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
September 23, 2014, 10:17 AM EDT

The two major-party Texas gubernatorial candidates, Democrat Wendy Davis and Republican Greg Abbott, debated Friday night. I knew it didn't go well for Davis, once a national media darling, when I searched on "Wendy Davis Abbott debate" (not in quotes) and found no coverage of the event at the Associated Press's national web site, the New York Times and the Politico.

Davis, trailing significantly in the polls, did not acquit herself well. Her most awful moment, seen in the video after the jump, came when she insisted that Abbott, currently Texas's Attorney General, should stop defending the state against an education funding lawsuit, when doing so would violate a law Davis herself supported. After the Republican pointed out that inconvenient fact, Davis lost it, ranting out of turn for a solid 15 seconds, talking over the debate's moderator as he tried to bring the proceedings back to order.

September 22, 2014, 7:08 PM EDT

Politico's Kenneth Vogel and Byron Tau filed a long Friday article moaning about how influential opposition research has become in the conduct of this year's political campaigns. My takeaway is that they really don't like it this time around — not because the money involved has increased, and not because supposedly lax campaign-finance laws have accommodated this increase. No, they're really upset because, according to Joe Pounder, a cofounder of the conservative American Rising, "so far, at least — Democrats had endured more such hits than Republicans."

So I guess the next step for the Politico pair inevitably had to be to minimize the importance of hits against Democrats. Here's their one-sentence evaluation of one of them: "[S]maller scoops have proliferated as well — an Ohio gubernatorial candidate caught driving without a license, for example." You've got to be kidding.

September 21, 2014, 11:46 PM EDT

At Tea Party and conservative events, the press routinely seeks out any shred of evidence of far-right extremism, racism or even uncivil behavior exhibited by attendees. If found, it then tries to portray even one or a few such people out of thousands as somehow typical.

Rallies in support of liberals' pet causes get a completely different treatment. The press almost invariably ignores rampant left-wing extremism clearly on display. Sunday's "Climate March" in New York City, along with other smaller marches in other parts of the world, exemplifies the blatant double standard. The Blaze, Gateway Pundit, and others reported no shortage of Gotham protesters often uncivilly advocating an end to capitalism and its replacement with "a socialist future." The Associated Press and the New York Times ignored it all.

September 20, 2014, 10:48 PM EDT

On Sunday, CBS's "60 Minutes" will broadcast Scott Pelley's recent interview of former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

In CBS's promotional tease, which was broadcast on Friday, in response to Pelley's question about whether he was confident that the U.S. troop withdrawal "was the right thing to do" at the time it was done, Panetta said, "No, I wasn't." That's big news. How big? So big that, based on searches on Panetta's last name, the Associated Press and the New York Times have yet to cover it. In other words, it's fair to contend that these two leading icons of American journalism are waiting for an administration response before they run the story, so they can then turn it into a "White House denies" piece. The video follows the jump.

September 20, 2014, 9:37 PM EDT

The real problem with Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke's "jobs plan," the detailed version of which appears to be no longer available at her campaign's web site, isn't its plagiarized material. It's the content. The presence of certain obviously wrong facts and patently pathetic assertions indicates that Ms. Burke, a successful entrepreneur who one would think should have known better, hardly scrutinized her plan at all before allowing its publication.

Thursday evening, BuzzFeed reported that "Large portions of Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke’s jobs plan (saved separately by BuzzFeed — Ed.) for Wisconsin appear to be copied directly from the plans of three Democratic candidates who ran for governor in previous election cycles." As would be expected, the Associated Press's Scott Bauer attempted to come to the rescue, finding an "elections expert" who said that "it's not really plagiarism because the person working for her did it." But Bauer also noted that Burke "has no plans to change the material, which she called a small part of the 40-page plan," so criticism of its content remains fair game.

September 19, 2014, 11:23 PM EDT

When White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest made his first Fox News appearance in that role, he may have thought that having Shepard Smith interview him would make the exercise a relative cakewalk.

It didn't happen. Even though Smith, as Matt Sheffield observed last year at NewsBusters, is "not known as any sort of conservative," he was clearly critical of Earnest's breezy claims about the wondrous "coalition" allegedly being assembled to fight ISIS/ISIL without U.S. combat forces, calling it "as the president once put it, something of a fantasy." The video and a transcript of key segments follow the jump.

September 18, 2014, 5:33 PM EDT

The Census Bureau reported earlier today that seasonally adjusted housing starts and homebuilding permits fell by 14.4 percent and 5.6 percent, respectively, in August. The detail wasn't any better, as the two categories within each statistic — single-family and multiple-dwelling homes — also fell.

You can tell that the news wasn't seen as good at the Associated Press, because Josh Boak's related dispatch had already fallen to number nine in the list of the wire service's top ten business stories by 3:30 p.m. The headline and content at Boak's report tried to convince readers that apartment-building volatility was almost entirely to blame, and that things are all right in single-family homebuilding. As will be seen, nothing could be further from the truth.

September 18, 2014, 2:18 PM EDT

Though things could always change, and often do, it appears that the Democratic Party is on track to lose majority control of the U.S. Senate in the fall elections, and to make little if any kind of dent in the Republican Party's majority in the House of Representatives.

Since the left never blames any of its own policies and positions for its woes, it must, Alinsky-style, find someone to demonize, even if it's one of their own. That "Koch Brothers are the root of all evil" campaign has fallen flat, and the bogus "war on women" meme is wearing thin. Organizing For Action emails are now so desperate that they've taken to claiming that Republicas love polluted water; not even they can really believe that nonsense. So it all must be Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz's fault, which explains the appearance of Edward-Isaac Dovere's lengthy, leak-driven, nasty hit piece at the Politico on Wednesday.

September 18, 2014, 9:41 AM EDT

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has become a darling of the left for being an early promoter of the "you didn't build that" meme President Obama used during the 2012 presidential campaign, and for generally espousing positions to the left of Hillary Clinton.

The press rushed to Warren's defense in 2012 when compelling evidence that she had used her barely present Indian ancestry to "cheat on affirmative action" to advance her academic career went public. So it shouldn't surprise anyone that they have paid little attention to her recent outrageous attempt to establish her leftist bona fides as a harsh critic of Israel, seen in the video after the jump:

September 18, 2014, 12:09 AM EDT

As been its habit since Barack Obama took office in 2009, the Associated Press has, whenever possible, considered the impact of news developments on the President and his party as far more important than what's actually happening in the lives of real people.

The latest example is the wire service's coverage of Tuesday's Census Bureau report on income, poverty and health insurance coverage in the U.S. Nothing — not even fundamental accuracy, as will be seen shortly — was more important to reporter Jesse J. Holland, the AP's "Race and Ethnicity writer," than telling readers that a half-point fall in the poverty rate from 15.0 percent to 14.5 percent constituted "a bit of encouraging news about the nation's economy as President Barack Obama and Congress gear up for midterm elections." The fact that the Obama Era has brought us levels of poverty not seen in 20 years — this year's figure matches 1994's — apparently doesn't matter.

September 17, 2014, 3:29 PM EDT

President Obama cited American exceptionalism at least ten times in his speech at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa today.

Early in his administration, Obama went out of his way to downplay the nature of U.S. exceptionalism, claiming that it was really no different than how any other nation's citizens saw their own country's uniqueness. So his speechwriters knew better than to use that word. But Obama cited how America is "unique" (read: superior) six separate times, and told his audience — and the rest of the world — that "when the world needs help, it calls on America." Time's Zeke J. Miller is one of the first among many who are choosing or will choose to ignore this change in posture, choosing primarily to obsess over whether U.S. ground troops will be called upon to quash the ISIS/ISIL threat.

September 17, 2014, 9:58 AM EDT

Both Old Media and Old Medea were at it again yesterday.

Old Medea is Medea Benjamin, the head of Code Pink, who led the disruption of a Senate hearing on ISIS and was eventually hauled away. Old Media demonstrated its double standards by giving Ms. Benjamin's temper tantrum little attention. That treatment sharply contrasts with that seen in September 2002, when, with a Republican in the White House, a similar petulant Code Pink display received front-page photo coverage in three major U.S. newspapers.

September 16, 2014, 11:44 PM EDT

On Saturday, Trymaine Lee at MSNBC.com, who fancies himself as an "expert" on "race, poverty, and guns," was aghast at the current "current social and political mess" in Missouri.

He wasn't talking about glass-strewn streets of Ferguson or Show-Me State Governor Jay Nixon's feckless, irresponsible handling of that situation. No, the real problem is the state's "rapid rightward shift." A cursory review of Lee's "logic" reveals that what has really happened is that Democrats have long since left the center.

September 13, 2014, 11:59 PM EDT

There is apparently no more important story or issue right now at the Politico than Ted Widmer's question about our national anthem: "Is It Time to Ditch the Star-Spangled Banner?" It is currently the lead item at the web site, complete with a huge picture of the American flag. The "beheading by ISIL of a British aid worker" and Wisconsin's court-granted ability to implement voter-ID in the fall elections are both apparently less important.

Widmer's reasons to stop using the Star-Spangled Banner come down to the fact that Francis Scott Key was a slaveowner and that the song's third verse refers to escaped American slaves who were fighting on the British side (a commenter has asserted that it really refers to Hessians and British slaves; my guess is that it's all of the above). He somehow forgets that the British didn't outlaw slavery until 1833, 19 years after the 1814 Fort McHenry battle.

September 11, 2014, 7:28 PM EDT

A frequent tipster has informed me that on today's episode of "The Five" on Fox News, Bob Beckel actually said that he likes current White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest better than his predecessor James Carney because Earnest "looks better." Far be it from me to render a judgment on relative male handsomeness. But one thing I can say about Earnest is that, at certain times, when he gets a question he doesn't like, he acts like a snotty teenager caught not having his homework ready.

One such incident occurred today. Rather than answer a question about how the Obama administration specifically defined victory over ISIL and what the idea of "destroying" it really means, Earnest ... well. catch the transcript of the first 30 seconds of the video found at (HT Real Clear Politics):

September 11, 2014, 1:38 PM EDT

A new Gallup poll reports that Americans trust the federal government less than they ever have. Given that President Obama has increasingly insisted on acting on his own, it's not unreasonable to infer that this result means, consistent with other polling the press has stubbornly ignored — documented in a new Media Research Center study — that they also trust his leadership less than they ever have.

Gallup's main headline dressed up the results up by focusing on only half of what it found: "Trust in Federal Gov't on International Issues at New Low." But the subheadline says, "Americans' trust in government handling of domestic problems also at record low." Okay, guys. What problems aren't either domestic, international, or a combination of both? So trust in the federal government to handle any problems is at an all-time low. How tough is it to say that?

September 11, 2014, 10:55 AM EDT

As the midnight oil-burning Curtis Houck at NewsBusters noted last night, John McCain ripped into Jay Carney's attempts to rewrite history Wednesday evening on CNN. Among other things, he reminded the former White House Press Secretary that "We had it (the Iraq War) won, thanks to the surge." In other words, our military and Iraqi government had achieved victory. Barack Obama and his administration, perhaps until last night, have seemed indifferent at best and dismissive at worst at what has happened in Iraq since then.

After McCain got in his rips, it was Newt Gingrich's turn. The former House Speaker, whose assertion, as will be seen later, is supported by contemporaneous reporting by Tim Arango at the New York Times, took apart Carney's hypocrisy in whining about how a status of forces agreement with Iraq with the number of American troops our generals believed would be necessary to maintain the peace would have meant our presence there "in perpetuity":

September 10, 2014, 10:49 PM EDT

In quite remarkable testimony on the day before the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 Islamist terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, the Washington Free Beacon's Adam Kredo reported today that "Francis Taylor, under secretary for intelligence and analysis at DHS, told senators during a hearing that ISIL supporters are known to be plotting ways to infiltrate the United States through the (nation's southern) border."

Predictably, Taylor's statements are getting very little other press attention.

September 10, 2014, 8:45 PM EDT

"Person on the street" interviews are among the more discouraging presentations one can find on news shows these days. All too often, we see low-information people who think they're so smart show us how disturbingly ignorant they actually are.

That they are disheartening doesn't mean they aren't sometimes entertaining. Fox News's Jesse Watters had one such segment on Monday. He interviewed eight women, several of them attractively endowed by their Creator, at the beach in Seaside Heights, New Jersey. Their intellectual prowess, however, was a bit lacking in certain instances, occasionally hilariously so, as Watters launched into questions about "powerful women":

September 10, 2014, 4:05 PM EDT

In recent days, the State Department has tried to paint Fox News's Bill O'Reilly as a sexist monster because he characterized Jen Psaki as "out of her depth." O'Reilly's criticism has a great deal to do with how Ms. Psaki often appears to be, well, out of her depth. The other member of the non-dynamic duo then pounced. Marie Harf claimed that O'Reilly used "sexist, personally offensive language that I actually don't think (he) would ever use about a man."

O'Reilly recently defended himself quite well; that video is at the end of this post. On Tuesday, liberal Fox News contributor Kirsten Powers also weighed in. Her USA Today column asserted that O'Reilly "does not discriminate when it comes to expressing tough judgments," and that Harf's sexist accusation was "so irresponsible." Excerpts follow the jump (links are in original; bolds are mine):