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
March 8, 2012, 10:29 AM EST

The Department of Labor reported today that initial claims for unemployment benefits increased to 362,000 from an upwardly revised (as usual) 354,000 the previous week. Expectations were for a reading of 351,000 (Business Insider's email) or 352,000 (Bloomberg).

Over at the Associated Press, also known as the Administration's Press, the headlined reaction in its 9:17 a.m. report was: "Applications Hover Near Low Levels." As usual, it took a New Media source, in this case Zero Hedge, to point out something potentially troubling in the news, namely that "this is the first time we have seen three consecutive weeks of rises since August 2010." True, the rises have been modest, but next week will almost certainly see an upward revision to this week (the case for 51 of the past 52 weeks, averaging almost 4,000 and with no decreases). Modest or not, they run counter to presumptive press claims that the job market is "healing" (Reuters) and "improving" (Bloomberg). The howler of the day came from RTT News, which "offers custom news and information solutions" for which subscribers apparently pay at least $250 a month:

March 6, 2012, 2:53 PM EST

Over at the Associated Press in a report with a Tuesday morning time stamp, Christopher Rugaber produced yet another predictable lemonade-from-lemons story about how the economy is allegedly "improving faster than economists had expected. They now foresee slightly stronger growth and hiring than they did two months earlier - trends that would help President Barack Obama's re-election hopes." Because, after all, that's what it's all about.

The folks at AP, the economists they surveyed for their report, and the rest of the establishment press really need to get out more. Y'know, they used to, at least before November 4, 2008. If they did, they'd find something which it seems only the BBC among major original-source news organizations has found: well over 50 "tent cities." These are not Occupy movement encampments; instead they are places where one will find America's desperately poor:

March 6, 2012, 10:20 AM EST

Have we reached a point where a positive story about a political candidate whose views are considered unacceptable by the media elites won't get widely covered even when it's virtually dropped in their laps?

One can't help but suspect that's the case with Rick Santorum. February 13, the Detroit Free Press carried a moving story by Kathleen Gray about how the parents of a Michigan girl with Trisomy 18, the same disease from which his Santorum's daughter Bella suffers, credit the former senator's detailed and determined suggestions in the midst of their daughter's fight with saving her life. Read the whole thing; what follows are selected excerpts, starting with a downplaying headline:

March 5, 2012, 4:25 PM EST

In public accounting, there's a concept known as "independence," which has two aspects: independence in fact and independence in appearance. If you are auditing a company, you may in fact be the most independent person in the world, willing to follow the audit trail wherever it leads, but no matter how much you object, if you own stock in the subject company, you won't be allowed to participate in the audit (by extension, the usual rule is that no firm member can ever own stock in a client company).

This brings me to USA Today reporter Jackie Kucincich, who is the daughter of former Cleveland mayor, multi-term Congressman, and two-time presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich. She may in fact be the most independent and objective reporter on earth, but given her bloodlines and her father's still-present engagement in politics, from appearances alone she has no business being assigned to cover the presidential campaign of Rick Santorum (there's plenty of other non-conflicting work back in Washington, so I'm not proposing that she not be in the media). No matter what she produces in covering Santorum, it will and should be suspect. It just so happens that her latest write-up would, based on its content, be dubious in any event, as it fits too neatly into the "social values-obsessed conservatives" meme which has been all the rage in the Democratic Party and the establishment press (but I repeat myself). Several excerpted paragraphs demonstrate that obsession (bold is mine):

March 2, 2012, 7:58 PM EST

Well, I guess when you think you're going to sell 45,000 cars and you're on track to achieve about 25% of that, something's gotta give.

Something gave today, as Government/General Motors announced a temporary suspension of production of the company's centerpiece of environmental correctness, the Chevy Volt, and the layoff of 1,300 employees. Oh, and as readers will see in the Examiner.com excerpt, it's the (cough, cough) media's fault:

March 1, 2012, 4:10 PM EST

Anyone who saw what the Associated Press wrote when former Bush 43 press secretary Tony Snow died in 2008 (original AP article; related NewsBusters post) knew that the wire service would do what it could to subtly distort Andrew Breitbart's considerable accomplishments in exposing leftist hatred, duplicity, and criminality. The only question was what form(s) it would take.

Not surprisingly, reporters/distorters Philip Elliott and Sue Manning misrepresented or omitted key elements of the three episodes for which Breitbart will be best remembered -- the James O'Keefe-led ACORN stings; Shirley Sherrod, Pigford lawsuit opportunist; and his exposure (so to speak) of former Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner's sleazy online escapades. The 11:44 a.m. version of their report (saved here for future reference, fair use and discussion purporses) was bad enough. In their 1:56 p.m. revision (saved here), perhaps egged on by the vitriol which has been posted all day at leftist sites, they descended into cheap-shot name-calling adjectives which would rarely if ever be used to describe activist leftists. In his opening hour today, Rush Limbaugh covered some of what happened during the three key episodes; I will expand on them later in the post:

February 29, 2012, 11:36 PM EST

It wouldn't take more than a nanosecond for the establishment press and TV talking heads to rip into any white political candidate -- Democrat or Republican -- who carved out a web site devoted to "Whites for Candidate X."

About a week ago, President Obama, with his powers of incumbency in tow, decided to revive something he created back in 2007: "African-Americans for Obama." And, as seen in the Obama video which appears at the site and in what appears to be a new twist, the Obama campaign is driving a Mack through the alleged wall of separation between church and state by finding so-called "congregation captains" to maximize African-American support on his behalf. As would unfortunately be expected, the press has not covered campaign's move; A Google News search on "African Americans for Obama" (in quotes) returns only 17 results, only four of which are arguably mainstream media items.

February 29, 2012, 3:22 PM EST

One thing you can say about an odious paper published at the misnamed Journal of Medical Ethics on February 23 (abstract; full text) is that at least its authors, Australians Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva, didn't fall back on abortion-supporting American politicians' obfuscating "choice" language in discussing what they advocate.

Here's what the pair support: "... we need to assess facts in order to decide whether the same arguments that apply to killing a human fetus can also be consistently applied to killing a newborn human." Their answer is "Yes, they should," which means, based on state of current immoral law, that they advocate infanticide on demand. As offensive as their arguments supporting such a practice are, I also wish to note the arrogant "how dare you?" element of the reaction at the JME to the firestorm of outraged comments it has itself received and the criticisms posted elsewhere. But first, I have excerpted as much from the paper as I can stand without throwing up in disgust (Warning: Concepts presented will offend; bolds are mine; italics are in original):

February 29, 2012, 9:02 AM EST

In Tuesday's New York Times print edition, supposed in-house conservative David Brooks ended his column bemoaning how the Republican base (nicknamed "wingers," who are "Republicans on the extreme") is ruining the "mainstream" Grand Old Party by violating a Godwin's Law corollary, namely (rephrased for columnists) that whoever inappropriately alludes to the Nazi era in German automatically fails to make his point effectively.

Brooks's final bark: "First they went after the Rockefeller Republicans, but I was not a Rockefeller Republican. Then they went after the compassionate conservatives, but I was not a compassionate conservative. Then they went after the mainstream conservatives, and there was no one left to speak for me." Yep, he's trying to claim he's to the right of George W. Bush, but that he's not sufficiently pure enough for today's "wingers." Sure, David.

February 28, 2012, 11:19 PM EST

As is the case with so much that is being reported in other countries about how much of the rest of the world is walking itself back from the extreme statist agenda supposedly necessitated by "climate change," a presentation at the British House of Commons made by MIT Professor Richard Lindzen, whom James Delingpole at the UK Telegraph describes as "one of the world's greatest atmospheric physicists: perhaps the greatest," has gone virtually unreported in the U.S. establishment press.

There's a reason for this. As Delingpole notes ("Lindzen totally pwns the alarmists"): "... even if you'd come to the talk he gave in the House of Commons this week without prejudice or expectation, I can pretty much guarantee you would have been blown away by his elegant dismissal of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming theory." Here are excerpts from the PDF supporting Lindzen's appearance, followed by proof that the self-described outlets of record in the America have ignored it (bolds are mine):

February 28, 2012, 3:04 PM EST

At the Associated Press, covering today's durable goods report from the Census Bureau, Martin Crutsinger wrote that "Orders for durable goods fell 4 percent last month."

No they didn't. They fell by a seasonally adjusted 4%. The raw data before seasonal adjustment says that they fell by over 15%:

 

February 26, 2012, 11:43 PM EST

Imagine if a Republican campaign organization attempted to raise money by going after billionaire Barack Obama fan Warren Buffett by claiming that Buffett is making a lot of money at the pump because of higher gas prices. The press would immediately pounce and say that it's not true, because even though Buffett could be benefiting from the President's cancellation of the Keystone Pipeline, the Odious Oracle of Omaha doesn't own enterprises which sell gas at retail.

Well, Team Obama at the Obama For America campaign organization just did the same thing to the Koch Brothers a couple of days ago, and as expected, we haven't heard a peep from the establishment press about the related blatantly false email. A search on "Koch" at the Associated Press's main national web site returns nothing relevant, which is also the case with the same search at the New York Times. What follows is the text of the email I received on Friday morning (also seen here), plus the Koch Brothers' full response (bolds are mine throughout this post):

February 26, 2012, 9:32 PM EST

Silly me. I thought "HOV" when used in connection with expressway traffic meant "High Occupancy Vehicle." Apparently not, now that California is allowing a 2012 version of the Chevy Volt to use HOV lanes, even by drivers who have no passengers. Maybe the acronym really stands for "Haughty Obama Vehicles." Or "Hapless Odd Vehicles." Or "Have-to Offload (these slow-selling) Vehicles." I'm sure readers can do better.

As would be expected, no one in the press seems to be noticing (or is pretending not to notice) the irony of letting politically favored driver-only vehicles into lanes which were originally designed to encourage people to carpool. Here are a few paragraphs from one of the longer items on the topic found at 3D-Car-Shows.com:

February 26, 2012, 10:20 AM EST

At the Associated Press on Thursday, reporter Chris Tomlinson clearly took the side of statist environmentalists in covering the Texas Supreme Court's decision recognizing the right of landowners to pump water flowing through their property underground.

Tomlinson's sub-headline said that the court "approved" the idea, and his text claimed that it had "expanded property owner's rights." All the court did was formally recognize a principle which has long applied to underground oil and gas. The dispute involved restrictions desired by the city of San Antonio on how much water two farmers could pump. Much of Tomlinson's writeup follows below:

February 26, 2012, 1:52 AM EST

An AP report by Rachel Zoll brought to our attention by a NewsBusters tipster headlines a truly weird assertion about GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum ("Santorum benefits from mistaken religious identity"), and submits as evidence an item in a Christian magazine which in turn has its own weird headline ("Catholic Politicians You Thought Were Evangelical").

It turns out that the Christianity Today item tells us that it's not evangelical Christians who misidentify Santorum, whose Roman Catholic faith is well-known. The entity which committed the misidentification by deliberately including the former Pennsylvania senator on a list of "The 25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America" while acknowledging that he is a Catholic was ... Time Magazine, in February 2005. Thus, there is no support for Zoll's headline claiming that many people "mistake" Santorum's "religious identity," and that he somehow "benefits." Zheesh.

February 25, 2012, 10:59 AM EST

The Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, and designated drone Derek Kravitz clearly haven't tired of putting smiley-faces on the ongoing, relentlessly awful conditions in the new-home market.

As shown on February 17 (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), the number of single-family homes under construction is barely above its all-time low (since records have been kept), while January's figure for single-family units completed was absolutely the lowest on record. Yet Kravitz, as has been his habit, erroneously presented housing starts alone as a proxy for "construction" activity, made it appear to many typical readers that housing starts have been averaging about 500,000 per month (not per year), and pretended that the modest rise in starts "suggests builders are growing more confident that more buyers are ready to come off the sidelines." In his Friday report on new-home sales, Kravitz noted a seasonally adjusted January drop, but trumpeted a minuscule upward adjustment to fourth-quarter sales which was barely more than a rounding error:

February 24, 2012, 3:52 PM EST

On Thursday, over 40 hours after the Pacific Institute's Peter Gleick (pictured here) revealed that he stole documents from the Heartland Institute by posing as one of that organization's board members, Seth Borenstein at the Associated Press finally broke the ice and filed a related three-paragraph "this is boring, you don't need to read it" dispatch. Two hours later, the AP science writer extended it to 500-plus words, but kept the headline as uninformative as possible -- "Scientist admits taking, leaking think-tank papers."

The "clever" failure to describe Gleick as a "climate scientist" (which he is) will dissuade many of those who see the headline from clicking through or reading further. By contrast, the headline at Borenstein's report on February 16 after Gleick (whom Borenstein did not name) disseminated the documents was: "INFLUENCE GAME: Leaks show group's climate efforts." In his longer item, Borenstein (or is it now "Boring-stein," Seth?) posits the howler that what Gleick did "mirrors" the Climategate email revelations which occurred in late 2009 and 2011. In your dreams, pal. The initial item plus excerpts from the longer one are after the jump.

February 22, 2012, 3:11 PM EST

On Monday, the editorial board at the Los Angeles Times was so mad that they fell victim to a corollary of Godwin's Law (he who mentions Hitler or the Nazis has automatically lost the argument) by the third paragraph.

What has them so upset? The very idea that K-12 classroom instruction might not teach human-caused global warming and the need for massive and radical government intervention in the marketplace to deal with it as established, irrefutable facts. In their fever-swamp view, the battle is between "credentialed climatologists around the globe" and "fossil-fuel-industry-funded 'experts.'" The editorial's language is so over at the top it makes one legitimately wonder how anyone who doesn't toe the line on climate change can remain employed anywhere at the Times. Here are the last four of the editorial's five paragraphs; I tried to select particular items to bold, but the whole thing is such an offensive, fabricated assemblage that I would have had to bold the whole thing (HT to Gary Hall):

February 22, 2012, 1:21 PM EST

While the Associated Press and the wire service's Seth Borenstein dither on what to report or whether to report anything about confessed document theft from the Heartland Institute by the Pacific Institute's Peter Gleick (a search on Gleick's last name at the AP's main national site at noon came up empty), Neela Banerjee at the Los Angeles Times incompletely reported the facts and fretted that the confession would "further deepen the uncertainty of many Americans" concerning "the scientific consensus on climate change."

What follows are the first five plus three other paragraphs from Banerjee's Tuesday evening report (bolds are mine):

February 21, 2012, 11:46 PM EST

A man in Berkeley has died as the result of a violent crime. A contributing factor to his death was a failure by the police to respond to a 911 called which was deemed a "non-emergency." The police were in a posture of only responding to "emergency" calls because "were preparing for an Occupy protest headed to UC Berkeley from Oakland."

It will be interesting to see if this gets covered by the establishment press outside of Northern California, especially now that Drudge had it in his headlines during much of the day. Here is part of the original report from KCBS in San Francisco: