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 24, 2011, 6:45 PM EDT

Herman Cain has been ahead of Mitt Romney in the most recent GOP presidential candidate polling average at Real Clear Politics by a microscopic margin since late last week.

Readers might be surprised to know that the wordings of the presidential preference questions at the various polling organizations differ significantly. In my view, the same person might given a different answer depending on which organization's polling question was asked. Here are the examples, with the Cain-Romney split identified in each instance (links are to fairly large PDFs in some instances):

October 24, 2011, 5:13 PM EDT

If you didn't know any better (actually, I think I do), you would think that perhaps Cristina Silva at the Associated Press is doing all she can to minimize the tourism-damaging things President Barack Obama has said about Las Vegas while tasked with reporting on his upcoming visit there.

Three times in her short afternoon report -- once in the item's headline and twice in the item's first two paragraphs -- Silva refers to Las Vegas as "Sin City." I realize that it's a legitimate nickname and that the town isn't seen as a mecca of virtue, but whatever happened to referring to the place as, well, "Vegas" -- especially since Obama has never used the "Sin City" nickname in a speech? A graphic capture of the short item's first four paragraphs follows (link will probably be revised during the evening):

October 24, 2011, 4:18 PM EDT

Yesterday (since updated to early morning Monday), in what should be seen as a thoroughly embarrassing report -- but mostly won't be -- the Associated Press's Jay Lindsay in Boston, with help from Karen Matthews in New York, devoted almost 1,000 words to the involvement of various religious clerics in the ongoing Occupy Wall Street activities.

Before getting to their report, I'll bring readers up-to-date on the starkly irreligious, anti-religious, and, yes, downright sinful elements of Occupy Wall Street which Lindsay and Matthews chose to totally ignore in their report. The video involved comes from MinnesotaMajority.org, and follows the jump (Direct YouTube; HT Powerline; Warning - some strong language and disturbing images):

October 23, 2011, 10:17 PM EDT

At the Associated Press today, National Writer Jesse Washington attempted to dissect the relative dearth of college degrees earned by African-Americans in "STEM" (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).

Not that anything he reported was particularly wrong, but in my view he missed the largest contributor to the problem, one that apparently can't be mentioned in polite press company. He used one word -- "uneducated" -- that started to get close but backed away. The five-word phrase he failed to mention, which could usefully carry the acronym "LUPUS":

October 23, 2011, 5:09 PM EDT

Yesterday, in what appears to have been a not particularly sweat-breaking research enterprise, blogger Don Surber at the Charleston Daily Mail demonstrated that the Richard Muller, a Berkley scientist who the Washington Post's Brad Plumer declared to be a "cliimate skeptic," has been a believer in human-caused global warming -- since the 1980s.

Muller convinced Plumer that as a result of looking at matters more closely, he has now become convinced that his skepticism was unwarranted. In Plumer's words, "Muller’s team appears to have confirmed the basic tenets of climate science." Surber smelled insincerity, and found supporting evidence quite quickly, which of course makes one wonder why Plumer didn't even bother to look for it, or was so clumsy that he failed to find any (bolds are mine):

October 23, 2011, 2:15 PM EDT

On October 13, Monika Scislowska of the Associated Press reported that a "legendary freedom leader ... says he supports the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York that protests corporate greed," and that "that he is planning either a visit or a letter to the protesters." That leader would be Poland's former President Lech Walesa.

On Friday, October 21, at 5:01 p.m., Adam Andrzejewski at BigGovernment.com (HT Smitty at The Other McCain) reported that "Based on our discussion and intervention, President Walesa is not going to get involved with the OWS." The AP's follow-up story is after the jump:

October 21, 2011, 8:08 PM EDT

The easy catch in former Obama administration economic adviser Austan Goolsbee's Thursday interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," as reported by the Politico's Tim Mak, is that he believes that "if given a second chance he would not have backed the Cash for Clunkers program or the home buyer tax credit." Goolsbee's excuse for his changed position -- that the administration didn't think the recovery would take so long, when the administration's policies have primarily explain why the recovery has taken so long -- is characteristically lame.

Something else Goolsbee said is far more surprising -- so surprising that one wonders if famed supply-side economist Arthur Laffer somehow temporarily took over the former Obama adviser's mind and body. One also wonders why Mak saved what Goolsbee said for his report's final two paragraphs instead of headlining and leading with it.

October 21, 2011, 6:07 PM EDT

In June, when yours truly last blogged on a Glenn Kessler piece (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), the Washington Post's "Fact Checker" was calling Barack Obama's claims about the accomplishments of the auto-company bailouts "one of the most misleading collections of assertions we have seen in a short presidential speech." He gave Obama's claims three Pinocchios ("Significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions").

Today, Kessler went to four Pinocchios ("whoppers") on Vice President Joe Biden's claims about the prospects for a rise in rapes and murders if the $35 billion section of Obama's "American Jobs Act" devoted to "saving" public-sector jobs doesn't pass. NB's Noel Sheppard did a great job on the "macro" aspect of Biden's bogus claim this morning. Kessler's clean-up has to do with Biden's supposed exemplar, the city of Flint Michigan, where the Vice President claims that murders have doubled and rapes have tripled in the past year (bolds are mine):

October 20, 2011, 12:41 AM EDT

Readers participating in the real world will be quite surprised to learn that, according to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, "It's very clear that private-sector jobs have been doing just fine."

At The Hill's Floor Action blog, reporter Pete Kasperowicz, writing as if the world began in early 2010, supported Reid's contention: "Private-sector jobs have increased over the last 19 months, while government jobs have lagged." I hope both gentlemen don't mind if, after excerpting a few paragraphs from Pete K's report, we look at some real numbers after the jump.

October 19, 2011, 9:32 PM EDT

Concerning President Obama, his obviously most important quote of the past 48 hours is his statement to ABC's Jake Tapper (transcript here) that concerning the economy, "I believe all the choices we've made have been the right ones ..."

Clearly, such a remark, if widely known, would be problematic for the President among quite a number of unemployed and underemployed Americans. In the New Media age, of course, it can't be kept totally under wraps, but at the two organizations which still consider themselves the nation's news gatekeepers, Obama's statement apparently hasn't made the cut. Consider it the latest installment in what might as well be dubbed, "Operation Protect the President."

October 19, 2011, 12:49 PM EDT

The headline and opening sentence in Derek Kravitz's Associated Press report this morning on the Census Bureau's homebulding industry data release gives readers the impression that industry activity increased impressively during September. It increased a tiny bit, but certainly not by the percentage indicated.

The headline ignorantly assumes that a double-digit increase in housing starts is the same as an increase in "home building." It isn't. That headline, the first four paragraphs from Kravitz's report, and some other indicators of housing market progress -- and the stunning lack thereof, three full years after the politicians promised that the Troubled Asset Relief Program would right the ship -- follow the jump (bolds are mine):

October 17, 2011, 11:52 PM EDT

This afternoon, Associated Press Religion Writer Rachel Zoll devoted over 1,600 words to "dominionism," spending much of it attempting to cast Rick Perry as their guy, even though, as she admitted, "Perry has never said anything that would directly link him to dominionism." Oh, but he's sorta said some things that might hint at such sympathies, and he's been on stage with people who are supposedly "dominionists." Zoll even cited MSNBC's Rachel Maddow as a supposedly authoritative source.

Don't even ask if there's any mention of Barack Obama and Jeremiah "God D**n America" Wright. You know better. Here are several paragraphs from Zoll's barrel of blather:

October 17, 2011, 2:01 PM EDT

UPDATE, 4 p.m.: NB gets results? The Lowe's story is currently #10 on the AP's Business home page (saved here).

It's a good thing I heard this on the radio at about 11:00 a.m., because I might otherwise have missed it. With yours truly's opinion along for the ride, I'll let readers judge whether the news of the Lowe's home improvement chain announcing that it will close 20 stores and cut its new store opening plans by one-half to two-thirds deserved to be in the top ten business stories at the Associated Press as of 12:52 p.m.

Here are the ten which made the cut in order of appearance on the wire service's Business home page (saved here for future reference, fair use, and discussion purposes; original link not made because of frequent changes):

October 16, 2011, 7:57 PM EDT

The Associated Press's seeming effort to go after every candidate except the guy who used to be governor of Massachusetts -- and imposed CO2 emission caps when he was -- went a different route tonight with a report by the wire service's Ryan J. Foley that Herman Cain, a believer in liberty and free-market capitalism, "has close ties" with the Koch brothers, who believe in liberty and free-market capitalism.

Knock me over with a feather. Here are several paragraphs from Foley's report (bolds are mine):

October 16, 2011, 10:58 AM EDT

On October 9, an unbylined Associated Press story reported that Congressmen Darrell Issa "could send subpoenas to the Obama administration as soon as this week over weapons lost amid the Mexican drug war." On Wednesday, October 12, Issa did just that.

Mike Vanderboegh's Sipsey Street Irregulars blog has a succinct summary (HT Ed Driscoll) of the establishment press's coverage of Issa's actions since the subpoenas' issuance:

October 15, 2011, 9:29 PM EDT

Sometimes it's really hard to understand why certain events get heavy national press coverage while others which are arguably at least as significant and serious get little if any notice. This is one of them. Scott Walker, who solved a $3 billion projected deficit in Wisconsin, is a media and leftist (but I repeat myself) arch-villain because much of the balancing was done by adjusting public-sector employee contributions towards health and pension benefits to more closely but still more generously resemble what's seen in the private sector, and by reducing public-sector employees' ability to restore them to their formerly out-of-control levels through collective bargaining. Ditto for John Kasich in Ohio, where the projected deficit was $8 billion.

Meanwhile, the state of Illinois defers billions of dollars of payments to vendors by four or more months because, despite 67% and 46% increases in personal and business income taxes, respectively, it still doesn't have the money to come even close to staying current. Yet virtually all we've seen from the national press on the problem is one Associated Press story conveniently filed on a Saturday. Here are key paragraphs from the report by Christopher Wills (bolds are mine throughout this post):

October 15, 2011, 10:23 AM EDT

Yesterday, Joe Weisenthal at Business Insider reacted to the mixed economic news of the day by observing: "Lots of folks are scratching their head about today's dismal UMich/Reuters consumer sentiment number coming in so ugly, just as retail sales for September came in so strong."

It seems that the folks at the Associated Press were not among the head-scratchers. From all appearances, the self-described Essential Global News Network, whose acronym might as well stand for "The Administration's Press," didn't cover the consumer sentiment story at all. What follows are several paragraphs from Alex Kowalski at Bloomberg News describing just how ugly it was, complete with the "U-word" we've all come to know and laugh at (bolds are mine throughout this post):

October 14, 2011, 11:27 PM EDT

Earlier today, Matthew Balan at NewsBusters noted how the "Big Three Nets Trumpet Wall Street Protesters 'Proclaiming Victory.'" HIs report concentrated on the morning shows, but a Media Research Center Reality Check showed the that the fawning has also been present in evening news coverage.

Evening show network executives, however, may be less than thrilled about the "Occupy Wall Street" crowd coverage, and secretly hoping for the whole thing to wind down. That's because their shows, which have generally seen their ratings rise during the past twelve months, saw their combined audience fall below 21 million during the week of October 3, with CBS suffering a particularly sharp drop (comparisons are to previous week):

October 13, 2011, 1:33 PM EDT

Early this morning, I noted how two AP writers seemed to be hoping that former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney will be the Republican Party's presidential nominee, in the process ignoring inconvenient facts like his failure to get over 25% in any poll covered at Real Clear Politics since mid-July while failing to even mention Herman Cain's name until the report's eleventh paragraph (a Rasmussen poll today breaks Romney's three-month dry spell, showing him at 29%, tied with Herman Cain). Sadly, what the AP writes is important for readers to know, because the wire service's copy is read and relayed without question by most of its thousands of subscribing outlets.

Not that learning about the following is anywhere near as important, but in case you're wondering about the GOP presidential nominee preferences and perceptions among several of the pundits at the Washington Post, wonder no more:

October 13, 2011, 12:31 AM EDT

Based on a report filed earlier today and time-stamped 8:16 p.m. as of when this post was prepared, it would appear that the last thing Associated Press writers Charles Babington and Kasie Hunt want is a competitive Republican primary season, and that they'll twist reality and the numbers to fit their meme. Oh, and in case you haven't gotten the establishment press memo, Rick Perry is still Mitt Romney's only real competitor.

Funny, I don't remember the AP or anyone else in the establishment press calling Hillary Clinton's nomination "inevitable" in October 2007, when, according to Real Clear Politics (RCP), Ms. Clinton was outpolling Barack Obama by an average of 24 points in 18 polls (and by probably more over John Edwards, though that info wasn't available at RCP).