Blogs

By Tom Blumer | January 27, 2015 | 10:02 PM EST

On Friday, Melissa Quinn at the Daily Signal, after the release of the government's "Union Members -- 2014" report, uniquely observed that the unionized percentage of the public- and private-sector nonagricultural wage and salary U.S. workforce had reached "its lowest rate in 100 years." From what I can tell in web and news searches, despite the fact that virtually any 100-year record is ordinarily considered newsworthy, no major establishment press outlet has reported what Quinn found.

The report from Uncle Sam's Bureau of Labor Statisics claims that 1983 is "the first year for which comparable union data are available." Perhaps, but there is data available going back much further, and it has been used occasionally in previous media reports. That data also indicates that private-sector union membership is at its lowest point since the turn of the century — from the 19th to the 20th century, that is.

By Tom Blumer | January 26, 2015 | 6:11 PM EST

This post follows up on Friday morning's entry (at BizzyBlog; at NewsBusters) showing that "Fewer Than 0.5% of Americans Live in Fully Recovered Counties." This is the kind of news which would be front and center with the nation's establishment press if such a report came out during a Republican or conservative presidential administration. With Team Obama in place, NACo's work has been virtually ignored.

Some commenters at the Friday post raised a potentially valid objection to the criteria used by the National Association of Counties to determine "full recovery." NACo's four bases were returns to pre-recession bests in number of jobs, the unemployment rate, GDP, and home prices. Objectors wanted to completely discount the group's work based on its inclusion of home prices, arguing that pre-bubble home prices were artificially high, and that a failure to return to those levels was not a valid indicator of economic malaise. If all three other metrics were impressive, they would have had a point. But they weren't. This post will look at the unemployment rate metric, because that will be the only one needed to show that they still don't have a point.

By Tom Blumer | January 23, 2015 | 9:44 AM EST

In his State of the Union address — perhaps, based on the recommendations for government involvement and control he made therein, better described as his Statist of the Union address — President Obama referenced the "growing" U.S. economy at least three times, but "recovery" only once. Specifically, he claimed that "thanks to a growing economy, the recovery is touching more and more lives."

The recovery, which Obama acknowledged is still in progress over 5-1/2 years after the recession officially ended, has a great deal more "touching" to do. On January 12, the National Association of Counties released a detailed study which most of the press ignored, but which would have been front-page and broadcast-leading news in a Republican or conservative presidential administration. The NACo report showed that only 65 of the nation's 3,069 counties have fully recovered from the recession. That's bad enough, but even with that ugly statistic, the results involved are worse than they appear.

By Tom Blumer | January 22, 2015 | 11:53 PM EST

A week ago, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, a Democrat, called homelessness in his city and the rest of King County a "full-blown crisis."

Based on the numbers presented in coverage of the area's situation, we can certainly add the Emerald City to the list of areas where homelessness has been on the rise. Odds are that many readers here didn't know that, because the national press hardly ever pays attention to homelessness when a Democrat occupies the White House. Now imagine the firestorm which would erupt if a Republican or conservative proposed the "solution," however allegedly temporary, Murray is advancing (bolds are mine):

By Tom Blumer | January 22, 2015 | 5:28 PM EST

Earlier today (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), I posted on the establishment press's apparent determination to punish anyone who dares to mention the existence — in their view, the "myth" — of "no-go zones" in France and other European countries.

The tactic seems to be working. The Washington Post's Erik Wemple, who criticized CNN for allowing guests to use the term and failing to challenge them after the Charlie Hebdo massacre, is now praising the network, particularly Anderson Cooper, for backing away, even though one of those guests was a "former CIA official" who, it would seem, would have been asserting his position about their existence based on job experience and other acquired knowledge. Before the term completely disappears down the memory hole, readers should be reminded that it was being used even before the 2005 riots in Europe.

By Tom Blumer | January 22, 2015 | 1:03 PM EST

The leftist press's truth squads apparently believe they have successfully intimidated any news organization which henceforth wants to be considered respectable from ever again referring to any Muslim-heavy enclave in Europe as a "no-go zone," regardless of the facts and circumstances.

Snopes.com, the self-appointed, almost invariably left-driven debunker of supposed "urban legends," doesn't reach a specific conclusion, but the title of its post ("Caliph-Ain't") gives away their take. A Google search on "no go zones myth" (not in quotes) returns a slew of entries. Some of them include BusinessWeek, Talking Points Memo, the Atlantic, and MSNBC. The same search at Google News give us an additional self-satisfied item at the New York Times covering plans by Paris's mayor to sue Fox News. Well, before the censors complete their end-zone dance, they need to explain away a few quite inconvenient items. I don't believe they can.

By Tom Blumer | January 19, 2015 | 11:50 PM EST

Your truly noted yesterday (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) how Michael Moore tweeted, in part, that "We were taught snipers were cowards." Earlier today, Geoffrey Dickens at NewsBusters observed that Seth Rogen, whose "The Interview" movie was at least partially salvaged financially by freedom-of-speech supporters on the left and right who watched it online and in person in select areas, tweeted that "American Sniper kind of reminds me of the (Nazi propaganda) movie that's showing in the third act of Inglorious Basterds."

Tonight, both Moore and Rogen are in keister-covering walkback mode. Predictably, both are pretending that they didn't imply and say what they really implied and said.

By Tom Blumer | January 19, 2015 | 1:19 AM EST

The popularity of "American Sniper," the story of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, has "shocked" Hollywood. Estimates are that by the time the four-day Martin Luther King holiday weekend ends, the Clint Eastwood-directed film will gross over $100 million and smash records in several R-rated film categories.

That such a movie has been so well received, causing long waiting lines in both red and blue America, has already caused certain leftists to come unglued (examples here, here [warning: profane language] and here). Perhaps the most appalling reaction on the loony left has come from Michael Moore, who, without naming the film itself, described snipers as "cowards" in the following tweet:

By Tom Blumer | January 18, 2015 | 12:23 AM EST

Howard Kurtz, the Fox News analyst and the host of its "Media Buzz" program, made a few pertinent observations in a column about Victor Paul Alvarez's astonishingly crass attempt at humor at Boston.com earlier this week. That said, Kurtz should have criticized the web site and its parent, the Boston Globe, for its completely unsatisfactory explanation for the one "correction" it made to Alvarez's piece.

Alvarez somehow thought it was a great idea to make light of a potential assassin's plan to kill House Speaker John Boehner by poisoning a drink, using that news as a jumping-off point to get into the GOP leader's alleged drinking habits. As Jack Coleman at NewsBusters noted on Friday, Boston.com fired Alvarez shortly after his horrid piece appeared. Video and excerpts from Kurtz's column follow the jump.

By Tom Blumer | January 16, 2015 | 8:09 PM EST

On Tuesday, I posted (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) on a bogus "study" out of North Dakota University contending that "almost one in 3 college men would commit rape 'if nobody would ever know and there wouldn’t be any consequences.'" Media exposure from favorable and unfavorable outlets continues to grow.

In that post, I noted that the study disqualified itself from credibility by uncriticially relaying the thoroughly discredited "1 in 5" statistic, namely (quoting the study's opening) "Federal data estimate that about one in five women becomes the victim of sexual assault while in college," and took that as a clear indication that the trio of academics involved "are not dispassionate researchers, but instead are agenda-driven individuals who are not interested in facts, but are instead looking to reach desired conclusions." In an exchange with the Washington Examiner's Ashe Schow, study leader Sarah Edwards confirmed my assessment, and ratified the idea that any media outlet which takes their work seriously is deliberately spreading disinformation (bolds are mine throughout this post):

By Tom Blumer | January 14, 2015 | 2:12 PM EST

Victor Paul Alvarez's LinkedIn profile says that he's an "Associate Editor - Boston.com at The Boston Globe," with previous stints at East Bay Newspapers and the Baltimore Sun. He was a copy boy at the Sun in 1994 while he was also a student at Towson University, which would likely make him a bit over 40 years old now.

It is beyond comprehension that someone with Alvarez's decades of experience could have tried to find humor Tuesday evening in a Cincinnati-area man's plan to assassinate House Speaker John Boehner. But he did. It's more incredible that the folks at Boston.com apparently think Alvarez's report is now perfectly fine after removing just one offensive sentence. Here's the full entry, including that now-deleted sentence, which was captured earlier today at Hot Air (in italics; links are in original; numbered tags are mine; bolds are mine throughout this post):

By Tom Blumer | January 13, 2015 | 7:30 PM EST

The latest report out of Venezuela by the Associated Press's Hannah Dreier has a time stamp of 1:15 p.m. today. This means that the wire service has had plenty of time to report, and has chosen not to report, a powerful pastoral letter issued yesterday by that country's Catholic bishops (original in Spanish; full Google Translation) denouncing that country's descent into a system they described as "socialist Marxist or communist."

That decision by AP and apparently other international wire services demonstrates once again that one cannot keep up with the news without at least occasionally going to the editorial pages of the Wall Street Journal, the UK tabloids, and Investors Business Daily. In this case, it's IBD's Monica Showalter who commented on the development Monday afternoon in an opinion piece. She also brought Pope Francis into the discussion (bolds are mine throughout this post):