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
October 23, 2012, 9:48 PM EDT

Although it should have used harsher language in its headline, FactCheck.org, the Annenberg Foundation-funded outfit, has apparently set its leftist bias aside long enough to take shots at an ad narrated by President Barack Obama which claims 5.2 million jobs created and gives all but the most alert viewers the impression that the number represents those created during his entire administration. Perhaps predictably, the item, which was at the top at Yahoo News just a few hours ago, is not on the home page of Yahoo's U.S. home page and is on the verge of falling off at its main page.

Excerpts from Brooks Jackson's writeup follow the jump, including FactCheck's review of claims made at the "learn more" web link mentioned in the ad (bolds are mine):

October 22, 2012, 12:26 PM EDT

You don't know whether to laugh or cry upon reading the Sunday night shots campaign Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen at Politico took at Mitt Romney and his campaign.

Maybe these guys really believe that the Romney campaign is the one which still desperately needs a "last chance to move the needle in any significant way in the swing states that will decide the election," and that "Obama is slightly better positioned in the states that will dictate the outcome." If they do, my take is that the Romney campaign is playing possum, and the Politico pair, infused with Beltway naiveté and skewed polling data, are gullibly buying it. Several paragraphs from their effort follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):

October 22, 2012, 1:20 AM EDT

Let's get the easy part out of the way first. The New York Times and the Associated Press are only covering the outrages emerging in Solyndra's bankruptcy in the vaguest of terms. The only related Times item I could find was a sentence at the end of an October 11 Green blog post indicating that "the I.R.S. and the Energy Department argue in court papers" against the company's bankruptcy plan. The AP's Randall Chase was a bit more specific that day, writing that "The plan allows for two private equity funds that control Solyndra to potentially reap hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks after Solyndra emerges from bankruptcy, using net operating losses." Beyond that, the details are news only in the business press, and even then not to a great extent.

Are the private equity funds (you mean they're sort of like the eeeevil Bain Capital?) getting hundreds of millions in "tax breaks" as in tax deductions or tax reductions? Unbelievably, it's the latter (the former is almost $1 billion), as an October 15 Wall Street Journal editorial and an October 17 Bloomberg News item which seemed to be simultaneously trying to catch up to but then cover up what the Journal revealed.

October 21, 2012, 8:51 AM EDT

Saturday evening, via Emerson Marcus and with the Associated Press contributing, the Reno Gazette-Journal, which I hope doesn't try to describe itself as a family newspaper, published an irony-free a 500-word story (HT to a NewBusters tipster) on an appearance by Sandra Fluke earlier in the day "in front of about 10 people at the Sak ‘N Save in north Reno." You can't make this stuff up.

The story is currently the "Most Popular" at the paper's rgj.com home page. The Gazette-Journal seems to have been determined to hype Fluke's appearance no matter what so it could take shots at Rush Limbaugh and employ the "s-word" ("slut") Rush Limbaugh used (and then apologized for having used) to describe Ms. Fluke. It even employed the word in promoting her upcoming appearance in advance in one of two items dated Friday which were apparently meant for Saturday's print edition.

October 20, 2012, 9:46 PM EDT

Seventeen days before Election Day and 45 months after Barack Obama's inauguration following a presidential campaign during which he expressed his eagerness to meet enemy leaders "without preconditions" (Obama responded "yes" to a 2008 presidential debate question containing those words), the New York Times is reporting that the U.S. and Iran "have agreed in principle for the first time to one-on-one negotiations," despite the fact that the White House has "denied that a final agreement (to negotiate) had been reached," and despite a reactive AP report (saved here for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes) claiming that while "The White House says it is prepared to talk one-on-one ... there's no agreement now to meet."

Despite the supposed certainty of the Times's headline ("U.S. Officials Say Iran Has Agreed to Nuclear Talks"), the paper's Helene Cooper and Mark Landler report that "American officials said they were uncertain whether Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had signed off on the effort." If Khamenei isn't on board, it doesn't matter what anybody else, including Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, says or does. Three years ago, two AP reporters covering the government's crackdown on dissidents noted Khamenei's "virtually limitless authority," i.e., he's the country's behind-the-scenes dictator. In a piece that's supposed to be about a supposedly important international development, Cooper and Landler predictably blow through quite a bit of ink and bandwidth trying to paint this development as a problem for Obama's GOP opponent Mitt Romney (bolds are mine):

October 20, 2012, 12:03 AM EDT

Electric vehicle battery maker A123 filed for bankruptcy on Tuesday. Part of the caption at an Associated Press photo found at a National Geographic report about the "hurdles for clean tech" on Wednesday stated that the company "received a $6 million grant from the Bush administration in 2007 and a $249 million grant from the Obama administration in 2008."

That's pretty funny (actually pathetic), given that Obama didn't take office until January 2009. What's not funny is which of the two presidents cited in the AP photo's caption is actually in the photo:

October 17, 2012, 2:03 PM EDT

It looks like Candy Crowley, her establishment press excuse-makers (for her and President Obama), and supporters of the President are going to have to resort to finding penumbras emanating from Obama's September 12 Rose Garden appearance -- y'know, the one during which the press and Democrats insist that the President really, really did call the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya a terrorist attack.

The reason they're going to have to do this is because the person who asked Obama the Libya question is saying that the President himself told him that he delayed calling Benghazi a terrorist attack. Erik Wemple at the Washington Post apparently doesn't grasp the damning significance of what the questioner, Kerry Ladka, relayed to him.

October 17, 2012, 1:21 PM EDT

Just before 1 p.m. ET, Rush Limbaugh said the following about CNN's Candy Crowley and her performance as "moderator" last night in the second presidential debate: "In the real world, she would have committed career suicide last night."

Well, Rush, don't discount her ability to self-immolate just yet. The Washington Post reports that Crowley is backtracking on her backtrack (HT PJ Tatler):

October 17, 2012, 11:48 AM EDT

In my Monday post (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) about the "Million Muppet March," the astroturfing Obama-supportive operation being managed by Michael Bellavia -- a gentleman whose animation firm "just so happens" to have Sesame Workshop as a major client -- I questioned how he and the rest of the group can be so sure that they "can just use the Muppet characters ... at a brazenly political event without worrying about consequences."

My take on this morning's "march"-related news is that "march" organizers have quietly been prevented from doing so. That's because they're not calling it the "Million Muppet March" any more. It's now the "Million Puppet March." The remarkably incurious Associated Press, in a brief report this morning (presented in full for fair use and discussion purposes), unskeptically relayed the group's pathetic name-change excuse:

October 16, 2012, 4:56 PM EDT

Jake Sherman at the Politico is suffering from the same detachment from reality I found his colleague Anna Palmer in this morning (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog).

Palmer's piece asserted that an election win by GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney would herald the return of l-l-l-lobbyists, who have supposedly (not actually) been a rare presence in the pristine and pure Obama administration. Sherman's affliction is just as serious, if not moreso, as in an item posted Monday evening, he characterizes 2012 as a "non-Tea Party year," and seems to believe that everyone who disapproves of the job Congress has been doing must be to the left of House Speaker John Boehner. Hilarity follows the jump:

October 16, 2012, 1:25 PM EDT

There must be some kind of alternative universe reporters at the Politico inhabit as they toil for the online publication. That's the only conceivable explanation I can conjure up when I read some of what is presented there.

Take a report which first appeared early Monday morning from Anna Palmer (please). If she weren't reporting from that alternative universe, she wouldn't possibly be able to believe what she wrote in her story about how big, bad, eeeevil l-l-l-lobbyists will have so much influence in a possible Mitt Romney administration, and how that is such a stark contrast to how pristine and pure things have been during the Obama years (bolds are mine):

October 16, 2012, 9:49 AM EDT

(See Updates re President Obama's statement in 2010 and money the State of Michigan flushed down the drain.)

Eric Savitz at Forbes relays news this morning that "A123 Systems has filed for bankruptcy protection in federal court ... Late yesterday, the battery company had warned that it was about to default on several loan issues, noting that a bankruptcy filing was a possibility; but it still seems startling to see them file just hours later."

What does (or did) A123 do? It "makes rechargeable lithium-ion batteries for electric cars." Savitz can't resist casting the bankruptcy in political terms in his third paragraph:

October 15, 2012, 10:34 PM EDT

Early this afternoon, as part of the wire service's continuing "Why It Matters" series, the Associated Press's Eileen Sullivan boiled down the impact of the September 11 Benghazi, Libya attack during which U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed and the U.S. consulate destroyed as follows: It "injected the issue of diplomatic security into the presidential campaign and renewed questions about the quality of U.S. intelligence."

Uh, Eileen, "the quality of U.S. intelligence" is not at issue. What is at issue is the intelligence and judgment of the people charged with using that intelligence. The Obama administration failed, up to and including the commander in chief and his Secretary of State, failed to respond to the intelligence communicated and to truthfully relay its substance to the American people on a timely basis. Instead, they invented the idea of a pre-attack protest which never occurred because of a 14-minute video which nobody cared about until there was a need to find a reason other than their own failings to protect Americans overseas. Here are Sullivan's opening two paragraphs (bold is mine):

October 15, 2012, 8:35 PM EDT

The Left and the establishment press (but I repeat myself) are taking heart in the fact that Bruce Springsteen has agreed to campaign for Barack Obama in Ohio and Iowa later this week.

The campaign of Mitt Romney, and Republicans in general, are the ones who should be cheered by this development for two reasons. One of them, which is being reported, is that Springsteen said earlier this year that he wouldn't be campaigning; the fact that he has changed his mind proves that Team Obama is genuinely worried about their boss's reelection prospects. The second isn't as well-known, but should be. "The Boss" (i.e., Springsteen) went all-in with the Occupy movement earlier this year, essentially ratifying our incumbent president's endorsement. Springsteen's stance was described in several places in February, including at the Gothamist:

October 15, 2012, 1:00 AM EDT

My initial reaction to the story by Daniel Trotta at Reuters about plans for a "Million Muppet March" in Washington on November 3, the Saturday before Election Day, was that the whole thing doesn't seem as wildly spontaneous, grass roots-driven, and coincidental as presented. It turns out that it isn't. As Lee Cary at TeaParty911.com found (HT Newsalert via Ed Driscoll at Instapundit), the guiding force of the enterprise is an animation company executive who "just so happens" to have a lot to gain if the status quo of government funding of the Corporation For Public Broadcasting continues. It's also interesting how he's apparently able to use the Muppet characters in the "march" without worrying about getting anyone's publicly expressed permission to do so.

First, here are several paragraphs from Trotta's tripe (bolds are mine throughout this post):

October 14, 2012, 11:21 AM EDT

As the presidential contest enters its final weeks, one loser is clear: the Big Three television networks' evening newscasts, home of some of the worst examples of ongoing and still influential media bias.

Chris Ariens at Media Bistro noted this on October 2 in covering the results for the week of September 24: "Leading into a presidential election, one might think the tune-in to the evening news programs would increase. But one would be wrong." The trend continued during the following week, as will be seen in the graphic following the jump.

October 13, 2012, 9:10 AM EDT

In an op-ed at "Bloomberg View" on Wednesday evening, editor and columnist Michael Kinsley's headline teased that "Maybe President Romney Wouldn’t Be So Bad," before twice urging readers to vote to reelect President Obama, including in the final paragraph after an alleged parenthetical (and obviously mythical) "Pause for reflection." Ha ha.

What came in between wasn't very funny at all -- and since he's an editor, his view of things presumably has impact beyond his columns. The worst whoppers came in the following paragraph:

October 12, 2012, 11:49 PM EDT

On October 3, as Kyle Brennan's at NewsBusters noted the next day, NBC News political director Chuck Tood, appearing on CNBC, characterized presidential polls generated by Scott Rasmussen's polling group as "slop."

The specific quote: "We spend a lot more money polling than Scott Rasmussen does. We spend a lot more money on quality control....I hate the idea that [NBC] polling, which is rigorously done, has to get compared to what is, in some cases, you know, slop." At the time, while many polls, including NBC's (done in conjunction with the Wall Street Journal), were showing Barack Obama with leads of four points or more nationally, Rasmussen was virtually alone Obama barely ahead and occasionally tied with Mitt RomneyChuck was clearly not pleased with that. Someone ought to ask Todd if his evaluation holds based on the results following the jump which were posted at Real Clear Politics early Friday morning.

October 11, 2012, 2:58 PM EDT

In August, in response to an ad from the campaign of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney claiming that the Obama administration's Department of Health and Human Services had just weakened the work requirements of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program (also known as TANF, or "traditional welfare"), Molly Moorhead at the so-called fact check site PolitiFact gave the ad a "Pants on Fire" rating, the one supposedly reserved for the most scurrilous lies propagated by politicians and others. Russell Sykes, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute has just doused PolitiFact's imaginary flames -- but don't hold your breath waiting for PoltiFact to recognize it.

Specifically, Moorhead objected to the Romney ad as follows (bolds are mine throughout this post):

October 11, 2012, 12:19 PM EDT

UPDATE: Henry Blodget at Business Insider reports that a "source, who is an analyst at the Department, " has told him that "the number of California claims that were not processed totalled about 15,000-25,000."

Today's release of the Department of Labor's weekly unemployment claims report showed 339,000 initial claims filed during the previous week -- a sharp decline of 30,000 from the previous week's upwardly revised 369,000. Shortly after that, the Wall Street Journal reported that "one large state didn't report additional quarterly figures as expected, accounting for a substantial part of the decrease." The Associated Press's framing: "... spokesman said one large state accounted for much of the decline." At Reuters: "one state ... reported a decline in claims last week when an increase was expected."

So you would expect caution in assessing the meaning of the report, right? Wrong -- At the AP and Reuters, they apparently just can't help themselves.