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
November 15, 2011, 9:32 PM EST

Give Ben Hirschler and Kate Kelland at Reuters credit for a fair presentation this morning of the relative progress made in adult stem cell research compared to that achieved thus far in the embryonic arena. Maybe it was because they were reporting from London, where the constraints of insufferable political advocacy in journalism seem (sad to say) less present than they are in the U.S. Meanwhile, Health Writer Matthew Perrone at the Associated Press couldn't even bring himself to recognize the existence of adult stem cells in his Monday afternoon report, and in the process wrote a flat-out fib about the number of FDA-approved stem cell clinical trials taking place.

The occasion for coverage was Geron Corp.'s decision to halt the first government-approved clinical trial involving embryonic stem cells. What follows after the jump are the first six paragraphs from the Reuters analysis:

November 15, 2011, 8:17 PM EST

At the Associated Press this afternoon, White House Correspondent Ben Feller relayed the essence of a statement by Obama administration spokesman Jay Carney about how the President believes that, in Feller's words, "it's up to New York and other municipalities to decide how much force to use in dealing with Occupy Wall Street demonstrations." Feller failed to mention both the President's previous endorsement of the goals of the Occupy protesters, and his inexcusable silence as the encampments have devolved into disease-infested swamps of criminal and antisocial behavior. How convenient.

Most of Feller's brief report follows:

November 15, 2011, 8:50 AM EST

Blogger John at Verum Serum has unmasked yet another instance where initial claims by "leaders" at an Occupy site claiming non-involvement with crime fell apart after a short while. Even worse, after his post went up, a subsequent report on the same incident a few hours later scrubbed the truth to again make Occupiers appear not culpable .

After the jump, readers will see the initial and then revised stories about what happened at Occupy Orlando on Monday, each via Local TV station "News 13."

November 14, 2011, 8:56 PM EST

On Saturday, at a Q&A session at the APEC CEO Business Summit in Hawaii, President Barack Obama, when asked about impediments to foreign investment in the United States, responded in part: "... we’ve been a little bit lazy, I think, over the last couple of decades. We’ve kind of taken for granted -- well, people will want to come here and we aren’t out there hungry, selling America and trying to attract new business into America."

As would be expected, this impolitic comment has generated quite a bit of discussion all over the place in the two days since. Well, almost all over the place, as you'll after the jump in graphic captures of the results of searches on "Obama lazy" (not in quotes) at the main site of the Associated Press and at the New York Times (Times search is in order of newest first):

November 14, 2011, 7:32 PM EST

In Hawaii today, according to an Associated Press dispatch filed by Ben Feller, President Barack Obama is reported to have told supporters that, in Feller's words, "everything they worked for and that the country stands for is on the line in his 2012 re-election bid."

Well, if what those donors have "worked" for is an inside track to government money, and if what the country stands for is crony capitalism, the President is right. The following excerpt from Peter Schweizer's new book, "Throw The All Out," provides the details in just one commercial arena (via The Daily Beast; HTs to Doug Ross, Conservatives4Palin, Victory Chronicles, and Heritage; bolds are mine; extra paragraph breaks added by me):

November 14, 2011, 9:46 AM EST

According to Rick Hampson in what is apparently an analysis piece in Monday's USA Today, the Occupy movement has a violent "fringe," which constitutes just a "fraction" of those involved.

Well, he's right about it being a "fraction," except that said fraction is a lot larger than he apparently believes. The USAT writer also attempts to perpetuate the Occupy Oakland myth that its November 2 "non-violent 'general strike'" was absolutely peaceful until "some masked anarchists broke off from the main protest." Here is some of Hampson's harrumphing:

November 13, 2011, 11:09 AM EST

A story first broken by David Willman at the Los Angeles Times on Friday (the story is currently dated November 13, but the first comment appeared late Friday evening Pacific Time) is going almost nowhere in the rest of the establishment press. I wonder why?

No, I really don't, and neither will most readers here once they see what it's all about, namely Obama administration corruption and crony capitalism (bolds are mine):

November 12, 2011, 9:21 AM EST

I went to the Associated Press last night to see what the self-described Essential Global News Network would have to say about the murder which took place in Oakland on Thursday afternoon "near" that city's increasingly disgusting and dangerous "Occupy" camp.

Here's what I found, as written by Terry Collins (the report has since been updated and its 7:07 a.m. today version is saved here, but the paragraph which follows was also present last night; bolds are mine throughout this post):

November 11, 2011, 5:14 PM EST

Kerem Ozkan at Advertising Age is not happy with Matt Drudge for having the nerve to call a USDA-administered fee imposed on growers of Christmas trees a "Christmas Tree Tax" (link is Drudge Archive item containing the referenced headline).

Actually (Ozkan recognizes this), Drudge didn't start it. David Addington at Heritage did. Here are excerpts from Ozkan's not-so-fine whine, during which he inadvertently demonstrates to readers why Drudge's characterization was correct:

November 9, 2011, 10:34 PM EST

Having followed Democratic former Ohio governor Ted "Holier Than Thou" Strickland lo these many painful years, including the memorable episode when as a Congressman he called out 355 of his colleagues as liars for unanimously supporting an anti-pedophilia resolution (seriously), it's remarkable (actually, it's clear evidence of Ohio media bias) that it's current Republican governor John Kasich who has the reputation for arrogance. During the administration of "Turnaround Ted," who Kasich defeated in 2010, Ohio lost over 400,000 jobs. It should be self-evident to any Ohioan who endured his four long years in office that Strickland's authority to opine on anything relating to the welfare of the Buckeye State is non-existent.

Yet there Strickland was Tuesday night, being interviewed by Fox News's Greta Van Susteren about the meaning of Ohio voters' 66%-34% landslide approval of Issue 3, which put prohibitions of Obamacare’s mandates to buy health insurance and participate in a health care plan into Ohio’s constitution (y'know, the document Ted swore to uphold when he was the state's chief executive). Watch the exchange, as Van Susteren calls out Ted's contempt for the expressed will of Ohio's voters:

November 9, 2011, 2:47 PM EST

Perhaps partially explaining the treatment of Ohio's ballot issues on shows like MSNBC's "Morning Joe" as noted by Noel Sheppard at NewsBusters earlier today, I have found that the Associated Press predictably trumpeted the 61%-39% rejection of Issue 2, which would have required cost-sharing for public-sector employee health and pension benefits while curbing the scope of collective bargaining, as a big national story. Meanwhile, as far as I can tell, the AP only devoted six snarky paragraphs in a regionally carried story to Issue 3, which won by a 66%-34% margin and passed by comfortable majorities in all 88 Buckeye State counties. Also known as the Ohio Healthcare Freedom Amendment, Issue 3 put prohibitions of Obamacare's mandates to buy health insurance and participate in a health care plan into Ohio's constitution.

First, excerpts from the Issue 2 story by the wire service's Sam Hananel out of, ahem, Washington:

November 8, 2011, 10:32 AM EST

Are we supposed to believe standards of professional journalism are so different in France that when you hear something clearly newsworthy, you don't say or write about it when the government tells you not to because of "tradition"?

That's what Angela Charlton at the Associated Press, which admits to having had a reporter on hand when French President Nicolas Sarkozy told U.S. President Barack Obama that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "is a liar," would have us believe. Though she did note Obama's lack of objection to Sarkozy's assertion, Charlton downplayed Obama's actual and equally broad response -- "You’re fed up with him, but I have to deal with him every day!" -- by holding it until the eighth paragraph of her report and keeping it out of the story's headline. The first six paragraphs of the report (9:45 a.m. version also saved here for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes), which includes the excuse, follow the jump (bolds are mine):

November 7, 2011, 9:52 PM EST

It's as if they think it's 1991 -- or even 1961.

Drudge is currently linking to a "trash talk" story at Ynetnews.com about how, with a microphone still on, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "is a liar." U.S. President Barack Obama's response, also audible, was: "You're fed up with him, but I have to deal with him every day!" That's not necessarily the most disgraceful aspect of the story. What follows after the jump, which explains why the story is just coming out now, is at least as reprehensible:

November 6, 2011, 1:17 AM EDT

According to an unbylined Associated Press report out of Atlanta tonight, when police move in to arrest members of a crowd which won't move when ordered to move, they "swarm." Nice insect comparison, eh? And in case readers didn't get the negative connotation the first time, the AP report used the word again in its final paragraph.

Here are several paragraphs from the report, including an unchallenged reference to Martin Luther King's "Poor People's Campaign" by the "Rev." Jesse Jackson (bolds are mine):

November 5, 2011, 11:44 PM EDT

As he accumulates his "Occupy Rap Sheet" over at BigJournalism.com, John Nolte has made some excellent points about the nature of the press's coverage which should not be missed. His incident count is up to 151. It will certainly grow based on more recent events which haven't yet made it to his compilation (this is just a sample): A $10 million arson arrest in Fort Collins, Colorado (really; HT The Other McCain); pushing a 78 year-old woman down a flight of stairs (she required a hospital visit); and a lack of basic safety so pervasive at Zuccotti park, the headquarters of the "movement, that "protesters put up (a) women-only tent to prevent sexual assaults."

Nolte's count is clearly an understatement of all that is actually happening. He also notes that the nature of the press's coverage serves to understate the disorder- and violence-based inclinations of the Occupiers (internal link is in original; bolds are mine):

November 4, 2011, 9:10 PM EDT

It would be funny if it weren't so transparently sad. We've seen "name that party" games for a long time in the press. Today, the Associated Press played "name that company."

In an unbylined report Friday evening which oddly has Dina Cappiello's Twitter address at the bottom , the identity of failed solar manufacturer Solyndra isn't revealed until the third paragraph. The item's headline refers vaguely to "a failed solar firm," while the opening paragraph describes "a failed solar panel manufacturer." Really:

November 3, 2011, 11:55 PM EDT

It's truly delicious when the outfit which calls itself the Essential Global News Network essentially admits that a certain economic theory which begins with a "K" has become such an undesirable word -- almost an epithet -- that it avoids its mention.

That was the case with a pathetic critique of GOP candidates' economic plans written up by the wire service's Charles Babington on Sunday. When I saw its headline ("Studies challenge wisdom of GOP candidates' plans"), I blew past the story because I expected the same-old, same-old. Then an emailer with a journalistic background informed me that it was even worse than usual. He's so right that I can't possibly pick it apart without writing a book; so I'll just concentrate on the paragraph containing the theory with no name and the one which immediately follows it:

November 3, 2011, 10:13 PM EDT

At the Washington Post's "with Bloomberg" Business section, the self-described locale "Where Washington and Business Intersect," a Wednesday item by Neil Irwin ("Fed downgrades growth forecasts, sees high unemployment for years ahead") told us that "The Federal Reserve sharply downgraded its projections for the U.S. economy," but never cited any projected growth numbers. Seriously.

Having learned what they are for 2011 and 2012 in the seventh and eighth paragraphs at an Associated Press item (well, at least they got to it, though it probably won't make it into many broadcasts of AP's content because of its placement), it's understandable why staunch defenders of Team Obama would resist doing so. After the jump, I'll take out the mystery by getting to the AP's numbers first:

November 2, 2011, 12:19 AM EDT

Consider this post the print and online follow-up to the report early Tuesday evening by Matthew Balan at NewsBusters on the failure of the Big Three TV networks to note the Democratic Party/Obama fundraising affiliation of former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, whose now-bankrupt MF Global financial firm has apparently admitted to diverting client money in a futile attempt to battle its financial free-fall.

Balan found that the Big Three's morning shows "omitted the party affiliation of Jon Corzine as they reported on the federal investigation into his brokerage firm," and that ABC didn't even mention Corzine's name. This is not surprising, as the wire services which provide much of the raw material for these shows for the most part similarly failed, and have continued to do so. A rundown of much of what the wires have produced, along with a look at several New York Times items, follows the jump:

November 1, 2011, 1:04 AM EDT

In an unbylined item Sunday evening, the Associated Press informed readers that Venezuelan ruler Hugo Chavez, continuing a six-year campaign of agricultural land seizures, has ordered the expropriation of a huge swath of farmland from a British company, and unilaterally decided that any compensation which might occur will be paid in his country's own currency, over which the country's banks exercise strict repatriation controls.

The report frames the amount of land being seized in a way which will ensure that many readers won't appreciate its massive scope. More important, in something seen frequently in reports about authoritarian regimes, it treats the specific objections of opponents -- in this case, current landowners -- as arguments instead of observable and determinable facts. Here are several paragraphs from the report (bolds are mine):