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
January 25, 2013, 9:26 AM EST

File this under "careful what you wish for."

In 2012, with a Democrat in the White House, union membership declined, not only as a percentage of the workforce, but in absolute numbers. Even though the related report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that the number of employed wage and salaried workers increased by almost 2.4 million, union membership fell by just under 400,000. Union membership is down by over 1.7 million since 2008, and fell by 961,000 during the past three years of supposed economic recovery. These results aren't sitting well with Sam Hananel at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, whose reporters are represented by the Occupy movement-supporting News Media Guild. Excerpts from the AP reporter's Wednesday report follow the jump.

January 24, 2013, 11:27 PM EST

For the second week in a row, actual (i.e., not seasonally adjusted) unemployment claims as reported by the Department of Labor came in greater than the analogous week in 2012. 

At the same time, and also for the second week in a row, the department's seasonally adjusted claims number -- the only one the business wire services ever specifically identify in their reports -- came in lower. In today's instance, raw year-over-year claims were almost 5 percent higher than the same week a year ago, but the year-over-year seasonally adjusted figure came in 11 percent lower. That's bad enough, but then the wires compounded the problem by running with indefensible conclusions based on DOL's contradictory data.

January 23, 2013, 10:30 AM EST

An unbylined Agence France-Presse report Wednesday opens by telling readers that Japanese researchers "have succeeded in growing human kidney tissue from stem cells for the first time, in a potential first step towards helping millions who depend on dialysis." Another version of the report at another website identifies the reporter as Harumi Ozawa; an accompanying picture caption describes the achievement as a "potential breakthrough."

I perused Ozawa's dispatch to see what kind of stem cells were involved, and in the process came across a confirmation of what those of us who have been following these matters for several years have suspected for some time, namely that the supposed scientific justification for harvesting stem cells from human embryos -- supposedly because there is no other path towards combating many diseases and maladies -- no longer exists. The paragraph containing that confirmation, as well as an odd and likely nonscientific term Ozawa used in the previous paragraph, are in bold in the excerpt following the jump:

January 22, 2013, 1:16 PM EST

For four years (and really going back further when you consider former President George W. Bush's halting attempt to reform Social Security in the middle of last decade), Barack Obama and his party have paid lip service at best to the idea of entitlement reform while refusing to provide any specifics about what they would do to fix Social Security and Medicare, both of which are unsustainable in their current forms. Obama rejected his own Simpson Bowles commission's recommendations. Democrats have treated serious proposals coming from Republicans as grannycide.

Yet the Politico's Carrie Budoff Brown, who must be gaining strength in her arms and shoulders from all of her water-carrying for Obama and his party, wants us to believe that Obama has a "deeply conflicted relationship with entitlement reform." And in case you missed it (I certainly did), Obama has tried "harder than any other Democratic president to tackle the issue" (no Democratic Party president has "tried hard" to tackle the issue). Several paragraphs from her Tuesday dispatch follow the jump (bolds are mine):

January 22, 2013, 10:08 AM EST

At his January 14 press conference, in response to a question from Major Garrett of CBS News and the National Journal about raising the federal government's debt limit, currently at $16.394 trillion, President Barack Obama said: "I’m not going to have a monthly or every-three-months conversation about whether or not we pay our bills."

On Wednesday, a Fox News dispatch to which the Associated Press contributed reported that House Republicans hope to pass a bill on Wednesday which would "allow the government to keep borrowing through May 18," but that "Democrats have generally reacted coolly to the three-month extension" beyond February 18, when the government is currently expected to hit the ceiling. Despite all of this, Jim Kuhnhenn, AP's White House and politics reporter at its Washington bureau, called the House's move a "retreat," with his Tuesday morning story's headline claiming: "Obama stands his ground." Really (bolds are mine throughout this post):

January 21, 2013, 12:06 PM EST

Decades ago, to demonstrate the leftist biases of most establishment press reporters, one needed to study their body of work over time. Many of them didn't make their political beliefs totally obvious until they retired or went elsewhere (e.g., Walter Cronkite, Tom Brokaw).

These days, we usually don't have to wait too long for reporters' biases to show. Over the weekend at Slate, CBS Political Director John Dickerson, whose leftist advocacy disguised as journalism has been evident for at least nine years, mapped out a strategy for his beloved President Obama, writing a 2,000-word battle plan disguised as a column begging the president to "declare war on the Republican Party'" (Slate's current headline tease on its "Most Popular" list is "Why Obama Should Seek To Destroy the Republican Party"; bolds are mine):

January 21, 2013, 1:13 AM EST

At the Associated Press today, Darlene "Supine" Superville filed a report on Barack and Michelle Obama's church attendance "at the historic Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church."

Ms. Superville told readers that "The Old Testament reading during the service came from the book of Exodus, Chapter 14, in which the Israelites cross the Red Sea as Moses leads them out of Egypt." That's nice, but she failed to report how church pastor Ronald E. Braxton used that passage in his sermon. Ben Shapiro at Big Government did (HT Gateway Pundit via Instapundit; links are in original; bolds are mine):

January 20, 2013, 11:59 PM EST

It should surprise no one that the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, often first learns of stories when other outlets break them. When this occurs with a story about a Democratic Party politician in trouble, we get to see how the self-described "essential global news network" revises (i.e., cleans up) the outlet's original content to make it render as little damage as possible.

Today out of Nevada, there's the story of Steven Brooks, a State Assembly member from North Las Vegas. The Las Vegas Sun's coverage (HT Instapundit) opens with the following sentence: "A Democratic assemblyman is in jail, arrested for threatening Democratic Speaker-elect Marilyn Kirkpatrick, according to North Las Vegas Police and Democratic sources familiar with the situation." Since it concerns an intra-party squabble, tagging those involved as Democrats three times is not at all out of line -- in fact, it's necessary if one wishes to accurately communicate the situation.

January 20, 2013, 3:50 PM EST

It's hardly news to those who have followed Bill Clinton for the past two decades, and it's probably even more of the same-old, same-old for those who had to endure having him as governor during the 1980s in Arkansas.

Nonetheless, something Mr. Clinton said in a speech at "a joint meeting of the Obama National Finance Committee and a group of business leaders," which was captured without even being deemed possibly offensive by Byron Tau at the Politico, should be noted as exemplifying the deep contempt this man -- and, it would appear, his audience, which had no reported negative reaction -- has for everday Americans (seen in bold after the jump; HT Instapundit):

January 19, 2013, 12:06 PM EST

There were eight coaching changes in the National Football League during the past few weeks. It must be assumed in the absence of contrary evidence that each franchise's owners made their choice based on who they believe has the best chance to take their team to the playoffs and Super Bowl.

The "problem" is, according to league's human resource people (are those really full-time jobs?) and their eager supporters at the Associated Press and ESPN, all eight new coaches are white. As a result, barely four months after the league earned a "high diversity hiring grade" from The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport ("its third consecutive A grade on racial hiring and its first C-plus for gender hiring"), the "Rooney Rule," which requires that teams interview at least one at least one minority candidate for head coaching and top managerial jobs, is not good enough (bolds are mine):

January 18, 2013, 9:53 AM EST

Another home included in an interactive map of gun permit holders published by the Lower Hudson Valley’s Journal News shortly before Christmas has been burglarized. This time, according to the related report at Newsday, "The thieves ransacked the house Wednesday night, breaking into two safes on the home's third floor and stealing a third safe." The third safe, in what was either an amazing coincidence or yet another direct result of the interactive map’s publication, is the one which contained the homeowners' guns. Imagine that.

More details from Timothy O'Connor's Newsday report, wherein officials compete to distance the crime from the map, follow the jump.

January 17, 2013, 10:49 AM EST

None of the three major wire services covering today's report from the Department of Labor on initial unemployment claims is reporting the major news: For the first time in a long while, actual claims filed during the most recent week ended January 12 were almost 6 percent higher than the number filed during last year's comparable week, an indication that the current employment market may be worse than it was a year ago. Instead, all three are headlining how today's questionably created seasonally adjusted claims number is the lowest in five years.

Both weeks had five business days. Both weeks represented the first such week in the new year. So how did higher raw claims result in the lowest seasonally adjusted claims number in five years, a number which is 8 percent lower than last year's comparable week? The answer, as will be seen after the jump, is that the seasonal adjustment factor used this year is sharply higher than the one used last year.

January 16, 2013, 8:54 AM EST

It's pretty safe to say that a Monday evening story appearing at Buzzfeed which should thoroughly embarrass President Obama will continue to be ignored or seriously downplayed by the Associated Press, (aka the Administration's Press), the New York Times, the TV networks, and most of the rest of the establishment press. Longtime media followers will also recognize the story as the type of item which would become a press obsession if it occurred betweem the election and inauguration of a Republican or conservative president.

It seems tha former Obama campaign staffers are getting seriously dissed in the runup to President Obama's second inauguration. It turns out that they shouldn't be surprised. Buzzfeed's Zeke Miller notes that more substative dismissive treatment -- and even dismissals -- began shortly after the election was over. Excerpts from Miller's write-up follow the jump (HT Instapundit, whose mini-post is titled "Used Up, Thrown Away"; bolds are mine):

January 15, 2013, 11:46 AM EST

The Lower Hudson Valley's Journal News based in White Plains, New York has been very tight-lipped since it published an interactive map showing the names and addresses of pistol permit holders in Westchester and Rockland Counties. The Washington Post's Erik Wemple reports that the paper has hired "a Manhattan public relations, marketing and government affairs firm" whose job appears to involve denying interview requests and issuing "no comment" statements.

Predictably, the one media outlet which has been granted access by the Journal News is the New York Times, whose Christine Haughney filed a report on January 6. In that dispatch, she quoted Dwight R. Worley, the "tax reporter" who cooked up the idea of publishing the map, putting forth the following defense of his handiwork: "The people have as much of a right to know who owns guns in their communities as gun owners have to own weapons." How disingenuous, as will be seen after the jump.

January 14, 2013, 10:44 AM EST

A White Plains, New York home included in an interactive map of gun permit holders published by the Lower Hudson Valley's Journal News shortly before Christmas was burglarized on Saturday. According to a local CBS News report, in what was either about the oddest coincidence one can imagine or a direct result of that map's publication, "the burglars' target was the homeowner's gun safe."

The odds are clearly with the latter. A more detailed report filed by Timothy O'Connor and Meghan E. Murphy at Newsday on Sunday and updated on Monday provides more details (HT to an e-mailer; bolds are mine):

January 14, 2013, 9:43 AM EST

While it's not exactly news when former President Bill Clinton fails to tell the truth (after all, the first count on which he was impeached concerned his lying under oath in grand jury testimony), a whopper he hauled out at the Consumer Electronics show last Wednesday concerning gun violence was so over the top that it deserves far more notice than most of the establishment press will give it.

One of the reports on what Clinton said was at Thursday morning's New York Daily News. As an aside, the paper's online article looks more like what one would find at issues advocacy blogs than what you would hope to see at a real newspaper's web site; this particular item pleads with readers within its text to "CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE DAILY NEWS ONLINE PETITION TO BAN ASSAULT WEAPONS," and the petition itself appears below Kristen Lee's report. Lee relayed what Clinton said at the Consumer Electronics show on January 9:

January 14, 2013, 9:09 AM EST

The self-described "essential global news network" known as the Associated Press, more aptly characterized as the Administration's Press, has from all appearances chosen to minimize the exposure given to Friday's letter from four Senate Democrats to President Obama encouraging him to unilaterally increase the nation's debt ceiling if Congress fails to do so.

A search on Harry Reid's last name at the AP's national site at 8:30 ET this morning returned nothing relating to that letter. But there was an AP writeup about it on Sunday morning. A search on a few key words in Andrew Taylor's report found at another web site demonstrates that it's no longer available at the AP's national site. Gosh, it's almost as if AP doesn't want Americans to know that four Democratic senators are urging Obama to blatantly violate the Constitution. The first six paragraphs of Taylor's report follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):

January 13, 2013, 5:55 PM EST

Before Current TV sold itself to Al Jazeera, allowing former Vice President Al Gore to walk away with a reported $100 million, making him (according to Forbes Magazine) richer than the left's designated archvillain Mitt Romney, the network's average audience was between 25,000 and 45,000.

The burning question on the mind of Dylan Byers Saturday afternoon at the Politico -- a question that somehow merited over 2,000 words of content -- was "Al Jazeera America (AJA): Will they watch?" He could have answered his question in eleven words: "Except for segments of America's Muslim community, the answer is 'no.'" Along the way, Byers spoke with former Al Jazeera English (AJE) anchor David Marash, who, per Byers, "still describes it as 'the best news channel on Earth.'" That's odd, because what Al Jazeera English did to him, as described in an interview he had in April 2008 with Brent Cunningham at the Columbia Journalism Review in April 2008 should have caused him to doubt the channel's ability to cover American stories in its new AJA unit with any kind of integrity (bolds are mine):

January 13, 2013, 4:05 PM EST

President Barack Obama and his administration have been on the receiving end of a great deal of leftist criticism recently for its "lack of diversity" (to be clear, I find that entire discussion tiresome, as it would be more productive to spend time on problems like John Kerry's anti-American history, Jack Lew's bankrupting budgetary intransigence, and Eric Holder's unprecedented obsession with suing states exercising their sovereign rights).

With that backdrop, it's incredibly convenient that Colin Powell "just so happened" to appear today on NBC's "Meet the Press" with David Gregory, the Washington elitist disguised as a journalist who on Friday escaped prosecution for violating District of Columbia gun and ammunition law three weeks ago, to accuse the Republican Party -- the party whose members ended slavery, provided the margins by which landmark civil-rights legislation passed in the 1950s and 1960s, and whose ranks rarely if ever included members of the Ku Klux Klan while southern Democrats were infested with such members for nearly a century -- of having "a dark vein of intolerance."

January 12, 2013, 6:39 PM EST

Paul "The Population Bomb" Ehrlich, call your office. Oh, never mind. You've never cared about the truth anyway, or the fact that your predictions of worldwide calamity have been far off the mark, but you sure have received a lot of attention from the establishment press over the past several decades.

According to Jeff Wise at Slate.com on Wednesday, "researchers at Austria’s International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis foresee the global population maxing out at 9 billion some time around 2070." After that (and before that in certain countries, pretty soon in Japan, much of Europe, Russia, and China,and not all that far away in the U.S.), the problem will be worldwide depopulation. Wise points out why the math points to peak population, and how that reality upsets the usual media reporting apple cart (HT Instapundit; bolds are mine):