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
September 13, 2012, 4:13 PM EDT

A report yesterday in the Toronto-based Globe and Mail ("Obama’s reaction to Benghazi will be muted") concerning the September 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya caught my eye. Right there in its third paragraph, Alan Jamieson said that "On Wednesday, the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was destroyed by Muslim militants."

"Destroyed"? I hadn't read that anywhere else. CNN and many other U.S. news outlets described what happened in Benghazi as an "attack" -- as if the damage done, even if serious, was not in effect a demolition. The distinction seemed particularly germane to a report yesterday in the Associated Press about Marines being dispatched to Libya:

September 13, 2012, 12:20 PM EDT

Whoever wrote the Associated Press's brief dispatch yesterday on the results of the government's auction of 10-year Treasury notes seemed to be stunned and on the defensive about its result.

The item, entitled "Weak Demand at Auction of 10-Year U.S. Treasury Debt," began as follows: "U.S. Treasury prices dived Wednesday after an auction of 10-year notes drew very weak demand, signaling a lack of appetite for ultra-safe investments." Gee, I wonder why there's a "lack of appetite"?

September 12, 2012, 10:22 PM EDT

In her writeup covering the Census Bureau's latest release of income and poverty data, Hope Yen at the Associated Press quoted University of Michigan economist Sheldon Danziger, who specializes in "Applied Policy, Labor Markets, Poverty and Social Welfare," describing the news that the official poverty rate was statistically unchanged, moving from 15.1% of all Americans to 15.0%, as "good news and surprising."

Mr. Danziger should consider moonlighting as a stand-up comedian. With laugh lines like that and another one which will be seen in the excerpt after the jump, he's a can't-miss prospect, even if his delivery is as deadpan as Steven Wright's. But, as will also be seen shortly, he has stiff competition from White House bloggers. In both cases, audiences will be laughing at them, not with them (bolds are mine):

September 12, 2012, 11:17 AM EDT

After reading Ben White's "Morning Money" report at the Politico this morning, I went back to Real Clear Politics to make sure that I was up to date on the current polling. Currently, RCP has Barack Obama up by 3.2 points over Mitt Romney in an average of the five most recent polls -- and at least two of those polls are cooked.

But if we're to believe White, "bankers and their lobbyists" are already talking "about what went wrong with the Romney campaign, as if there is no chance the GOP nominee will turn it around and eke out a close win over President Obama."

September 12, 2012, 9:43 AM EDT

In this case, instead of "all the news that's fit to print," it's all the news that's fit to downplay.

While relegating news of the attacks on the U.S. embassy in Cairo and the American Consulate in Behghazi, Libya to Page A4, today's New York Times placed the following stories on the front page of its New York and National editions (HT Daniel Drezner via Instapundit):

September 11, 2012, 8:45 PM EDT

If you tried to get a handle on the showdown between Chicago Public Schools and its teachers' union based on picture captions from the Associated Press, you would think that the teachers' strike has nothing to do with money.

The reality is that Chicago's teachers are, depending on the figures quoted, either the highest-paid cadre of K-12 educators in the nation or so darned close to it that their current demand for a 16% increase over the next four years (down from an original 35%, as Ken Shepherd at NewsBusters noted earlier today) will put them easily 10% ahead of any group of teachers anywhere else in the nation. With that in mind, let's look at the content of the various picture captions I located as I reviewed the wire service's latest strike-related stories.

September 11, 2012, 11:54 AM EDT

Poll cooking season is officially in full swing. The headline today at the Washington Post reads: "Among likely voters, Obama-Romney close." Dan Balz and Jon Cohen report that in a September 7-9 poll, "the (presidential) race remains close among likely voters, with Obama at 49 percent and Romney at 48 percent, virtually unchanged from a poll taken just before the conventions." Ah, but Obama supposedly has a six-point lead among registered voters.

Based on pair's report, the easy choices on how to interpret the results are these: Either President Obama really didn't come out of the Democratic Convention with a polling bounce, or, if he did have a bounce, it disappeared after last Friday's dreadful employment news. There's a third and far more likely choice, which only becomes apparent once one sees the mix of respondents in the poll's final listed question.

September 9, 2012, 3:09 PM EDT

Including BoxOfficeMojo.com's weekend estimates, "2016: Obama's America," which grossed over $3.2 million during that time, has now reached Number 2 on the all-time list in the Political Documentary category, a genre which apparently didn't arise until the early 1980s.

The only movie with a higher gross than "2016's" $26.1 million is the unreachable (and virtually unwatchable) "Fahrenheit 9/11," at $119 million. All other left-oriented movies are now eating Dinesh D'Souza's dust, including the following:

September 8, 2012, 8:19 PM EDT

A NewsBusters tipster found a perfect example of why those who monitor journalists' original news coverage should look at all iterations of stories they file. Doing so reveals whether coverage of a story improves or degrades over time. It also occasionally exposes biases reporters otherwise try to cover up.

The Associated Press's Ben Feller, tasked with writing a story immediately following President Obama's speech at the Democratic National Convention Thursday night, appears to have done the latter as he wrapped up a very early version of his story ("Obama's convention evolution complete"; time-stamped at 11:16 p.m. September 6 at the AP's hosted2.ap.org site and at the Rutland Herald):

September 8, 2012, 9:47 AM EDT

Less than 48 hours from now, Chicago's teachers, whose union head insists, as quoted by the Associated Press, that "we are here to negotiate for better schools in Chicago," may walk off the job, leaving the children entrusted to them to languish in half-days of activities unrelated to learning "staffed by non-union and central office workers."

There seems to be an unwritten rule that news coverage of these matters not discuss the current earnings of those who are threatening to strike. In a writeup of over 900 words, AP writers Tammy Webber and Don Babwin stuck to that script, and also failed to tell their readers the size of the raise union negotiators initially requested. Those two figures follow the jump.

September 7, 2012, 7:49 AM EDT

The Daily Caller published two troubling stories by Matthew Boyle yesterday. The first, referring to email evidence, contends that senior Obama reelection campaign adviser David Axelrod has attempted "to subtly intimidate the respected polling firm when its numbers were unfavorable to the president," and that in August, "After Gallup declined to change its polling methodology, Obama’s Department of Justice hit it with an unrelated lawsuit" alleging that it has been overcharging the federal government on various contracts.

The second notes that DOJ has not yet formally served that lawsuit on Gallup, leading an unnamed "senior Gallup official" to theorize that "that Holder’s DOJ may be aware that serving the complaint before November’s election would appear politically charged." I'll note two other "little" things and excerpt relevant reports after the jump.

September 6, 2012, 7:08 PM EDT

If Clint Eastwood's "empty chair" speech last week at the Republican National Convention was so weak, pathetic, pitiful, ineffective, and worthless, why is far-left Hollywood not just leaving him alone? Instead, some are so upset that they're starting to take aim at the Academy Award winner's next movie and apparently rooting for it to be a flop (while using the passive-aggressive "will it hurt him?" technique).

At the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, entertainment writer Derrik J. Lang seems to have been enlisted to let everyone know that if "Trouble with the Curve" is a box-office flop, it may be because Eastwood had the gall to speak out against Dear Leader:

September 6, 2012, 12:50 PM EDT

In a rare moment of reluctant semi-journalism which didn't name names, the Politico's Reid Epstein, in reporting about the God-Jerusalem debacle at the Democratic Convention Wednesday night, buried the lede, waiting until his third paragraph to tell readers (belated HT to Weasel Zippers) that "While the campaign at first said Obama had seen the language prior to the convention, it later said he did not learn of the issue until Wednesday morning, when he became aware of seeing news coverage of the issue." (Sidebar: Does that mean Dear Leader watches the despised Fox News?)

Then Epstein just let the disclosure sit there with no additional follow-up. His story has what is in my view a deliberately "this is boring" headline ("Division over platform at DNC" ... zzz). However, it would appear that the folks over at the Associated Press got to Epstein's third paragraph, and went into full-keister-covering mode.

September 5, 2012, 10:21 PM EDT

 

Well, it looks like we have a bit of evidence that, contrary to an assertion by a pair of Politico reporters, it's not the media elites who can "powerfully shape" the narrative coming out of party conventions (the issue in question there was how Mitt Romney's nomination acceptance speech would be spun).

After all, as Scott Whitlock at NewsBusters noted earlier today, the three major networks have totally ignored the omission of "God" in the Democratic Party's platform, and have only lightly covered the platform's failure to name Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Despite that, and therefore obviously because of center-right media pressure (and semi-sensible Dems sensing disastrous election fallout), those issues now are both like Prego spaghetti sauce -- i.e., they're in there. Associated Press reporters Julie Pace and Steve Peoples seemed a bit unhappy with this turn of events in the version of their dispatch which appeared shortly after 6 PM ET, and tried to pin the entire blame on Republicans:

September 4, 2012, 11:55 PM EDT

Yesterday, it was John Burton, the chairman of the California Democratic Party, who "compared Republican tactics during the presidential campaign to the 'big lie' strategy most famously employed by Nazi propagandists." According to the Associated Press, Burton, "'humbly apologized' to anyone offended by his comparison" (that's not an apology, as he didn't admit to doing anything wrong, but it's the best one can expect from a leftist).

Today, it was Pat Lehman, a woman from the Kansas delegation, described as its "dean," and it looks like she's digging in. Geez, how many such references aren't being noted by the Obama-friendly press in Charlotte? First, from the original report at Kansas.com via the Wichita Eagle's Dion Lefler:

September 4, 2012, 9:49 PM EDT

Completing a two-month full reversal of a tiny decline which began earlier in the year, the USDA reported on Friday that participation in the Food Stamp program, which the government wants everyone to call SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), reached an all-time record high in June. The program's had 46.67 million participants that month, eclipsing the previous record of 46.51 million in December 2011.

Only the business press seems interested in covering the story. What follows are excerpts from the story at Bloomberg Business Week, where the most important story element for reporter Alan Bjerga was the impact on Dear Leader's reelection effort:

September 4, 2012, 2:39 PM EDT

I really can't do much with this one beyond relaying the absurd particulars involved in PolitiFact's incredible conclusion that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker made a statement which was only "Half True" about unemployment in the various states in his speech last week at the Republican National Convention.

On August 17, the government's Bureau of Labor Statistics opened its monthly Regional and State Employment and Unemployment report as follows: "Regional and state unemployment rates were generally little changed or slightly higher in July. Forty-four states recorded unemployment rate increases, two states and the District of Columbia posted rate decreases, and four states had no change ..." The Associated Press's opening sentence in its coverage of the report's contents was: "Unemployment rates rose in 44 U.S. states in July, the most states to show a monthly increase in more than three years and a reflection of weak hiring nationwide." After the jump, readers will see the awful statement Walker made in Tampa:

September 3, 2012, 10:56 PM EDT

The Politico, in its report on what turned out to be the center-right's "Empty Chair Day," covered the reaction of one prominent member of organized labor to Clint Eastwood's supposedly horrible (if you believe leftist pundits) speech at the Republican National Convention.

If it was really that awful, they would be taking pity on Clint. Instead, they're getting hostile, meaning that the Hollywood Academy Award winner really got under their skin, as seen in an understated report by the online web site's Tim Mak and Juana Summers (bolds are mine througout this post):

September 2, 2012, 11:57 PM EDT

In his weekend syndicated column, Deroy Murdock unearthed and relayed information the establishment press hasn't told the nation about how certain public-sector pension funds and university endowments have chosen to invest money entrusted to them in Bain Capital. Yes, Bain Capital.

Until three weeks ago, it would have been somewhat understandable if the business press didn't expect to find a story here. After all, who would expect that the organizations complaining the loudest and longest about the conduct of Bain, the private-equity firm GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney left over a decade ago, would actually have significant funds invested there? These people couldn't possibly be that hypocritical, could they? Oh yes they could.

September 1, 2012, 11:55 PM EDT

For sheer arrogance and self-importance, it's pretty hard to top a pair of political pundits at Politico on the power they  believe media "insiders" have to tell Americans what Mitt Romney really said and meant in his nomination acceptance speech at the Republican convention Thursday night.

I daresay that most Americans, almost six years after the web site's founding (January 23, 2007, according to Wikipedia), don't even know what the Politico is ("Oh, is that the new bar downtown?"). But by gosh, Jim VandeHei and John F. Harris, in an "analysis" updated early Friday morning, clearly believe that a couple hundred of their colleagues in the media (possibly including themselves), also largely unknown, will be able to take control of Americans' perceptions of Romney's presentation -- and, ultimately, of his campaign (bolds are mine):