Blogs

By Tom Blumer | May 16, 2015 | 9:52 AM EDT

On Tuesday, Associated Press reporter Martin Crutsinger celebrated the federal government's large April budget surplus, caused by "a flood of tax payments (which) pushed government receipts to an all-time high." He didn't mention that the tax payments were higher largely because of tax increases passed in 2013. It certainly didn't occur because of an improving economy — because it's not meaningfully improving.

Crutsinger also noted that the April 2015 result of $156.7 billion "was the largest surplus since April 2008," without telling us that the previous surplus was achieved despite (better argument: "because of") the Bush 43 tax cuts.

By Tom Blumer | May 15, 2015 | 10:43 PM EDT

On May 1, the Associated Press's Paul Wiseman was pleased to tell the wire service's readers and subscribing outlets that "The University of Michigan's sentiment index rose to 95.9 from 93 in March," reaching "its second-highest level since 2007." Among other things, the survey's chief economist said that the result reflected "improving prospects for jobs and incomes."

What a difference two weeks makes. Today's preliminary U of M survey for April dropped to 88.6, completely missing expectations of 95.9. Zero Hedge notes that it's the biggest expectations miss on record, and the largest single-month drop since December 2012. Naturally, a search at its national site indicates that the AP prepared no story on the U of M report.

By Tom Blumer | May 11, 2015 | 6:52 PM EDT

Today, Bloomberg TV's Mark Halperin inadequately apologized for his conduct and line of questioning during an April 30 interview of GOP presidential candidate which came off as rude and racist to many who saw it — well, basically because it was.

As Tim Graham at NewsBusters noted on Sunday, and as will be seen in the video following the jump, Halperin engaged in a "prove-you're-a-Cuban" line of questioning, and did so with "a grim visage during these questions, like ... an interrogation, not a friendly chat":

By Tom Blumer | May 11, 2015 | 2:37 PM EDT

With Camden Yards set to hold its first fan-attended Baltimore Orioles game in over two weeks tonight, it's a good time to go back to a May 2 item by Meredith Shiner at Yahoo Politics.

Readers may remember the Duke-"educated" Shiner as the person who was flabbergasted that GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz cited "God-given rights" when he announced his candidacy on March 23, tweeting in part: "Bizarre to talk about how rights are God-made and not man-made ... When Constitution was man-made?" Few will be surprised that Shiner's interview of Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings is an income inequality-obsessed de facto puff piece which lets Cummings completely off the hook for worsening conditions in the district he has represented since 1996.

By Tom Blumer | May 10, 2015 | 11:21 PM EDT

Chuck Todd should have been ready for this, but he wasn't.

Just a few days days ago, on the very network at which Todd toils, "Late Night" comedian Seth Meyers thought he would be cute and embarrass GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina over not registering the CarlyFiorina.org domain, thereby allowing a critic to take it and use it as a platform for criticizing her tenure as H-P's CEO. Fiorina then informed Meyers that she had just purchased SethMeyers.org moments earlier. When the ignorant comedian speculated that doing so must have been expensive, she told him that the price tag was cheap. On Sunday's "Meet the Press," Todd went after Fiorina over the same matter, with the same eventual result.

By Tom Blumer | May 10, 2015 | 8:41 PM EDT

On Thursday, Jennifer Grayson, who fancies herself as an "environmental journalist," exposed herself as a truly annoying scold.

Grayson wrote in a Washington Post column that those of us who show our appreciation for others by giving them flowers as part of our overall enjoyment of life are really showing that we are either ignorant of or don't "care about Mother Earth." Grayson concocts her case by demonstrating that basic math must not be a prerequisite for becoming an "environmental journalist."

By Tom Blumer | May 10, 2015 | 9:57 AM EDT

One of the more simultaneously annoying and alarming developments on college campuses these days is how the idea of "microagressions" has regained visibility after four decades of previously well-deserved obscurity, largely under the establishment press's radar. Almost no one in "the real world" would know what microaggressions are if it weren't for stories and critiques at center-right media outlets and campus watchdog groups.

Cut through the clutter, and it's quite easy to see that "microaggression" is really a tool used by so-called "victim classes" to allege unconscious discrimination or "marginalization" in virtually anything people they don't like might say. The idea has taken particular hold at Oberlin College, where iconoclastic feminist Christina Hoff Sommers appeared last month. Fortunately, there are still sane people with a sense of humor about all of this. That cadre includes the "Oberlin College choir."

By Tom Blumer | May 6, 2015 | 11:08 PM EDT

Remember the cries of "Bush Lied" during the previous administration — even though he didn't? Or the obsession over the 16 words relating to Saddam Hussein's attempt to obtain nuclear materials from Niger, which George W. Bush's opponents tried to pretend were false but were really true? Good times.

In federal court in February, the Obama administration seriously "misrepresented" the degree of its adoption of the President's executive actions relating to illegal immigrants issued late last year. The establishment press has largely treated the matter as a minor bump in the road. Hardly.

By Tom Blumer | May 6, 2015 | 3:50 PM EDT

Tuesday evening, I wrote that there appears to be a need for an intervention among the economics writers at the Associated Press.

At the time, I was referring to how the wire service's Christopher Rugaber, in his dispatch on a trade group's upbeat business sentiment survey appearing about an hour after Martin Crutsinger's writeup on the horrible March trade imbalance, failed to report Crutsinger's relayed observation, based on the opinions of others, that the economy likely contracted in this year's first quarter instead of barely growing at the 0.2 percent annualized rate currently recognized.

By Tom Blumer | May 6, 2015 | 10:09 AM EDT

The headline at Sandhya Somashekhar's Washington Post column on Pamela Geller, whose Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest was the target of a failed terrorist attack, acts as if that attack is her fault: "Event organizer offers no apology after thwarted attack in Texas."

Somashekhar's work reeks of contempt for Geller and her efforts, even going beyond the media malfeasance cited in the Brent Bozell-Tim Graham column posted at NewsBusters Tuesday evening.

By Tom Blumer | May 4, 2015 | 10:53 AM EDT

(See Update Below)

Since news broke of the terrorist attack in Garland, Texas Sunday evening and continuing until early this morning, the Associated Press, perhaps best nicknamed Allah's Press in instances such as these, was determined not to reveal the nature of those behind it. Two attackers were killed by police after opening fire and wounding a security officer, who, according to AP, "was treated and released from a local hospital."

The attack took place outside the city's Curtis Culwell Center, where a "First Annual Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest" was being held. Despite information available at the time of each filing, dispatches submitted by a pair of AP reporters at 1:20 a.m and 7:12 a.m. would only say that it "remained unclear" and "was not immediately clear," respectively, whether the attack wes related to the event. The wire service's Nomaan Merchant and Jamie Stengle also used their final paragraph in each item to engage in an implied blame-the-victim exercise.

By Tom Blumer | May 3, 2015 | 11:41 PM EDT

One could spend hours critiquing the horridly written, agenda-driven Friday evening (Saturday print edition, front page) story at the New York Times about Marilyn J. Mosby, the state’s attorney for Baltimore. On Friday, she announced the indictment of six police officers in the death of Freddie Gray.

Earlier Sunday, "Open Blogger" at the Ace of Spades blog provided the Cliff's notes version of the report by Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Alan Blinder — "exactly what one would expect from what is now the loudest national voice in support of mob rule." Especially egregious is the pair's strong implication, in the context of their writeup, that Mosby's cousin was killed by the police. It's hard to see how the average reader could reach any other conclusion after reading paragraphs 2 through 7 in their report (bolds are mine throughout this post):