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 30, 2011, 11:52 PM EST

A frequent emailer who happens to be a retired and now-disgusted journalist sent me a link to an Associated Press item by Philip Elliott and which is so over-the-top that you hope that Phil is on the White House payroll. At least then he'd have a justification for a hit piece which might as well have been written by David Axelrod (well, maybe it really was).

By the time I got to "FACT CHECK: GOP field flubs, big and small," Elliott's excretion was far longer. I did find the original elsewhere and want to point to the statement which got my emailer appropriately exercised:

November 29, 2011, 11:11 PM EST

If you don't hear much about the Iranian mob which stormed the British embassy earlier today in future news reports, you can probably at least partially blame the Associated Press, which considers the event so unimportant that it's not even part of its main U.S. site's top ten world stories as of 10:25 p.m. (saved here at host for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes).

For those who are curious as to the identification of the ten stories considered more important, here they are:

November 29, 2011, 7:28 PM EST

A story generating a lot of discussion today concerns how former Philadelphia Schools Superintendent Arlene Ackerman, who is receiving $905,000 in severance, has applied for unemployment benefits, and has been promised that the school district will not contest her claim.

Not so fast, people. I searched Google and Google News briefly, and found an interesting aspect of the situation which no one in the media apparently wants to consider. It relates to how Ackerman's employment ended. One of many place where that ending is described came from Matt Petrillo at Philadelphia Weekly just three weeks ago. It began thusly: "It’s been 11 weeks since the School Reform Commission unanimously voted to fire public school boss lady Arlene Ackerman." A quick visit to the relevant page at the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry would appear to indicate that Ackerman should not get unemployment benefits, and that it shouldn't matter whether the district contests her claim:

November 29, 2011, 2:15 PM EST

Anyone who made the easy prediction that the Associated Press would fail to bring up Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac in its fawning tribute to Barney Frank after his retirement announcement yesterday was correct. Anyone making the easy prediction that the AP would lionize him as a "gay pioneer" was also spot-on.

Also predictably, the wire service's Bob Salsberg and David Espo failed to mention that Frank advocated abolishing Fan and Fred as a dishonest survival tactic during his final reelection campaign in 2010, and of course did nothing visible to make that happen this year. What's really odious in this regard is that the AP pair gave him credit (pun intended) for how he "worked to expand affordable housing," when the Community Reinvestment Act-driven subprime crisis Fan and Fred engendered has sent the housing market levels not seen since World War II. What follows are excerpts from the AP. After that I have a few contrary and clear-headed paragraphs from an Investor's Business Daily editorial, and a little reminder of a 1999 "Present" vote which should have generated controversy, but didn't:

November 28, 2011, 8:41 PM EST

This morning, the Census Bureau told us that 25,000 new homes were sold in October, which, after seasonal adjustment, works out to an annual rate of 307,000. This was up from a seasonally adjusted and downwardly revised (from 313,000) 303,000 in September. According to the first sentence of Derek Kravitz's related report at the Associated Press, this constitutes a "hopeful sign," even though October's number could easily be revised downward, as September's was.

Kravitz went further downhill in his fifth paragraph, descending into flat-out, undeniable falsehood (bold is mine):

November 28, 2011, 7:58 PM EST

In an item at the Associated Press datelined early Monday morning not labeled as "analysis" or otherwise characterized as the reporter's point of view, the wire service's Amy Teibel went on the attack against current developments in Israeli politics and society in extraordinarily harsh terms, to the point where her report could easily have been mistaken for a leftist's political stump speech.

Teibel's screed began with the headline ("A battle is raging for the soul of Israeli society"), and went downhill from there (what are in my view deliberately loaded words are in bold):

November 27, 2011, 9:02 AM EST

Imagine if it were discovered that free-market think tanks were caught vetting scripts of Fox News programs, intervening to prevent free-market sceptics from receiving air time, and consulted with the network about how it should alter its programing in a free-market direction. The howls of outrage would be loud, long and unrelenting from other news networks, the wire services, and leading U.S. newspapers.

What I have just described, and more, characterizes a decade-long relationship between the British Broadcasting Corporation and UK-based climate scientists at the University of East Anglia (UEA) -- except that the BBC is government-funded and disproportionately controls the flow of broadcast news in the UK. What the UK Daily Mail has revealed today as part of its ongoing review of the second set of Climategate emails released before Thanksgiving has caused Benny Peiser of the Global Warming Policy Foundation to write that the BBC is "in cahoots with Climategate scientists." What follows are excerpts from the David Rose's Daily Mail story (bolds are mine):

November 26, 2011, 1:42 PM EST

It seems that everyone in Washington believes that there is zero chance of any kind of economic calamity befalling this nation until January 2013, even though the government is on track to stay on self-destructive autopilot until then. I do not understand how or why anyone can be that confident.

Jim Kuhnhenn at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, almost gleefully participated in that denial on Thursday in presenting the following paragraphs (bolds are mine throughout this post):

November 25, 2011, 11:52 PM EST

On November 15 (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I compared how two of the leading wire services, Reuters and the Associated Press, covered the announcement by Geron Corp. of its decision to halt the first government-approved clinical trial involving embryonic stem cells. Reuters fairly noted that "teams working with adult stem cells -- a less ambitious area -- are making good progress." While one could quarrel with the characterization of adult stem cell research as "less ambitious" (unless you throw in cloning, which is what sometimes seems to be embryonic researchers' primary area of intrigue), its "good progress" descriptor was fair. Meanwhile, the Associated Press's coverage of the same story failed to even recognize the existence of adult stem cell research.

Wesley Smith, a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute's Center on Human Exceptionalism and an influential prolife author, has observed that the establishment press has largely come down where AP did. A Friday Catholic News Agency item elaborates (bolds are mine):

November 23, 2011, 6:54 PM EST

I admit that I haven't kept up with trends in establishment press local crime coverage. But an item at Toledo-area blogger Maggie Thurber's place about a robbery-related story in Monday's Toledo Blade caught my attention. I hope the perspective Maggie saw on display is an outlier. I'm concerned that it may not be.

You see, someone robbing a convenience store in the Glass City was killed during the attempt, and the "Blade Staff" in the unbylined story called him a victim -- twice:

November 22, 2011, 11:03 PM EST

At the Associated Press this afternoon, reporter Ben Nuckols opened his report on the completion of Occupy Wall Street's "Occupy the HIghway" march thusly: "Drenched, blistered and weary, a few dozen Occupy Wall Street protesters arrived Tuesday in the nation's capital after a two-week, 240-mile march from Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan."

Anyone reading Nuckols's opening statement would believe that at least 24 marchers completed the entire journey (I'd say 36, but the dictionary defines a "few" as "not many but more than one"). Actually, that's not the case, as readers who somehow endure the intervening insipidness learn when they get to the report's seventh and eighth paragraphs:

November 22, 2011, 9:54 PM EST

On Monday, Noel Sheppard at NewsBusters noted how former New York Times op-ed writer (and before that, theater critic) Frank Rich, who now plies whatever his trade is at New York Magazine, criticized MSNBC's Chris Matthews for writing a "man-crush of a biography" about John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated 48 years ago today.

Monday evening, Allahpundit at Hot Air identified a particularly egregious contention in that same very poor Rich piece, namely that "the hate that ended his (JFK's) presidency" which inspired avowed communist and Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald to commit his heinous crimes (Oswald also shot Texas Governor John Connally in JFK's motorcade and killed Dallas police officer J.D. Tippit later that day) came from the right. Really. What follows are selections from Rich's risible self-righteousness:

November 21, 2011, 8:34 PM EST

Give John Nolte a gold star. In a Friday post at BigJournalism.com entitled "Panicked AP Attempts to Memory-Hole Democrats’ #Occupy Endorsements," Nolte latched onto the beginnings of the establishment press's desperate attempt to distance President Obama and the Democratic Party from the rapidly devolving Occupy movement.

The disingenously headlined item Nolte caught, apparently from an earlier report ("Democrats see minefield in Occupy protests") appeared via Beth Fouhy on Thursday at the Associated Press, which yours truly has often taken to naming the Administration's Press. Later, as seen here, a revised version came in with this howler of a headline: "Wary Democrats keep distance from Occupy protests," while the calculated attempt to create separation in the article's text got even worse. First, excerpts from Nolte's post (bolds are mine; links were in original):

November 20, 2011, 11:17 AM EST

The dictionary definition of "stimulate" relevant to a nation's economy is "to rouse to action or effort."

We still have journalists who gullibly relay the notion that extending unemployment benefits and increasing entitlement programs will "rouse" the economy "to action of effort," despite almost three years of evidence that such is not the case. One of them is Andrew Taylor, a writer for the Associated Press, who, in his unprofessionally titled ("Deficit deal failure would pose crummy choice") and painfully long writeup about the supercommittee's lack of action or effort in Washington, wrote the following:

November 20, 2011, 9:20 AM EST

In their deeply deceptive Friday morning story ("Deep spending cuts pose a new threat to US economy") about how the bicameral bipartisan supercommittee is supposedly going to hurt the economy with whatever results from its handiwork, Christopher Rugaber and Daniel Wagner of the Associated Press, aka The Administration's Press, "somehow" forgot to include one "little" detail, and deferred another until very late in their report.

The omission, which is that the "cuts" under consideration are really reductions in projected spending increases in future years, is sadly typical. The fact is the $1.2 trillion in "savings" the supercommittee hopes to engineer will only slightly reduce the rate of spending growth. The deferral is that the pair waited until Paragraph 18 to tell readers, and even then only incompletely, that the "deep cuts" would be spread over nine years, thereby amounting to roughly 3% of the $40.3 trillion if projected 2013-2021 spending (Page XI here). The AP pair never explains how "cuts" which wouldn't kick in until the October 1, 2012 beginning of fiscal 2013 and which are (as they have almost always been) heavily skewed towards later years would affect the current economy. Excerpts from the pair's report follow (bolds are mine):

November 19, 2011, 10:12 AM EST

Oops, he supposedly did it again. Herman Cain, the GOP presidential candidate who has experience as a rocket scientist on his resume, made another allegedly "stupid" remark. Why, if you buy the press's accounts of his statements, it's hard to believe the guy can dress himself in the morning without hanging his pants over his head and putting his socks on his hands.

Here's what Cain said that has the ninnies at ThinkProgress aka ThinkRegress (whom I won't link) and the Politico all lathered up -- When Cain recounted how he wouldn't answer a reporter's non-specific question about Libya, he responded that he needed to know which aspect of President Obama's current "policy" (there is one?) he should address: "Do I agree with siding with the opposition? Do I agree with saying that Qadhafi should go? Do I agree that they now have a country where you’ve got Taliban and Al Qaeda that’s going to be part of the government? … Do I agree with not knowing the government was going to — which part was he asking me about? I was trying to get him to be specific and he wouldn’t be specific." Well, it turns out, in an update at Politico which ThinkRegress isn't posting, lest it disturb its meme of constant condescension, that a Cain spokesman identified an important Libyan official with Taliban connections lickety-split:

November 18, 2011, 11:27 PM EST

You can't make this up: The ever-careful Essential Global News Network known as the Associated Press actually believed that a guy who has been on a DC sports show for several football seasons impersonating Christopher Walken was actually Christopher Walken.

After excerpting several paragraphs from AP's unbylined (naturally) mea culpa (saved here at host for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes), I'll explain why this snafu really isn't particularly surprising:

November 17, 2011, 11:22 PM EST

This one's utterly predictable, but still needs to be noted.

As Edwin Mora at CNS News reported on Wednesday, California Congresswoman Maxine Waters, after a Congressional Progressive Caucus-sponsored event at the Capitol, “when asked to comment ... about the deaths and crimes that have occurred around Occupy protests being held across the country, … said 'that’s life and it happens.'" What's also happened, or actually not happened, is that the Associated Press and the New York Times have failed to note what Waters said, as shown in the following search results on her first name at AP and on her full name (not in quotes) at the Times:

November 16, 2011, 8:57 PM EST

Five weeks ago, Dan Gainor of the Media Research Center's Culture & Media Institute thoroughly documented (at NewsBusters; at MRC) how "two separate news unions, including the newspaper guild, the recognized union for many print and online journalists, and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) are fully behind the radical message of Occupy Wall Street."

Now that the Occupy encampments are largely being put out of their disease-infested, crime-plagued misery by big-city mayors finally recovering a tiny bit of their sanity, a visit to the home page of The Newspaper Guild, which, as Dan noted, is part of the CWA (Communications Workers of America) and represents workers at the Associated Press and many individual publications, indicates that they are fully behind what the Occupiers hope is the next stage of their disorderly incoherence. The graphic currently at the top of the guild's home page, which is the same as the one currently found in an entry at OWS's main site, follows the jump:

November 16, 2011, 12:53 PM EST

You would think that a story headlined "GOP says Energy Dept. tried to delay solar layoffs" would have a quote or two from a Republican Party spokesperson, politician, candidate or even a rank-and-file party member alleging that, well, the Energy Department tried to delay layoffs at now-bankrupt Solyndra. It doesn't. The "trifling" matter clearly didn't concern the headline writer at the Associated Press, which one again is showing that it deserves to be called "The Administration's Press."

Without attribution, Matthew Daly's early afternoon story (saved here at host for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes) largely relays and only slightly builds on what Carol D. Leonnig and Joe Stephens reported yesterday at the Washington Post. What follows are selected paragraphs from Daly's report, including two (in bold) which only generically cite GOP criticism: