Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.
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
CNN's Don Lemon had yet another racially outraged episode on Thursday night when one of his panelis tried to defend himself. Lemon wanted to force fellow CNN employee Jeffrey Lord into an apology for comparing Donald Trump to Martin Luther King....in any way, shape or form. Lemon's outburst at Lord included "Don't take me back to some before the war crap!" and "I don't want to hear about something from 50 darn-damn years ago!"
On Thursday, the U.S. military dropped a MOAB (Mother Of All Bombs) on an ISIS tunnel complex in Nangahar Province in Afghanistan. Shortly after that, USA Today posted a breathtakingly ignorant graphic purporting to show that the MOAB contained over 70 percent of the destructive force of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan.
Thursday at NewsBusters, I noted that all of the major-media "fact-checking" efforts recognized by Duke University's ReportersLab.org website lean left, and that almost all of them are quite decidedly on the left. That only begins to explain how the "fact-checkers" are distorting the news landscape.
Posts over the next several days will show that certain left-leaning websites and existing left-leaning news organizations have figured out that they can employ the technique of "fact-checking," perhaps once nobly intended, as a handy device to advance a left-supporting, right-bashing agenda.
Readers who haven't recently ventured into the fever swamp known as the Los Angeles Times may have a hard time fathoming how utterly obsessed what used to the be the West Coast's paper of record has become with the threat to civilization known as Donald Trump. Once one understands how bad things have gotten, it will be easy to believe that one of its columnists, a Pulitzer Prize winner, actually tweeted the following early Tuesday: "Just wondering: did Trump ask United CEO Oscar Munoz to distract the world from the White House follies today?"
Now that Facebook and more recently Google have designated it as one of several approved "fake news" identifiers, the profile of Snopes.com, a website which has been using “fact-checking” as a shield to advance a left-supporting, right-bashing agenda for over two decades, has risen. Its quality certainly hasn't. Recently, the website shamelessly used the same sensible argument others have used for decades about the gender-based "pay gap" myth to defend Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, who rejects that very same argument.
After Tuesday night's special election, a Republican will continue to represent the people in Kansas's Fourth Congressional District. Democrats and their apparatchiks in the press want people to believe that their party achieved a moral victory because their candidate only lost by seven points.
The Associated Press and the New York Times were in London early this week for the funeral and memorial ceremonies for Keith Palmer, the police officer killed by Khalid Masood on March 22 as the radical Islamist attempted to make his way towards Westminster Palace after running down and killing four pedestrians and wounding dozens of others in a rented SUV. Strangely (no, not really), they've ignored several UK press reports showing that Masood, contrary to what was reported in the days immediately following the terror attack, was listed as the contact person at a radical Islamist website, had ties to a mosque that "that urges Muslims to take up arms," and virtually sequestered himself from the outside world — except the internet — for three months before carrying out his attack.
Perhaps in response to media critics, the establishment press has generally been more likely to prominently apply a party tag to Democrats charged with crimes or affected by scandals in recent years — not nearly as often or as prominently as for Republicans and conservatives, but an improvement over the almost laughable situation a decade ago. But in its treatment of Ed Murray, beginning Thursday afternoon, when the Seattle Times first reported on a lawsuit's allegation that the Seattle Mayor had paid for sex with an underage boy in the 1980s, the press has returned to its old ways. Why is that?
On April 5, Politifact, the website which uses "fact-checking" as a shield to advance a left-supporting, right-bashing "truth squad" agenda, decided that "Revisiting the Obama track record on Syria’s chemical weapons" was necessary. I'll say.
The establishment press, even as it works to censor known but inconvenient facts and shout down or constantly interrupt guests who attempt to present them, continually lectures new media, particularly center-right media, about the need for evidence before reporting or even discussing anything in print or on the air. There's hardly a better illustration of what a hypocritical stance this is than Lawrence O'Donnell's wild theory, recklessly speculated on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC show on Friday, that Vladimir Putin "might have orchestrated what happened in Syria this week" to benefit "his friend in the White House," Donald Trump.
As evidence that Donald Trump's presidential campaign, and then his transition team, were under surveillance by the Obama administration for political reasons continues to mount, the stubborn refusal by CNN's Don Lemon to acknowledge this reality is turning into a national joke. Thursday evening, Newsmax's Christopher Ruddy got so exasperated at Lemon's deep state of denial, that he asked: "Don, are you drinking Kool-Aid tonight?"
The move-the-goalposts crowd now defending the Obama administration's pre- and post-election surveillance of Donald Trump and his associates continues to cling to the notion that it was all done in connection with possible Russian influence during the presidential election campaign and that nation's alleged subsequent attempts to influence the new administration during its transition. If that's the case, then why has Fox News reported at least twice in the past week that reports resulting from this surveillance often had "nothing to do with national security or an investigation into Russia’s interference in the U.S. election" (Friday, via the network's Adam Housley and Malia Zimmerman) and were "not related to Moscow" (Wednesday, via Catherine Herridge and Pamela K. Browne)?
Searches at the Associated Press's main national site and at the New York Times indicate that the last newsworthy thing new Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez did was to demand, i.e., not "ask for," as the AP sanitized it, "resignation letters from all DNC (Democratic National Committee) staffers." This means that neither outlet considers Perez's repeated profanity-laced rants last week that Donald Trump "didn’t win this election” newsworthy.
The wagon-circling campaign to protect Obama administration and intelligence community officials who spied on Donald Trump and his transition team during his presidential campaign and post-victory transition is moving into hyperdrive. On Monday, CNN's Don Lemon proclaimed that "there is no evidence whatsoever" supporting Donald Trump's claim about having been "spied on illegally" (note the inclusion of the word "illegally," which is crucial), and declared that he would not "aid and abet the people who are trying to misinform you."
On Friday, Adam Housley at Fox News delivered bombshell news that a "very well-known, very high up, very senior (person) in the intelligence world" not in the FBI had engaged in "the unmasking of the names of American citizens" in the course of surveillance surfacing "members of the Trump administration" that had nothing to do with Russia ... or foreign intelligence of any kind." On Sunday morning's Fox & Friends, Clayton Morris reported that the Big Three broadcast networks, CNN and MSNBC devoted had to that point devoted absolutely no coverage to what Housley reported, despite granting heavy play to a Thursday New York Times story which Housley's sources insist is wrong.
Reporter Jennifer Steinhauer has been at the New York Times since 1989, and has been covering Congress since 2010. Despite her decades of experience, she committed two horribly ignorant errors in her Thursday coverage of the Senate's vote to undo an Obama administration rule which had prevented states from "blocking funding for family planning clinics that also provide abortions."
A Wednesday Fox & Friends segment exposed the glaring double standard the establishment press has shown in its treatment of California Representative Devin Nunes's visit to the White House grounds, i.e., not the White Houe itself, to view intelligence information. Meanwhile, hundreds of visits to actual high-up White House officials and to the President himself during the Obama administration, including many by the Russian ambassador himself, as well as people who would appear to have had underhanded reasons for visiting, got little or no notice.
A recent official tweet from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is not an April Fools Day joke. In full context, it's not even funny, because it's part of a long campaign by an utterly unhinged mob to shut down entire industries. Specifically, that March 31 PETA tweet claims that milk is an awful thing because it "has long been a symbol used by white supremacists."
Virginia Democratic Senator and former vice-presidential candidate Tim Kaine announced on Thursday that he will oppose President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nomination of Neil Gorsuch. The smear Kaine has employed to justify his opposition has generated well-deserved criticism, especially in the Commonwealth. The Washington Post's alleged fact-checking operation, however, has given him an unearned pass.