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
March 28, 2016, 12:08 AM EDT

Media outlets around the world are reporting that Faycal Cheffou has been arrested for his alleged involvement with last week's terrorist attacks in Belgium.

Media outlets around the world are reporting that Faycal Cheffou was a journalist — except for the Associated Press.

March 27, 2016, 6:32 PM EDT

Three years ago, Mark Finkelstein at NewsBusters noted how Google was subject to a torrent of criticism for devoting its March 31 special-occasion redesign of its logo, otherwise known as a "doodle," to the 86th anniversary of farm workers' leader Cesar Chavez's birthday. March 31 was also Easter Sunday that year.

Finkelstein noted that even hardened MSNBC liberal Mika Brzezinski sided with critics, saying, "how about a statement one day that just says: 'we screwed up'?" Chavez himself, who was a devout Catholic, would likely have been just as offended as anyone at Google's choice. Well, it turns out that the Chavez controversy only hinted at what MSNBC's Joe Scarborough called the company's "cultural blind spot" relating to Easter.

March 27, 2016, 3:37 PM EDT

Perhaps it would be understandable if U.S. media outlets chose not to cover the death of Asad Shah in Scotland. After all, it occurred overseas, and only one person has died.

But the Associated Press did decide to cover the story and post it at its subscribers' U.S. news sites. As such, the AP has a duty to reveal what is known at the time its reports appear. Thus far, it has failed miserably. It is painfully obvious why that failure has occurred, namely because Asad Shah's death inconveniently answers the following question: "Why don't we hear more outrage from moderate Muslims over those who invoke Islam to justify terrorism and persecution, thereby, according to popular perception, highjacking their supposedly inherently peaceful religion?"

March 26, 2016, 10:46 PM EDT

When was the last time a badly trailing presidential candidate in either major party won relatively late-in-the-game contests by lopsided victory margins of greater than 70-30, as Bernie Sanders did in Washington today, and greater than 80-20, as Sanders did in Alaska? I'm virtually certain that the answer to that question, regardless of what happens in Hawaii's Democratic primary much later tonight Eastern Time, is: Never.

Two of the three major news outlets I reviewed failed to report the size of Sanders' thumping victory margins. It is, however, quite telling that the third, the New York Times, though it had a blasé "he won" headline, conceded that Sanders' wins support "his argument that the race for the Democratic nomination is not a foregone conclusion."

March 26, 2016, 10:53 AM EDT

As noted in my previous post, the press is determined that the world not learn of profound statements made by world leaders it despises. The specific reference was to Israeli Prime Mininster Benjamin Netanyahu's five-word admonishment to those who believe that some accommodation can be reached with Islamic terrorists: "Terrorists Have No Resolvable Grievances."

Meanwhile, the press protects those it likes when they make breathtakingly ignorant remarks. Such remarks occur with alarming regularity any time U.S. President Barack Obama speaks without the aid of a teleprompter. In Argentina on Wednesday, during a question-answer exchange with a youth group, Obama said that debates over the superiority of capitalism compared to communism "are interesting intellectual arguments," but that "for your generation, you should be practical and just choose from what works." Press coverage of Obama's remarks has been sparse.

March 26, 2016, 12:00 AM EDT

If we had today's establishment press covering America just before the Revolution, few would have learned of Patrick Henry's "Give me liberty or give me to death!" If they had been covering the Revolutionary War itself, there would have been a blackout on Nathan Hale's "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country."

Today's establishment press does anything and everything it can to keep important statements by people it despises out of the news. Thus, despite regularly perusing media outlets on a daily basis, it is intensely frustrating that I only learned about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's unforgettable five-word fundamental truth about Islamic terrorism by reading an Investor's Business Daily editorial.

March 24, 2016, 1:34 PM EDT

On Wednesday, at a joint press conference with Argentine President Mauricio Macri in Buenos Aires, President Obama told the world that it can defeat the Islamic State "in part by saying, you are not strong; you are weak."

Fortunately for him and unfortunately for those who wish to be fully informed, the establishment press is almost always there to save Obama from himself. Google News searches indicate that fewer than 3 percent of outlets felt that Obama's naive belief that telling IS that "you are not strong" is part of a genuine strategy to defeat the group should be relayed to their audiences.

March 24, 2016, 1:27 AM EDT

Bob Ley, ESPN's longest-serving commentator, was in Cuba yesterday after the Tampa Bay Rays defeated the island nation's national team 4-1 in an exhibition baseball game.

Shortly after the conclusion of that game, ESPN had Ley report from a rather nice-looking streetscape in Havana (not your typical avenue in the workers' paradise). As he did, a demonstrator interrupted him. ESPN, acting as if it believes it's a sovereign nation unto itself, headlined the incident: "Protester invades SportsCenter in Cuba."

March 23, 2016, 10:05 PM EDT

It has been nine days since Ingham County, Michigan prosecutor Stuart Dunnings III, a Democrat, was arrested and charged with "15 criminal counts" in three different counties involving engaging prostitutes, pandering prostitution, and willful neglect of duty by a public officer.

The press has been reluctant to identify Dunnings as a Democrat in its news coverage, either avoiding the tag completely or saving it for very late paragraphs.

March 23, 2016, 5:34 PM EDT

Today's report on February's new-home sales from the Census Bureau showed seasonally adjusted declines in three of the nation's four regions and an increase in the West.

The Associated Press and reporter Josh Boak, displaying brazenness which might have even embarrassed the scribes at Pravda during the worst days of the Soviet Union, concentrated on how great things were in the West in their headline and opening paragraph, ensuring that those who get their news from headlines and opening blurbs on their computers and mobile devices will believe that all is mostly well. Incredibly — well, it would be except that this is AP — Boak never told readers that sales actually declined in the other three Census regions.

March 22, 2016, 5:04 PM EDT

One exquisitely annoying aspect of the press's fawning coverage of President Obama and his administration during the past seven-plus years has been its obsession, first and foremost, over how breaking domestic and world events have intervened or might interevene to harm or potentially harm Dear Leader's precious agenda and legacy.

From before Day 1, i.e., going back to the 2008-2009 presidential transition, the press has been conditioning readers to believe that no previous president has ever has so many serious distractions. Thus, it's no surprise, but after all this time it remains intensely annoying, that after this morning's terrorist bombings in Brussels, Belgium, Huffington Post hack (and I do mean "hack") Sam Stein was primarily worried about how Obama's Cuban trip had been "overshadowed":

March 22, 2016, 1:00 PM EDT

At Salon.com at 10:28 a.m., Amanda Marcotte wrote that "It will likely be days, perhaps weeks, before we know much about the horrific terrorist attacks on an airport and subway in Brussels on Tuesday morning that killed dozens of people."

Actually, dear, as of when I began this post about 90 minutes later, we alreadly know plenty. Most crucially, the Associated Press reported that the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks roughly an hour after Marcotte's post. Once that's verified, and it almost certainly will be in short order, what else beyond the names of the de facto soldiers of the Islamic State will remain of the "much" that we don't know? But the most important thing to Marcotte, who is clearly blind in one eye and can't see out of the other, is that the United States has "a grown-up in charge" (links are in original; bolds are mine throughout this post):

March 21, 2016, 4:10 PM EDT

Ridicule by media critics has apparently made some headway against the business press's annoying habit of describing bad news about the economy as having occurred "unexpectedly." Now they seem to be reserving the "U-word" for unexpected improvements, which haven't been seen very much during the past seven-plus years.

Instead, reacting to today's bad news from the National Association of Realtors, which reported that seasonally adjusted existing homes sales dropped by 7.1 percent in February, Bloomberg News said that they "dropped more than forecast." Reuters opened with "U.S. home resales fell sharply," saving specific comparisons to forecasts for a much later paragraph. The Associated Press, which rarely even recognizes the existence of such forecasts, stuck to that posture. AP and Bloomberg both deliberately ignored a red flag about the overall health of the economy the realtors' group included in its narrative. Reuters grudgingly cited worries about the economy as "potentially troubling."

March 20, 2016, 11:59 PM EDT

Matt Lauer, aka Mr. Softee (when interviewing people with whom he sympathizes), tried to act like a tough guy in his Friday interview with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. You're not fooling us, Matt.

After observing that he had "an enormous outpouring of questions about censorship" after he asked his Twitter followers what they would like to see discussed, Lauer "cleverly" asked Dorsey: "Does Twitter censor the content of its users? Does it hide what it would consider inflammatory comments, whether they be social or political?" Dorsey replied in a slightly rushed manner which seemed rehearsed: "Absolutely not. Twitter's always been about controls. People can follow whoever they want, and it's our job to ensure that they see the most important things and the things that matter to them." Lauer didn't follow up on that seemingly coached, specific-in-appearance but vague-on-substance response. Instead, he redirected the conversation towards tweets that are "dangerous."

March 17, 2016, 8:35 PM EDT

Does anyone remember how The Onion "humorously" satirized then-Democratic Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle's refusal to consider the federal court nomination of Miguel Estrada in 2003? Oh come on, it was the one where there was an accompanying cartoon showing Daschle holding Estrada's "Severed Head Aloft in Front of the Capitol Building"? That was just a laugh riot, wasn't it?

Of course, no one remembers it, because it didn't happen — and the establishment press would still be in mass hysteria over it if it had. But on Wednesday, The Onion, now not so coincidentally 40 percent-owned by Univision, did exactly what I just described with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Merrick Garland, the person President Barack Obama nominated for the Supreme Court earlier in the day (HT Instapundit):

March 17, 2016, 11:39 AM EDT

Most readers here are by now painfully familiar with how miserable mainstream media reporting on police shootings of criminals can be.

That said, the Associated Press's headline writers and reporter Lindsay Whitehurst have lowered the bar even further in their coverage of the shooting of a 17 year-old who was beating a man "near a homeless shelter" in Salt Lake City, Utah.

March 16, 2016, 11:51 PM EDT

The government's Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today that consumer prices fell 0.2 percent in February.

Lower prices should be good news, right? Wrong, at least according to Martin Crutsinger at the Associated Press. Crutsinger's Wednesday dispatch also managed to ignore the fact that even the supposedly low inflation seen during the past 12 months has eaten up most of workers' very nominal pay increases, even though the BLS's Real Earnings news release came out at the same time as the Consumer Price Index. This is yet more evidence that the so-called "recovery" we were promised years ago still hasn't fully happened, and that the current situation is on the verge of getting worse, and not better.

March 16, 2016, 10:19 PM EDT

In a Monday afternoon post which gets close to taking pleasure in the serious economic decline in the heart of the coal mining industry in West Virginia, CNN Money's Patrick Gillespie observed, based on Hillary Clinton's recent remarks about coal miners' jobs, that she "has no love for coal companies."

But in Gillespie's world, what Mrs. Clinton said doesn't matter, because "Clinton won't have much coal to put out of business: the industry is already gutted." Besides, in a complete flight of fancy, the CNN Money reporter appears to believe that the solar industry and its current army of 209,000 workers will pick up the slack. The facts, including the hugely inconvenient truth that solar only accounts for barely 1 percent of the power produced by coal, say otherwise.

March 16, 2016, 4:11 PM EDT

The business press's determination to convince the public that weak economic news is really strong seemingly knows no bounds.

Today, shortly after the Federal Reserve's Industrial Production report for February showed a seasonally adjusted 0.5 percent decline — worse than expectations of -0.3 percent — the Associated Press pretended in its headline and in reporter Christopher Rugaber's first three paragraphs that the Fed's release only covered manufacturing, which "just so happened" to be its single somewhat positive element (bolds are mine):

March 15, 2016, 3:22 PM EDT

Today's report from the government on February's retail sales was awful. Last month's sales fell by 0.1 percent, which was bad enough. Beyond that, January's originally reported 0.2 percent increase was revised down to a 0.4 percent decrease. Additionally, as I noted at my home blog this morning, January's seasonally adjusted revision should have been much worse, based on how terrible that month's raw (i.e., not seasonally adjusted) sales figure was.

In his dispatch following the Census Bureau's release, the Associated Press's Christopher Rugaber recognized the fall in sales as a problem; but as he sees it, consumers have money, and just aren't spending it. The hardly subtle implication is that if the economy struggles, it will be due to our collective failure to engage in profligate spending: