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 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.

June 5, 2012, 6:08 PM EDT

As he has for nearly 16 months, the AP's Scott Bauer once again included a false statement about what the budget repair legislation also known as "Act 10" passed by Wisconsin's legislature and signed by Governor Scott Walker last year did to public-sector unions and their ability to collectively bargain.

He wrote: "Enraged Democrats and labor activists gathered more than 900,000 signatures in support of the recall after they failed to stop Walker and his GOP allies in the state Legislature from stripping most public employees of their union right to collectively bargain." Y'know, Scott, you've been writing this garbage for 16 months. You can keep it up for the next 16 months or 16 years, but what won't change is that fact that your statement today and the equivalent statements you've written in the past simply aren't true, and never will be.

June 3, 2012, 11:05 PM EDT

The headline at Thomas Beaumont's Sunday item about the possible significance of the Scott Walker recall election in Wisconsin is "Few November clues to be found in Wisconsin recall."

Maybe, but I have a definite clue as to Beaumont's political proclivities, something which I shouldn't be able to glean from a wire service report, thanks to the paragraph which follows the jump. Let's see if readers can pick up that clue:

June 3, 2012, 9:58 AM EDT

As one who has made the occasional dumb mistake (which readers tend to be quite adept at catching), I figured I'd give the Associated Press's Todd Richmond and his editors a while to correct a pretty obvious miscue relating to a Wisconsin gubernatorial recall campaign visit by challenger Tom Barrett. In a report whose first version appeared yesterday morning and currently has a 2:42 p.m. Saturday time stamp, Richmond wrote that Barrett's campaign Saturday started "with the Barron County Dairy Breakfast in Hillsdale, a burg of 1,250 people about 90 miles west of Minneapolis." Well Todd, if Barrett actually was 90 miles west of the Twin Cities, he would not have been in Wisconsin; he would have been about halfway between Minneapolis and the North Dakota border. (Hillsdale, Wisconsin is really about 90 miles east of Minneapolis.)

On more substantive matters, Richmond, with the help of an agenda-driven headline ("Wis. governor works to meet voters before recall"), portrayed Walker as an awkward in-person campaigner, someone not instantly recognized by many people who have lives outside of poltics (imagine that) and, of course (while not mentioning union and leftist spending at all) as a beneficiary of "a jaw-dropping $31 million in campaign cash." He also wrote that polls show the race as close while failing to note that Walker leads in either every one or nearly every one. The relevant paragraphs from Richmond's report are after the jump (bolds are mine):

June 2, 2012, 3:45 PM EDT

Friday evening, Madison, Wisconsin blogger Ann Althouse reported receiving (HT Instapundit) an "Incredibly creepy mail today from the Greater Wisconsin Political Fund." She has a put up an image of what she received with names and addresses redacted (except for her name). It's a list which includes Althouse and many of her neighbors indicating who has and hasn't voted in the last two elections.

Unsurprisingly, the Greater Wisconsin Political Fund is the political fundraising arm of the Greater Wisconsin Committee, both of which lean very left. Both support the effort to recall Badger State Governor Scott Walker. Both appear likely to get a virtually free pass from the establishment press. Althouse's reaction follows the jump:

May 31, 2012, 11:48 PM EDT

Artur who? The seems to be the question at the New York Times and the national site of the Associated Press. Searches on former Congressman Artur Davis (in quotes at the Times, not in quotes at AP) return nothing relevant and nothing, respectively, even though Davis appears to be the only African-American current or former congressman to leave the Democratic Part and become a Republican in decades. As noted yesterday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), the AP treated the story as a local item yesterday, and the Washington Post carried the AP's story in its Metro local section.

It appears that the two entities might be using the old "Well, Politico covered it, so we don't have to" excuse. On Tuesday of last week, the online publication filed a story reporting rumors that Davis was changing parties. Two days ago (updated yesterday), Alex Eisenstadt made it appear as if anger and not political philosophy largely drove Davis to switch:

May 31, 2012, 7:33 AM EDT

On May 27, going to the same theme Scott Bauer employed at the Associated Press yesterday, USA Today's Ben Jones did his level best to cast Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker as the richly funded perpetual campaigner, while portraying Walker's recall challenger, former Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, as the underfunded man of the people underdog. Of course, as was the with Bauer's bombast, there's not a word about union-driven funding, which Walker estimated in an April Newsmax interview at about $60 million. This seems like preemptive excuse-making for a Walker victory on Tuesday. Preelection polls show Walker ahead by anywhere from 2 to 10 points.

Without a whit of skepticism, Jones relayed the following dissembling quote from a Barrett spokesperson which follows the jump:

May 30, 2012, 9:40 PM EDT

You might think that the news of an African-American former Congressman switching his publicly declared party loyalty from Democrat to Republican would a national story.

Well, it isn't at the Associated Press, as a search returning no results at the wire service's national site on the full name of former Alabama Congressman Artur Davis (not in quotes) done at about 9 p.m. indicates. Additionally, the link to news about Davis's party switch is currently perched in the "Post Local" section at the Washington Post's web site. If this makes TV anywhere but Fox News, I'll be surprised, even though by any rational definition of "news," this is an objectively big deal. Davis is a former four-term Congressman, was a Barack Obama campaign co-chair in 2008, and was a former member of the Congressional Black Caucus. The last time an African-American congressman or former congressman changed his party from Democrat to Republican was ... well, maybe someone else can come up with a previous example, but I can't. Several paragraphs from the AP's "local" story in the Post follow the jump:

May 30, 2012, 6:27 PM EDT

Though he hasn't been alone in his applying the campaign fundraisng double standard in Wisconsin's recall election, Scott Bauer at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, has a particularly odious item today about the dollars raised by each side. It's particularly odious because the word "unions" appears only once -- as the target of Walker, who has, as Bauer sees it, "rocketed to stardom after taking on public sector unions." There is no mention of the millions of union dollars which have poured into Wisconsin from all over the country, which, thankfully, someone else has quantified.

Bauer also continues to bitterly cling to the notion, concerning which yours truly has been nagging him since February of last year, that "most Wisconsin public workers lost their collective bargaining rights" as a result of Walker-supported legislation which passed in the Legislature last year -- as if they no longer have any collective bargaining rights at all. This has been and continues to be a flat-out falsehood. The first five paragraphs of Bauer's bombast follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):