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
August 31, 2012, 6:39 PM EDT

This afternoon, NB's Kyle Drennen did a great job of runnng down the pathetic contention by establishment press "fact-checkers" that vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan somehow lied or misled viewers during his speech Wednesday night concerning the closure of the General Motors plant in Janesville, Wisconsin and what presidential candidate Barack Obama said at the plant in 2008.

No, WaPoNew York Times, and the Associated Press (called out by Ed Morrissey at Hot Air), the plant didn't close before Obama was elected; it closed in April 2009. But since we're on the topic of lies about auto plant shutdowns, let's look at one from late April and early May 2009 told by President Barack Obama himself with the assistance of his car czars and other apparatchiks. I blogged about this in mid-May 2009. My full post, which also appeared at NewsBusters, includes noting non-existent national press coverage (only the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Stephen Koff and other local reporters in the towns affected raised their voices). 

August 30, 2012, 2:12 PM EDT

Gas prices have risen to a nationwide average of $3.80 per gallon, per gasbuddy.com early this afternoon, and an Ohio average of over $3.90.

Is Asjylyn Loder at Bloomberg worried about the effects on drivers' pocketbooks and travel plans over Labor Day? Don't be silly. Loder is worried about its impact on Dear Leader's presidential reelection prospects, and avoids the implications of the ten-year rule of another Dear Leader, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, on the current situation. Her first three paragraphs in graphic form, plus a few more on Venezuela, follow the jump:

August 30, 2012, 12:31 PM EDT

First, the bad news from a media coverage standpoint. All three major wire services covering today's report from the Department of Labor on initial unemployment claims characterized the seasonally adjusted result of 374,000 as "unchanged" from last week, but failed to note the 98%-plus probability based on the last 75 weeks of history (only one exception during that time) that the number will be revised upward by 1,000 or more, changing today's "unchanged" number to an increase.

That's bit ironic, given that all three wires at least told readers that last week's 372,000 claims was revised up to 374,000. Bloomberg, Reuters, and the Associated Press had different takes on the meaning of today's results, as will be seen after the jump (bolds are mine):

August 30, 2012, 8:35 AM EDT

Ezra Klein, the "former" head of the Journolist news coordination conspiracy (given the evidence of coordination seen during the Republican convention, it's hard to believe it hasn't continued in some form), rolled out a graphic yesterday at the Washington Post which he touted as "the one graph you need to see before watching" the Republican convention.

To show would be to give it more attention than it deserves. Its core contention, delivered via the lefty-driven Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, is that "Tax Cuts, Wars Account For Nearly Half of Public Debt by 2019." They could have changed the title to "we're going to blame Bush for eight more years." Some of Klein's clanking follows the jump; I'll deal with the "Blame Bush's tax cuts" mantra after that (the "wars" claim has been addressed several times before, and is just as dumb):

August 29, 2012, 7:04 PM EDT

Today, per Nasdaq.com, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose by 4.49 points to 13107.48, the S&P 500 went up 1.19 points to 1410.49, and the NASDAQ gained 4.05 points to close at 3081.19.  The average of the three gains is less than 0.1%.

That didn't stop the disseminators of CNN Money's email at the close of business from interpreting the result as being due to "signs of stronger U.S.growth." Huh?

August 29, 2012, 12:46 PM EDT

On August 27, PolitiFact, the once promising but now largely co-opted "fact check" site run by the Tampa Bay Times, finally got around to evaluating Obama campaign spokesperson Stephanie Cutter's August 22 lie that "over the past, you know, 27 months we've created ... more jobs than in the Bush recovery, in the Reagan recovery." Apparently, the evaluators lost their matches as they only gave Cutter's statement a "False" tag.

In doing so, PolitiFact clearly ignored its own rating guidelines, wherein "False" means that "The statement is not accurate," while "Pants on Fire" means "The statement is not accurate and makes a ridiculous claim." Cutter made an utterly ridiculous claim, which I will illustrate beyond what was already shown on Sunday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog):

August 29, 2012, 10:41 AM EDT

In one of the more disgraceful reports emanating from the Associated Press this year, the self-decribed Essential Global News Network's Jack Gillum breathlessly told readers in a report tagged "exclusive" on Friday that Mitt Romney's presidential campaign is employing "secretive data-mining" to "sift through Americans' personal information" so they can "identify new and likely wealthy donors." This awful strategy targets Americans who reveal information about themselves "often unwittingly when they swipe their credit cards or log into Facebook."

On and on Gillum droned for over 1,000 words, claiming that "The effort by Romney appears to be the first example of a political campaign using such extensive data analysis." Y'know, Jack, you really need to look outside the AP bubble every once in a while, and maybe, I don't know, do a Google search or two before hitting "send" -- if for no other reason than to avoid the utter embarrassment which follows the jump.

August 29, 2012, 8:55 AM EDT

The Associated Press's Anne D'Innocenzio is clearly mystified and possibly even upset that consumer confidence as reported by the Conference Board on Wednesday fell sharply to its lowest level since November of last year.

Get a load of the second paragraph's first sentence in the version D'Innocenzio posted late yesterday morning shortly after the report's release, followed by asinine assertions which in effect say that Americans don't understand that things are getting better -- and, as usual, it's all about Dear Leader's reelection (bolds are mine):

August 27, 2012, 1:29 PM EDT

The Associated Press, in a Sunday evening dispatch, reported that the refinery explosion in Venezuela, which has thus far killed "at least 39 people" and injured "more than 80" (as of 10 a.m.; now it's at 41)  is "Venezuela's deadliest refinery blast ever." I'm sure that I join all readers here in expressing deep condolences and prayers for the victims and all who have been affected.

Obviously reporting the details as they emerge will for a time be more important, but it appears that the Amuay refinery explosion is the deadliest such refinery incident in world history, and by a wide margin. If so, the press, after determining that this is indeed the case it, should get around to reporting it as such.

August 27, 2012, 9:53 AM EDT

An Associated Press report by Helen O'Neill time-stamped Saturday afternoon claims that "a record number of deportations means record numbers of American children being left without a parent — despite President Barack Obama's promise that his administration would focus on removing only criminals."

Perhaps the assertion about more parents being forced to leave their kids behind is true. But the "record number of deportations" meme -- a recurring Obama administration claim frequently parroted by the press, despite Obama's other unilateral moves towards de facto amnesty -- is apparently a load of rubbish, based on a review of detailed records by the House Judiciary Committee noted by the Daily Caller's Caroline May on Saturday morning (bolds are mine):

August 26, 2012, 11:12 PM EDT

It seems that that the Obama campaign and the left in general doesn't even care if they get caught in these kinds of deceptions any more, but they nonetheless need to be noted. A mother and daughter claiming in this Obama For America video to be examples of "Republican Women for Obama" are really far-left Democrats, and have been for many years.

Here's the capsule version built with excerpts from the Saturday post by John Hinderaker at Powerline which first documented the deception noted by the left-leaning BuzzFeed, which apparently hit its tolerance threshold in this instance, and then found more:

August 26, 2012, 7:36 PM EDT

As I suggested yesterday (hardly a prediction since it was so clearly going to happen), "2016: Obama's America" has taken in enough in estimated gross proceeds this weekend ($6.238 million from Friday through Sunday) to become the top conservative post-1982 documentary (and number six overall, behind four Michael Moore films and Al Gore's "Inconvenient Truth").

Some critiques, currently compiled at the Hollywood Reporter (this post went directly to the underlying write-ups), are coming in, and let just say that there's no Michael Moore-level fawning:

August 26, 2012, 11:26 AM EDT

Sam Youngman at Reuters, and several others have attempted to pounce on a comment about "big business" GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney made at a Minnesota fundraiser on Thursday as some kind of equivalent to President Obama's out-of-touch assertion that "the private sector is doing fine" back in June.

In fact, what Romney actually said in large part explains why the private sector isn't doing fine. Here is the relevant text from Youngman (bolds are mine):

August 26, 2012, 9:40 AM EDT

Obama campaign spokesperson Stepanie Cutter, appearing on MSNBC earlier this week, claimed that "over the past, you know, 27 months we've created 4.5 million private-sector jobs. That's more jobs than in the Bush recovery (or) in the Reagan recovery."

A Thursday Investor's Business Daily editorial plaintively asked: "Where are those allegedly unbiased fact-checkers when you need them?" As will be seen shortly, the answer is "AWOL."

August 25, 2012, 7:30 PM EDT

Box Office Mojo shows that "2016: Obama's America" was the fourth-highest grossing film on Friday, taking in $2.255 million, and trailing only "The Expendables 2," "The Bourne Legacy," and "Paranorman." What's more, its per-theatre gross of $2,067 is almost twice that of "Expendables," and well over double every other film in Friday's top ten.

The film also seems assured of becoming the highest grossing post-1982 political documentary coming from the political right.

August 25, 2012, 8:41 AM EDT

In an apparent attempt to set the record for the most words expended on a multi-part non-story, Politico's Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan have supplemented their useless, 1,400-word August 19 item (noted at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) about how a one Republican congressman swam naked in Israel's Sea of Galilee with a 1,000-worder which asks a question no one cares about, and no one else is asking: "Who paid the GOP bar tab in Galilee?"

The bottom line on the first story was that the FBI investigated the trip by a Republican congressional delegation to see "whether any inappropriate behavior occurred" but has made no "formal allegations of wrongdoing." In other words, there was no reason to publish the story. Excerpts from the second story, for those who can stay awake (I'm having trouble with that), follow the jump (bolds are mine):

August 23, 2012, 4:39 PM EDT

In his coverage of the Department of Labor's Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report at the Associated Press this morning, economics writer Christopher Rugaber stubbornly referenced a supposedly predictive benchmark the wire service has been using which has consistently failed in recent months.

Rugaber also claimed that today's seasonally adjusted increase from the previous week, which will almost certainly become a bigger one after next week's revision, is "evidence that the job market's recovery remains modest and uneven." Uh, not exactly. Excerpts follow (bolds and numbered tags are mine):

August 22, 2012, 11:17 PM EDT

I was beginning to hold out hope that the Associated Press was tiring of its partnership with the polling firm GfK Roper Public Affairs & Corporate Communications.

No such luck. The latest AP-GfK poll on the presidential race of 1,007 people of whom 878 are registered voters shows Barack Obama leading Mitt Romney 48% to 44%. That four-point lead is down from 10 points in May and six points in June. The August poll only ended up with Obama in the lead because of extraordinary overweighting of Democrats and a ridiculously small percentage of people who describe themselves as strong Republicans.

August 22, 2012, 4:21 PM EDT

Yesterday, James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal's Best of the Web had this to say about the title of an Associated Press report ("Obama Defends Tenor of His Campaign, Slams Romney") covering President Obama's four-question "press conference" -- "The writer of this Associated Press headline is either witty or clueless."

The underlying writeup by Jim Kuhnhenn and Charles Babington wasn't witty, and was at least as clueless, especially in letting the howler about how Obama was supposedly able to "distance himself" from the "Mitt Romney caused my wife to die of cancer" meme his own campaign associated itself with earlier this year (verbiage relating to the Todd Akin situation in Missouri is also in the report; I'll defer to others in that matter; bolds and numbered tags are mine):

August 22, 2012, 2:28 PM EDT

In what has become an all too predictable ritual, an AP reporter has tried to make the situation in the economy look like it's on the upswing when it's not.

Today, the AP's Christopher Rugaber read the press release on existing home sales from the National Association of Realtors. As a trade group, NAR will tend to put a good (or at least not as ugly face) on even a rough situation. So it's hard to blame them for saying that "Sales of existing homes rose in July even with constraints of affordable inventory, and the national median price is showing five consecutive months of year-over-year increases." The first half of NAR's statement is selectively incomplete, but Rugaber compounded the problem in the first sentence of his report this morning: