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
February 24, 2013, 11:44 AM EST

You take humor anywhere you can get it these days. Matt Drudge's characterization of Washington Post WonkBlog editor Ezra Klein as a "guppy" ("WASH POST Guppy Says Legend is WRONG") in linking to the 2007-2008 Jounolist conspiracy organizer's pathetic attempt to refute Bob Woodward's indisputably correct claims that sequestration was the brainchild of Obama administation officials and that "Obama personally approved" it is a morning-maker.

Rather than take Woodward head-on, Klein gutlessly goes after three words in his Friday piece: "moving the goalposts." What Woodward wrote, followed by a portion of Klein's clunker, appear after the jump.

February 23, 2013, 6:43 PM EST

In yesterday's Washington Post, Bob Woodward repeated what the essence of what he wrote about sequestration in his book, “The Price of Politics.”

Why? Because leftist media stooges like MSNBC's Chuck Todd, who is upset that conservatives and Republicans are "begging the media to say it's Obama that started the sequester, not them" (well, in general, Chuck, we'd like to see you tell the truth, but we've long since given up expecting it, let alone begging for it) insist on claiming that it was a Republican idea. It wasn't. Woodward re-elaborates (internal links are in original; bolds are mine):

February 23, 2013, 10:42 AM EST

In attempting to make the case that "Even as the private sector has been slowly adding jobs, governments have been shedding them," a chart from the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, shows how public-sector employment (not labeled as "seasonally adjusted," but that's what it is) has declined from a peak of 22.3 million in May of 2010 to 21.3 million in January 2013.

There's only on "little" problem -- That May 2010 peak occurred in the midst of the federal government's decennial census.

February 23, 2013, 8:58 AM EST

Forbes just published its 20 Most Miserable Cities List for 2013. The magazine left off several obviously more "worthy" contenders, perhaps because its decisions to include and exclude certain criteria were, to say the least, more than a little odd.

I have listed the magazine's top twenty following the jump, along with each city's mayor and that person's political leanings, showing a commonality the magazine's Kurt Badenhausen failed to observe:

February 22, 2013, 10:07 AM EST

For the past six weeks combined, actual jobless claims filed nationwide have been virtually the same as the were during the six comparable weeks in early 2012.

You wouldn't know that from Christopher Rugaber's coverage at the Associated Press of the Department of Labor's unemployment claims report released yesterday. Rugaber, who described last month's jobs report showing the unemployment rate rising to 7.9 percent with a mediocre 157,000 jobs added (both figures are seasonally adjusted) as "mostly encouraging," wrote Thursday that the movement in jobless claims "suggests slow but steady improvement in the job market." If so, that "suggestion" is at best a whisper.

February 21, 2013, 10:28 AM EST

At the Associated Press yesterday, Michael Kunzelman managed to write a 500-word story about the arraignment of former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin on bribery charges without once mentioning that Nagin is a Democrat.

That's probably not a "Name That Party" record for "Most Words Used in an AP Story about a Democratic Politician Tainted by Scandal and/or Corruption," but it's especially galling, given the mayor's culpability (along with then-Governor Kathleen Blanco) for failing to ensure that New Orleans was evacuated on a timely basis in anticipation of Hurricane Katrina, and given the national press's non-stop blaming of President George W. Bush for the death, destruction and mayhem which followed. Excerpts from Kunzelman's report follow the jump (bolds are mine):

February 21, 2013, 9:36 AM EST

Yesterday, the Department of Labor announced that it had certified "more than 18,000 former Hostess workers around the country as eligible to apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance." I'll save excerpts from DOL's inane announcement for after the jump.

The story has garnered some local coverage in areas affected by Hostess plant closures late last year, including a couple of regional Associated Press stories. But the AP, based on a search on "hostess," did not have a story at its national site as of 9 a.m. today, even though former Hostess workers in 48 states are affected. Additionally, virtually every story found in a Google News search on "Hostess trade adjustment" (not in quotes) is local in nature. Could this possibly be because doling out tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars to workers whose unions thought the company was bluffing when it said it would throw in the towel without acceptable labor contracts is more than a little embarrassing, especially when President Barack Obama is simultaneously claiming that the federal government will have no choice but to lay off and furlough employees if sequestration takes place?

February 20, 2013, 9:57 PM EST

This goes back about ten days, and I originally missed it. Fortunately, though, an Investor's Business Daily editorial got around to mentioning Rick Perry's visit to California last week in an effort to lure businesses to the more commerce-friendly environs of Texas.

Associated Press report Juliet Williams and her story's headline writer were not amused by Perry's aggressiveness. Williams seemed to be bucking to have her picture placed next to the words "petty" and "vindictive" in the dictionary. Several paragraph from her February 11 coverage of Perry's visit to the formerly Golden State follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):

February 19, 2013, 5:40 PM EST

My nominee for Media Puppet of the Day (we should consider making such an award a daily or weekly event) is Kathleen Hennessey at the Los Angeles Times.

From her perch at the paper's Washington bureau, she wrote a pathetic story today about how President Obama is so much more relaxed now that he's in his second term. Among other howlers, Hennessey claims that "Obama's vacations have been rare, brief and regularly interrupted by crises at home and overseas." Key paragraphs -- as many as I think readers will be able to stand, and no more -- follow the jump (HT to NB commenter Gary Hall at another post; bolds are mine):

February 19, 2013, 1:53 PM EST

Following up on an item posted yesterday -- 48 hours after it issued an order to subscribing publications and outlets to "kill" a story it filed on Sunday ("Sen. Paul: Voters want to round up immigrants") claiming that Kentucky Republican Senator Rand "sees voters wanting, quote, 'somebody who wants to round people up, put in camps and send them back to Mexico,'" the story is still present on web -- at several sites whose URL begins with hosted2.ap.org. These are sites belonging to AP itself. Additionally, the story is still present at the widely read Yahoo.com.

Specifics follow the jump:

February 19, 2013, 10:23 AM EST

Instead of doing the work they were supposed to be doing last night -- i.e., following their publication's mission statement, which is (or maybe was) to "turn ... reporters (i.e., themselves) loose on the subject we love: national politics" -- Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen spent over 1,800 words whining.

Their disingenuous complaint: The Obama administration supposedly has insurmountable technological and resource edges over the establishment press attempting to cover it. Because of those advantages, VandeHei and Allen claim, in essence (my words, except for the internal quote), "It's not our fault that President Obama is 'a master at limiting, shaping and manipulating media coverage of himself and his White House.' So if you dumb skeptics and conservatives think the problem is media bias, you're wrong. We're powerless against the puppet master." The first four paragraphs of the pair's insufferable dreck, which I believe is all that readers will be able to tolerate, follow the jump (bolds are mine):

February 18, 2013, 12:33 PM EST

Liz Sidoti's offering this morning at the Associated Press, which is clearly a serious competitor for Worst AP Item Ever, carries the "column" label. As such, I suppose we're expected to accept the idea that the "analysis" offered is hers alone.

But you would think that the self-described "essential global news network" would have enough business judgment to review a reporter's work to make sure it doesn't talk down to the general public and indict its own reporting on the economy at the same time. You would be wrong, as will be seen after the jump.

February 18, 2013, 9:10 AM EST

Sunday afternoon, the Associated Press issued a supposedly comprehensive "kill" order to all subscribers relating to an erroneous story claiming that Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) told Fox News Sunday's that "he sees voters wanting, quote, 'somebody who wants to round people up, put in camps and send them back to Mexico.'" I'm questioning whether the AP is really interested in making sure the story disappears.

As Noel Sheppard at NewsBusters noted early Sunday evening, several news outlets were still carrying the story over four hours later. As of this morning at 8 a.m., I found the story still present at Salon.com, Philly.com, US News,  and Yahoo.com. Oh, and at one other location, seen after the jump.

February 17, 2013, 5:48 PM EST

In anticipation of Jesse Jackson Jr.'s indictment on Friday afternoon, Jonathan Allen and John Bresnahan at the Politico seemed all too willing to hand out sympathy cards to Jackson and his wife, both of whom stand to do time in prison for offenses relating to their raid of the congressman's campaign funds.

Specifically, the Politico pair wrote: "It’s a story of a Chicago power couple that lost track of the line between campaign cash and personal funds in a spiral of money troubles." Gosh, I didn't know that line was so blurred. Excerpts from the write-up follow the jump:

February 17, 2013, 4:34 PM EST

Here's something to keep in mind in the context of the past several years, as well as during the current runup in gas prices: They're more than likely higher than the press's reported "national averages."

On Friday, the Associated Press reported the following concerning gas prices: "The national average is $3.64 a gallon, up a cent and a half from Thursday, with the highest prices in California, the Northeast and the Midwest." It would appears that the press typically uses GasBuddy.com for its national average quote, which is currently just above $3.68. I really don't intend to knock the web site, whose primary mission is to help consumers find the cheapest gas prices in their neighborhood. But their quoted "national average" appears to really be the average of each of the 50 states plus DC giving each state equal weight, without any accounting for states' widely varying populations. And yes, the difference matters by enough that it's worth noting.

February 17, 2013, 12:59 PM EST

Jesse L. Jackson Jr. was indicted on Friday, February 15, the final day before a three-day weekend, even though the information necessary to indict appears to have been in place for some time. Though it may be out there and I'm certainly willing to stand corrected, from what I can tell, the U.S. Department of Justice made no formal announcement when it filed its charges (10-page PDF). Based on the 12:55 p.m. ET time stamp at a Politico story reporting what "the government will allege" and the 1:03 p.m. Pacific Time (i.e., 4:03 p.m. ET) of what appears to have been the first breaking news story from the Associated Press, the government appears to have waited until well into the afternoon to file its charges.

The reporting on Jackson's indictment mostly deferred identifying his party affiliation for several paragraphs, and in some instances, including the aforementioned AP breaking news item, omitted it entirely.

February 16, 2013, 8:10 PM EST

On Friday, Renee Dudley at Bloomberg News exposed the contents of February 12 internal emails revealing that Walmart executives are worried -- very worried -- about sales during the first 10 to 14 days of the its most current fiscal period (mostly likely either the first 10 days of February if the company works with calendar months, or 14 days if it began the second period of the fiscal year on Monday January 28).

Their primary concerns are the payroll tax hike and delayed tax refunds, but they may also need to start worrying about higher gas prices (bolds are mine):

February 15, 2013, 11:16 PM EST

Anyone who thinks that setting a parody site of PolitiFact would be a good idea should reconsider. The site already parodies what a true fact-checking effort would look like on a nearly daily basis.

On Tuesday, the site's Molly Moorhead evaluated Marco Rubio's claim during his State of the Union response speech that spending cuts involved in sequestration were originally the idea of President Barack Obama and the White House. Of course they were. But after admitting that the "(The Price of Politics author Bob) Woodward’s reporting shows clearly that defense sequestration was an idea that came out of Obama’s White House," she still evaluated Rubio's claim as only "half-true" (bolds are mine):

February 14, 2013, 11:30 PM EST

Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Tex.) looks mighty good for a woman who has to be at least 148 years old.

My take on her age is based on a statement the Congresswoman made today while objecting to impending spending reductions relating to sequestration  in which she characterized herself as "a freed slave." Slavery as a legal institution ended in the U.S. in 1865 at the end of the Civil War. Here is what Ms. Jackson Lee said, in context (HT Rush Limbaugh):

February 14, 2013, 10:47 PM EST

New Jersey Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg, 89, announced today that he will retire in two years at the end of his term. President Obama predictably praised him as a "steadfast champion of the people of New Jersey."

Well, not all of the people of New Jersey. In March 2011, Lautenberg spoke at a pro-Planned Parenthood rally in Englewood. In a statement the establishment press steadfastly ignored, Lautenberg, responding to vocal pro-life protesters, said the following (video still present at LifeNews.com; bolds are mine throughout this post):