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
June 19, 2012, 12:34 AM EDT

Three years ago, fellow Ohio blogger Matt Hurley at Weapons of Mass Discussion learned of a situation in Warren County where food stamp benefits were approved in a situation "where the family have over $80,000 in bank, own a 2001 Toyota and 2006 Mercedes Benz, and a $311,000 home that is paid for ... (with) monthly benefits of over $500 ..."

In a column I wrote at the time, I asked (pretty much knowing the answer) if "food stamps for the well-off" was "a national trend." Well, as if there was ever any doubt, the Associated Press finalized that answer tonight in an unbylined rundown of a series of pervasive situations which show how routine and extensive the waste in the program really is:

June 18, 2012, 7:28 PM EDT

At the rate things are going, it may be that the list of leading West Virginia Democrats attending the party's convention in Charlotte is going to be shorter than the list of those who aren't.

The Associated Press reported the following in an unbylined item this evening in a terse three-paragraph squib with some pretty amusing attempts at impact-minimizing verbiage (bolds and numbered tags are mine):

June 18, 2012, 12:50 PM EDT

So here's how it appears to me and I suspect many other news readers, never mind the real motivations. At the Associated Press, when you're covering situations like suicide bomber attacks on Christian churches in Nigeria yesterday, you hold out as long as you can in speculating about who is responsible, even though Islamist Boko Haram terrorists (and only Boko Haram terrorists) have claimed credit for previous attacks in that country, and even though no other religion on earth generates large numbers of people who claim to be its adherents who are willing to blow themselves up so they can kill as many infidels as possible.

Then, once the inevitable claim of responsibility arrives, you treat it as old news (the bombings were a whole 24-36 hours ago, y'know), focus your headline and coverage on "Christian" reprisals instead (even though there is no element of Christian doctrine which sanctions random reprisals), and identify who carried out the attacks as late as you possibly, so it will end up not making most broadcast and many print reports. Here are excerpts:

June 18, 2012, 1:08 AM EDT

It may be a fluke, but it seems too coincidental. What it may be is a leading indicator that the establishment press and international advocates of global wealth redistribution have figured out that "global warming" and "climate change," its deceptive substitute term, have lost their luster thanks to a lack of scientific rigor, scandals, and deception.

What I'm referring to is the fact that in reviewing three Associated Press items which would appear to have been opportunities to bring up the topic of "warming" and "climate" in connection with the U.N.'s latest "earth summit," none of them contained either word. It seems that "sustainable development," a term which has been around for a while and which basically means "stopping most development regardless of merit," is now the go-to term when one wishes to avoid the aforementioned W-word or C-word.

June 17, 2012, 10:47 PM EDT

During the 1980s, despite data which even then was telling them they were wrong, it became a mantra of a desperate establishment press that the booming economy under Ronald Reagan really wasn't that impressive because so many of the new jobs created were part-time or temporary.

The data was not then readily available for temps, but it certainly was for part-time vs. full-time employment. It comes from to the Household Survey performed by Uncle Sam's Bureau of Labor Statistics on a monthly basis to determine the unemployment rate. What follows is a graph comparing the growth in employment in those two categories during the 35 post-recession months under Reagan to the analogous 35 months since the most recent recession's official end in June 2009. It will make you wonder how the press can claim objectivity when it has barely touched on the contrast you will see, or even on the poor performance itself without historical comparisons.

June 17, 2012, 5:19 PM EDT

It would appear that the establishment press is determined to portray a "both sides are at fault" equivalency as much as possible in Nigeria where almost none exists.

Earlier today, Patrick Poole at the PJ Tatler pointed out that a brief initial Associated Press item from Lagos would cause a person, in Poole's words, to "come away mystified as to why these churches were subject to apparently random 'violence.'" He specifically objected to the vagueness of a sentence claiming that "Churches have been increasingly targeted by violence in Nigeria." Later more detailed dispatches from Reuters and the AP aren't much more helpful, especially as they both fail to tag the principal perpetrators of the violence, the Boko Haram, as the terrorists that they are.

June 16, 2012, 3:03 PM EDT

You'd think from the reaction to Daily Caller White House Correspondent Neal Munro's shouted question during President Obama's announcement of de facto amnesty for 30-and-under illegal aliens at the Rose Garden yesterday that it's the first time any reporter has ever shouted a question at a U.S. president out of turn. Friday afternoon, the Daily Caller, Munro's employer, carried his explanation of the incident, as well as sturdy defenses from Editor-in-Chief Tucker Carlson and Publisher Neil Patel.

What follows is some historical perspective ("Why Do Grown Men And Women Shout At President Reagan?") coming from (yes, really) Associated Press writer Christopher Connell in October 1987 which is more than necessary in the circumstances (save here in full for fair use and discussion purposes; key items underlined by me).

June 14, 2012, 11:31 PM EDT

If you're starting to lose Jonathan Alter, reporters at Politico, and other left-leaning outlets, you're starting to get into trouble. Double that if you can't even get Julie Pace at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, to muster more than eight paragraphs relating to a 53-minute speech pre-positioned as a "major address."

Hunter Walker has compiled several less than complimentary tweets at Politicker, including the following:

June 14, 2012, 10:38 PM EDT

Sometimes it takes a bit of exertion to disprove an assertion made by an establishment press reporter. Not this time. Today's Department of Labor report on initial unemployment claims told us that such filings "unexpectedly" (as relayed by Reuters and Bloomberg) rose to 386,000 from an upwardly revised (of course) 380,000 the previous week; expectations were for a fall to 375,000. About an hour after DOL's release, Christopher Rugaber at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, told readers that "Applications fell steadily during the fall and winter but have since leveled off."

Well, this one can be taken care of in one easy chart. It starts with what was essentially the last week of winter (the week ended March 24) and goes through the week ended June 9 covered in today's release, with an extra 3,000 added to the most current week to reflect next week's likely upward adjusted (such adjustments during the past sixty-plus weeks have averaged about 3,900).

June 14, 2012, 9:14 AM EDT

Maybe the answer to eliminating much of the annoying bias in establishment press business reporting is to have the reporters involved eliminate the could-might-maybe statements which almost inevitably follow the initial relay of the primary news.

Take the first paragraph of Christopher Rugaber's report Tuesday on recent increases in state tax collections (bolds are mine throughout this post):

June 12, 2012, 11:38 PM EDT

To illustrate how factually negligent this afternoon's report by Martin Crutsinger at the Associated Press on the federal government's financial results embodied in its Monthly Treasury Statement was, let's take a look at how Pedro Nicolaci da Costa at Reuters communicated more in a four-sentence brief than the AP reporter did in 18 painful paragraphs.

Here is da Costa's item, in full:

June 12, 2012, 1:02 PM EDT

Here is yet another "fact check" whose sole purpose is to try to invent reasons that an objectively true statement made by a conservative or Republican really isn't.

Monday, the Associated Press's Stephen Ohlemacher tried to claim that "Taxmageddon," the $423 billion tax increase which will take effect on January 1 if Congress and President Obama don't act to prevent it, won't really be the largest tax increase in history (bolds are mine):

June 10, 2012, 10:30 AM EDT

Last year, Harry Reid said pretty close to the same thing President Obama said on Friday about the health of the nation's private sector. Obama claimed that "The private sector is fine." On the Senate floor on October 19, Reid claimed that "It's very clear that private-sector jobs have been doing just fine."

Don't feel bad if you don't know this, because the press mostly ignored it. The few who did notice it worked mightily to excuse it. One of the chief excusers was Pete Kasperowicz at the Hill:

June 9, 2012, 12:21 PM EDT

At National Review (here and here), Stanley Kurtz has proven beyond doubt that Barack Obama sought the far-left New Party's endorsement in 1996. In the process, he has rendered a central claim made by the Obama campaign at its "Fight the Smears" web site in 2008 ("Barack Did Not Seek New Party Endorsement") and swallowed whole by the gullible establishment press utterly false.

In 2008, Ben Smith, who was then at Politico, also swallowed the line from the New Party's founder that the party never really had "members," which is going to be the focus of this post:

June 8, 2012, 11:47 PM EDT

Today at a press conference, President Barack Obama said that "we’ve created 4.3 million jobs over the last 27 months, over 800,000 just this year alone. The private sector is doing fine. Where we’re seeing weaknesses in our economy have to do with state and local government ..."

Later, in a cleanup attempt, in what the press is claiming is a walkback, Obama really didn't walk it back: "Listen, it is absolutely clear that the economy is not doing fine. That's the reason I had the press conference. ... what I've been saying consistently over the last year, we've actually seen some good momentum in the private sector. We've seen 4.3 million jobs created -- 800,000 this year alone -- record corporate profits. And so that has not been the biggest drag on the economy." He never pulled back from saying that "the private sector is doing fine." The abject panic at the Associated Press is evident in tonight's report by Ken Thomas and Philip Elliott (HT to a NewsBusters tipster; bolds and numbered tags are mine):

June 8, 2012, 1:21 AM EDT

The Catholic News Agency's Michelle Bauman reports that there has been a "wave" of recent defections and departures from the Democratic Party that could be as many as several hundred. The establishment press is clearly being remiss in failing to note them at all -- something which would not be occurring if it involved Republicans going to the party of the left.

The reasons for the moves primarily relate to President Obama's endorsement of same-sex "marriage" and the assault on religious freedoms inherent in his administration's requirement that employers who offer health insurance plans, in Bauman's words, "cover contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs, even if doing so violates their consciences." Excerpts from her report follow the jump, including a notable quote from Artur Davis, the former four-term Democratic congressman who announced to very little press coverage in late May that if he runs again for public office, it will be as a Republican:

June 7, 2012, 7:48 PM EDT

Now we know where all those "liberal" references which should be attached to leftist Democratic politicians but seldom are went. Steve Peoples at the Associated Press used them all up in his Thursday coverage of the "Netroots Nation" gathering in Providence, Rhode Island.

Occurrences and variants on the word "liberal" appear ten times in Peoples' coverage, including in the item's headline. There are even several occurrences of "progressives" and even references to the "left":

June 6, 2012, 4:46 PM EDT

Alternate title: "Surprise (Not): Barone Exposes How Exit Poll Samples Are Typically Biased."

Early this morning, at the Washington Examiner, Michael Barone casually put out what is apparently a well-known fact in polling circles. I'm thinking that it's not at all well-known to the general public (bold is mine):

June 6, 2012, 11:46 AM EDT

To be fair, Yahoo News's main home page has a headlined item called "What Scott Walker can teach Barack Obama," a later reference to the slapping of Tom Barrett by a "supporter" for supposedly conceding too early, and the Politics mini-section of the home page lists three Wisconsin-related stories.

But Yahoo News's U.S. home page (screen grabs here and here) as of 11 a.m. ET was a Wisconsin-free, Walker-free zone. And it's not like the page is devoid of political items, such as the following, plus a "most popular" item I'll reveal at the end which seems like a plant:

June 5, 2012, 11:50 PM EDT

As of 11:15 p.m., with about 74% of the votes counted, Wisconsin Governor Scott was ahead of Scott Barrett by roughly a 56-44 margin. Late-arriving votes from Democrat-heavy areas of Milwaukee and Dane Counties seemed likely to narrow the margin to perhaps 10 points. (UPDATE: Because heavier margins of support for Barrett in those two counties, the final margin was 6.9%, roughly the same as Barack Obama's 7.4% margin in 2008, which was never labeled a "survival" or "narrow" or anything similar.)

The headlines currently at CNN (HT to a NewsBusters tipster) and the Associated Press both act as if Walker squeaked by. Pics follow the jump.