Blogs

By Tom Blumer | March 13, 2015 | 8:20 PM EDT

The Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, is hard at work putting a brave face on a shaky economy.

Just one example: On Thursday, after February consumer spending fell sharply for the third straight month, the wire service's Christopher Rugaber reported that "Freezing temperatures and snowstorms likely weighed on sales in February," and that "steep drops in gas prices dragged down sales" in December and January. While that was largely accurate, Rugaber then looked ahead, citing consumer confidence, at that point at "its highest levels since the recession," as a reason not to be concerned about the economy's long-term health. But today, when the University of Michigan's Consumer Sentiment Index "unexpectedly" fell by over four points from 95.4 to 91.2, defying expectations that it would barely increase, a search on "University Michigan" at its national site indicates that the AP didn't report it.

By Tom Blumer | March 11, 2015 | 4:11 PM EDT

A Google News search at 3 p.m. Eastern Time today for stories published in March about "Eva Carmichael" (in quotes; sorted by date) returned only 11 items.

Who is Eva Carmichael? She is a 94 year-old woman who was murdered in Meridian, Mississippi on March 1. Based on the complete lack of press coverage outside of the immediate area, it's reasonable to believe that the nation's journalists don't think, in the popular parlance, that "her life mattered" all that much. And why is that?

By Tom Blumer | March 11, 2015 | 11:11 AM EDT

The University of Notre Dame won an important victory at the Supreme Court Monday morning when the Court acted in its case involving Obamacare's contraception mandate. Its "GVR" order (grant, vacate, remand) granted Notre Dame a "writ of certorari," vacated a lower court ruling against the school which would have forced it comply or face severe penalties, and remanded the case back to that lower court for reconsideration in light of the higher court's Hobby Lobby ruling last year.

In response, the Associated Press issued a terse, unbylined four-paragraph "We have to cover it, but we'll be damned if we attach any importance to it" report later that morning. After the jump, I'll compare AP's output to a far more accurate and thorough writeup by NewsBusters alum Matt Hadro at Catholic News Agency which recognized the potentially far-reaching implications of the court's move.

By Tom Blumer | March 10, 2015 | 4:03 PM EDT

Imagine if a Republican congressperson called Illinois' senior senator Dick Durbin "Dick Turban" in not one tweet, but two (Durbin has been given the nickname by several center-right pundits and commentators; but as far as I can tell, no national Republican politician has used it). Does anyone think it would take the establishment press over 15 hours (and counting) to report it?

Late Monday evening, Democratic Colorado Congressman Jared Polis referred to GOP Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton as "Tehran Tom" twice. In one of the tweets, Polis claimed that Cotton had asked "Iranian Revolutionary Guards for help in battle against US diplomats." Cotton is a military veteran who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

By Tom Blumer | March 10, 2015 | 10:15 AM EDT

Late Monday morning, reacting to a news Quinnipiac University poll about network trustworthiness, the Washington Post's Hunter Schwarz, at the paper's "The Fix" blog, pointed to Fox News's dominance and declared: "For millions of Americans, Fox News is the mainstream media."

Perhaps more surprising than Fox's dominance, but clearly supporting the statement Schwarz made, is the collective poor showing turned in by the Big 3 broadcast networks, whose combined most-trusted percentages came in just below Fox's.

By Tom Blumer | March 8, 2015 | 11:19 PM EDT

It has been eleven months since the firestorm over Mozilla co-founder and just-promoted CEO Brendan Eich ended in his resignation. Eich's "offense" had nothing to do with how he planned to run the business. What led to his departure shortly after he was named CEO was that six years earlier he had given $1,000 to those who supported the California Proposition 8 ballot measure prohibiting same-sex marriage in that state. Proposition 8 won the approval of a majority of the Golden State voters in November 2008.

Those who remained at the firm, which produces the Firefox web browser and the Thunderbird email program, appear to have convinced themselves that they had to do what they did to stay in the good graces of users, who they must have figured almost universally accept politically correct precepts and sanctions against those who won't bow to them. How's that working out? The answer is "not well."

By Tom Blumer | March 7, 2015 | 9:35 AM EST

Monday night, a Cincinnati-area same-sex "marriage" activist posted on Facebook and tweeted that he had been abducted and was in the trunk of his car. A short time later, police found 20 year-old Adam Hoover and determined that he had (very clumsily) faked his abduction, and would be charged with the crime of "making false claims." In the meantime, news of Hoover's abduction and then its false nature made it to several national news outlets, including the Washington Times, Huffington Post and Buzzfeed.

In its two reports on the story Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, the Cincinnati Enquirer posted the following introductory note:

By Tom Blumer | March 6, 2015 | 6:42 PM EST

In 2004, Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry infamously stated, in connection with an Iraq War spending resolution, that "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it."

Democratic Congresswoman Corrine Brown of Florida has done her own John Kerry imitation. She was against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress earlier this week, and expressed her disapproval by boycotting it. But in a press release issued shortly after that speech, she effusively praised it. The Tampa Bay Tribune's Alex Leary noted the breathtaking switcheroo on Tuesday. The rest of the establishment press has been utterly uninterested. There's even more to this story, as will be seen after the jump.

By Tom Blumer | March 5, 2015 | 11:19 AM EST

Leave it to a writer at Mother Jones to dispense condescending healthy eating advice while serving up a side dish of alleged historical racism with a tincture of capitalism bashing.

Kiera Butler, a senior editor there, didn't have to engage in either exercise to make her nutritional points, which may have some validity. She must have felt that her primary headline ("Why You Should Stop Eating Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner") was too boring, and that she needed to provide an attention-grabbing subheadline to get people to start reading her piece (book link is in original; bolds and numbered tags are mine):

By Jeffrey Meyer | March 5, 2015 | 10:16 AM EST

Politico reports that Kathleen Matthews, wife of liberal MSNBC host Chris Matthews and former news anchor for WJLA-ABC 7 in Washington, DC, is likely to run for Congress as a Democrat. Matthews will seek the seat being vacated by Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), who plans to run for U.S. Senate, replacing the retiring Senator Barbara Mikulski.

By Tom Blumer | February 28, 2015 | 7:45 PM EST

As noted this morning (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), Jezebel's Natasha Vargas-Cooper wrote a Friday morning hit piece directed at Scott Walker, Wisconsin's Republican Governor, calling him a "conservative werewolf" for including a provision in the Badger State's latest proposed budget to eliminate the requirement that universities report campus sexual assault statistics to the state.

Vargas-Cooper took this to mean that all such sexual assault reporting would end. Hardly. Hours later, an unbylined Associated Press story carried at USA Today (but still not carried at its national site) made it clear that a) the University of Wisconsin system had requested the provision, and b) such statistics would continue to be reported to the federal government. Jezebel's "correction" and Vargas-Cooper's spiteful tweeted reaction follow the jump.

By Tom Blumer | February 28, 2015 | 9:45 AM EST

On Friday morning at Jezebel, a Gawker-affiliated web site, Natasha Vargas-Cooper thought she had Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker by the — well, you know.

In a post tellingly tagged "Conservative Werewolves," Vargas-Cooper was absolutely sure — so certain that she apparently felt no need to check any further — that Walker's proposed budget would allow its colleges to "to stop reporting sexual assaults." Vicious vitriol ensued (bolds are mine throughout this post):