Tom Blumer

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Contributing Editor


Tom Blumer has written for several national online publications  primarily on business, economics, politics and media bias. He has had his own blog, BizzyBlog.com, 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

The idea that reporting the facts about terror attacks encourages more terrorism — an idea ridiculously advanced by the likes of former Secretary of State John Kerry during the Obama administration — has apparently gained some traction in the establishment press. On Tuesday, bothered by a "FOX NEWS ALERT" (in, oh my gosh, all caps) that "ISIS claims responsibility" for the hostage siege in Melbourne, Australia "that killed one person and injured three cops," Jonathan Weisman at the New York Times tweeted that such reporting is "giving the terrorists what they want," and complained that "No attack (is) too small or too far away for a big all-caps alert."


On Wednesday afternoon, the Detroit Free Press reported that "A federal prosecutor dropped a bombshell in court Wednesday, telling a federal judge that the government estimates that as many as 100 girls may have had their genitals cut at the hands of a local doctor and her cohorts" in a "historic" case involving female genital mutilation (FGM). The Associated Press inexplicably buried this obvious "bombshell" lede in the final sentence of its brief unbylined Wednesday evening dispatch, while the Free Press itself has developed a sudden and troubling reluctance to call FGM by its true name.


During Barack Obama's presidency, we were constantly assured by the administration and its press apparatchiks that deportations had greatly increased during his tenure. So it's more than a little strange that the Associated Press is now worried that because of President Donald Trump's "crackdown on illegal immigration," fewer people who are genuinely eligible for "federal food assistance" are opting out "because of the perceived risk" that parents and guardians of eligible children and dependents will be deported.


CNN apparently sees part of its mission as putting out weakly sourced, anonymous and likely untrue information when it makes President Donald Trump look bad, and then weakly  "correcting" it with no apologies when the truth becomes known. A particularly egregious example of this occurred Tuesday when the network published a story and broadcast video segments declaring that former FBI Director James Comey would "refute" Trump's claim that Comey told him three times that he was not under investigation.


Apparently Reza Aslan, the star and executive producer of CNN's Believer documentary series is among those who haven't figured out that whatever you put out there on the Internet stays out there on the Internet. In "apologizing" for his profane, since-deleted tweet directed at President Donald Trump Saturday evening after the London terrorist attacks, Aslan claimed that "it's not like me" to respond as he did in a "derogatory fashion." Your Twitter history says otherwise, pal.


On Sunday in London, CNN's Becky Anderson and an accompanying camera crew were captured by another videographer appearing to stage an anti-ISIS protest by a small group equipped with printed signs. CNN has denied staging the event, claiming that it "simply filmed" those involved, but it's clear that the affair was at the very least quite orchestrated and agenda-driven.


MSNBC's Richard Lui appears to be testing the limits of irresponsible media coverage of terrorist incidents. Up until now, the press has fretted in the aftermath of such attacks about possible retaliations or "backlash" against Muslims or others not involved in them, even though such misguided revenge-seeking has rarely occurred. Saturday evening, Lui worried about police "overreacting" shortly after terror attacks in London which, as of the time of this post, had taken the lives of seven innocents and injured 48 others, including 21 critically.


There have certainly been less mature reactions than what was seen at the Associated Press Thursday afternoon to President Trump's decision to withdraw from the nonbinding Paris climate accord. However, given that the AP is supposedly a wire service whose mission is merely to deliver objective news — one long since abandoned, but to which it still gives lip service — the decision of reporters Julie Pace and Jill Colvin to go after Trump's "I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris" statement almost immediately after the announcement to remind readers that the Steel City supported Hillary Clinton in the presidential election was extraordinarily and embarrassingly childish.


The controversy over Kathy Griffin holding up a bloodied severed head of Donald Trump — an action which has led to her removal from CNN's New Year's Eve programming — reportedly spilled into the President's family when TMZ reported that the Trumps' 11-year son "Barron was in front of the TV watching a show when the news came on and he saw the bloody, beheaded image." TMZ says: "We're told he panicked and screamed, 'Mommy, Mommy!'"


Seth Borenstein's Saturday dispatch at the Associated Press on how it "Doesn’t look good for Earth" if the United States under President Trump "quits" the 2015 Paris climate is about as fakey as fake news gets. It's also sloppy and inconsistent in its terminology, and misleading about the nature and timing of what former President Obama's pledge would require the U.S. to do — while letting expanding greenhouse gas emitters like China off the hook.


Memorial Day media coverage didn't seem to have many lowlights this year. One glaring exception: Vox.com's decision to publish Alex Ward's hit piece going after the U.S. Marine Corps and its alleged culture of "toxic masculinity" on the one day set aside every year to honor all military men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice.


In an attempt to build up its already bulging "We'll never really know why they did it" file relating to Islamist radicals who have taken innocent lives, three reporters at The New York Times composed a 1,900-word report Saturday evening (for Sunday's print edition) about Manchester bomber Salman Abedi's family background. The reporters provided very little hard information about Abedi's motivations, despite the fact that readers who saw the paper's tweet which promoted the article were led to expect it: "What led Salman Abedi to bomb the Manchester arena?" But they did push hard the news that Abedi called his mom before he carried the attack.


The Associated Press, PolitiFact, CNN, Snopes and all of the other "fact-checkers" should be busy this weekend and well into next week vetting the howlers contained in Rebecca Traister's New York Magazine Friday afternoon interview of a politician who has been in the public eye for decades. But it's a virtual lock that they won't bother, because the person Traister interviewed was Hillary Clinton.


One of the more absurd spectacles in the press's coverage of the economy is the attack on the Trump White House's long-term economic growth assumptions in this week's budget release. The same reporters, pundits and outlets now ridiculing the Trump administration's belief that the economy can consistently grow by 3 percent each year beginning four years from now were stone silent when the Obama administration, whose alums have joined the current negative chorus, used far higher growth assumptions — and miserably failed to achieve them.


Longtime media bias observers know that if a Democrat wins a single special election race for national office during a Republican presidential administration, the press will say it's evidence that the nation's voters have changed their minds about which party should occupy the White House. If the Democrat loses ... well, in the pre-Internet era, the national press would pretend that the race never happened. These days, they instead have to come up with excuses, which are usually pathetic. The Associated Press engaged in such an exercise Friday morning after Republican Greg Gianforte defeated Democrat Rob Quist for Montana's single US House seat.


On Tuesday, Randy Hall at NewsBusters covered how "the Associated Press hired a 'freelancer' -- who turned out to be 'a hardcore left-wing activist' -- to attend a 'closed press' fund-raiser for the GOP in New Hampshire." In other words, the wire service sent Melanie Plenda to the event for the express purpose of crashing it, despite the NHGOP's clear instructions. It turns out that the Washington Post's Erik Wemple, in covering the fallout from Plenda's sneaky, sloppy work, is perfectly fine with that.


At NBC and Newsweek, it's still the late-1960s. The movie Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?, with its then-edgy portrayal of an engaged interracial couple visiting the white fiancee's parents, has recently debuted. Apparently the ink hasn't yet dried on the Supreme Court's Loving vs. Virginia decision, which nullified all remaining interracial marriage bans. What else can possibly explain the breathtakingly ignorant tweets emanating from those two media outlets acting as if America might not be ready for the idea that Rachel Lindsay, the first black woman in the history of The Bachelorette, might end up getting engaged to someone of another race?


When it comes to "news" which might discredit Donald Trump or a member of his family, the modus operandi for too many in the press is, "Tweet and report first, ask questions later (if at all)." On Sunday, several media members couldn't resist falsely tweeting that Ivanka Trump will somehow control $100 million pledged by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to a World Bank fund for women entrepreneurs, thus dishonestly opening the door to utterly false parallels to the Clinton family-controlled Clinton Foundation.


Thursday morning, Harvard Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy issued a report which confirmed what NewsBusters reported in April, namely that President Donald Trump "has received unsparing coverage for most weeks of his presidency, without a single major topic where Trump’s coverage, on balance, was more positive than negative, setting a new standard for unfavorable press coverage of a president." On Sunday, CNN's John Berman tried to cast Fox News as a conservatively biased outlier — as opposed to the relatively fair and balanced entity it has actually been during the Trump administration's early months — by selecting the results of one tiny element of the Shorenstein report and presenting it as if it was the study's comprehensive conclusion.


At the Washington Post's "The Fix" blog, which purports to provide readers with meaningful "analysis," general assignment reporter Avi Selk has one of the more bogus "scoops" one will ever see — and yes, it's even dumber than the "scoop" about President Donald Trump's ice cream-heating habits Time.com "broke" earlier this month. Selk is all fired up because he thinks that Donald Trump, after ridiculing President Barack Obama for bowing before foreign rulers for several years, has been caught "bowing" before Saudi King Salman.