Government Agencies

By Tom Blumer | June 7, 2015 | 10:12 PM EDT

After the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a draft report on Thursday declaring that, in his own words, "The government has no public safety justification to ban" hyrdraulic fracturing, or fracking, Houston Chronicle business writer Chris Tomlinson falsely claimed that the industry believes it "needs no regulation."

Tomlinson formerly toiled at the Associated Press, and it shows. One of his low points there was hypocritically taking James O'Keefe to task for "editing" his videos, even though the Project Veritas founder routinely posts accompanying raw footage, something those in the far more heavily-edited mainstream press where Tomlinson works rarely do. In the current instance, he accused the American Petroleum Institute of making an argument that anyone who read the first sentence of its press release would know it didn't make.

By Tom Blumer | June 7, 2015 | 10:40 AM EDT

When they can't go directly after something a Republican or conservative candidate says, the establishment press attempts to make a big deal out of dumb things their aides utter or publish.

Leftist apparatchiks usually have no such worries. The latest example of an item which would be prominently in the news if a Republican or conservative had written something equally dense comes from Lanny Davis, longtime Clinton family apologist and career Democratic Party hack. In a column appearing at the Hill, Davis whined about the supposedly awful "media frenzy" which occurred two weeks ago at a Hillary Clinton event with supposedly "everyday Americans" in Hampton, New Hampshire. Davis compared the travails and indignities the poor, put-upon Mrs. Clinton suffered to ... well, readers will see who after the jump (bolds are mine):

By Tom Blumer | June 6, 2015 | 9:17 PM EDT

Hillary's Clinton has called for what a Washington Post headline describes as a "sweeping expansion of voter access." While falsely accusing Republicans of preventing young people and minorities from voting, Mrs. Clinton is really pushing for widespread opportunities for fraud combined with a heavy dose of incumbent protection.

From reading the establishment press's coverage of Mrs. Clinton's "ambitious agenda" (that's what the New York Times called it), you would think that Ohio has one of the nation's most restrictive early-voting arrangments. It's not so, and Ohio Governor John Kasich justifiably rebutted that perception after Mrs. Clinton's speech.

By Tom Blumer | June 2, 2015 | 12:46 PM EDT

This morning's April factory orders report from the Census Bureau showed yet another seasonally adjusted decline. This time, they fell 0.4 percent, seriously underperforming expectations that they would come in flat.

This naturally brought forth another sighting of the U-word ("unexpectedly"), this time at Reuters. Both Reuters and the Associated Press failed to note how steep the year-over-year declines in orders — and for that matter, shipments — have become:

By Tom Blumer | May 31, 2015 | 10:24 PM EDT

In a report on the relative infrequency of hurricanes in the U.S. during the past decade nationwide, and many decades in certain coastal areas, the Associated Press's Seth Borenstein detected a problem.

The problem is that those who contend that human-caused global warming is ruining our planet believe that hurricane frequency should be increasing, but it's not. So Borenstein tried to cover his tracks (bolds are mine throughout this post):

By Tom Blumer | May 31, 2015 | 8:06 PM EDT

In case you missed it, the City of Baltimore and the State of Maryland have requested disaster relief assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to recover costs incurred during that city's April riots. You read that right.

Yvonne Wenger at the Baltimore Sun predictably buried the lede in her May 26 story's third paragraph, giving uninitiated readers the impression that applying for FEMA assistance after a riot is something that is routinely done. (Perhaps, given the quality of today's journalists, she really believes that herself.) More critically, she forgot to remind readers that the city arguably deserves no help at all from any outside source, because the vast majority of the rioting's damage would have been prevented if Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake had done her job.

By Tom Blumer | May 31, 2015 | 6:12 PM EDT

One doesn't know what to do with the rubbish which follows beyond noting it and hoping that the ridicule which results will somehow and in some way have some kind of impact.

Despite 6-1/2 years of horrid governance and dozens of acknowledged scandals, several of which a few of the credible remaining outposts of liberal thought have actually agreed are scandals, David Brooks, the New York Times's resident fake conservative, asserted on Friday's PBS NewsHour, as if it's an indisputable fact, that "President Obama has run an amazingly scandal-free administration, not only he himself, but the people around him."

By Tom Blumer | May 30, 2015 | 9:32 PM EDT

Facts are such inconvenient things. Especially financial facts and figures.

On Tuesday, Rebecca Shabad at the Hill composed a 34-paragraph report entitled "Washington is ready to spend." Really? When have Congress or the White House not been ready to spend? Oh, I get it. She really means that they're getting ready to spend more. How much more? Readers will search in vain for anything beyond a one-paragraph discussion of a "$51.4 billion House bill funding justice" discussing two tiny items amounting to less than $100 million. That bill represents a whopping 1-1/2 percent of the roughly $3.5 trillion in annual federal spending. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):

By Tom Blumer | May 30, 2015 | 10:52 AM EDT

This shouldn't be a trick question, but to the nation's establishment press business reporters it apparently is: What is the current length of the U.S. economy's expansion?

The answer, after yesterday's reported 0.7 percent annualized contraction in U.S. Gross Domestic Product, is obviously zero. But that's not what Bloomberg News and reporter Sho Chandra, who has used her full first name of Shobhana in previous reports, would say. Despite three separate quarterly contractions since the recession officially ended in the second quarter of 2009, they, like the Associated Press's Martin Crutsinger two months ago, want us to believe a fairy tale, namely that we're still closing in on six straight years of expansion.

By Tom Blumer | May 27, 2015 | 11:07 PM EDT

This has to be the month's top entry in the "Just when you think you've seen it all" category — and it will be more than a little interesting to see how the nation's press handles it.

As the Associated Press reported a week ago, the City Council in Los Angeles, by a vote of 14-1, ordered the drafting of a law mandating a citywide minimum wage of $15 per hour by 2020, noting that "the support of Mayor Eric Garcetti virtually guarantee its eventual adoption." Now that it's almost a done deal, labor unions whose members earn less want to be exempt from the law. Seriously. And it's not that the unions were caught off guard, because the person who is most visibly arguing for the exemption "helps lead the Raise the Wage coalition"! Apparently caught completely flat-footed, three Los Angeles Times reporters, in a rare break from the paper's non-stop leftist bias, filed a fair and balanced report on the truly offensive situation.

By Tom Blumer | May 27, 2015 | 3:57 PM EDT

The Associated Press and Stephen Braun did all they could to cover for the Clintons yesterday.

First, the wire service attached the most boring headline imaginable to Braun's story about Bill Clinton's shell company shenanigans: "Bill Clinton company shows complexity of family finances." The message to subscribers, particularly the broadcast networks: "This is boring and time-consuming. Don't waste your time reading this, let alone using it." As Scott Whitlock at NewsBusters noted early this afternoon, "All three networks on Wednesday ignored the latest questions to hit the Clintons and their foundation." So if there was a strategy, it worked. Braun's story was seemingly designed to induce a MEGO (my eyes glaze over) reaction:

By Tom Blumer | May 22, 2015 | 10:12 PM EDT

Given how much wailing and gnashing of teeth there was in the press when the old Hostess liquidated in 2012, a mid-April story at Forbes on the company's has gotten surprisingly little attention. Well, maybe it's not that much of a surprise, for reasons which will be indentified here.

Readers may recall that the final straw in that drama occurred late that year when the the AFL-CIO-affiliated Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers union called a strike after rejecting management clearly communicated final offer. The company, already in bankruptcy, was through negotiating, and chose to liquidate. The press moaned about how all of this meant the end of an era. Steven Bertoni's Forbes writeup shows how wrong they were, and what a business can accomplish when it's not saddled with legacy costs and constraints.