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
December 22, 2015, 6:45 PM EST

Today's release from the government on economic growth estimated that the nation's Gross Domestic Product grew at an annual rate of 2.0 percent in the third quarter, a slight downward revision from November's estimate of 2.1 percent. This continues the economy's dismal, worst-since-World War II growth performance since the recession officially ended over six years ago.

But never fear. According to the Associated Press's headline writers early this afternoon, there is going to be a growth "pickup." Not to be outdone, AP economics writer Martin Crutsinger regaled readers with how the economy will have "stronger growth." Wait til you see what they're talking about. Seldom, if ever, has so much been made of so little (bolds are mine):

December 22, 2015, 3:26 PM EST

Yesterday, CNBC's Krystina Gustafson opened her article about the state of the Christmas shopping season by reporting that "procrastinators around the U.S. provided a much-needed boost to retailers" last weekend, but that "the lift was likely too little too late to salvage a slow start to the holiday shopping season." The story's headline: "Retailers cut too deep to save the holiday season."

Readers who go to the link will not see that headline now. Instead, the headline, contradicting Gustafson's contention that it was probably already too late, now reads: "Can last-minute shoppers save the holiday season?" As seen after the jump, the original downbeat headline remains at Google (which lists original headlines, and as best I can tell doesn't change them if the linked story's headline changes) and Yahoo Finance:

December 22, 2015, 12:57 PM EST

The business press worships at the altar of seasonally adjusted data. Most journalists covering the economy don't even bother looking at raw, not seasonally adjusted data, which in layman's terms is best understood as "what actually happened." As I have shown for nearly a decade, this is often a big mistake.

On the rare occasions when reporters take the initiative to look at the raw data, they usually ignor it, or fail to grasp its meaning. A perfect example of that phenomenon occurred today at Bloomberg News. The business press is blindly accepting a reported 10.5 percent drop in existing home sales as evidence of all kinds of problems, including — supposedly, but not really — a regulation-driven extension of closing time frames. Though Bloomberg's Victoria Stilwell was astute enough to look at the underlying data, unlike her fellow reporters at the Associated Press and Reuters, she completely ignored how doing so blew up the narrative.

December 21, 2015, 10:55 PM EST

Did you hear about the university which advertised for "a tenure-track Assistant Professor position that will be filled by a White American or Asian American"? Of course you didn't, because it didn't happen. But it's not difficult to imagine the outrage which would justifiably ensue if such an ad were ever placed.

Well, last week it became widely known that the University of Louisville placed an ad for a "tenure-track Assistant Professor position" which specified the racial/ethnic makeup of who would be considered eligible. It was removed after appearing for almost two months. Thanks to the wonders of Google cache, readers can see the relevant portion below (HT Progressives Today):

December 21, 2015, 8:41 PM EST

Rosalind Brewer is CEO of Sam's Club, the wholesale division of Walmart. Sam's claims that it is "committed to being the most valued membership organization in the world."

Brewer is apparently "committed" to a cause which has become quite a distraction from Sam's core commitment. Last week, she told CNN of a meeting she had with a supplier. Was she interested in getting the best prices and terms to save her members money and otherwise deliver "value"? Apparently not. Instead, she obsessed over the fact that the subject firm's executive team happened to consist exclusively of white men. On Wednesday, David Boroff at the New York Daily News called those who have objected to Brewer's dance on the edges of overt racism stupid white people, i.e., "white meatheads." The far-below-genius white guy here is actually NYDN home page editor Boroff himself. You see, the video posted at the paper's web site is from The Black Sphere, a site operated by Kevin Jackson, a definitely not-white guy.

December 21, 2015, 12:52 AM EST

A leftist flack who has been waging his own personal war on women for at least a decade has been exposed. As a result, his far-left public relations firm, a leader in the field, has closed.

FitzGibbon Media shut down on Thursday. That's because Trevor FitzGibbon, the firm's founder and owner, who also was "a communications director for (now-President Barack) Obama’s 2008 campaign," has been accused by several now-former employees of sexual assault and sexual harassment. Though the defunct firm's client list reads like a Who's Who of "progressive" and radical causes, and despite how sensational charges such as these are usually considered ready-made clickbait in the press, the FitzGibbon shutdown has received minimal press exposure. The obvious comparative point, raised at TruthRevolt on Friday: "Just imagine if this were a GOP PR firm."

December 20, 2015, 10:57 AM EST

What little remains of the economy's momentum appears to be riding on Christmas season consumer spending being perceived as strong. Unfortunately, it hasn't been.

Following up on her early Friday excuse-making for why things haven't gone too well at the malls so far — it's because the weather has just been too darned nice — Anne D'Innocenzio at the Associated Press worked over the available statistics to leave readers with the impression that it's not all that bad, and that there's plenty of time for a comeback. The linchpin of her effort is her claim that online sales continue to grow nicely. That's not so.

December 18, 2015, 11:25 PM EST

They have an excuse for everything, don't they?

This morning, Anne D'Innocenzio at the Associated Press actually told readers that this year's relatively warm Christmas season weather is what's hurting Christmas shopping season sales. It couldn't possibly be the "slowdown reality" USA Today cited in headlining Friday's second straight steep stock market drop, could it, Anne? Most other Americans participating in the real world have recognized the existence of a "slowdown reality" for at least the past few months.

December 18, 2015, 1:22 AM EST

The people who run Cosmopolitan Magazine's Twitter account really stepped in it today — and they're so utterly clueless that they doubled and tripled down on their ignorance.

Cosmo's tweeters have thrown themselves behind legislation drafted by Missouri State Representative Stacey Newman. Newman, a Democrat, actually believes that it is more difficult to get an abortion in the Show Me State than it is to buy a gun; her legislation would supposedly remedy this horrible situation. Cosmo is on board with horribly unhinged proposed legislation. The good folks at Twitchy pointed that out this afternoon, but that didn't stop Cosmo from doubling and tripling down on their ignorance (original tweets here, here and here) in the past 10 hours:

December 17, 2015, 4:56 PM EST

For an understanding of just how weak the business press's understanding of economic fundamentals is, look no further than Paul Wiseman's brief "coverage" at the Associated Press Wednesday of the Federal Reserve's awful Industrial Production.

The Fed reported yesterday that industrial production fell by 0.6 percent in November on top of a revised -0.4 percent (down from -0.2 percent) in October. None of the three major industrial components turned in a positive November result (Manufacturing, flat; Mining, -1.1 percent; Utilities, -4.3 percent). Additionally, industrial production in the past 12 months has fallen by 1.2 percent, an occurrence which has historically been a recessionary red flag. But that's okay, Wiseman reassured readers, because "the American economy is relatively healthy thanks to solid consumer spending."

December 17, 2015, 10:04 AM EST

Pity the poor folks at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press.

The Obama administration, usually hyper-reluctant to characterize a domestic terrorist attack on U.S. soil as, well, a domestic terrorist attack, has actually had to admit in the face of overwhelming evidence that the San Bernardino massacre on December 2, during which 14 were killed and two dozen injured, was indeed a terrorist attack. Failing to adapt at sufficient speed, the headline writers, tweeters and Obama fans disguised as journalists at the AP, so used to avoiding the T-word at all costs, have made fools of themselves.

December 16, 2015, 11:51 PM EST

Reuters and reporter Lucia Mutikani went way overboard today in reacting to today's residential construction news from the Census Bureau.

Mutikani's headline contended that today's "housing data signals economic strength," while a section title claimed that there are "strong housing fundamentals." That can only possibly be true if one believes the world began in 2007.

December 15, 2015, 10:44 PM EST

The Chicago Public Schools system, from which came Arne Duncan, perhaps the nation's most execrable Education Secretary, is in serious financial trouble. So is the State of Illinois. Having already borrowed against next year's property tax collections, CPS somehow expects the state to bail out its underfunded pensions to the tune of $500 million. Though it has subsequently been narrowed, MRC-TV, in covering the district CEO's resignation over a federal no-bid contract investigation, reported in June that the district was facing "a $1 billion budget deficit" for fiscal 2016.

In the midst of all of this, the district's teachers union has overwhelmingly authorized a strike. In searching several current articles on the topic, the hardest things to find were answers to two questions any reasonable person would ask: 1) How much do teachers currently make? and 2) What are their contract demands?

December 15, 2015, 3:00 PM EST

The year isn't even over, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Time's 2015 Person of the Year, has begun to act against the primary reason why the magazine chose her.

To refresh from a NewsBusters post last week, Time's Nancy Gibbs cited three reasons for the choice. The clearly most important one, from their perspective, was Merkel's virtually unilateral decision that Germany "would welcome refugees as casualties of radical Islamist savagery, not carriers of it" without apparent restriction. Now Merkel has, as described by a writer at Time Inc. sister publication Fortune, "backpedaled" from that stance.

December 14, 2015, 6:07 PM EST

One hesitates to give attention to Jesse A. Myerson. But it's probably worth it, if for no other reason to contend that many of his beliefs are likely shared by the mindless lemmings disguised as "journalists" who wildly cheered on Saturday when an obviously orchestrated "climate change" agreement designed ultimately to redistribute massive amounts of wealth from developed to underdeveloped countries — which would virtually guarantee that they will stay undeveloped — was announced in Paris.

Almost two years ago, Myerson, whose experience includes "the Media and Labor Outreach committees at Occupy Wall Street," identified of "Five Economic Reforms Millennials Should Be Fighting For" in a Rolling Stone column. A week ago at The Nation, he vacuously attempted to elaborate on one of those five ideas, namely: "Let’s get rid of private housing."

December 14, 2015, 2:42 PM EST

Imagine a Republican or conservative governor boasting of his or her use of "the coercive power of government" to accomplish center-right policy goals. The political and media backlash would be furious — and justified.

Such statist rhetoric is becoming ever more commonplace on the left, and is rising to ever higher political levels. The establishment press is mostly ignoring this development, and usually omits related inflammatory assertions from its coverage. Statements relating to "climate change" have especially been reinforcing David Horowitz's old adage that "Inside every liberal is a totalitarian screaming to get out" for several months. Last week in Paris, California Governor Jerry Brown let his inner totalitarian out several times. A video of one such example follows the jump.

December 14, 2015, 1:40 AM EST

Apparently a generation of "journalists" has been raised to believe that the matter of human-caused global warming is "settled science," and that anyone who doubts the agenda-driven, redistributionist "climate change" movement is an enemy of civilization. Additionally, these people clearly don't understand the orchestrated, false-drama nature of diplomatic gatherings such as the one in Paris which just concluded with yet another "breakthrough" but non-binding "agreement" to reduce carbon emissions.

Thus, it's disconcerting, but not at all hard to believe, that these ignorant, gullible children disguised as discerning adults wildly cheered the announcement of the aforementioned agreement as if an athlete on one of their favorite teams just delivered a last-second victory:

December 13, 2015, 11:24 PM EST

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Thursday that Joshua Williams "was sentenced ... to eight years in prison for starting a fire at a QuikTrip in Berkeley (a St. Louis suburb) after an officer-involved shooting there." The Dispatch apparently didn't think it important to tell readers that the crime spree which occurred after that shooting took place despite the fact that the suspect had pulled a gun on that officer.

I noted in a NewsBusters post a year ago that Williams' arrest on charges of "1st degree arson, 2nd degree burglary and misdemeanor theft," and his confession "to setting fires at the store in a videotaped interview" constituted a major establishment press embarrassment. You see, until then, outfits like the New York Times, MSNBC and others had, in the words of Ryan Lovelace at National Review, "depicted him as a hero of the summer protests" in Ferguson, Missouri.

December 13, 2015, 2:10 AM EST

Josh Lederman at the Associated Press spent the final two paragraphs of his Wednesday evening report on a meeting between President Barack Obama and Israel's President Reuven Rivlin describing "the White House's annual Hanukkah celebration." He wrote that Rivlin "lit a menorah that was made in his homeland during the 1920s."

What was said before Rivlin lit the menorah should have been news. As seen in a Wednesday afternoon White House video, Rabbi Susan Talve essentially hijacked the event to praise a series of leftist causes, touching many of the Obama administration's pet projects along the way: open-ended immigration and "refugee" acceptance; Black Lives Matter "activists"; gun control; paranoia over "Islamophobia, and homophobia and transphobia"; and "justice for Palestinians as allies committed to peace."

December 12, 2015, 10:47 AM EST

The callousness towards human life at Planned Parenthood is such that it believes that the remains of preborn babies killed during abortions are just like any other "medical waste," and that sending them to landfills — or, perhaps even incinerators — is therefore "humane."

That's what one must conclude from reading an Associated Press report Friday evening which strived mightily to play defense for the beleaguered group. The wire service's headline only described State Attorney General Mike DeWine as an "official." The opening sentence from Andrew Welsh-Huggins only conceded that DeWine "criticized" the practices at Ohio's Planned Parenthood's locations, when his press release clearly contends that it has been violating state regulations (bolds are mine):