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 17, 2012, 12:31 PM EST

Clay Waters at NewsBusters and the Media Research Center did a great job Monday of exposing the ugly, vindictive, know-it-all and snotty write-up on Tim Tebow generated by Harvey Araton at the New York Times after Tebow's Denver Broncos were unceremoniously eliminated from the NFL playoffs on Saturday by the New England Patriots.

Perhaps the most offensive element of Araton's work was its headline: "Curtain Closes on Tebow’s Season, but His Sideshow Goes On." It is more than clear from Araton's text and tone that he considers Tebow's pre- and post-game charitable activities part of that "sideshow." Apparently, a New York Times sportswriter believes he is in a better position than team executives, Coach John Fox, and Tebow himself to decide what is and isn't a distraction from team unity and focus. To show that Araton's twisted outlook isn't universally shared among sportswriters, I give you excerpts from Rick Reilly's outstanding Friday column at ESPN, which I selected as a Positivity Post at my home blog on Sunday:

January 16, 2012, 11:23 PM EST

On Friday, the White House engaged in its customary document dump, mostly secure in the knowledge that a lazy establishment press would, as usual, pay it little heed and then declare it to be old news by Monday morning.

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air identified the significance of documents relating to now-bankupt Solyndra, the California-based solar panel manufacturer which borrowed $535 million through the Department of Energy. Read the whole thing, of course, but for brevity's sake I'll present the accurate timeline Ed presented:

January 16, 2012, 8:04 PM EST

Republican Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel is challenging incumbent Democrat U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown this November. Despite the false bravado emanating from the DNC and Ohio's Democratic Party and polls solely based on name recognition, Brown, as the Senate's most liberal member (2009 and 2010 Club for Growth ratings: 0%) in a swing state, is very vulnerable.

Associated Press Ohio reporter Julie Carr Smyth has apparently preliminarily staked out a role as the race's designated Democratic Party talking point and innuendo relay person. Her Saturday report on Mandel ("Ohio Treasurer Seeks To Unseat Brown"; alternate title showing her byline is "Ohio treasurer focused on politics in 1st year") is so transparent it's almost funny. 

January 16, 2012, 11:58 AM EST

In the annals of fawning coverage of scandal-plagued Democrats, Michael Biesecker's Saturday morning report on John Edwards's illness and its effect on his upcoming trail on campaign finance violations surely must be among the worst.

Biesecker missed at least a half-dozen natural opportunities to tag Edwards as a Democrat, finally doing so in cryptic fashion in his 15th of 17 paragraphs. He didn't identify Edwards as the 2004 vice-presidential candidate until that same paragraph, and in doing so named who was at the top of the GOP ticket (George W. Bush) without naming who was at the top of the Dems' (John Kerry). The AP reporter threw obsequious virtual kisses at a man who betrayed his terminally ill wife while omitting two clearly relevant recent reports, one from an outlet which has scooped the look-the-other-way establishment press time after time in this sad, four-year saga. Here are several paragraphs from Biescecker's blather (some of the many clear opportunities to tag Edwards as a Dem and examples of over-the-top fawning are bolded):

January 15, 2012, 8:50 PM EST

On Friday, two Deputy Secretaries, one at the Department of Transportation and the other at Defense, in their capacities as co-chairs of the National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) Executive Committee, released a one page letter concluding that the modified broadband deployment plan of LightSquared could not coexist with current GPS devices and their spectrum. That's because: a) LightSquared's deployment "would cause harmful interference to many GPS receivers"; b) It would not be "compatible with several GPS-dependent aircraft safety-of-flight systems," and c) "there appear to be no practical solutions" to the problems.

Stories about the release, to the extent they exist, are largely avoiding the mention of "Falcone" (that's hedge fund operator and heavy Obama campaign contributor Philip Falcone, "SEC" (which is investigating Falcone and his hedge fund, and "Obama" (as in President Barack Obama, the beneficiary along with the "Democratic Party" -- another unmentioned term in any variation -- of said contributions). Coverage by Daniel Fisher at Forbes at least brings up Falcone, the SEC, and the Obama administration:

January 15, 2012, 9:52 AM EST

Yet another episode being reported from the totalitarian nightmare that is North Korea is getting short shrift in most of the world's press, namely "criticism sessions" (i.e., rat out your neighbor, coworker, etc.) identifying North Koreans who allegedly weren't sufficiently grief-stricken over the December death of Kim Jong Il (pictured at right), weren't sufficiently demonstrative about it, or didn't attend enough mourning events, as well as the punishments for such transgressions which have reportedly followed.

The source is the Daily NK, a South Korea-based web site described by AFP as "an Internet website run by opponents of North Korea." The opening paragraphs from Wednesday's Daily NK report read as follows (bolds are mine throughout this post):

January 14, 2012, 10:19 AM EST

The "Doomsday Clock" has been with us since 1947. It is a symbolic construct of the now left-leaning Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a group which "was established in 1945 by scientists, engineers, and other experts who had created the atomic bomb as part of the Manhattan Project. They knew about the horrible effects of these new weapons and devoted themselves to warning the public about the consequences of using them."

Most people who know of it probably think that the clock's intent is to symbolize how close the world is to the disaster of nuclear war; that was indeed its sole focus for decades. However, the group just moved the clock from six minutes before midnight to five. Wait until you see why, as sympathetically reported on Tuesday by Doyle Rice at USA Today's Science Fair blog:

January 13, 2012, 11:38 PM EST

I see that the Associated Press's Derek Kravitz is picking up where his colleague Martin Crutsinger left off in offering up incomplete information and inconvenient truth-avoiding coverage of Uncle Sam's financial results as described in the Monthly Treasury Statement. December's statement, which was released yesterday, showed a deficit of $86 billion and a year-to-date shortfall of $322 billion.

Naturally, this was cause for a positive-spinning headline at the AP report: "US gov't on pace for smaller deficit in 2012." Whoop-de-doo. Two problems: a) It's too early to tell, b) the year-to-date reduction thus far is fairly small (about 13%), c) Most of the improvement is because of a lucky break when fiscal 2011 ended, and d) December itself was a pretty bad month compared to December 2010. Here are several paragraphs from Kravitz's concoction  (bolds and numbered tags are mine):

January 13, 2012, 12:02 PM EST

UPDATE: James Pethokoukis at the American Enterprise Institute's blog has more, including the possibility that the original story misidentified "Bain Consulting," as well as a theory as to the story's original source.

It looks like someone ran with something they thought was too good to check.

A retraction described as a "Correction" currently on CNBC's web site tells readers: "A previous story incorrectly reported that Mitt Romney's former firm, Bain & Co., was part of a team of consulting companies that advised President Barack Obama on a decision to shutter car dealerships during the auto bailout. Bain & Co. said it has no connection to the "Bain Consulting" firm referenced in government documents." Several bloggers excerpted the original report, including Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. Some of what he captured follows:

January 12, 2012, 12:49 PM EST

Given the underlying story, the following headline to a Thursday story at the Detroit Free Press is either a big mistake or a deliberate attempt to focus blame where it absolutely does not belong: "Man on probation, fined for role in tea party scam." Excuse me while I question whether the Freep deserves the benefit of the doubt.

L.L. Brasler's story is really about how the second of two Democratic Party operatives has been sentenced for running an electoral scam with sham candidates to hurt Republican and conservatives and to blunt the impact of the Tea Party movement:

January 11, 2012, 5:34 PM EST

We can forgive Pittsburgh Steelers for avoiding the mention of the name of a certain quarterback who plays for the Denver Broncos in the coming days.

Related forgiveness does not extend to Jesse J. Holland at the Associated Press concerning his coverage of the Supreme Court's u-u-u-unanimous ruling today that religious workers cannot sue for job discrimination. As seen here at a Weekly Standard excerpt, the unanimity of the ruling was in the first sentence of the wire service's initial report. Now look how deep it's buried in the 4:10 p.m. version of Holland's report, and how the AP writer attempted to water down the ruling's significance in the interim (bolds are mine):

January 11, 2012, 9:48 AM EST

The 8:52 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. national headlines page at the Associated Press's main site this morning teased a story about how twenty -- wow, a whole twenty -- Occupy Wall Street protesters spent the night at Zuccotti Park after barricades which had been up for almost two months were removed. Not only that, but the related brief story (saved here as a graphic for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes), has an accompanying series of four photos (most stories usually have just one).

Here's the story as of 8:57 a.m.:

January 11, 2012, 12:16 AM EST

Violent animal-rights radicals are claiming responsibility for an early Sunday morning fire at a California beef processing plant, and have described how they did it to prove they were really responsible.

A brief unbylined Associated Press report describes the perpetrators as "activists" -- twice:

January 9, 2012, 5:56 PM EST

It's more than a little annoying to read a news report containing incomplete information. The irritation level hits the red zone when you realize that the writer is not only concealing important data, but telling you what you're supposed to think about what little he deigned to tell you.

Such was the case with Martin Crutsinger's Associated Press item about the Consumer Credit report issued today by the Federal Reserve. Crutsinger only told us how much debt levels increased without bothering to tell us what those debt levels are -- something a similar AP item in 2004 at the same point in a presidential reelection cycle was eager to disclose. Additionally, Crutsinger framed today's reported expansion as good news while Eileen Alt Powell's January 6, 2004 report framed expanding credit as dangerous. First, several paragraphs from Crutsinger's report (boots-on alert: it gets really, really deep):

January 9, 2012, 12:37 PM EST

In an early-Sunday version of an Associated Press report which has since been revised to exclude the paragraph I'm about to cite, the wire service's Steve Peoples (authorship shown here) apparently had a hard time understanding how Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney could possibly have criticized President Barack Obama's economic stewardship in Saturday's New Hampshire debate in light of what he (Peoples) must have thought were wondrous numbers in the government's Friday employment report.

Even if you ignore the fact (which you really shouldn't) that December's reported 200,000 job additions after seasonal adjustment hid a mediocre actual performance on the ground in historical context, Peoples' reaction was remarkably ignorant and offensively aggressive:

January 8, 2012, 10:41 PM EST

A frequent BizzyBlog commenter tweeted about an online article he saw at CNNMoney.com entitled "Doctors going broke" about how many doctors are struggling in the current economy. His tweet: "Welcome to Obamacare."

A frequent BizzyBlog commenter tweeted about am online article he saw at CNNMoney.com entitled "Doctors going broke" about how many doctors are struggling in the current economy. His tweet: "Welcome to Obamacare."

What's interesting is that my tweeting commenter is right that Obamacare is definitely already influencing the viability of medical practices. But Ms. Parija Kavilanz's Friday report acts as if the mind-numbingly lengthy legislation and the torrent of regulations which appear destined to end up being huge multiples of that outrageous length don't exist, and actually blames many docs for their predicaments:

January 8, 2012, 10:46 AM EST

Even with recent "improvements" which are still weak when compared to other post-World War II recoveries and which, as shown yesterday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), are less substantive than December's two major reported numbers (unemployment rate of 8.5% and seasonally adjusted job additions of 200,000) would indicate, it seems fairly likely that the nation's unemployment rate will be higher than it has been on the eve of any presidential election since World War II.

Thus, Paul Wiseman of the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, felt it necessary to show that what matters isn't the unemployment rate, but instead the rate's trend. In the process, he mischaracterized the state of the economy under Ronald Reagan in 1983 and 1984, ignoring the roaring economic growth which occurred during those two years, and gave only one sentence to a statistic -- number of jobs added or lost -- which has become as important as the jobless rate, if not moreso, in the intervening 28 years:

January 7, 2012, 10:43 AM EST

The headline New York Times (HT Clay Waters at NewsBusters) after yesterday's job report was: "U.S. Economy Gains Steam as 200,000 Jobs Are Added." At the Associated Press: "Nation adds 200,000 jobs in December hiring surge."

Telling millions of news consumers that it's so doesn't make it so.

January 5, 2012, 4:16 PM EST

An unbylined item appearing at the Associated Press shortly after midnight (captured in full as a graphic here due to its brevity; for fair use and discussion purposes) crowed about how President Barack Obama "is looking to boost summer job prospects for kids," has "gotten commitments for nearly 180,000 youth employment opportunities for next summer," and only says that "Many of the positions would be unpaid training opportunities."

How many? Well, most, according to the Hill's Eric Wasson:

January 4, 2012, 11:19 PM EST

A few readers asked me for my reaction to Derek Kravitz's December 23 report at the Associated Press on new-home sales. I thought that it was reasonably good, but felt that his leaving open in readers' minds the idea that this year's sales could conceivably top last year's was in bad form.

I was too kind. Based on data available elsewhere, Kravitz should have known (and maybe did) that instead of holding out the possibility that "December would have to produce its best monthly sales total in four years for 2011 to finish ahead of last year's total," he should have written something along the lines of: "There is virtually no chance that 2011 will be better than 2010."