By Tom Blumer | October 19, 2016 | 4:44 PM EDT

The federal government's fiscal year ended on September 30. As has been the administration's habit for years with news that might draw negative attention, the Treasury Department conveniently released its year-end Monthly Budget Review Friday afternoon to minimize the discussion of its grim news.

The government ran a $587 billion deficit, up from $414 billion the previous year. Andrew Taylor's coverage at the Associated Press glossed over why this occurred, because to do so would call into doubt the questionable Congressional Budget Office projections for future years he relied on to reassure readers that the situation is, in the words of an economist he quoted, "totally manageable." The other two main business wire services performed a bit better, but still missed several key items.

By Julia A. Seymour | October 12, 2016 | 3:45 PM EDT

While many activists fighting the Dakota Access oil pipeline have been exposed and even arrested for trespassing on the property, Climate Direct Action turned to criminal eco-terrorism in “solidarity” on Oct. 11.

Climate change activists disrupted crude oil flowing through multiple pipelines by tampering with pipelines in four states simultaneously, according to Reuters. Enbridge Inc. pipelines in Minnesota had to be temporarily shut down as well as Spectra Energy’s Express Pipeline in Montana.

By Tom Blumer | October 8, 2016 | 10:16 AM EDT

This is a volatile election year, to say the least. The two major-party candidates are far less than perfect, routinely commit gaffes (or perceived gaffes), and have been hurt by a variety of negative disclosures and actions. Two other challengers have gained a degree of attention and apparent support not seen since Ross Perot's presidential runs in the 1990s. Meanwhile, mistrust of the establishment press is at or near an all-time high, and several journalists have publicly decided that the idea of even trying (or pretending) to report in a fair and balanced manner is not appropriate this year.

In this environment, the nation's pollsters, who have seen huge prediction failures during the past several years — virtually all understating support for conservative candidates and causes — still expect the public to believe that the tiny percentage of people they contact who actually complete their surveys and interviews reflect the opinions of everyone else.

By Tom Blumer | September 30, 2016 | 10:17 PM EDT

On Thursday, Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen suggested in a videoconference call, as translated into plain English by the Wall Street Journal, that "there could be benefits to allowing the central bank to buy stocks as a way to boost the economy in a downturn."

By Tom Blumer | September 18, 2016 | 2:06 PM EDT

In an extended Friday writeup which appeared on Page A9 in its print edition, Matt Flegenheimer at the New York Times appeared to be preparing the paper's left-wing audience for what was supposedly unthinkable just a month ago: The possibility that Hillary Clinton might lose the presidential election.

The theme, as would be expected, was how Mrs. Clinton could "actually blow this." Since liberals never lose because their ideas and positions are unpopular (that's sarcasm, folks), Flegenheimer absurdly pointed at the campaign's mishandling of Mrs. Clinton's pneumonia last week as the primary cause of the potential failure. To do this, he only made a glancing reference to Mrs. Clinton's email/private-server scandal (without using the "S-word," of course), and completely ignored her "deplorables" insult directed at "half" of rival Donald Trump's supporters and the myriad controversies associated with the Clinton Foundation.

By P.J. Gladnick | September 16, 2016 | 10:29 PM EDT

Don't be so modest, Bob. You have an amazing power. Any presidential candidate who you either work for directly or declare to have won before Election Day is doomed to fail. That power that you are so reluctant to brag about is known far and wide within political circles as the "Shrum Curse." We saw the latest demonstration by Bob Shrum of that power on With All Due Respect on September 2 as chronicled by your humble correspondent who anticipated its effects in this Newsbusters article, WADR: Will Shrum Curse Doom Hillary's Campaign?

By Sam Dorman | September 12, 2016 | 10:36 AM EDT

When it came to covering voters’ most important issue, networks fumbled again in August. Instead, the networks spent more time tackling a football player who protested the national anthem.

By Randy Hall | August 11, 2016 | 7:02 PM EDT

As Barack Obama prepares to leave the White House in January, the press is noting the president's accomplishments over the past seven years and seven months.

According to the fawning mainstream media, one of the heights the 55-year-old Democrat has reached is not boosting the country's economy nor successes in foreign policy, but instead that Obama has played more than 300 rounds of golf since taking office in January of 2009.

By Tom Blumer | August 9, 2016 | 10:54 PM EDT

Last month, yours truly, with the help of commenters (and in a supplemental post found here), shredded the idea proposed in a column at that journalists should eliminate the words "terrorist" and, by extension, "terrorism," to describe genuine acts of terrorism committed by terrorists (unless those words are uttered in quoted remarks by interview subjects). Sadly, in the course of covering the topic, I learned that that the Newspeak practitioners pretending to be journalists at Reuters have already done this in association "with specific events."

Now Philip Mudd, who "comments on counterterrorism and security policy for CNN" and is a former “deputy director of the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center,” wants to travel part of the way down that road. Mudd wants to effectively eliminate the T-words when describing "seemingly random attacks with debatable motivations," while continuing their use for "politically motivated Islamist revolutionaries" such as "Osama bin Laden."

By Tom Blumer | July 17, 2016 | 8:31 PM EDT

Adam Ragusea, writing at, believes that the word "terrorist" has become "uselessly arbitrary and loaded," because it "has acquired a powerful religious—and specifically Islamic—connotation" that "is substantively consequential."

As a result, Ragusea believes that the Associated Press, whose Stylebook sadly exerts nearly ironclad control over language used in U.S. establishment press journalism, should follow the lead of Reuters and stop using that word. Oh, and based on looking at what Reuters shamefully did with little fanfare, the word "terrorism" also needs to go.

By Tom Blumer | July 10, 2016 | 9:39 PM EDT

Saturday morning US Time, Reuters reported (HT Zero Hedge) that "The British government has rejected an online petition signed by 4.1 million people calling for a new referendum on whether to leave the European Union." The wire service AFP posted a similar story on Sunday, reporting that "The British government on Saturday formally rejected a petition signed by more than 4.125 million people calling for a second referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU."

Reports such as these leave one scrambling to find a word to describe something beyond "bizarre." After all, it's been nearly two weeks since the entire "petition" was exposed as a scam, as most of the "people calling for a new referendum" aren't real people, and there is no way to know how many signers who are flesh-and-blood humans are really UK citizens. Reuters and AFP, even as they covered the government's rejection, still wouldn't acknowledge those realities. Sadly, they're not alone.

By Matthew Balan | July 7, 2016 | 8:56 PM EDT

ABC's World News Tonight stood out as the only Big Three evening newscast on Thursday to cover the revelation that a Russian police officer physically attacked an American diplomat as he entered the U.S. embassy in Moscow. Martha Raddatz spotlighted the "really astonishing" incident, where "the diplomat was assaulted the second he went up the steps; and then, had to fight and struggle to get himself inside to safety." She also pointed out the context of the recent "ear-shattering close encounters between Russian jets and U.S. warships."