Tom Blumer has written for several national online publications  primarily on business, economics, politics and media bias. He has had his own blog,, since 2005, and has been with NewsBusters since December 2005. Along the way, he's had a decades-long career in accounting, finance, training and development.

Latest from Tom Blumer
October 30, 2015, 11:22 PM EDT

Here's what should be an easy question: With data which has already been seasonally adjusted, what's more important — a) the fact that an index is a) up by 3 percent in the past year or b) the fact that it has fallen 5 percent in the past four months?

The correct answer is obviously b) — unless you're a writer for the Associated Press whose mission is to convince readers that the housing market, despite clear evidence to the contrary, is just fine. Therefore, the AP's Josh Boak chose a):

October 30, 2015, 9:34 PM EDT

People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. And people who ridicule the level of others' speech patterns should check theirs first.

CNBC didn't do that. Instead, on Thursday, as I noted in a previous NewsBusters post, it childishly rushed out a grade-level evaluation of the Republican presidential candidates' speech patterns during the first three debates, including the Wednesday train wreck it rudely hosted, and created a graphic with the title, "Are you smarter than a GOP candidate?" Payback is sweet (bolds are mine):

October 30, 2015, 2:12 PM EDT

The government's Personal Income and Outlays report for September bore more evidence of a slowing economy. Consumer spending rose by only 0.1 percent, trailing expectations of 0.2 percent. That's troubling news, given that the optimists believe that strong consumer spending will supposedly drive stronger fourth-quarter economic growth.

Lucia Mutikani's coverage at Reuters made a common error in explaining the importance of consumer spending, made a significant technical error in describing the report's contents, and ignored a very disturbing item present in the government report's detail (related items are tagged [1], [2] and [3], respectively, in the excerpt following the jump; bolds are mine):

October 29, 2015, 3:50 PM EDT

It would appear that CNBC isn't going to take the criticism of its debate panelists' awful conduct last night lying down.

In what appears to be an all too predictable immature response to the dressing-downs several Republican presidential candidates administered to certain of their moderators as a result of their juvenile behavior and insulting questions — particularly John Harwood and Carl Quintillana — the network has rushed out ratings of the top ten GOP candidates' speech patterns during the first three debates, with an obvious undertone: Ignore these candidates; they're just a bunch of dummies.

October 29, 2015, 2:37 AM EDT

Wednesday night, an Associated Press reporter told us that it's the press's job to ask "tough, impertinent" questions like the ones moderators at Wednesday night's CNBC-hosted Republican debate were asking.

Ken Dilanian, who is apparently the AP's Intelligence Writer — seriously — really needs to consult a dictionary before he makes such a complete fool of himself. Here is what Dilanian tweeted at 10:32 p.m.:

October 29, 2015, 1:41 AM EDT

The competition for the worst moderator moment of Wednesday night's GOP debate is fierce. John Harwood's rephrasing of an old and discredited charge that Marco Rubio's tax plan disproportionately benefits the top 1 percent has to be in the running.

That's especially true because Harwood himself had to back away from a simialr contention two weeks ago, yet still brought up the same issue with a similar dishonest assumption Wednesday night. After Rubio refuted Harwood and pointed out that the CNBC hack previously had to correct himself about the substance of the Rubio-Lee plan, a finger-wagging Harwood still insisted he was correct (bolds are mine throughout this post):

October 28, 2015, 8:31 PM EDT

Preparing the battlespace for tomorrow's report from the government on third-quarter Gross Domestic Product growth, the Associated Press's Martin Crutsinger early this afternoon told readers that we're likely to see "a subpar pace by any standard."

But we shouldn't worry, because the AP reporter contends that tomorrow's news will just be a temporary trough in this year's "dizzying roller coaster ride," and that the fourth quarter will once again bring the economy up to acceptable heights. To make his claim, Crutsinger naturally ignored myriad warning signs that a serious slowdown may be on the horizon. A decade ago, he was hyping other far less serious factors as evidence that the economy would be lucky to avoid a recession.

October 28, 2015, 12:59 AM EDT

To err is human, but some errors are more obvious than others.

One pretty obvious error occurred Tuesday at the Associated Press. It involved veteran economics reporter Christopher Rugaber, who somehow assumed that the August increase in home prices recorded in a well-known index published on Tuesday primarily occurred because of "solid sales." The problem is that seasonally adjusted existing home sales declined sharply in August.

October 27, 2015, 11:38 PM EDT

Earlier today, Katie Yoder at NewsBusters posted and described the latest video from the Center for Medical Progress on Planned Parenthood's late-term abortion business and its related ghoulish work in harvesting fetal tissue from abortions for research.

Yoder's work and that CMP video caused me to remember how the Associated Press wrote up Planned Parenthood's announcement that it would cease taking compensation for fetal tissue harvesting on October 13.

October 27, 2015, 3:08 PM EDT

If you're a few hours late catching up on reports on economic data at the Associated Press, one of the best ways to determine whether the news was good or disappointing is to see whether the story's headline and opening blurb are still present about four hours later among the wire service's "Top (usually 10) Business News" items. The good-news items will usually still be there; the disappointing ones will usually be gone.

Sure enough, as of about 12:30, Martin Crutsinger's dispatch in the wake of the 8:30 a.m. Durable Goods report from the Census Bureau was no longer a Top Story. That's because, even though Crutsinger did his level best to ignore pertinent facts and try to pin the blame elsewhere, the news was awful.

October 26, 2015, 11:31 PM EDT

Today saw yet another "unexpected" disappointing development in the U.S. economy. The Census Bureau reported that seasonally adjusted sales of new homes, an area thought to be a bright spot, declined sharply in September to an annual rate 468,000 from 529,000 in August. The bureau also revised July and August significantly downward.

As bad as the as the adjusted numbers were, the raw data was even worse. Despite all of this, and despite the fact that the pace of new-home sales is still only about two-thirds of what it used to tell readers would be a "normal" or "healthy" level, the Associated Press's Josh Boak, apparently taking a double shot from today's good-news koolaid delivery, tried to pawn off today's result as a one-off interruption of what has otherwise been a year where "zeal for newly built homes took off."

October 26, 2015, 11:28 AM EDT

Late Sunday evening, the United Auto Workers and General Motors reached a tentative four-year agreement shortly before the union's 11:59 p.m. strike deadline.

The agreement was expected, simply because the financial and political blowback of a strike at a company bailed out by taxpayers at a cost running into tens of billion of dollars back in 2009 would have been severe. Also expected: the press buying into and perpetuating the myth that the union made significant concessions to GM and Chrysler during the course of those two companies' respective corrupt bankruptcies.

October 25, 2015, 12:45 PM EDT

Those folks at the Associated Press sure are "clever."

Those looking for information about Hillary Clinton's damning email to her daughter Chelsea indicating that Mrs. Clinton knew that a planned operation by Al Qaeda — and not an Internet video — was behind the Benghazi attacks which killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others trying to save him will find nothing at all at the AP's national site in a search (not in quotes) on "Hillary Chelsea":

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.

October 24, 2015, 6:07 PM EDT

The press has consumed many barrels of ink and gigs of bandwidth providing free promotion for the eminently misnamed movie Truth, thus far virtually for naught.

On Thursday, the Associated Press's David Bauder did his part to generate interest by pretending, despite obviously forged documents and a virtually complete lack of anything resembling corroborating evidence, that what Dan Rather and Mary Mapes reported in 2004 about George W. Bush's Texas Air National Guard service might, as those two miscreants formerly employed by CBS still insist, be accurate.

October 24, 2015, 2:32 PM EDT

A mini-war broke out yesterday between the Washington Post's Philip Bump, who would apparently prefer to keep discussions of Hillary Clinton's health off the table, and Matt Drudge. As would be expected, Drudge won in a rout, while Bump continues to pretend that he didn't.

Bump, in his disingenuous Friday morning entry at the Post's all too appropriately named "The Fix" blog, told readers that his own doctor's opinion concerning Mrs. Clinton's health should trump Drudge's. Bump should have known better — maybe he did, and didn't care, rolling the dice on Drudge ignoring him. The issue isn't Bump's doctor, who has never examined Mrs. Clinton, versus Drudge. It's Bump's doctor versus a media-published statement made by Mrs. Clinton's own doctor.

October 23, 2015, 1:02 AM EDT

The folks at the Associated Press aren't even trying to disguise how pleased they are after Canada's most recent elections swept the Liberal Party into power after almost a decade in the wilderness.

They're claiming that victorious Prime Minister Justin Trudeau seems destined to ignite the second installment of "Trudeaumania," the late-1960s press anointing which accompanied his father Pierre into that same position. It's quite clear that the AP is uninterested in informing readers about how awful Pierre Trudeau's actual record was. They instead want readers to believe that happy, reality-avoiding leftist days are here again.

October 22, 2015, 4:13 PM EDT

If a Republican or conservative was in the White House, the Associated Press's Martin Crutsinger would have found a reason to be unimpressed in his dispatch today about how low initial unemployment claims continue to be, even as hiring has been slowing down. (Ideally, reporters should just relay the facts and leave the theorizing out of their stories, but that ship has sadly long since sailed.)

Crutsinger exhibited no real curiosity because a Democrat is in the White House. Therefore, it's left to New Media to at least get the alternative ideas out there; a contributor at the contrarian blog Zero Hedge did that several days ago. After the jump, readers will find most of Crutsinger's report covering the Department of Labor's initial claims release today, and a healthly chunk of the just-mentioned Zero Hedge analysis.

October 21, 2015, 6:55 PM EDT

On October 2, the government's Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that U.S. payroll employment increased in September by a seasonally adjusted 142,000 jobs. That was disappointing enough, but then the BLS's regional and state report for September released on Tuesday showed a combined total of 21,000 jobs lost in all 50 states and DC.

In his coverage of the state report, the Associated Press's Christopher Rugaber didn't report this wide variance, even though the monthly national vs. total state difference is usually much smaller. The closest he got was reporting that more states lost jobs than gained them, which should have piqued his curiosity about how that result could happen when the nation somehow gained as many jobs as it did during the month, but apparently didn't (bolds are mine):

October 20, 2015, 5:56 PM EDT

Hillary Clinton was in Alabama a few days ago. As she has in the past at least two other times when south of the Mason-Dixon line, she decided that she could drop the letter "g" from several of her "i-n-g" words while affecting a sort-of Southern accent.

This time she was in Alabama. Mrs. Clinton cut the "g" from the at least the following words she has no trouble fully pronouncing when she's in other areas of the country: having ("havin'"), saying ("sayin'"), working ("workin'") and saving ("savin'"). She also bizarrely put the accent in the words "recession" and "depression" on the first syllable. No one in the establishment press appears to care about this apparent region-based condescension, though to be fair the video involved (but no related story I could find covering what she said in it) is from the Associated Press.