Blogs

By Tom Blumer | June 28, 2013 | 11:55 PM EDT

On Sunday, in a report which I contend would surely have been published on a weekday -- and more importantly, published with far greater clarity -- if a Republican or conservative were in the White House, the Associated Press's Paul Wiseman essentially explored the following question: "Why aren't people spending more if they're so much richer?"

The answer he found, which should surprise no one in touch with reality, is that quite a few of us aren't richer. We're poorer. But Wiseman also cryptically revealed some of the dollar amounts involved and enough other information to enable one to back into an estimate of the shocking degree of wealth redistribution which has taken place during the recession and the first term of the Obama administration -- and it's not in the direction you might think.

By Tom Blumer | June 27, 2013 | 4:05 PM EDT

Over at Jihad Watch, Robert Spencer has posted what he says is the substance of his entire email exchange with James Brooks of the Associated Press in the wire service's coverage of the UK Home Office's decision to ban Spencer and fellow Stop the Islamization of America leader Pamela Geller, so we can compare what actually transpired to what was published.

Brooks apparently did not contact Geller (or if he did, he didn't report any of it), and gave no indication that he tried. He gave 14 words of his report to his exchange with Spencer in his seventh of 11 paragraphs, and the AP's headline writers chose to call the pair "US anti-Islam activists" (bold is what AP included):

By Tom Blumer | June 27, 2013 | 1:21 AM EDT

Pamela Geller announced at her Atlas Shrugs blog Wednesday morning that "the British government has banned us (herself and fellow Stop Islamization of America activist Robert Spencer) from entering the country ... In not allowing us into the country solely because of our true and accurate statements about Islam, the British government is behaving like a de facto Islamic state. The nation that gave the world the Magna Carta is dead." She has posted the letter (Page 1; Page 2) from the British Home Office Secretary (UK's equivalent of our Homeland Security) telling her that her presence would not be "conducive to the public good."

A later post at Geller's blog has a collection of press reports which readers should review for the predictable signs of bias. One which isn't there is from the Associated Press, written by James Brooks (bolds are mine):

By Tom Blumer | June 22, 2013 | 11:55 PM EDT

Before taking a series of cheap shots at Howard Kurtz, the former Daily Beast Washington bureau chief and CNN "Reliable Sources" host who has moved to Fox News to host its "Fox News Watch" program, Salon political reporter Alex Seitz-Wald characterized Kurtz's new employer as "a stable for journalists who have fallen on hard times."

In related news, the New York Yankees and the Miami Heat, respectively, have become basement-dwelling final refuges for baseball and basketball players whose skills have seriously eroded. (/sarcasm).

By Tom Blumer | June 19, 2013 | 12:59 AM EDT

Odds are that the ultraliberal, Occupy movement-supporting crowd in Portland, Oregon, which includes its mayor in late 2011, who told the Los Angeles Times that "I support a lot of what the movement stands for, as a political leader" -- are already trying to figure out how to stop what they surely see as a dangerous idea which has sprung up about 10 miles to the south: fed-up citizens arming themselves.

Portland is among several localities in the Beaver State which "have banned loaded firearms in all public places." That's apparently not the case in an unincorporated area of Clackamas County near the suburb of Milwaukie, where a fed-up woman is forming a "Glock Block" that Portland's OregonLive.com web site, based on a search on "Glock" returning no relevant results, is ignoring, despite the national attention the group has begun to receive. Portland TV station KOIN has the following story (HT to Zero Hedge):

By Tom Blumer | June 18, 2013 | 11:23 PM EDT

A search at Google News on "households food stamps record" done at 9 p.m. ET (not in quotes, sorted by date, with duplicates and similar items) returned three items. Two are at the Daily Caller (here and here); and the other is at Reason.com. Program statistics for March, the latest month available, show that a record 23.12 million households -- one in every five in the U.S. -- received food stamp benefits. At 47.73 million, the total number of persons receiving benefits was only 65,000 below the record set in December. In 2008, average participation was less than 29 million.

That search result shows, despite the fact that records are supposed to be news, that the establishment press is completely uninterested in communicating the fact that the food stamp program continues to grow, though very slowly, even as the economy supposedly recovers. There is one number that the press has been citing frequently, namely the number of people who might be removed from the food stamp rolls if language attempting to limit the program to people who are truly in need remains in the otherwise bloated disaster known as the farm bill. 

By Tom Blumer | June 16, 2013 | 12:17 PM EDT

In a four-paragraph "Big Story" item time-stamped 10:48 a.m. ("CURRENT, FORMER OFFICIALS BACK SECRET SURVEILLANCE"), Stephen Braun at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, names several Sunday news program guests who he writes are "are supporting the government's collection of phone and Internet data following new revelations about the secret surveillance programs aimed at disrupting terrorist plots." Meanwhile, the Politico is hyping former Vice President Dick Cheney's characterization of Edward Snowden as a "traitor."

Both outlets, and thus far most of the establishment press, are ignoring a report by CNETs Declan McCullagh Saturday afternoon which I believe would be dominating the news by now if anyone except Barack Obama were President. It directly contradicts an assertion Obama made -- "Nobody is listening to your phone calls" -- shortly after the NSA-Snowden story broke, and one of Congress' most liberal Democrats is the source (links are in original; bolds are mine):

By Tom Blumer | June 15, 2013 | 9:45 PM EDT

A GOP candidate for the Connecticut State Legislature's 53rd District about 70 miles northeast of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown won election on Tuesday, marking the first time the seat has gone to a Republican since Richard Nixon was president.

Republican Samuel Belsito defeated Democrat Anthony J. Horn by a 58.5%-41.5% margin, largely because his stances in support of citizens' Second Amendment rights and fiscal restraint were more convincing. Based on a review of Newsday's Associated Press Connecticut feed carrying stories from throughout the Nutmeg State (most June 11 and June 12 stories as of the time of this post are here and here), it appears that the AP did not run any stories on the result, and almost certainly made no attempt to discern its meaning.

By Tim Graham | June 15, 2013 | 7:15 AM EDT

In the wake of the new leaks about NSA surveillance, the Daily Kos wants the entire War on Terrorism repealed as a vast violation of American civil liberties.

Terrorism, scherrorism, says "Letsgetitdone." We lose many more Americans due to "gun violence" and the "lack of health insurance," so losing 3,000 people on 9/11 is just a smear on the national windshield:

By Tom Blumer | June 9, 2013 | 10:14 PM EDT

For the week of May 27, the Big Three networks' evening news broadcasts declined, both compared to the previous week and the same week last year, and garnered an average combined daily audience of just under 20 million.

Somehow, Chris Ariens at Media Bistro apparently wasn't looking at the same numbers his readers were when he did his post, and wrote the following while linking back to the related post from last year which contradicted what he wrote (bolds are mine; link is in original):

By Tom Blumer | June 9, 2013 | 4:59 PM EDT

Although there are stories at Fox News and the Daily Caller, there appears to be almost no interest on the part of the establishment press in covering the Treasury Department's failure to report over 99% of its conference costs when Oklahoma Republican Senator Tom Coburn asked for an itemized listing a year ago.

The Politico, the repository for stories which cause Democrats and the left discomfort that the rest of the press would prefer to ignore ("Oh, the Politico did something with it, so we don't have to"), buried the item in a "Morning Tax" report Thursday. Writer Lauren French held off as long as she possibly could presenting how the $50 million in omitted IRS costs dwarfed the measly $500,000 which was reported (paragraph breaks added by me; bolds are mine throughout this post):

By Tom Blumer | June 9, 2013 | 12:01 PM EDT

A week ago (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I wrote up a post on the Miami Herald's coverage of how the chief of staff of Florida Democratic Congressman Joe Garcia had admittted to attempting to orchestrate "a sophisticated scheme to manipulate last year’s primary elections by submitting hundreds of fraudulent absentee-ballot requests."

I also noted that the story, which broke on Friday, May 31, was "getting very little notice," but that perhaps "the amount and scope of national coverage will increase when the work week starts." Well, the official work week has ended, and there has been almost no coverage anywhere, despite Congressman Garcia's stunning reaction to the news reported in a separate June 1 Herald story (bolds are mine):