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 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):

January 12, 2013, 12:52 PM EST

A search this morning at Google News on "Liverpool Pathway" (not in quotes) returned 69 items (Google's initial indication was over 800, but it was really only 69). Roughly 60 of them related to the National Health Service's "palliative care" protocols known as the "Liverpool Care Pathway" employed in the UK's government-run health care system to place hospital patients on a path to death. The latest news about the pathway has drawn the attention of a few prolife blogs in the U.S., but almost no attention from U.S. establishment press sources.

That's stunnning, given both the seriousness of the news about the pathway's real-world effects, and the reactions of those who insist that it's still a great thing in their brave new healthcare world. A UK Daily mail item on December 30 summarized the extent of the horror in three succinct sentences (bolds are mine throughout this post):

January 12, 2013, 10:33 AM EST

Angela McCaskill, Chief Diversity Officer at Gallaudet University, has been reinstated following three months of administrative leave which began after the university learned that she had signed a petition supporting the placement of an initiative to repeal recently passed legislation legalizing same-sex "marriage" on the Maryland ballot.

The headline at the Associated Press story about Ms. McCaskill's statement ("GAY MARRIAGE FLAP: GALLAUDET REINSTATES OFFICIAL") should have instead read "free speech flap." That's what the McCaskill controversy was about, as the underlying AP story by Ben Nuckols, which virtually ignores the witch-hunt sentiment directed at her, still makes clear (bold is mine):

January 11, 2013, 10:42 AM EST

A week ago, Associated Press reporters and their articles' headlines described the nation's job market in positive terms. An early a.m. report on Janaury carried this headline: "U.S. job market resilient despite budget fight." Later that same morning, just before the government's release of that day's employment report, there was this: "Jobs report expected to show underlying economic strength." Late that afternoon, reacting to the news that the economy had a December unemployment rate of 7.8 percent while adding 155,000 seasonally adjusted jobs, AP reporters Paul Wiseman and Christopher Rugaber described the performance as "matching the solid but unspectacular monthly pace of the past two years."

Reports from wire services other than the AP, which might as well stand for the Administration's Press, weren't as rosy. At Reuters ("Mediocre job growth points to slow grind for U.S. economy"), Jason Lange observed that December's hiring pace was "short of the levels needed to bring down a still lofty unemployment rate." Fair enough, but what the press continues to virtually ignore -- while obsessing over the same problem early last decade when the problem was nowhere near as severe -- is the plight of the long-term unemployed. 

January 10, 2013, 4:59 PM EST

On CNN this morning, in a quote captured by Rush Limbaugh on his program today (but predictably ignored by David Edwards covering the broadcast at Raw Story), Carol Costello told viewers that "no one is talking about overturning the Second Amendment or confiscating guns in America."

Wow. What hermetically sealed cave have you been living in during the past few weeks, Carol -- or for that matter, as Limbaugh effectively asked, where have you been during the past 4-1/2 decades? Here's some of what Rush had to say in response (bolds are mine):

January 10, 2013, 12:50 PM EST

In 2008, as reported by Tim Graham at NewsBusters at the time, Thomas Friedman at the New York Times wrote that America ought to become "China for a day," so that Friedman's dream, in Graham's words "of a green revolution -- all those allegedly planet-saving taxes and regulations and product bans -- can be permanently enacted."

The mainland's totalitarian regime isn't merely not "green" in any meaningful sense. It also is often remarkably unconcerned about the health and well-being of its subjects. For example, a recent chemical spillp poisoned the water of millions (that's right, millions), and the government didn't bother telling anyone about it for almost a week. The story has received almost zero attention in the U.S. press. Excerpts from a January 7 story at the UK's Financial Times follow the jump (bolds are mine):

January 9, 2013, 10:03 AM EST

Ohioans can give thanks this week for at least one thing: Former Democratic Governor Ted Strickland has announced that won't be challenging incumbent John Kasich in 2014. During 2008 and 2009, Strickland's second and third years in office, the Buckeye State lost 420,000 jobs and saw its unemployment rate zoom from 5.7 percent to 10.6 percent, performances which were worse than nearly every other state in the union. In his final two years, the state ran billions in deficits which the rest of America covered by providing at least $4.8 billion in "direct relief" stimulus fuding. As he left office, Ohio faced an estimated $8 billion budget deficit and credit agencies downgraded its credit rating.

None of these facts about Ted Strickland's record got into Alexander Burns's Tuesday coverage of Strickland's decision at the Politico. Instead, readers were treated to a narrative which made Strickland's fundamentally deceptive attempt to keep his job in the 2010 election seem almost heroic (bolds are mine throughout this post):

January 8, 2013, 10:49 AM EST

The first rule for those who have dug themselves into rhetorical holes is: Stop digging. As noted yesterday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), Des Moines Register columnist Donald Kaul ignored that rule on January 5 by claiming that his December 30 column -- which, among other things, advocated "(tying) Mitch McConnell and John Boehner ... to the back of a Chevy pickup truck and drag(ging) them around a parking lot until they ... (see) the light on gun control" and having those who resist the efforts of those trying to pry their "guns from their cold, dead hands" should get their wish -- was "satire" comparable to the work Jonathan Swift.

The first rule for bystanders watching others digging themselves into such dangerous holes is: Take away their shovel. Instead, Register editor Rick Green joined in the digging in a Saturday column, even backing Kaul's ridiculous "satire" claim (bolds are mine):

January 7, 2013, 5:18 PM EST

On December 30, (originally noted at NewsBusters by MRC's Tim Graham), twice- or thrice-retired Des Moines Register columnist Donald Kaul, feeling compelled to come back and begin writing columns again, in the Register's words, "when events move him," made five immodest proposals: 1) "Repeal the Second Amendment"; 2) "Declare the NRA a terrorist organization and make membership illegal"; 3) "Make ownership of unlicensed assault rifles a felony"; 4) People resisting the confiscation efforts of those trying to pry their "guns from their cold, dead hands" should get their wish; 5) "tie Mitch McConnell and John Boehner ... to the back of a Chevy pickup truck and drag them around a parking lot until they ... (see) the light on gun control."

Following a firestorm of outrage, Kaul wrote a January 5 follow-up column claiming he was only engaging in satire, while arrogantly comparing himself to Jonathan Swift and the revered satirist's Modest Proposal. Really. Mr. Kaul seems to have missed something about how his supposedly satirical original column differs from Swift's work:

January 7, 2013, 9:35 AM EST

In a Washington Examiner column last night, Gregory Kane made several quite valid points in comparing the media firestorm over Rush Limbaugh's comments about Sarah Fluke to the virtual silence over Des Moines Register columnist Donald Kaul, who, if he were in charge, "would tie Mitch McConnell and John Boehner ... to the back of a Chevy pickup truck and drag them around a parking lot until they saw the light on gun control." Kaul also wrote that he would, "If some people refused to give up their guns," make "that 'prying the guns from their cold, dead hands' thing" operative.

Confirming what readers here would expect, a search at the Associated Press's national web site on Kaul's last name comes up empty. Key paragraphs from Kane's column follow the jump (HT Instapundit; bolds are mine):

January 6, 2013, 4:51 PM EST

One would think that a newspaper which in its view has largely made its reputation on publishing leaked government documents and revealing government secrets would have been a bit more excited about being the sole receipient of a report from the State of New York indicating that hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," is safe. The State had already sat on the report for a year.

The Times published the story on January 3, but on Page A19, while changing its original strong title ("Hydrofracking Safe, Says N.Y. Health Dept. Analysis" -- seen in the browser window) to a less descriptive, boring, and somewhat deceptive "Gas Drilling Is Called Safe in New York."