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
February 7, 2015, 10:48 AM EST

At USA Today Friday afternoon, two of its reporters came down on the side of Brian Williams in the controversy over what even the often media-enabling Associated Press has called his "fake Iraq story."

Roger Yu tried to portray Williams as a victim of a "synergistic stretch" who is now having to defend himself against the "firestorm on the Internet and social media," while Marisol Bello, who covers "breaking news, poverty and urban affairs," wrote that "there are reasons that it's plausible" that "Williams would remember riding in a helicopter that was shot down if he was nowhere near it."

February 6, 2015, 1:24 AM EST

If Brian Williams or any of the executives at NBC thought that the controversy over his "fake Iraq story" might start to die down, developments this evening have proven that they were sadly mistaken.

The quoted words in the previous sentence are from a headline at an Associated Press story by David Bauder, the wire service's TV writer. The fact that the nation's self-described "essential global news network" felt comfortable using those words to describe the 12 year-old saga of Williams's fabricated adventure in Iraq is actually among the least of his and his network's troubles tonight. Two major stories at the New York Post's Page Six appear to have made their continuing with the status quo very difficult to imagine.

February 5, 2015, 11:03 AM EST

As Curtis Houck at NewsBusters reported last night, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams is in serious trouble after he, in Houck's words, "admitted to not being aboard a helicopter that was shot and had to be rescued following RPG fire during the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003." Williams's apology, also carried at Houck's post, only refers to the "mistake" he made "on this broadcast last week" — as if it was the only time in 12 years he has recounted the incident. It's not; his "war story" was relayed several other times, including in 2013 on David Letterman's show (video here; note the level of detail now effectively admitted as having been fabricated).

In his apology attempt, Williams also told America that he was in "a following aircraft." That's very misleading. Larry O'Connor at Truth Revolt noted, that Williams "neglected to explain that he was in an aircraft that followed the one hit by RPG fire by an entire hour," which "makes it sound like he was right behind the copter in question." It seems more than fair to compare what we've learned in recent days to how NBC promoted Williams on the tenth anniversary of his presence in NBC's anchor chair last year.

February 4, 2015, 11:45 PM EST

Radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh believes that because the center-right media and blogosphere pushed back against the vaccine vendetta campaign against Republicans and conservatives, the establishment press is sharply backing away from trying to capitalize on it, especially because both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have been shown to have played to the anti-vaxxer crowd during the 2008 Democratic presidential primary campaign.

Additionally, the New York Times, which smelled blood and ran a hit piece ("Measles Outbreak Proves Delicate Issue to G.O.P. Field") on Page A1 in its Tuesday print edition, had to issue a major three-point correction to it the very next day. That correction to the story by reporters Jeremy Peters and Richard Pérez-Peña, and Rush's reaction to it, follow the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post; paragraph breaks added by me):

February 4, 2015, 7:02 PM EST

On Friday, Joe Nocera at the New York Times, in the words of a February 4 Times correction, premised his op-ed column "about the indictment of the longtime New York State Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver ... on several factual errors."

The correction failed to correct yet another factual error, namely that Silver, who was arrested, as the Times itself reported, on January 22, has not yet been formally indicted. Here is the full text of that correction (HT Instapundit; bolds are mine throughout this post):

February 4, 2015, 3:31 PM EST

Yesterday, in a column at his organization's web site, the head of the nation's leading polling organization called the government's official unemployment rate, currently at 5.6 percent, a "big lie."

Rest assured that if Gallup Inc. Chairman and CEO Jim Clifton had written this column during a Republican or conservative administration, his words would have been picked up by the Associated Press and the New York Times, and would have echoed across the Big Three networks' nightly newscasts. Instead, because relatively good-looking government data is sacrosanct during a Democratic administration, an expansive Google News search at 1:15 p.m. ET on "Gallup unemployment lie" (not in quotes, showing similar items and duplicates) returned only 26 items. Almost all of them are from center-right blogs and outlets. One exception is an item at Fortune.com which accuses Clifton of indulging in a "vast" "conspiracy theory."

February 3, 2015, 8:34 PM EST

On Friday, the government reported that the nation's economy, as measured in its real gross domestic product, grew at an annual rate of 2.6 percent during last year's final quarter, sharply trailing analysts' consensus predictions ranging from 3.0 percent to 3.6 percent.

As is the case after the first version of every GDP report, economy watchers have been trying to estimate the effect other subsequently released fourth quarter-related government and other data might have on GDP revisions to be reported in late February and late March. Predictably, the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, seems to have decided that it will tell its readers about the ones which seem to point to upward revisions, and that it will ignore those which go in the opposite direction.

February 2, 2015, 5:43 PM EST

According to the Israeli publication Haaretz and many other news outlets, President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry won't meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu because it's "inappropriate."

Specifically, "The White House cited the proximity of the Israeli election to Netanyahu's visit, and the desire to refrain from interfering in the election." Certain blatant falsehoods are too much to take, and at Investor's Business Daily, this was one of them. An IBD editorial also tied the actions of those who are clearly acting as Team Obama agents trying to oust Netanyahu in those upcoming Israeli elections to a more comprehensive indictment of the administration's foreign policy (HT to a frequent tipster; bolds are mine throughout this post):

February 2, 2015, 9:44 AM EST

It only took about 15 seconds into a live segment NBC aired from the White House kitchen before Sunday's Super Bowl for President Barack Obama to commit a historical gaffe about the very place where he resides. He told the network's Savannah Guthrie that "We make beer — The first president since George Washington to make some booze in the White House."

Heavens to Betsy. The White House's construction wasn't completed until 1800, when John Adams, the nation's second president, moved in.

January 31, 2015, 11:51 PM EST

At the recent meeting of the world's elites in Davos, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and former Mexican President Felipe Calderon circulated a proposal to ban cars in all major cities in the world by dense-packing their layouts. The cost, as I noted on Monday: a mere $90 trillion (that's right, trillion). It's telling in a foreboding sense that the pair's idea wasn't laughed off the continent.

Enviro-nutty ideas such as these trace their origin to Gore's 1992 book, "Earth in the Balance," in which Gore called the internal combustion engine "the mankind's greatest enemy." In reality, it is arguably the greatest enabler of human progress in the world's history. So readers should take some delight in articles appearing two years apart — one at Time.com, and another at the Wall Street Journal, where the authors predict that the odds seem to be in favor of the evil internal combustion engine continuing to outshine the enviros' favored alternatives for at least the next couple of decades. Gore and his media enablers surely wail and gnash their teeth when such inconvenient items rear their scientific heads.

January 31, 2015, 9:23 PM EST

Over at American Thinker, Thomas Lifson caught a damning admission the New York Times made in a correction to a Thursday piece by Carl Hulse and Jeremy W. Peters. The correction blew apart their write-up's entire premise, namely that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was trying to make amends with congressional Democrats and having to explain why "the White House had been circumvented before he was invited to speak before Congress."

Trouble is, the White House hadn't been circumvented at all, as the correction clearly indicated (bold is mine):

January 31, 2015, 6:50 PM EST

The world's smallest violin this week goes to Politico labor reporter Mike Elk.

Elk, who has bragged about unionizing workplaces where he has previously toiled, is working on doing the same thing at the alleged news site, which is really a Democratic Party stenography machine posing as one. His major complaint, seen in an item by Erik Wemple at his Washington Post blog, follows the jump (bolds are mine):

January 31, 2015, 9:54 AM EST

Yesterday's government report on the economy's growth, which told us that the nation's gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 2.6 percent during the fourth quarter, sharply underachieved analysts' expectations of an annualized 3.0 percent to 3.6 percent. The stock market clearly reacted negatively to the downside surprise. Bloomberg's take at the end of the day: "U.S. stocks fell Friday, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to its biggest monthly decline in a year, as weaker-than-forecast economic growth overshadowed a rally in energy shares sparked by a surge in the price of crude."

That didn't stop Martin Crutsinger and Josh Boak at the Associated Press from celebrating the result in late-morning and overnight reports, respectively. Meanwhile, Josh Mitchell at the Wall Street Journal delivered a more sanguine take on the situation.

January 30, 2015, 11:48 PM EST

Former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran, who alleges he was fired from his position solely because of his Christian beliefs, has filed a religious discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

That's not news at the Associated Press's national site, and it appears that the AP has not even carried a local story about Cochran's EEOC complaint — omissions that reek of a double standard.

January 30, 2015, 9:30 PM EST

Even Charles Babington at the Associated Press, for once not the completely beholden Administration's Press, seemed to be having a hard time buying what Democrats at a meeting in Philadelphia were selling. Unfortunately, he decided to let Joe Biden's direct contradiction of his party's congressional delegation's sunnyside-up stance on the economy go unreported.

In a video carried at the Weekly Standard, Biden said, "To state the obvious, the past six years have been really, really hard for this country, And they've been really tough for our party. Just ask [former DCCC chair] Steve [Israel]. They've been really tough for our party. And together we made some really, really tough decisions -- decisions that weren't at all popular, hard to explain." Despite how "really, really hard" it has all been, the party is attempting an "in your face" at those who want to claim that it has been that way because of the Obama administration's economic policies. Excerpts from Babington's AP report follow the jump (bolds and numbered tags are mine):

January 28, 2015, 11:52 PM EST

If someone fools you once, shame on them. If they fool you with the same trick a second time, shame on you. If they "fool" you a third time — well, you must be in on it.

That's my take on Bloomberg News's virtually euphoric reaction to yesterday's new-home sales release from the Census Bureau. The wire service's Shobhana Chandra celebrated how seasonally adjusted December sales were at "the highest level in more than six years." The problem is that the bureau reported the same development two other times in 2014, only to see each improvement disappear in subsequent revisions. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):

January 27, 2015, 11:56 PM EST

Ever since the publication "Earth in the Balance" in 1992, we've seen the press minimize the public's exposure to the more outrageous ideas and quotes emanating from former Vice President Al Gore.

Concerning that original book, Gore's statement that "The internal combustion engine is the greatest enemy of mankind" and his contention that it could and be eliminated in 25 years are hardly known by anyone besides his fevered supporters and attentive opponents. Apparently wishing to rush his timetable for taking everyone out of their cars, Gore, in an idea barely noticed even in the business press, has proposed spending $90 trillion — that's right, trillion — for such an enterprise. After the jump, readers will see how he wants to do it.

January 27, 2015, 10:02 PM EST

On Friday, Melissa Quinn at the Daily Signal, after the release of the government's "Union Members -- 2014" report, uniquely observed that the unionized percentage of the public- and private-sector nonagricultural wage and salary U.S. workforce had reached "its lowest rate in 100 years." From what I can tell in web and news searches, despite the fact that virtually any 100-year record is ordinarily considered newsworthy, no major establishment press outlet has reported what Quinn found.

The report from Uncle Sam's Bureau of Labor Statisics claims that 1983 is "the first year for which comparable union data are available." Perhaps, but there is data available going back much further, and it has been used occasionally in previous media reports. That data also indicates that private-sector union membership is at its lowest point since the turn of the century — from the 19th to the 20th century, that is.

January 26, 2015, 6:11 PM EST

This post follows up on Friday morning's entry (at BizzyBlog; at NewsBusters) showing that "Fewer Than 0.5% of Americans Live in Fully Recovered Counties." This is the kind of news which would be front and center with the nation's establishment press if such a report came out during a Republican or conservative presidential administration. With Team Obama in place, NACo's work has been virtually ignored.

Some commenters at the Friday post raised a potentially valid objection to the criteria used by the National Association of Counties to determine "full recovery." NACo's four bases were returns to pre-recession bests in number of jobs, the unemployment rate, GDP, and home prices. Objectors wanted to completely discount the group's work based on its inclusion of home prices, arguing that pre-bubble home prices were artificially high, and that a failure to return to those levels was not a valid indicator of economic malaise. If all three other metrics were impressive, they would have had a point. But they weren't. This post will look at the unemployment rate metric, because that will be the only one needed to show that they still don't have a point.

January 26, 2015, 11:28 AM EST

It would seem that the conversation at Politico went something like this: "Hey, we need to hit the Obama administration for the havoc its policies have wreaked on the middle class. But we can't go after them too hard, because that might burn some bridges, and we'll lose our stenographer — er, journalistic — access. So we need to use someone sympathetic to Democrats who will know how not to go over the line."

They chose contributing editor Zachary Karabell, who during most of his writeup did a presentable job of being not too critical while posing as an objective observer — that is, until his final four paragraphs.