By Tom Blumer | September 3, 2015 | 11:54 PM EDT

The press's failure to tell the public how seriously the U.S. economy is struggling is not the most egregious exercise in reality avoidance we've seen during the past several months. The willful denial of Iran's intent to destroy Israel and its Western enemies, the refusal to acknowledge the inherent institutional ugliness of Planned Parenthood, and the failure to accurately characterize Hillary Clinton's deliberate circumvention of established national security laws and protocols (all because "Her personal privacy was more important than the national interest") are clearly worse.

Nevertheless, the economy-related deceptions have not been unimportant. The press promotes the general impression that, well, conditions aren't ideal, but they're the best we can hope for — and besides, our mess isn't as bad as what we're seeing in rest of the world (and by the way, if the U.S. economy does tank, it will be the rest of the world's fault, and certainly not Dear Leader's). Let's compare Wednesday's exercise in furthering that impression at the Associated Press and compare it to what is really happening.

By Tom Blumer | August 31, 2015 | 11:37 PM EDT

Silly me. I really thought that every state's lottery operation was walled off from the rest of its finances. They collect bets, pay out winnings and administrative costs, and turn over the profits to general fund. End of discussion. No muss, no fuss. Right?

In Illinois, based on recent developments, we know that's obviously not the case — leading me to wonder how many other states potentially have the same problem the Land of Lincoln currently has. You see, the state is about to move into the third month of a budget standoff between Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and its Democrat-controlled state legislature. As a result, because the lottery's operations are at least in a legal sense commingled with the rest of the state's finances, its comptroller has been forced to cancel payouts of lottery winnings greater than $25,000. It appears that very few media outlets outside of Illinois are interested in covering this obviously important story. Why?

By Tom Blumer | August 31, 2015 | 6:00 PM EDT

This is obviously sarcasm: Right behind all the positive racial healing we've seen during Barack Obama's presidency is the vast improvement in the degree of civility heard and seen in leftist discourse.

Obviously, that's not so. Hillary Clinton calls GOP presidential candidates "terrorists" and invokes Nazi-era images of illegal immigrants being "loaded into boxcars." The press — which would treat either utterance as front-page news if said by a Republican or conservative — gives her a pass, and some of its members are virtually cheering her on. Barack Obama calls his opponents "crazies," arguably even including some Democrats on matters on the Iran "deal," aka the "orchestrated surrender to Iran's nuclear ambitions." Former Bill Clinton administration and current Hillary Clinton insider Paul Begala joined the parade today as he attacked Dick Cheney:

By Tom Blumer | August 31, 2015 | 12:32 PM EDT

In the course of evaluating a claim made by the Alliance Defending Freedom, a prolife group, PolitiFact Georgia's crack investigators learned from a spokesperson for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America that the organization "does not provide mammograms at any of its health centers." Since such facilities must be licensed by the Food and Drug Administration, no PPFA facility can legally perform a mammogram.

The claim ADF made in a tweet is that "ZERO @PPFA facilities are licensed to do mammograms." On August 21, despite PPFA's de facto acknowledgment that ADF is correct, PolitiFact Georgia determined that ADF's claim is only "Half True."

By Tom Blumer | August 30, 2015 | 11:47 PM EDT

Miami Herald sportwriter and columnist Greg Cote, whose career has entered or is about to enter its third decade, seems to have incorporated a sideline into his work: glib, ignorant political commentary.

One such example surfaced at the end of his August 25 Random Evidence blog post. Apparently, Cote believes that anyone who has ever received any kind of government benefit or has made use of a government service at any time in their life is a flaming hypocrite if they believe that Uncle Sam and other public entities should be able to survive on less money than they currently spend. They're also hypocrites if they believe that the federal government has become far too intrusive in our everyday affairs and threatening to the fundamental freedoms identified in the naton's Constitution. Greg, who clearly should stick to sportwriting, has convinced himself that such people are "anti-government":

By Tom Blumer | August 30, 2015 | 9:49 PM EDT

One of the odder pieces appearing during the past week in connection with the Hillary Clinton email and private server scandal was David Ignatius's attempt to deny that it's a scandal at all in Thursday's Washington Post.

Ignatius devoted four of his first five paragraphs to relaying the allegedly expert assessments of Jeffrey Smith, who Ignatius described as "a former CIA general counsel who’s now a partner at Arnold & Porter, where he often represents defendants suspected of misusing classified information." Sounds like an arms-length guy, doesn't he? He's not. He has been a security adviser to Hillary Clinton's previous presidential campaign, defended John Kerry against criticism of the Massachusetts senator's national security negligence in 2004, and served on Bill Clinton's presidential transition team in late 1992 and early 1993.

By Tom Blumer | August 29, 2015 | 10:21 AM EDT

Three weeks ago, concerning Associated Press coverage of investigations into Planned Parenthood's baby body parts business, I noted that "Bad news for Planned Parenthood gets only local coverage," while "Exculpatory news, even if artificially concocted, gets national exposure."

Add the following to that observation: Obama administration attempts to punish states for attempts to defund Planned Parenthood, clearly nationally significant, only get local coverage. Kansas provides such an example.

By Tom Blumer | August 29, 2015 | 12:53 AM EDT

The establishment press is all over revelations by Fox News Friday morning that the investigation of Hillary Clinton's emails involves a "section of the Espionage Act is known as 18 US Code 793," and that "the focus includes a provision of the law pertaining to 'gathering, transmitting or losing defense information,'" according to "an intelligence source." ... Just kidding.

The only reaction I've seen thus far is at the Friday evening version of "The 2016 Blast" collection by Henry C. Jackson at the Politico. The fifth item covered — after a snippet on "John Kasich's Aerial Attack" and three snoozers on Mrs. Clinton's predictable dissembling — reads as follows (bolds and italics are theirs):

By Tom Blumer | August 26, 2015 | 11:07 PM EDT

I'm sure we all feel better now that Hillary Clinton, as reported by the New York Times late Wednesday afternoon, "took responsibility" for "her decision to use only private email while she was secretary of state."

Well, no — and Times reporter Maggie Haberman should (and probably does) know why that doesn't cut it. Mrs. Clinton still maintained on Wednesday that investigations currently in process "will prove that I never sent, nor received, any email that was marked classified." Information already known shows that contention to be false, and the noise about "markings" is irrelevant in any event.

By Tom Blumer | August 26, 2015 | 8:06 PM EDT

Over at the Associated Press this afternoon (later updated), Ken Dilanian, with the help of four other reporters, prepared a lengthy dispatch attempting to defend 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's email and private-server practices. Boiled down to its essence: Boiled down to its essence: "[D]iplomats routinely sent secret material on unsecured email during the past two administrations."

Nice try, guys, but there are two problems with your "many others did it" defense. First, Dilanian and his team quietly admitted that Mrs. Clinton has been lying when claiming in recent weeks that she never sent any classified emails. Additionally, they ignored a December 2009 Executive Order from President Obama which, as Catherine Herridge at Fox News reported this morning, specifies that only "intelligence agencies who own that information in the first place have the authority to declassify it."

By Tom Blumer | August 26, 2015 | 5:39 PM EDT

Almost four years ago, solar energy manufacturer Solyndra filed for bankruptcy, leaving the federal government with a loan guarantee-related loss of up to $535 million.

The Energy Department's inspector general released a report on the debacle today. At the Associated Press, reporter Kevin Freking made sure readers knew that the loan guarantee program began under President George W. Bush, but somehow "forgot" to note, as the Weekly Standard did at the time, that the Energy Department under Bush made a "unanimous decision to shelve Solyndra's application two weeks before Obama took office."

By Tom Blumer | August 25, 2015 | 1:01 PM EDT

It doesn't seem likely that an oil company CEO would get the benefit of the doubt Apple CEO Tim Cook received from the press yesterday after he emailed well-known financial commentator and investment adviser Jim Cramer about his company's performance in China.

In an email read over the air on CNBC, Cook reported that "we have continued to experience strong growth for our business in China through July and August." The question is whether, by providing this private disclosure, Cook violated U.S. "fair disclosure" regulations requiring that "materal information" be disclosed to the public.