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
October 15, 2012, 10:34 PM EDT

Early this afternoon, as part of the wire service's continuing "Why It Matters" series, the Associated Press's Eileen Sullivan boiled down the impact of the September 11 Benghazi, Libya attack during which U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed and the U.S. consulate destroyed as follows: It "injected the issue of diplomatic security into the presidential campaign and renewed questions about the quality of U.S. intelligence."

Uh, Eileen, "the quality of U.S. intelligence" is not at issue. What is at issue is the intelligence and judgment of the people charged with using that intelligence. The Obama administration failed, up to and including the commander in chief and his Secretary of State, failed to respond to the intelligence communicated and to truthfully relay its substance to the American people on a timely basis. Instead, they invented the idea of a pre-attack protest which never occurred because of a 14-minute video which nobody cared about until there was a need to find a reason other than their own failings to protect Americans overseas. Here are Sullivan's opening two paragraphs (bold is mine):

October 15, 2012, 8:35 PM EDT

The Left and the establishment press (but I repeat myself) are taking heart in the fact that Bruce Springsteen has agreed to campaign for Barack Obama in Ohio and Iowa later this week.

The campaign of Mitt Romney, and Republicans in general, are the ones who should be cheered by this development for two reasons. One of them, which is being reported, is that Springsteen said earlier this year that he wouldn't be campaigning; the fact that he has changed his mind proves that Team Obama is genuinely worried about their boss's reelection prospects. The second isn't as well-known, but should be. "The Boss" (i.e., Springsteen) went all-in with the Occupy movement earlier this year, essentially ratifying our incumbent president's endorsement. Springsteen's stance was described in several places in February, including at the Gothamist:

October 15, 2012, 1:00 AM EDT

My initial reaction to the story by Daniel Trotta at Reuters about plans for a "Million Muppet March" in Washington on November 3, the Saturday before Election Day, was that the whole thing doesn't seem as wildly spontaneous, grass roots-driven, and coincidental as presented. It turns out that it isn't. As Lee Cary at TeaParty911.com found (HT Newsalert via Ed Driscoll at Instapundit), the guiding force of the enterprise is an animation company executive who "just so happens" to have a lot to gain if the status quo of government funding of the Corporation For Public Broadcasting continues. It's also interesting how he's apparently able to use the Muppet characters in the "march" without worrying about getting anyone's publicly expressed permission to do so.

First, here are several paragraphs from Trotta's tripe (bolds are mine throughout this post):

October 14, 2012, 11:21 AM EDT

As the presidential contest enters its final weeks, one loser is clear: the Big Three television networks' evening newscasts, home of some of the worst examples of ongoing and still influential media bias.

Chris Ariens at Media Bistro noted this on October 2 in covering the results for the week of September 24: "Leading into a presidential election, one might think the tune-in to the evening news programs would increase. But one would be wrong." The trend continued during the following week, as will be seen in the graphic following the jump.

October 13, 2012, 9:10 AM EDT

In an op-ed at "Bloomberg View" on Wednesday evening, editor and columnist Michael Kinsley's headline teased that "Maybe President Romney Wouldn’t Be So Bad," before twice urging readers to vote to reelect President Obama, including in the final paragraph after an alleged parenthetical (and obviously mythical) "Pause for reflection." Ha ha.

What came in between wasn't very funny at all -- and since he's an editor, his view of things presumably has impact beyond his columns. The worst whoppers came in the following paragraph:

October 12, 2012, 11:49 PM EDT

On October 3, as Kyle Brennan's at NewsBusters noted the next day, NBC News political director Chuck Tood, appearing on CNBC, characterized presidential polls generated by Scott Rasmussen's polling group as "slop."

The specific quote: "We spend a lot more money polling than Scott Rasmussen does. We spend a lot more money on quality control....I hate the idea that [NBC] polling, which is rigorously done, has to get compared to what is, in some cases, you know, slop." At the time, while many polls, including NBC's (done in conjunction with the Wall Street Journal), were showing Barack Obama with leads of four points or more nationally, Rasmussen was virtually alone Obama barely ahead and occasionally tied with Mitt RomneyChuck was clearly not pleased with that. Someone ought to ask Todd if his evaluation holds based on the results following the jump which were posted at Real Clear Politics early Friday morning.

October 11, 2012, 2:58 PM EDT

In August, in response to an ad from the campaign of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney claiming that the Obama administration's Department of Health and Human Services had just weakened the work requirements of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program (also known as TANF, or "traditional welfare"), Molly Moorhead at the so-called fact check site PolitiFact gave the ad a "Pants on Fire" rating, the one supposedly reserved for the most scurrilous lies propagated by politicians and others. Russell Sykes, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute has just doused PolitiFact's imaginary flames -- but don't hold your breath waiting for PoltiFact to recognize it.

Specifically, Moorhead objected to the Romney ad as follows (bolds are mine throughout this post):

October 11, 2012, 12:19 PM EDT

UPDATE: Henry Blodget at Business Insider reports that a "source, who is an analyst at the Department, " has told him that "the number of California claims that were not processed totalled about 15,000-25,000."

Today's release of the Department of Labor's weekly unemployment claims report showed 339,000 initial claims filed during the previous week -- a sharp decline of 30,000 from the previous week's upwardly revised 369,000. Shortly after that, the Wall Street Journal reported that "one large state didn't report additional quarterly figures as expected, accounting for a substantial part of the decrease." The Associated Press's framing: "... spokesman said one large state accounted for much of the decline." At Reuters: "one state ... reported a decline in claims last week when an increase was expected."

So you would expect caution in assessing the meaning of the report, right? Wrong -- At the AP and Reuters, they apparently just can't help themselves.

October 11, 2012, 9:20 AM EDT

The Associated Press, after an initial acknowledgment in a Tuesday evening timeline from Bradley Klapper, has consistently failed in several subsequent reports to cite State Department officials' unmistakable assertion that there were no protests whatsoever at the Benghazi, Libya U.S. consulate on September 11 before the lethal terrorist attack which killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. Instead, later reports create the impression that protests did occur.

It's even getting carried into coverage of different events. In his story (link is to early paragraphs of original version) about the Thursday morning murder of a security official at the U.S. embassy in Yemen, the AP's Ahmed Al Haj (identified as the reporter in the item I originally saw, since revised) betrayed the wire service's uninterrupted obsession with "an anti-Islam video," and wrote as if nothing learned in the past two days has any validity (bolds are mine throughout this post):

October 10, 2012, 8:28 PM EDT

Hollywood Reporter's Paul Bond is reporting that "Hating Breitbart," the Andrew Marcus film which was to hit theaters two days from now has been pushed back to October 19 in a dispute over the film's rating.

Marcus has pushed for PG-13, but the MPAA retained its R rating of the film even after the filmmaker deleted all F-bombs except a few delivered by Breitbart himself. So nine days from now, because time is running short, the film will be released with an R rating. Why MPAA is being so inconsistent? I think it would be useful to look at who is in charge of the organization and who runs the day-to-day ratings operation, and will do that after excerpting key paragraphs from Bond's report:

October 10, 2012, 12:47 PM EDT

James O'Keefe's Project Veritas has done it again -- with, as is usually the case with his efforts, apparently more to come.

His latest effort, a six-minute video (direct YouTube link) which near its end taunts the establishment press ("Put your reputation on the line, journalists. Say this is an "isolated incident"), "exposes Obama campaign workers, including a Regional Field Director at Organizing for America (OFA), engaged in election fraud."

October 10, 2012, 9:55 AM EDT

The headline writers for Bradley Klapper's story early Wednesday at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, about the September 11 attack which destroyed the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya and killed four Americans, including Libyan ambassador Christopher Stevens, had a real problem on their hands: How do we make our headline so boring that people who see it won't feel like clicking over to the story itself (or, if they're reading a newspaper, not moving on to it)? Their answer, which was pretty effective given their apparent goal: "State Dept reveals new details of Benghazi attack."

Zzz ... zzz ... Oh, excuse me, I needed a second cup of coffee to get past that snooze of a headline. Klapper's story wasn't any better, as he atrociously buried the lede -- that there never was a protest over the 14-minute anti-Mohammed video before the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya took place -- and was incredibly vague in his reference to this breathtaking story change when he finally did bring it forth (bolds are mine throughout this post):

October 10, 2012, 1:17 AM EDT

Okay, Steven Spielberg said what he said about Democrats and Republicans at his prerelease press conference promoting "Lincoln," his next movie which will be released just after Election Day. And of course he's spectacularly wrong in claiming that the country's two major political parties have "traded political places over the last 150 years."

If that were the entire story and Reuters reporter Christine Kearney (pictured here at LinkedIn) had simply relayed what Spielberg said, this post wouldn't be about media bias. But is, because Ms. Kearney herself took a journey into the land of make-believe with this subsequent sentence:

October 9, 2012, 1:04 PM EDT

Joel Gehrke at the Washington Examiner (HT Meredith Jessup at the Blaze) reports that Karen Vaughn, mother of Aaron Vaughn, a member of Navy SEAL Team 6 and one of 30 American servicemen, including 21 other SEAL Team 6 members, killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan three months after the May 1, 2011 execution of Osama bin Laden, says in a video released yesterday by Veterans for a Strong America that the Obama administration "put a target on my son’s back and even on my back" by revealing the SEAL Team unit's identity after the Bin Laden raid.

Actually, as seen here in a September 10 Fox News story, Mrs. Vaughn has been saying this for almost a month, which makes me wonder where Maureen Dowd at the New York Times has been. But first, the specifics from the Vaughns (bolds are mine throughout this post):

October 9, 2012, 10:54 AM EDT

 

In her September 26 report in the paper's Fashion & Style section ("Last Call for College Bars"; Sept. 27 print edition), Courtney Rubin at the New York Times devoted over 1,600 words to a portrayal, primarily in Ithaca, New York, home of Cornell University, of the declining college bar scene.

Rubin described the travails of, among others, Michelle Guida, Vanessa Gilen, Tracy O’Hara, and John Montana. A photo which originally accompanied the article said it pictured David Lieberman and Ben Johnson. There's only one teeny tiny problem, one which might lead one to question the degree to which Rubin's underlying work is fictional (i.e., containing fictional stories relayed by those interviewed, not items made up by Ms. Rubin). It's explained in an "Editor's Note" dated September 28 at the end of the online version Rubin's report (a graphic of the Note as it appeared in the print edition is here; bolds are mine throughout this post):

October 8, 2012, 10:08 PM EDT

Earlier today, when I wasn't in a position to save what I was viewing, I came across an Associated Press item about Venezuela's Sunday election results that I knew I would have to find again at the first opportunity. Readers will see why shortly.

Because the AP has a habit of quickly replacing items at its national site while failing to leave the original behind -- especially true when the originals contain embarrassing giveaway sentiments -- I had to look elsewhere for the original story by Frank Bajak and Ian James, and found it at the Lakeland, Florida Ledger. The pair's slavering, slavish coverage of a tyrant's continued consolidation of power, arguably an even worse example of statist-supporting bias than Kyle Drennen cited earlier today at NewsBusters originating from NBC, is almost too much to bear:

October 7, 2012, 11:43 PM EDT

I originally thought that the story of Linda Morrison which will follow after the jump would be all about the Obama campaign completely misreading the situation surrounding a question asked of GOP vice-presidential nominee at a Clinton County, Iowa town hall forum. It turns out that it's actually biased reports from their good friends in the establishment press which led the overeager campaign to do something embarrassing.

Here's how Shushannah Walshe at ABC News described the question Ryan was asked and the answer he gave (bolds are mine throughout this post):

October 6, 2012, 9:51 AM EDT

In a Friday interview where the primary purpose was to give her an opportunity to defend her Bureau of Labor Statistics, Obama administration Department of Labor head Hilda Solis gave CNBC viewers the false impression that prior-month upward revisions to reported job additions were in the private sector (they were all government jobs), and falsely claimed, despite her boss's refusal to do anything until after Election Day, that "Congress needs to work with us."

The video can be found at CNBC, where Solis tells the network's reporter that "I am insulted" that people would believe that BLS's books are cooked. Here is her specific quote on job growth (Solis's comments below are not in the text of the post; HT Breitbart's Big Government; bolds are mine):

October 4, 2012, 8:54 AM EDT

As Matt Vespa at NewsBusters noted earlier this morning, MSNBC's Howard Fineman was extremely unhappy with Jim Lehrer's performance as moderator in last night's first presidential debate. Vespa reports that Fineman "seemed agitated to the point of calling Lehrer 'useless' and equated his moderating of the debate to 'criminal negligence.'"

In what may be seen as a surprise, the same network's Laurence O'Donnell didn't share that sentiment, as Mackenzie Weinger reported this morning at Politico:

October 4, 2012, 1:45 AM EDT

Having seen the candidate the press corps so obviously favors perform poorly while his opponent shined, Ron Fournier at National Journal, an Associated Press alum, dove so deeply into excuse-making that I half expected him to claim that the dog ate President Obama's debate prep.

The primary culprit, according to the forlorn Fournier, is something over which Obama has no control, as seen in the following excerpt from the 11:30 p.m. version of his dispatch. The report has an accurate headline admitting to something Fournier wouldn't directly acknowledge, namely that Romney won the night (bolds and numbered tags are mine):