By Tom Blumer | June 28, 2016 | 4:27 PM EDT

It is now two days since it became obvious that the claim that "millions of Britons" have signed a House of Commons petition advocating a do-over Brexit vote is bogus.

The petition's buildup to millions of "signatures" was predominantly caused by bot-generating pranksters, and the entire effort proves absolutely nothing about UK citizens' alleged "regrets" over voting to leave the European Union last Thursday. But the press, either reluctant to admit they've been had or to discard a convenient, agenda-driven meme (or both), is allowing its past erroneous reporting on the petition to stand, while refusing to acknowledge more than a sliver of the fraudulent enterprise.

By Tom Blumer | June 28, 2016 | 8:56 AM EDT

At Monday afternoon's White House press briefing, Fox News reporter Kevin Corke asked Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz about the reasons for the White House's reluctance to account for President Obama's whereabouts and activities on the night of the September 2012 Benghazi attacks.

Schultz never genuinely answered Corke's question, so then Corke zinged him with the fact that it took President Barack Obama far longer than the length of time Congress has spent on Benghazi to hem, haw, and finally reject the Keystone Pipeline project.

By Tom Blumer | June 26, 2016 | 11:56 PM EDT

They should have known better, but it was apparently too good to check. Following the lead of the apparently shellshocked BBC, the Associated Press on Friday night included an item in its "The Latest" timeline on Great Britain's Thursday vote to leave the European Union about how "So many users are signing a petition for a re-run of Britain's referendum on European Union membership that they've crashed the House of Commons website hosting the document."

Then, for good measure, the wire service devoted a separate stand-alone report on the petition's attainment of "more than 1.6 million names" as "a measure of the extraordinary divisiveness of Thursday's vote to leave the 28-nation bloc." Sunday, the eponymously named Louise Mensch at the news, opinion, and commentary website Heat Street exposed the petition effort as a prank (HT Instapundit; bolds are mine throughout this post):

By Tom Blumer | June 26, 2016 | 7:11 PM EDT

An example of how unhinged press bias builds on itself was on display Sunday morning on CNN's Inside Politics.

Associated Press reporter Lisa Lerer told other panel members who were criticizing Hillary Clinton for her lack of an in-person public statement on the the results of Thursday's Brexit referendum that they should doubt the legitimacy of the result. She did so by referring to "all the great anecdotal stories on the BBC and other outlets" which found a few voters, clearly surprised by the result given pre-election polling which predicted that Remain would win, who said, in Lerer's words, "Well it was a protest vote. I didn’t think we’d leave."

By Tom Blumer | June 23, 2016 | 1:37 PM EDT

Though their report covering Donald Trump's Wednesday speech criticizing presumptive Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton's record has undergone subsequent revisions, the coverage of that speech by the Associated Press's Julie Pace and Jill Colvin has stuck with two common themes. One is that prospective Republican nominee Donald Trump has "struggled with the transition to a general election race, getting bogged down by self-created controversies." The fact is that the "controversies," especially the one over Trump supposedly claiming that President Barack Obama was, in media-speak, "involved" with the June 13 terrorist massacre of 49 in Orlando, Florida, are almost entirely press-invented creations and distortions of what Trump has actually said.

The other AP theme which has survived frequent revisions is the idea that criticisms of Hillary Clinton, especially if made by Trump or other opponents, can be readily flicked away if they have been "widely questioned," meaning in practice that a few Clinton acolytes can merely say that "these people are wrong," and that's the end of it. The double standard could hardly be more blatant.

By Tom Blumer | June 22, 2016 | 11:46 PM EDT

Here's a new item for the sarcasm-laden "Our country is in the very best of hands" stack of embarrassments Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds has been accumulating during the past several years. The headline at media aggregator Grabien.com is: "AG LYNCH ADMITS THE FBI HAS LOST TRACK OF OMAR MATEEN’S WIFE."

If this admission had occurred during any non-leftist presidential administration, the establishment press would jump at the chance to publish and broadcast embarrassing law enforcement news such as this far and wide. But in this case, a review of stories at the Associated Press's main national site, its Big Story site, and at the New York Times found no indication that the nation's two primary establishment news gatekeepers have noted Attorney General Lynch's admission concerning Noor Salman, the wife of Orlando massacre terrorist Omar Mateen.

By Tom Blumer | June 20, 2016 | 5:52 PM EDT

The establishment press is thrilled over the City of Philadelphia's enactment of a 1.5 cents-per-ounce "soda tax" last week. Monday morning, Mayor Jim Kenney signed the legislation which its City Council passed last week.

Especially unseemly is the virtual euphoria over how so-called "public health" advocates gained their long-sought foothold into using the tax system to dictate personal behavior over (eventually) any and all food and beverage products it doesn't like. Instead of making the "we know better" nanny-state arguments which really form the foundation of their effort, the press is applauding Mayor Kenney for, in the words of New York Times reporter Margot Sanger-Katz, portraying "the soft drink industry as a tantalizing revenue source that could be tapped to fund popular city programs, including universal prekindergarten."

By Tom Blumer | June 19, 2016 | 10:45 PM EDT

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced on NBC's Meet the Press and the other Sunday morning TV talk shows that on Monday, the Department of Justice will release "partial" transcripts of phone conversations between law enforcement and Omar Mateen on June 12 during his terrorist massacre in Orlando, Florida.

Asked why the transcripts would only be partial, Lynch told MTP host Chuck Todd that "what we're not going to do is further proclaim this individual's pledges of allegiance to terrorist groups and further his propaganda."

By Tom Blumer | June 18, 2016 | 2:14 PM EDT

On May 1, the Washington Post's Jackson Diehl warned: "We ignore Venezuela’s imminent implosion at our peril," noting that the South American nation of 30 million "has descended into a dystopia where food, medicine, water and electric power are critically scarce." Given the dire humanitarian crisis which has enveloped that country, broadcast media coverage during the ensuing seven weeks, particularly on the Big Three networks, has been sparse to non-existent.

Yesterday, as Major League Baseball's Los Angeles Dodgers faced the Milwaukee Brewers in LA, legendary Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully, in a 20-second monologue between pitches, did more to substantively educate his audience about the tragic reality in Venezuela than most of the U.S. press has done in months (HT Twitchy):

By Tom Blumer | June 17, 2016 | 11:36 AM EDT

At the New York Times, Margot Sanger-Katz is the paper's "domestic correspondent" who "writes about health care" for its "The Upshot" blog. That blog in turn is supposed to cover "politics, economics and everyday life." 

In heralding the passage of a 1.5-cent per ounce tax on soda in Philadelphia yesterday as some sort of historic "watershed" accomplishment, Sanger-Katz betrayed an incredible level of ignorance of both economics and everyday life. Incredibly (well, almost), she treated the matter of whether sugary soda drinkers will see price increases at the cash register because of the new tax as something that is in doubt: "If passed on to consumers, the increase is expected to substantially reduce sales of sweetened drinks." "If"?

By Tom Blumer | June 17, 2016 | 9:00 AM EDT

In the course of presenting what is apparently one story in a series of several on a "Divided America," David Bauder at the Associated Press portrayed two Americans with largely different news consumption habits. Though the theme of Bauder's Thursday morning report was about how Americans are "retreat(ing) into tribes of like-minded people who get news filtered through particular world views," the two people he presented "don't rely exclusively on partisan media," and go elsewhere "to hear opposing viewpoints." This essentially contradicted his attempted primary point, which is that Americans are supposedly, as his story's headline reads, "Constructing our own intellectual ghettos."

By Tom Blumer | June 15, 2016 | 11:44 AM EDT

One of the more important elements of the establishment press's daily routine is protecting leftists, particularly members of the Obama administration, when they say really dumb things. They do this by not reporting them.

Reacting to Tuesday afternoon reports that Russian hackers have successfully breached the Democratic National Committee's computer network and stolen files, particularly the "entire file" of opposition research on presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest childishly blamed congressional Republicans. Yeah, really. If a White House spokesman attempted something this absurd during a Republican or conservative administration, it would already have been the subject of jokes on Tuesday's late-night TV shows. Naturally, Earnest's idiocy has only been documented at a few center-right blogs and outlets.