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
July 2, 2012, 10:56 AM EDT

I'll bet it would shake people up to know that all of the recent and steep decline in consumer confidence has occurred in households earning $75,000 or more per year. On Friday, the June Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan Survey of Consumers told us just that.

The key sentence in the U of M press release reads as follows (PDF; bold is mine): "Perhaps of greater importance was that the entire June decline was among households with incomes above $75,000." Look at how the Associated Press's Christopher Rugaber recharacterized that direct, unmistakable assertion in his four-paragraph item on Friday:

June 30, 2012, 9:59 PM EDT

In a report currently time-stamped early Saturday morning, Emily Wilkins at the Columbus Dispatch claimed in her opening sentence covering Ohio's second We The People Convention in Columbus ("Fears fuel kinship at tea party convention") that "Tea party members are alone and scared — and to them, that’s a good thing."

Well, I was there this weekend in Columbus. I didn't see "alone" or "scared," or hear anyone say that such a combination of emotions would be "a good thing. Neither did the rest of Wilkins' report, some of which follows the jump:

June 30, 2012, 8:54 PM EDT

From the headlines to the verbiage in many establishment press write-ups, it would be easy to believe that the just-resolved controversy over interest rates on student loans affects virtually everyone in college who has borrowed money and anyone who graduated (or didn't) who borrowed and is still owes Uncle Sam.

That isn't so. To cite just one example, readers of Christine Armario's Saturday morning report at the Associated Press have to work way too hard to figure that out. Additionally those who listen to snippets of Armario's work on TV and radio broadcasts probably won't hear what she doesn't get to until her third paragraph:

June 27, 2012, 8:52 PM EDT

It seems that there will be little reason for the Obama campaign to bother issuing press releases as long as Julie Pace of the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, is around to breathlessly relay the information for them as some kind of exclusive, insider report.

If there's any difference between campaign hype and what Pace wrote in a theoretically objective news piece, it must be really subtle, because I didn't see it. Here goes (fawning and/or obsequious word choices are in bold):

June 27, 2012, 12:27 AM EDT

Recent job cuts at Alabama newspapers have been steep. The Birmingham Business Journal, which (ahem) apparently is not among the participants, reports that "Three of Alabama’s largest daily newspapers, including the Birmingham News, will lay off about 400 employees as they cut back their printing schedules and increase their focus on digital." The other affected publications include the Huntsville Times and the Mobile Press Register. The job cuts are on the order of 50%-60%.

Across the Alabama border in Florida at the Pensacola News Journal, cartoonist Andy Marlette did not handle the layoff news well, as will be seen after the jump.

June 26, 2012, 10:50 PM EDT

Despite several updates to the story first reported by Bloomberg last night that the Democratic National Convention's "move" of its "celebration" originally scheduled to take place at Charlotte Motor Speedway is really a cancellation likely driven by money problems, the Associated Press has not updated its virtual relay of the DNC's related press release published late last night.

Additionally, in its brief story on Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill's decision not to attending the convention, the AP made no reference to the nine other prominent Democratic Party politicians who have decided they'd be better off not being seen in the same convention venue with their party's incumbent presidential candidate.

June 26, 2012, 12:25 AM EDT

The stenographers at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, were apparently only too glad to relay the spin about the Monday night decision by organizers of the Democratic National Convention to move a "celebration" on September 3 from the Charlotte Motor Speedway to an unspecified (in the coverage) location in downtown Charlotte.

The AP's virtual press release follows the jump, after which I'll excerpt an item from Bloomberg a few hours ago containing the probable real explanation for the move -- money.

June 25, 2012, 10:26 PM EDT

At the Associated Press today, trying to build an impression of momentum where there isn't very much, Martin Crutsinger, concerning today's Census Bureau release of May new-home sales data, wrote that, "Americans bought new homes in May at the fastest pace in more than two years. The increase suggests a modest recovery is continuing in the U.S. housing market, despite weaker job growth."

We've been through this before. The rest of Crutsinger's report quoted no expert to support his "modest recovery" claim as it relates to sales volume. Thus, it is his opinion. Readers don't care what your opinion is, Marty. As I suggested in connection with another AP report earlier this month -- "Stick to the facts, sir, and resist the urge to inject your thinly disguised perspective (I would say "shut up," but I'm trying to be nice)." Speaking of facts, the AP's headline is deceptive. Since it hasn't changed in about 12 hours, I assume that the wire service either doesn't understand why it's wrong, or doesn't care.

June 24, 2012, 10:58 AM EDT

This one of the most obvious "if the shoe were on the other foot" items I've seen in some time.

If a Republican or conservative presidential candidate's campaign ever dared to suggest that supporters register their wedding, graduation, or other event so they could then ask friends and family to make donations to the candidate's election efforts in lieu of a gift, the ridicule wouldn't stop for the next year -- and, I should add, deservedly so. But the Obama Event Registry (Obama-Biden blog post here; HT Weasel Zippers), which has been out there for about 48 hours, has barely made an establishment press ripple. What follows is a graphic from the blog post, followed by its first four outraged comments, showing that the idea is not getting a warm, uh, reception.

June 23, 2012, 11:11 PM EDT

On Thursday, at the Washington Examiner, Byron York concentrated on Obama's clear antipathy towards business as described in David Maraniss's recent book about President Obama (Barack Obama: The Story) relating to Dear Leader's brief stint at a company called Business International.

Though that's obviously a critical point to make during the 2012 campaign, a more foundational one is that this mindset, as well as most of Obama's stream of "embellishments" (most people would call them "lies") about his time at BI, were known or knowable well before the Illinois senator decided to run for president in early 2007 -- even the one that has the folks at Michelle Malkin's Twitchy.com all atwitter, namely that Obama didn't, as he claimed, have a secretary.

June 23, 2012, 10:07 AM EDT

The count of prominent Democratic Party politicians who have decided not to attend the Democratic Party's convention in Charlotte, thereby attempting to avoid direct association with the formal renomination of incumbent President Barack Obama, is up to seven. Press coverage has been sparse. One can only imagine how much media end-zone dancing there would have been in 2004 had one governor, one senator and five congresspersons chosen not to attend the Republican National Convention to renominate George W. Bush.

On Thursday, the Hill had the story about the latest declared non-attendee, who admittedly is the least surprising addition to list (internal links are in original):

June 22, 2012, 11:25 PM EDT

If this were a prize fight, it would have ended at the end of the sixth round in a knockout. In a post at the American Enterprise Institute's blog this afternoon, James Pethokoukis, who previously toiled at U.S. News and Reuters, made mincemeat out of Washington Post reporter Tom Hamburger's Thursday Mitt Romney-Bain Capital hit piece ("Romney’s Bain Capital invested in companies that moved jobs overseas").

Just sit back and enjoy the pummeling. Since Hamburger didn't land any blows, I'll only deal with the punches Pethokoukis landed in explaining "Romney Reality" while refuting six "WaPo World" whines (italics are in original):

June 22, 2012, 4:57 PM EDT

Here's an indication of just how discredited the word "stimulus" is becoming: European leaders today agreed on a $163 "growth package" of some kind. The leaders were apparently very reluctant to describe it.

At a Los Angeles Times blog this morning, Sarah Delaney's coverage mostly bought into what appears to be a charade, but the headline writer at the paper's home page didn't get the memo.

June 22, 2012, 2:32 PM EDT

A June 16-18 YouGov.com poll (at Page 25) reported that 47% of Americans in a sample of 1,000 U.S. citizens 18 and over had heard or heard about President Barack Obama's June 8 claim that "the private sector is doing fine."

The reaction of John Sides, an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at George Washington University, as picked up by Byron Tau at the Politico, is that this "low" percentage shows that "even after national headlines, some kinds of stories just don’t register to busy Americans who have more things to do than follow every jot and tittle of the news." You've got to be kidding me; 47% is amazingly high.

June 21, 2012, 4:07 PM EDT

The Tweet watchers at Michelle Malkin's Twitchy.com caught an Associated Press reporter seeking out (perhaps the term should be "solicitweeting," with "solicitweetion" as the related noun) negative comments about Mitch Daniels on Twitter earlier today from Purdue alumni and students about the appointment announced today of Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels to become that school's next president.

After the jump, readers will see AP reporter Tom LoBianco's birdbrained tweets, followed by what should be considered an embarrassing mistake in the copy of his co-authored story (saved here for future reference, fair use, and discussion purposes):

June 20, 2012, 3:41 PM EDT

The Associated Press's Christopher Rugaber was in mischaracterization mode again today in his coverage of the Business Roundtable's quarterly economic outlook release.

After duly noting that the percentage of big company CEOs planning to add workers and purchase additional capital equipment over the next six months had declined (from 42% to 36% and from 48% to 43%, respectively), Rugaber misrepresented reality when he wrote the following:

June 19, 2012, 8:25 PM EDT

It wouldn't quite be fair to say that the Associated Press's Christopher Rugaber sugarcoated his dispatch on today's release of the April Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) by Uncle Sam's Bureau of Labor Statistics. But it would be more than fair to say he missed several chances to tell readers how significant the setbacks BLS relayed really were (openings fell 8.7% from a seasonally adjusted 3.741 million to 3.416 million). That's especially true, given what we already know about May's employment situation.

What follows are several paragraphs from Rugaber's report, followed by contextual factoids the folks at Zero Hedge found which the AP reporter missed or ignored:

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: