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
September 30, 2012, 10:06 AM EDT

Note:  This post has been revised to reflect the Times's 2012 coverage. The original version erroneously linked to a 2010 article. I sincerely regret the error.

The New York Times's coverage of year's annual Muslim Day parade in Manhattan appears to have consisted of a photo at This Week in Pictures and another at the City Room blog.

At the end of the parade, in news not relayed by the Times, at least one speaker called for suppression and criminalization of free speech and another seemed to revel in violence-based rhetoric. One can hardly argue that these presentations weren't related to the parade, since invited political dignitaries were on hand, including one gentleman, Democrat New York State Senator Tony Avello, who walked out after hearing calls for punishment speech seen to commit "blasphemy" against Muslim prophet Muhammed.

September 30, 2012, 8:55 AM EDT

Does anyone remember anybody in the establishment press speculating over who might hold Cabinet positions during a second Bush 43 term in the fall of 2004 without qualifying it with "if Bush is reelected"? Neither do I.

But at the Politico on Thursday, the closest Josh Ragin got in an item found at the web site's "The Cable" section speculating on whether John Kerry or Susan Rice is better positioned to be Obama's nominee to be "America's next top diplomat" (i.e., Secretary of State) was quoting a Republican Senate aide who merely referred to the possible fireworks "if it's the beginning of a second Obama term." That doesn't even qualify as a qualifier either, because a victorious Obama might attempt to confirm a new nominee to replace Hillary Clinton during a lame-duck session. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):

September 29, 2012, 9:53 PM EDT

If anything as embarrassing as what follows occurred at a Republican presidential contender's website, including the follow-up ridicule by the opposition, the press would never be able to resist covering it.

A mythical (I hope) ecard created at the Obama-Biden campaign site call purports to be from a daughter to her mother, and asks about the most ridiculous question you can imagine.

September 29, 2012, 9:43 AM EDT

From the "I thought Social Security was supposed to have solved this decades ago" Dept.: The State of California has just passed a law mandating opt-out pension plan contributions of 3% of earnings for six million workers in the private sector, or roughly half of its private sector workforce.

The targeted population is the cadre of those working at employers of five or more who do not offer a retirement plan. It has the distinct aroma of a bailout, because of who gets to manage the money. Excerpts from a predictably dreadful Associated Press report by Judy Lin follow the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):

September 29, 2012, 7:16 AM EDT

Rush Limbaugh brought up an important matter relating to polling Friday, which even beyond what is already known about party affiliation from Rasmussen and Gallup, further supports the notion that performing presidential preference polls based on 2008 presidential turnout is fundamentally flawed.

Read it below, because you can virtually bet what's left of the value of your home that you won't see this item mentioned anywhere in the establishment press, even though its ultimate source is a liberal group:

September 27, 2012, 2:20 PM EDT

Apart from bias, which is obviously the bigger problem, the establishment press's tendency towards unforced errors in business news reporting has grown over the past several years.

So when I received the following email from USA Today this morning (available here without subject line), I thought it surely must be mistaken. Well, the item I thought was a mistake wasn't one, while the one I thought was probably okay understated the underlying catastrophic news. Clarity follows the jump:

September 25, 2012, 11:07 PM EDT

This one requires a reality check before proceeding. First, a long list of Democratic Party candidates (per ABC on September 4, five for the Senate and eight for the House) -- including many incumbents, chose not to attend the Democratic Convention in Charlotte because (let's get real) they wanted to put distance between themselves, Barack Obama, and Obama's policies (and still do). Candidate absences from the Republican Convention were relatively rare. Second, six of the most recent seven polls listed at Real Clear Politics as of 10 p.m. ET showed Obama leading Mitt Romney nationally by three or fewer points. Third, state polls have turned in a couple of surprises this week showing Obama leading by just two points and one point, respectively in Pennsylvania and Ohio -- despite Ohio's poll giving Democrats a 10-point sample advantage.

It would therefore seem that you must live in a tightly sealed, Obama-loving bubble to believe that it is Mitt Romney's campaign which is "faltering" and that GOP House candidates would therefore try to avoid being seen with him. Politico's Alex Isenstadt lives in such a bubble (bolds are mine):

September 25, 2012, 7:45 PM EDT

One really wonders if there is any adult supervision in the department where CNNMoney's business headline emails originate.

There certainly isn't much knowledge of the general business environment or of the recent history of the housing market present, because if there were, the following email would almost certainly never have been published -- or if the message had somehow escaped by accident, it wouldn't have taken more than a half-hour to "correct" it. The original and the "correction" follow the jump:

September 25, 2012, 6:03 PM EDT

There is clearly no embarrassment threshold at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press.

In a dispatch today, an unbylined AP report headlined "Romney: Benghazi a 'Terrorist Attack'" seems to act as if this is some kind of revelation to the GOP nominee even though everyone except Obama administration insiders desperately trying to bring life to the corpse formerly known as the Arab Spring have been saying that for well over a week. It gets much worse than that in the report's third paragraph:

September 25, 2012, 3:45 PM EDT

Even though it was near the top of the raw news wire at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, when I saw it, I had to check the date on Tom Raum's item entitled "Why It Matters: Debt." Sure enough, it really does have a September 24. 1:36 p.m. time stamp.

That is intensely ironic and somewhat delicious, because the final sentence of Raum's dispatch directly contradicts something President Barack Obama said in his appearance on David Letterman's show last week -- something I believe (but can't prove, due to frequent wire service revisions) the AP originally failed to report.

September 25, 2012, 12:30 PM EDT

On Saturday, President Obama spoke at a campaign rally in Wisconsin. As I noted on Sunday, contradicting a local Milwaukee Sentinel crowd size estimate of 5,000, Politico, the Wall Street Journal, and the Associated Press reported that 18,000 were on hand, with the AP further claiming that the event was "the largest yet of Obama's reelection campaign."

Charles Spiering at the Washington Examiner believes he has learned why the national press reported that the crowd was 18,000. It's because Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett told them it was, and the press's pool reporter took his word for it:

September 25, 2012, 8:50 AM EDT

He clearly doesn't suffer from a shortage of chutzpah.

According to the Politico's Josh Gerstein, President Barack Obama was asked the following question by The View's Barabara Walters in a Monday appearance to be broadcast on Tuesday: "What would be so terrible if Mitt Romney were elected? Would it be disastrous for the country?" His response: "We can survive a lot. But the American people don't want to just survive. We want to thrive. I've just got a different vision of how we grow an economy. We grow fastest when the middle class is doing well."

September 23, 2012, 11:59 PM EDT

Saturday, Joel Pollak at Breitbart's Big Journalism observed that President Obama is having some trouble drawing big crowds these days, and that the national press is exaggerating the turnout at his events.

He specifically cited the situation this weekend where Politico and the Wall Street Journal claimed there were "18,000 people inside a 5,000-seat arena at an Obama event in Milwaukee on Saturday." I looked at the Associated Press's national site, and the AP did the same thing, while adding that the crowd with the made-up size was "the largest yet of Obama's reelection campaign." Really.

September 22, 2012, 9:54 AM EDT

Gosh, those were the good old days. Or so Meghan Barr at the Associated Press apparently believes.

As what's left of the Occupy Wall Street mobs from last year staged a pathetic anniversary protest in New York on Monday, Barr, in one of the most embarrassing reports I've seen emanate from the self-described "essential global news network," described them as "celebrating" and "giddy." At the end, in a desperate attempt to show that the movement actually accomplished something, Barr cited vague and I believe completely unrelated statements from two banks about "working with their customers." For those with strong stomachs, the first five and final paragraphs of Barr's beclowning follow the jump.

September 20, 2012, 4:04 PM EDT

Patricia Zengerle's coverage of U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine at Reuters assumes that the Democratic former Virginia Governor committed the mother of all gaffes today. I'm not so sure. It may be that David Corn's secret video of Mitt Romney commenting on the 47 percent of Americans who pay no income taxes and are dependent on the government is sending polling data in the opposite direction from what was intended and is starting to rattle Democrats.

Look at how Zengerle framed what Kaine said:

September 20, 2012, 11:20 AM EDT

Both the headline and opening sentence at Christopher Rugaber's Associated Press report on today's unemployment claims release from the Department of Labor tell readers that initial unemployment claims fell by 3,000 during the most recent week. Though Rugaber acknowledged that last week's initial figure was revised up, he didn't say by how much (3,000, from 382K to 385K), and of course didn't note that based on the track record of the past year, there's a 98% chance that this week's figure will also be revised up.

A graph posted at Zero Hedge compares headlined changes in weekly claims to actual weekly changes after revisions. The differences are significant.

September 20, 2012, 1:39 AM EDT

As of midnight, Real Clear Politics showed Barack Obama with a 2.9-point lead over Mitt Romney in the average of the most recent six presidential election polls. One of those polls is a P-U production of Pew Research Center which shows Obama up by 8 points among 2,343 registered voters. The preposterous weighting of the sample is 37.1% Democrats, 30.6% Republicans, and 32.3% independents.

Any time a poll reveals the Romney v. Obama breakout in each of those three categories, I can run the results through what I'll tentatively christen the NewsBusters/BizzyBlog Poll Decoder, showing what the result would be using party affiliation results found by Rasmussen as of early September and Gallup as of before the Democratic National Convention. Here's what happens when one removes the stench from Pew's poll:

September 19, 2012, 11:41 PM EDT

Once again, a reporter from the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, has told a major fib about the situation in the new-home construction industry, thereby vastly exaggerating its degree of improvement -- claiming a 60% surge during the past nearly 3-1/2 years when it has been 15% at most.

Today's figures from the Census Bureau on housing starts weren't terrible, but they surely weren't cause for major optimism -- except at the AP, where Martin Crutsinger cited "steady progress in the housing recovery" and committed the same serious mistake other AP writers have made (examples here, here, and here), namely pretending that the term "housing starts" has the same meaning as "home construction."

September 18, 2012, 11:49 PM EDT

It was probably an accident, but the Associated Press's headline writers, in framing the wire service's story about Fedex's quarterly results and economic outlook released earlier today, created a headline that the Obama administration will find completely unhelpful: "FEDEX SAYS ECONOMY IS STALLING, CUTS OUTLOOK."

Most U.S. readers and probably most of AP's subscribing print, online, and broadcast outlets will, if they only see the headline, believe that it primarily refers to the U.S. economy. Meanwhile, AP Business Writer Samantha Bomkamp, with the help of Martin Crutsinger, mimicked Fedex's odd spin on its result, making sure that those who bothered to get to the verbiage understand that the company believes that the world economy is what is really stalling by using the word "global" five times in her first five paragraphs. The trouble is that if one looks at the company's revenue in detail, it's clear that that the bigger slowdown is actually occurring in the U.S (the company's press release, which has a link to the longer PDF release, is here).

September 18, 2012, 5:47 PM EDT

Let's see. The supposed consensus at Real Clear Politics shows Mitt Romney trailing Barack Obama by less than three points. As shown yesterday, one of the most recent five polls used in RCP's calculations from CBS and the New York Times is so cooked that it weighted registered Democrats over registered Republicans by 35%-22% -- so you can easily knock more than a point from Obama's lead for that item alone. Rasmussen has Romney up by two, and Gallup has gone from Obama +6 to Obama +1 in just a week.

So naturally, according to John Whitesides at Reuters, it's Romney's campaign which is "reeling" (bolds and numbered tags are mine):