By Tom Blumer | January 30, 2016 | 11:56 PM EST

Observers can be excused for thinking that the politicial establishment is preparing the battlespace to convince us plebes that progress and economic growth are overrated. (That's sort of odd for people who call themselves "progressives," but making sense is not their strong suit.)

How interesting, for example, that Northwestern University economist Robert Gordon's book, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, was released on January 12, even though, as Bloomberg writer Noah Smith notes, Gordon "has been going around for several years making ... (the) case (that) ... the golden days of growth are over." Just in time for the arrival of a more visibly weak economy, Gordon's premise has been getting wildly disproportionate press attention. Smith goes further in his "Economic Growth Isn't Everything" column, referring to "the illusion of stagnation" (i.e., don't believe those weak stats, even if they go negative; everything is really fine), while reminding us of the supposedly marvelous things government has done and supposedly can still do for us.

By Tom Blumer | January 30, 2016 | 9:24 PM EST

As has been its habit during the Obama administration when the economy turns in a poor performance, the press's coverage of yesterday's report on U.S. economic growth focused on how much better next quarter's news will supposedly be. Especially in this instance, the beat reporters and pundits should have looked at whether or not yesterday's initial result will hold up, or whether it's likely to be revised downward.

The government's Bureau of Economic Analysis reported yesterday that the economy grew at an annualized rate of 0.7 percent in last year's fourth quarter. That's bad enough, but statements published by a leading GDP prognosticator before the BEA's release, once applied to yesterday's data, foreshadow a distinct possilbity that February's or March's revision will come in with a minus sign preceding it.

By Rich Noyes | December 25, 2015 | 10:10 AM EST

This week, NewsBusters is presenting the Media Research Center’s “Best Notable Quotables of 2015,” our annual awards for the year’s worst journalism. Today, the “Harsh to the Huddled Masses” award, for attacks on the GOP candidates for their supposed hostility to immigration. Winning the trophy: Yahoo! News anchor Katie Couric for suggesting to GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz that he lacked “empathy” because he didn’t support Barack Obama’s unilateral executive action on amnesty.

By Tom Blumer | December 22, 2015 | 12:57 PM EST

The business press worships at the altar of seasonally adjusted data. Most journalists covering the economy don't even bother looking at raw, not seasonally adjusted data, which in layman's terms is best understood as "what actually happened." As I have shown for nearly a decade, this is often a big mistake.

On the rare occasions when reporters take the initiative to look at the raw data, they usually ignor it, or fail to grasp its meaning. A perfect example of that phenomenon occurred today at Bloomberg News. The business press is blindly accepting a reported 10.5 percent drop in existing home sales as evidence of all kinds of problems, including — supposedly, but not really — a regulation-driven extension of closing time frames. Though Bloomberg's Victoria Stilwell was astute enough to look at the underlying data, unlike her fellow reporters at the Associated Press and Reuters, she completely ignored how doing so blew up the narrative.

By Tom Blumer | December 16, 2015 | 11:51 PM EST

Reuters and reporter Lucia Mutikani went way overboard today in reacting to today's residential construction news from the Census Bureau.

Mutikani's headline contended that today's "housing data signals economic strength," while a section title claimed that there are "strong housing fundamentals." That can only possibly be true if one believes the world began in 2007.

By Tom Blumer | November 23, 2015 | 1:56 PM EST

Gosh, this gets tiresome.

Once again, with one noteworthy exception, the business press's virtually blind acceptance of seasonally adjusted economic data, and its accompanying refusal to look at the underlying raw data, led it to paint a deceptive picture of an important element of the economy. This time, it was existing home sales for October. The seasonally adjusted annual rate for October reported by the National Association of Realtors this morning is almost 4 percent higher than seen in October 2014. The trouble is, the raw sales data show an increase of less than 1 percent.

By Tom Blumer | November 16, 2015 | 12:35 AM EST

Japan's two-decade romance with Keynesian economics has led to another betrayal — and yet the press and all the supposedly smart economists and analysts seem to believe that just one more fling might bring about a different result.

The Land of the Rising Sun, aka the Land of the Two-Decade Zombie Economy, has just reported an annualized contraction of 0.8 percent in the third quarter. The decline, following a revised 0.7 percent second-quarter downturn, means that the country is once again in a recession — its second in three years (Update: And fifth since 2008). Oh, but don't worry. It's no big deal. The Associated Press insists that it's only a "technical" recession, and more Keynesian "stimulus" could set things right — even though such measures, in place to varying degrees since the 1990s, have consistently failed to bring about sustained, meaningful recoveries:

By Tom Blumer | October 31, 2015 | 10:47 PM EDT

On Thursday, the government reported that the nation's economy turned in yet another quarter of poor economic performance, estimating that its gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 1.5 percent in the third quarter.

The business press almost universally downplayed the news, and told readers that the fourth quarter will be better. No one talked about how much the tepid growth of the past six-plus years since the recession officially ended has been sacrificed in the name of misguided and dangerous Keynesian stimulus. As is so often the case, an editorial at Investor's Business Daily did that, performing a job the press has consistently refused to do.

By Tom Blumer | October 24, 2015 | 10:30 PM EDT

The news coming out of Detroit about near-deadline negotiations between the United Auto Workers union and General Motors has been pretty quiet. As the Sunday 11:59 p.m. deadline approaches, the Associated Press only has a four-paragraph blurb indicating that the union wants to get a richer package than it just garnered in negotiations with Fiat Chrysler. A Reuters report goes into detail about GM's cost structure still being higher than that seen at Toyota's and Nissan's U.S. plants by about 15 percent and 31 percent, respectively. The New York Times is only carrying reports from the wires.

One note of substance about the UAW's strategy covered at Bloomberg News — surely known to others following the industry who are filing bland reports — is that it plans to milk the unemployment insurance system in the event of a protracted strike.

By Kyle Drennen | October 20, 2015 | 10:21 AM EDT

During a discussion with Bloomberg Politics editor Mark Halperin on Tuesday’s NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie touted how Hillary Clinton had “set the table” for her testimony before the Benghazi Committee on Thursday. Halperin proclaimed: “This appearance has been looming on her calendar and her staff’s calendar with dread, thinking this could be the worst day of the year for her. It could now be the best day.”

By Brad Wilmouth | October 18, 2015 | 5:21 PM EDT

Appearing as a panel member on Sunday's Up show on MSNBC, Bloomberg View columnist and MSNBC political analyst Jonathan Alter, picking up on what he called "one of Donald Trump's great contributions to this campaign," contended President Bush deserved blame for not stopping the 9/11 attacks as he recounted a vague warning from August 2001 that Osama bin Laden wanted to attack the U.S. He further accused the "Bush people" of "Orwellian, deceptive, historically amnesiatic thinking."

By Brent Baker | October 16, 2015 | 9:28 PM EDT

Another Hollywood liberal infatuated by Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Actress Jill Hennessy, best-known for starring roles in NBC’s Law & Order and Crossing Jordan, hailed Hillary Clinton: “I just think she has accomplished more than most people accomplish in about five lifetimes.” But she was quick to also trumpet Bernie Sanders: “I find him really inspiring. I think he’s tremendous.”