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
May 12, 2011, 4:34 PM EDT

Can someone call himself a Tea Party candidate even though he has no visible support from local Tea Party groups and has been asked by one of them not to run? The Associated Press's Carolyn Thompson apparently thinks so.

Thompson's 3:03 p.m. report (saved here for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes) makes no mention of congressional candidate Jack Davis's lack of Tea Party group support. The AP reporter also waited until the final paragraph of her 17-paragraph report to tell readers that Davis is "a wealthy Republican businessman" who ran for Congress in 2004, 2006, and 2008 -- as a Democrat.

The large body of evidence that Davis is not a legitimate Tea Party candidate consists of at least the following:

May 12, 2011, 12:06 AM EDT

Just barely a year after it derided the establishment media's obsession over oil-affected birds in the Gulf of Mexico while virtually ignoring the loss human life in awful floods in Tennessee (noted at the time at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), Investors Business Daily's editorialists are calling out the press for oversaturating us with Obama-OBL victory lap coverage at the expense of informing the nation about the severity of this year's horrible Mississippi River flooding.

IBD makes great points in the following excerpts (bolds are mine):

May 11, 2011, 11:16 AM EDT

The chefs in the kitchens at AP-GfK, a joint effort of the Associated Press and GfK Roper Public Affairs & Corporate Communications, have been working overtime cooking up a scrumptious dish for fans of Barack Obama and the Democratic Party.

After tasting the output this morning, the AP's Liz Sidoti and Jennifer Agiesta could hardly contain their glee (also saved here for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes):

President Barack Obama's approval rating has hit its highest point in two years - 60 percent - and more than half of Americans now say he deserves to be re-elected, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll taken after U.S. forces killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

In March, the same poll had the president's approval rating at 53%. The graphic which follows, obtained from the the poll's "topline" at AP-GfK's web site, reveal that the AP pair enjoy feasting on empty calories:

May 11, 2011, 1:41 AM EDT

Connecticut Governor Daniel Malloy has called himself the "anti-Christie" because of his willingness to raise taxes to help balance the Nutmeg State's budget. By contrast, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, the object of Malloy's scorn, recently ruled out tax increases, as he has been doing ever since he became governor in 2010.

Malloy's recently passed taxes amounting to an estimated $1.4 billion annually include property tax hikes which according to a recent Wall Street Journal editorial (quoted at link's third item) amount to "$500 a year for the average homeowner."

But Malloy still needs to balance the budget by extracting significant cost savings from the state's recalcitrant employee unions, and guess what? Just like Wisconsin's Republican Governor Scott Walker, he's staring at the need to resort to layoffs if he can't reduce employment costs. But unlike the Associated Press's militant reporters in Wisconsin, the AP's Susan Haigh in Hartford is letting Malloy off relatively easy, as seen in these excerpts from her Tuesday evening report:

May 10, 2011, 9:34 PM EDT

Just when you consider cutting the Associated Press a break for doing something right, they pull this.

Most people know that in the interest of "not spiking the football," the Obama administration has decided that it will not release photos of Osama bin Laden's dead body.

Shortly after the decision was announced, AP filed a Freedom of Information Act request for said photos. According to John Hudson at the Atlantic (HT to Jim Taranto at the Wall Street Journal's Best of the Web), the AP's Michael Oreskes claims that "This information is important for the historical record" and "It's our job as journalists to seek this material." So far, so good.

But you just knew they'd figure out a way to potentially ruin it. Here's Oreskes as quoted by Hudson:

May 10, 2011, 1:12 AM EDT

Sunday evening (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I predicted that the press will ignore the likelihood, based on the Congressional Budget Office's most recent Monthly Budget Review, that officially reported federal spending will top $1 trillion for the first time during a three-month period (i.e., for February through April 2010) when the Tim Geithner's gang issues its Monthly Treasury Statement on Wednesday afternoon.

You can also pretty much count on the fact that the press will greet an uptick in April and year-to-date 2011 collections as something impressive. In historical context, as the graphic after the jump will show, it absolutely is not.

May 8, 2011, 11:56 PM EDT

Early each month, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issues its "Monthly Budget Review." Its purpose is to estimate and comment on the federal government's budget results for the previous month a few days before the Treasury reports its official results.

CBO's most recent review, issued on Friday (2-page PDF), estimates that Uncle Sam's outlays during April amounted to $330 billion. If that number holds up, or overstates actual results by less than $2.2 billion, it will mean for the first time ever that our government officially spent over $1 trillion in a three-month period (an estimated $330 billion in April plus a reported $672.2 billion in February and March combined). Regardless, February through April is certain to eclipse May-July 2009's previous official all-time high (after TARP-obfuscating accounting adjustments; go here for the detail) of $948.7 billion.

This certainty, the detail behind it, and the federal government's real long-term track record make mince meat of the following off-the-cuff assessment of why federal receipts and spending go up and down made Saturday by Alan Fram at the Associated Press:

A strong economy brings the government more revenue and lower spending. A weak economy in which the jobless and poor need more support does the opposite.

We wish, Alan.

May 3, 2011, 7:28 PM EDT

How convenient. Via Editor and Publisher, the newspaper industry's Audit Bureau of Circulations, in issuing its March 31, 2011 circulation figures, tells us we shouldn't try to compare this year's numbers to last year's:

Because of the new and redefined categories of circulation on this FAS-FAX report, ABC recommends not making any direct comparisons of March 2011 data to prior audit periods.

As readers will see, if the ABC was really interested in enabling us to make apples-to-apples comparisons, it could have done so with appropriate definitional caveats. But it didn't; instead, it revised its definition of "total circulation" this year without disclosing the impact of the switch.

I've made the comparisons where possible for daily editions anyway, and they follow after the jump (original info links: March 31, 2011; March 31, 2010; Boston Globe data obtained here):

May 3, 2011, 2:08 PM EDT

The New York Times's supposedly momentous decision to omit "Mr." from references to Osama bin Laden in its Monday obituary is apparently working to distract critics from the item's other problems.

Along with Michael T. Kaufman, Kate Zernike, whose primary vocation seems to be finding racism in the Tea Party movement where none exists and otherwise smearing its participants, comes off as almost critical of how bin Laden was "elevated to the realm of evil in the American imagination once reserved for dictators like Hitler and Stalin."

Imagination ("the faculty ... of forming mental images or concepts of what is not actually present to the senses")? Babe, I don't know about you, but we didn't imagine September 11. We saw it. Others directly experienced it. Many died. Do you remember?

The obit's topper for me is the (in my opinion) deliberate historical revisionism in the following passage (bolds are mine throughout this post):

May 2, 2011, 4:43 PM EDT

Update (17:38 EDT on May 4): Rush Limbaugh mentioned this post on his May 3 program. You can listen to that by clicking here.

Well, this should be interesting.

The AP is reporting (preserved here in case the report devolves, as such things very often do) that "secret prisons" and "harsh interrogation techniques" were involved in getting the "first strands of information" that ultimately led to Sunday operation which killed 9/11 mastermind Osama Bin Laden.

It's only a three-paragrapher, so it follows in full (for fair use and discussion purposes). Get a load of the final paragraph:

May 2, 2011, 10:05 AM EDT

Not waiting for history to play out, a New Times caption writer, below a picture of celebrants of Obama Bin Laden's demise outside the White House, has written: "As crowds gathered outside the White House, there was little question that Mr. Obama's presidency had forever been changed."

The pic and caption follow the jump.

May 1, 2011, 11:44 PM EDT

The guess here is Associated Press writers Peter Orsi and Andrea Rodriguez believe their May Day dispatch from Cuba represents an example of objectivity and insightful analysis. Anyone with knowledge of how a country under the iron grip of a five-decade Communist dictatorship really operates would beg to differ.

April 29, 2011, 3:23 PM EDT

Yesterday evening (late afternoon West Coast time), Phil Bronstein at the San Francisco Chronicle informed his readers that one of its reporters had been banned by the Obama administration:

The hip, transparent and social media-loving Obama administration is showing its analog roots. And maybe even some hypocrisy highlights.

 

White House officials have banished one of the best political reporters in the country from the approved pool of journalists covering presidential visits to the Bay Area for using now-standard multimedia tools to gather the news.

April 27, 2011, 7:58 PM EDT

Gosh, after Republican Governors Scott Walker and John Kasich succeeded in championing legislation curtailing many collective bargaining rights of unionized state and municipal employees in Wisconsin and Ohio, respectively, the establishment press had the meme all set. The GOP, conservatives, and Tea Partiers are enemies of labor and the middle class, while Democrats, liberals, and progressives are their champions.

Then along comes bluer-than-blue Massachusetts. As the Boston Globe reports, the Bay State's House "voted overwhelmingly last night (Tuesday) to strip police officers, teachers, and other municipal employees of most of their rights to bargain over health care, saying the change would save millions of dollars for financially strapped cities and towns." It's not a law yet, but it seems to be heading pretty quickly in that direction.

The Associated Press's beat reporters and editors must be beside themselves. 

April 27, 2011, 12:27 AM EDT

It's always a bit of risk saying that a bunch of supposedly smart folks are wrong, but the economists Jeannine Aversa at the Associated Press consulted for a Tuesday afternoon report on the economic outlook must be taking a double dose of sunshine pills every day.

If we are to believe these folks, the only thing that can stop the economy now is oil -- not the $112 a barrel accompanied by $4 per gallon gas we're seeing now. That's noooo problem. These smarties apparently think it's clear sailing ahead for the economy as long as oil doesn't go to $150, which would translate to at least $5.50 a gallon.

Here goes, if you can stand it:

AP survey: Only oil shock can stop economy now

April 26, 2011, 6:21 PM EDT

The New York Times announced its first quarter 2010 results on Thursday. As is the case with most companies when they would rather not talk about the bottom line, the Times instead concentrated on its "operating profit."

A detailed look at the release reveals a group of contracting, money-losing journalistic endeavors propped up by an also-shrinking Internet enterprise.

Here are the first few paragraphs of the company's release:

April 26, 2011, 12:21 AM EDT

Imagine if a Tea Party backer by some miracle got to teach on a college campus, and began describing ways to, oh, I don't know, keep opposing politicians from conducting business, hack into their computers and destroy data, and make their staffs feel threatened. How long would that class last, and how long would it be before it became a national news story?

Well, Publius at Andrew Breitbart's BigGovernment.com reports that " the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL) and the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) sponsored two college courses: Introduction to Labor Studies and Labor Politics and Society, to be taught simultaneously through a video conference between to two campuses." Publius asserts, with video proof, that the courses really really are "How-to College Course(s) in Violent Union Tactics."

The two must-see BigGov posts are here and here. Direct links to the videos and brief descriptions follow the jump:

April 25, 2011, 8:54 PM EDT

Perhaps you hadn't noticed, but in late August 2010 Ben Bernanke took on complete responsibility for everything -- especially everything mediocre or bad -- that occurs in the economy.

I know this because on August 27 and 28 (covered here and here), the Associated Press issued three reports essentially telling readers that it was up to Ben to save us. There wasn't anything Barack Obama, Tim Geithner, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, or then-present Larry Summers could possibly say or do to improve the economic situation, described at the time as "appears to be stalling" in one of those AP items.

Out of this came what has come to be known as "QE2" (the second round of "quantitative easing"), otherwise known as "electronically printing money to buy U.S. debt because possibly no one else will."

Well, it hasn't worked out so well, according to the New York Times, whose Binyamin Appelbaum reported the "surprisingly" pathetic results on Sunday:

April 24, 2011, 11:43 PM EDT

BuzzMedia.com bills itself as "pop culture amplified." It recently acquired a former Turner Broadcasting site called "The Frisky."

BuzzMedia's press release announcing the acquisition said that "The Frisky has struck a major chord with female audiences for its authentic voice and fierce sense of humor."

Last Tuesday, The Frisky "Guys" section contributor and Julie Gerstein, whose occupation per her profile is Style Editor, criticized another web site's 25 Hot Guys under 25 list. You see, Ms. Gerstein fiercely believes that Crushable.com's Number 13, Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, should not have been on the list because -- and only because -- he is pro-life:

April 24, 2011, 10:41 PM EDT

The establishment press's lack of interest in associating President Obama with the sharp run-up in energy costs has been thoroughly documented by several folks at the Media Research Center, including but not limited to Julia Seymour when gasoline hit the $3 mark, and more recently Brent Bozell.

Saturday, the Associated Press's Mark S. Smith took the gas-price propaganda to the next level. As anyone would predict, he failed to assign any blame for the energy cost run-up to specific Obama administration policies such as the Gulf drilling moratorium and other barriers to production, and paid relative lip service to the pain it is causing average Americans. To Smith, those are apparently mere trifles.

Smitty's real problem is that those darned gas prices might be hurting Barack Obama's reelection chances (bolds and numbered tags are mine):