An example of each annoying habit was found in Tuesday evening's Associated Press "fact check" of statements made by Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush during the most recent Republican presidential candidates' debate.

November 12, 2015, 10:58 AM EST

Tuesday evening, Associated Press economics writers Christopher Rugaber and Josh Boak attempted to "fact check" statements made by candidates at the just-completed Republican presidential debate.

Claiming that "The fourth Republican presidential debate was thick on economic policy — and with that came a variety of flubs and funny numbers," the two writers botched at least half of the six points they tried to make. Their most obvious economic error concerned the impact of minimum-wage increases (I will cover two others in a future post):

November 11, 2015, 11:39 PM EST

Just as a reality check, I asked a friend today what his reaction would be if I said with a sincere-sounding voice that he makes me want to strangle him. He said, "Almost sounds like a threat." I said, "No, it was supposed to be a joke." He said, "No it's not."

I also asked another person what her reaction would be if I earnestly called her "demented." She said, "You'd be insulting me." I asked, "What if I said I was just joking?" Response: "I'd say, 'The heck you were.'" In the past ten days, members of the press have decided that threatening language and an insult, both directed at GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, were only "jokes." There is virtually no chance that these same people would give the same treatment to threats and insults directed at Democrats and leftists.

November 10, 2015, 11:48 PM EST

Name the missing word in the following sentence from tonight's Associated Press report on the current situation at the University of Missouri: "On Friday, the now-former chancellor issued an open letter decrying racism after a swastika smeared in feces was found in a campus dormitory." The obviously missing word is "allegedly," as in, "was allegedly found." That word is also missing in sentences found in three separate reports at the New York Times. On October, 24, the Washington Post unskeptically accepted the recounting of the incident in a report shortly after it — ahem, allegedly — occurred.

There's a really big problem here. Sean Davis at The Federalist was unable, after extensive efforts, to locate any evidence that the incident really took place. Additionally, he found that a photograph supposedly representing what was done has been present elsewhere on the Internet for a year.

November 10, 2015, 7:54 PM EST

Today's "I'm just making stuff up on the fly" award nominee is Martin Crutsinger at the Associated Press.

The AP reporter, named by National Review's Kevin Williamson as America's "Worst Economics Writer" in 2013, lived down to his designation in a Tuesday report on the Census Bureau's September Monthly Trade Inventories and Sales release. He described a sales increase which didn't come close to offsetting the previous month's decline as "robust," failed to note that the reported increase in inventories will likely increase third-quarter GDP while perhaps depressing the fourth quarter, and described a "major effort to work down an overhang" in inventories not found in the report he was covering. His most important miss, though, was failing to note that trade inventories remain dangerously bloated.

November 10, 2015, 10:23 AM EST

The folks at Investor's Business Daily are more than a little tired of seeing their IBD/TIPP (TechnoMetrica Institute of Policy and Politics) polls smeared by establishment press publications and pundits.

No similar torrent of criticism has been directed at other polls which have been horribly inaccurate predictors of actual election outcomes. A large majority of them seriously and oh-so-predictably underestimated support for conservative and center-right candidates and causes in 2014 and 2015.

November 9, 2015, 3:32 PM EST

At the math-challenged mess known as MSNBC, the network's "all new video experience" known as "Shift by MSNBC" tweeted a dire warning: "Latest UN report says humanity will warm the planet by 2.7˚C or roughly 37˚F." Though not revealed in the tweet, this warming will allegedly occur by 2100.

If MSNBC's conversion were true, it would of course mean that the earth as we know it is in dire straits. Fortunately for us, but unfortunately for the ignoramuses at MSNBC, 2.7 degrees Celsius equates to roughly 4.9 degrees Fahrenheit — and even that estimate, based on the track record of computer models which have been predicting the arrival of catastrophic global warming, looks (excuse the expression) cooked.

November 7, 2015, 10:42 AM EST

On Friday's The View, as CNS News's Mark Judge reported, Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar went ballistic when GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina stated that Planned Parenthood is "harvesting baby parts through late term abortion." Part of Goldberg's response as she serially talked over Fiorina: "You know that’s not true. Carly, you know no one’s harvesting baby parts." Behar chimed in: "That offends my sensibility to hear you say something like that when you know it’s not true.”

Fiorina was and remains indisputably correct, while Goldberg and Behar are both embarrassingly wrong. Yet an ABC report filed at its web site Friday afternoon by Jordyn Phelps would only characterize Fiorina's assertion of an obvious, widely-known fact as a "claim." Beyond that, Phelps characterized the candidate's citation of Planned Parenthood's announced decision to cease taking compensation for harvested body as merely being (in Fiorina's view) "proof of her point."

November 5, 2015, 11:51 PM EST

Add Arizona's Meritus Health Partners to the growing list of Affordable Care Act co-op failures. The Daily Signal reports that this makes 11 of 23 such state Obamacare co-ops which will have closed their doors by the end of 2015 after three or fewer years in operation.

The Associated Press, which, along with most of the rest of the establishment press, has been playing aggressive defense on behalf of Obamacare since its passage and especially since Barack Obama's reelection in 2012, has no coverage of Meritus's crackup at its main national or "Big Story" site. Beyond that, readers will see after the jump that the AP's local stories about Meritus highlighted its association with ACA/Obamacare when things appeared to be going well, and buried it when they went south.

November 5, 2015, 4:04 PM EST

After the November 2014 midterm elections, I wrote that "Despite all of their supposed science, improved methodologies, and sophisticated turnout models, nation’s pollsters have just suffered through their worst midterm elections drubbing in 20 years. The last time they were off this badly was when they woefully underestimated Republican gains in the Newt Gingrich 'Contract with America' midterms of 1994." I also predicted that "If they’re right from now on, it will it only be by accident."

Very few, if any, such "accidents" occurred this year. In key contests, double-digit and worse variances from polled predictions were the norm.

November 3, 2015, 5:37 PM EST

As is so often the case with such stories, one can tell how favorable or disappointing a government report on the economy was by whether a story about it is still present at the Associated Press's "Top Business News" page several hours after its release.

Today's news from the Census Bureau on September's factory orders and shipments, released at 10 a.m., was extremely disappointing. Thus, it is utterly unsurprising that Martin Crutsinger's AP story covering that report was not at the "Top Business News" page a mere six hours after its release (it likely came off even earlier, as I didn't check the page until just after 4 p.m.). The AP economics writer's coverage, though bit of an improvement over prior months' efforts, still left important gaping holes.

November 3, 2015, 12:59 AM EST

Truth, the cinematic attempt to make heroes out of the agenda-driven journalists who produced and broadcast the fraudulent 2004 CBS News story about George W. Bush's Texas Air National Guard service, went into wide distribution this past weekend, with utterly disastrous box-office results.

Readers, in between moments savoring the film's apparent descent into oblivion — though it will almost certainly be revived in left-controlled high school and college classrooms for years to come — really should read William Campenni's writeup at the Daily Signal. It puts the final stake in the heart of any attempt by anyone with an ounce of sense to claim that Dan Rather's and Mary Mapes's 60 Minutes report has any remaining credibility whatsoever. After the jump, let's have some fun looking at the movie's weekend attendance figures.

November 2, 2015, 10:49 PM EST

On June 30, the Washington Post announced that it would be "compiling a database of every fatal shooting in the United States by a police officer in the line of duty in 2015." The Post has been "tracking more than a dozen details about each killing — including the race of the deceased, the circumstances of the shooting, and whether the person was armed."

The paper's work thus far has been a revealing exercise which should be getting far more attention than it is. I believe would be getting the needed attention if the revelations were different. You see, the analysis of fatal shootings thus far shows that, in layman's terms, the overwhelming majority of them were wholly justified (HT to an Investor's Business Daily editorial).

October 31, 2015, 11:58 PM EDT

A Friday evening story at the New York Times covered the Obama administration's decision to "try to block the release of a handful of emails between President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton."

In it, reporters Michael D. Shear and Michael S. Schmidt demonstrated that President Obama undoubtedly did not tell the truth in his interview with CBS News's Steve Kroft in a 60 Minutes episode which aired on October 11.

October 31, 2015, 10:47 PM EDT

On Thursday, the government reported that the nation's economy turned in yet another quarter of poor economic performance, estimating that its gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 1.5 percent in the third quarter.

The business press almost universally downplayed the news, and told readers that the fourth quarter will be better. No one talked about how much the tepid growth of the past six-plus years since the recession officially ended has been sacrificed in the name of misguided and dangerous Keynesian stimulus. As is so often the case, an editorial at Investor's Business Daily did that, performing a job the press has consistently refused to do.

October 31, 2015, 9:17 PM EDT

Many of the state cooperative health insurers, or "co-ops," set up under the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, have gotten into serious financial trouble quite quickly. Almost half have cracked up completely. Specifically, as noted at Forbes.com on Thursday morning, "[O]f the 24 Obamacare co-ops funded with federal tax dollars, one (Vermont’s) never got approval to sell coverage, a second (CoOportunity) has already been wound down, and nine more will terminate at the end of this year."

Perhaps the most expensive such blowup to date has occurred in New York. An unbylined Associated Press blurb about how New York's co-op will be forced to close its doors in just a month, seen after the jump, is a perfect example demonstrating why the general public may never learn about Obamacare co-ops' track record of miserable failure:

October 30, 2015, 11:22 PM EDT

Here's what should be an easy question: With data which has already been seasonally adjusted, what's more important — a) the fact that an index is a) up by 3 percent in the past year or b) the fact that it has fallen 5 percent in the past four months?

The correct answer is obviously b) — unless you're a writer for the Associated Press whose mission is to convince readers that the housing market, despite clear evidence to the contrary, is just fine. Therefore, the AP's Josh Boak chose a):

October 30, 2015, 9:34 PM EDT

People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. And people who ridicule the level of others' speech patterns should check theirs first.

CNBC didn't do that. Instead, on Thursday, as I noted in a previous NewsBusters post, it childishly rushed out a grade-level evaluation of the Republican presidential candidates' speech patterns during the first three debates, including the Wednesday train wreck it rudely hosted, and created a graphic with the title, "Are you smarter than a GOP candidate?" Payback is sweet (bolds are mine):

October 30, 2015, 2:12 PM EDT

The government's Personal Income and Outlays report for September bore more evidence of a slowing economy. Consumer spending rose by only 0.1 percent, trailing expectations of 0.2 percent. That's troubling news, given that the optimists believe that strong consumer spending will supposedly drive stronger fourth-quarter economic growth.

Lucia Mutikani's coverage at Reuters made a common error in explaining the importance of consumer spending, made a significant technical error in describing the report's contents, and ignored a very disturbing item present in the government report's detail (related items are tagged [1], [2] and [3], respectively, in the excerpt following the jump; bolds are mine):

October 29, 2015, 3:50 PM EDT

It would appear that CNBC isn't going to take the criticism of its debate panelists' awful conduct last night lying down.

In what appears to be an all too predictable immature response to the dressing-downs several Republican presidential candidates administered to certain of their moderators as a result of their juvenile behavior and insulting questions — particularly John Harwood and Carl Quintillana — the network has rushed out ratings of the top ten GOP candidates' speech patterns during the first three debates, with an obvious undertone: Ignore these candidates; they're just a bunch of dummies.