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
November 16, 2015, 12:35 AM EST

Japan's two-decade romance with Keynesian economics has led to another betrayal — and yet the press and all the supposedly smart economists and analysts seem to believe that just one more fling might bring about a different result.

The Land of the Rising Sun, aka the Land of the Two-Decade Zombie Economy, has just reported an annualized contraction of 0.8 percent in the third quarter. The decline, following a revised 0.7 percent second-quarter downturn, means that the country is once again in a recession — its second in three years (Update: And fifth since 2008). Oh, but don't worry. It's no big deal. The Associated Press insists that it's only a "technical" recession, and more Keynesian "stimulus" could set things right — even though such measures, in place to varying degrees since the 1990s, have consistently failed to bring about sustained, meaningful recoveries:

November 15, 2015, 10:03 PM EST

Shortly after the Charlie Hebdo Islamic terrorist murders in Paris in January, the establishment press attacked those who dared to state something quite obvious about "no-go zones" in parts of Europe, i.e., that they exist. The media summarily and unilaterally declared that "no-go zones" were a myth propagated by the likes of Fox News, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, longtime terror expert Steven Emerson, and others — despite several direct references to them in media accounts, including the New York Times, going back as far as 2002.

Well, a not very funny thing has happened during the attempt to hunt down those involved in planning Friday's coordinated terrorist bloodbath in Paris.

November 15, 2015, 11:44 AM EST

As of early this morning, Matt Drudge was carrying a link to a story headlining how President Obama is "under fire for saying ISIS 'contained' just hours before Paris attack."

Well, Obama is under some fire, but Drudge's link is to coverage at the UK Daily Mail. That's unfortunately unsurprising, because there is little to no mention of Obama's naive, foolish and callous statement in the U.S. establishment press. So Obama may be "under fire" from people who are paying attention, but low-information news consumers (and voters) who didn't happen to see the original Thursday interview will likely remain unaware of it. In one such example of convenient oversight, the Associated Press published a Thursday evening story on that interview, and decided that its only newsworthy element was Obama's immigration-related criticism of GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump.

November 14, 2015, 10:56 PM EST

We'll have to live without Chad Henderson's tweets for the time being. Once again, Henderson, as he did in 2013, has taken his Twitter account private, limiting it to "confirmed followers." This time he likely did so in reaction to a NewsBusters post earlier this afternoon by P.J. Gladnick.

Henderson first gained notoriety during the initial Obamacare sign-up process in late 2013 when he claimed to have "enrolled" himself and his father when virtually no one else could even access the HealthCare.gov web site. The press unskeptically lapped up the Organizing for Action volunteer's story until Reason.com's Peter Suderman shredded it. It turned out that Henderson had only set up a profile for himself and had not purchased any health care plan. Henderson resurfaced on Twitter after the Paris terrorist attacks yesterday, asking: "Do Trump, Rubio, and Carson have the experience and knowledge to prevent and react to a similar Paris attack? Not at all, folks."

November 14, 2015, 12:34 AM EST

As of 11 p.m. ET on Friday, according to CNN, the death toll was "at least 153" (since updated to "at least 128") who have been "killed in gunfire and blasts" in Paris in "coordinated attacks." CNN claims that "It is still not clear who is responsible." (Update: Early Saturday morning Eastern Time, ISIS claimed responsibility.)

Two days ago, leftist Democrat Hillary Clinton laughed at the idea of Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina being strangled. Today, we've learned that wealthy "liberal funders" are considering bankrolling the Black Lives Matter movement, whose followers have frequently been seen and heard targeting police with language like, "Pigs in a blanket, fry 'em like bacon" and "What do we want? Dead cops!" But Salon's Chauncey DeVega wants everyone to know that, after Paris, it's the right in the U.S. which needs "to tone down their incessant violent rhetoric."

November 13, 2015, 6:02 PM EST

The federal government kicked off fiscal 2016 yesterday by reporting that its October deficit was $136.5 billion, 12 percent higher than the $121.7 billion shortfall seen in October 2014.

Single-month comparisons can be tricky because of timing differences, but the Associated Press's Martin Crutsinger noted that analyzing the results from this October and last October is an apples-to-apples proposition when he wrote that "In both years, Nov. 1 fell on a weekend, which required the government to mail out November benefit checks in October." But instead of diving into and comparing the two Octobers, the AP reporter devoted the vast majority of his writeup to virtual cut-and-paste regurgitations of previously published news about the 2015 fiscal year and projections for the next two years. He wrote just one sentence directly comparing any of the details in two October statements, and buried it at the end of his report.

November 12, 2015, 11:55 PM EST

The "fact-checking" press has become a parody of itself during the past several years.

It's not only because of their irritating penchant for putting statements by Republicans and conservatives under a twisted microscope while ignoring drop-dead obvious falsehoods delivered by Democrats and leftists. It's because, among other things, the fact-checkers often admit that a statement is true, but then proceed to essentially say, "So what?" They also take policy goals articulated by candidates, which may or may not come to pass, render an opinion that it can't be done, and then pretend that they've actually proven something. An example of each annoying habit was found in Tuesday evening's Associated Press "fact check" of statements made by Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush during the most recent Republican presidential candidates' debate.

November 12, 2015, 10:58 AM EST

Tuesday evening, Associated Press economics writers Christopher Rugaber and Josh Boak attempted to "fact check" statements made by candidates at the just-completed Republican presidential debate.

Claiming that "The fourth Republican presidential debate was thick on economic policy — and with that came a variety of flubs and funny numbers," the two writers botched at least half of the six points they tried to make. Their most obvious economic error concerned the impact of minimum-wage increases (I will cover two others in a future post):

November 11, 2015, 11:39 PM EST

Just as a reality check, I asked a friend today what his reaction would be if I said with a sincere-sounding voice that he makes me want to strangle him. He said, "Almost sounds like a threat." I said, "No, it was supposed to be a joke." He said, "No it's not."

I also asked another person what her reaction would be if I earnestly called her "demented." She said, "You'd be insulting me." I asked, "What if I said I was just joking?" Response: "I'd say, 'The heck you were.'" In the past ten days, members of the press have decided that threatening language and an insult, both directed at GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, were only "jokes." There is virtually no chance that these same people would give the same treatment to threats and insults directed at Democrats and leftists.

November 10, 2015, 11:48 PM EST

Name the missing word in the following sentence from tonight's Associated Press report on the current situation at the University of Missouri: "On Friday, the now-former chancellor issued an open letter decrying racism after a swastika smeared in feces was found in a campus dormitory." The obviously missing word is "allegedly," as in, "was allegedly found." That word is also missing in sentences found in three separate reports at the New York Times. On October, 24, the Washington Post unskeptically accepted the recounting of the incident in a report shortly after it — ahem, allegedly — occurred.

There's a really big problem here. Sean Davis at The Federalist was unable, after extensive efforts, to locate any evidence that the incident really took place. Additionally, he found that a photograph supposedly representing what was done has been present elsewhere on the Internet for a year.

November 10, 2015, 7:54 PM EST

Today's "I'm just making stuff up on the fly" award nominee is Martin Crutsinger at the Associated Press.

The AP reporter, named by National Review's Kevin Williamson as America's "Worst Economics Writer" in 2013, lived down to his designation in a Tuesday report on the Census Bureau's September Monthly Trade Inventories and Sales release. He described a sales increase which didn't come close to offsetting the previous month's decline as "robust," failed to note that the reported increase in inventories will likely increase third-quarter GDP while perhaps depressing the fourth quarter, and described a "major effort to work down an overhang" in inventories not found in the report he was covering. His most important miss, though, was failing to note that trade inventories remain dangerously bloated.

November 10, 2015, 10:23 AM EST

The folks at Investor's Business Daily are more than a little tired of seeing their IBD/TIPP (TechnoMetrica Institute of Policy and Politics) polls smeared by establishment press publications and pundits.

No similar torrent of criticism has been directed at other polls which have been horribly inaccurate predictors of actual election outcomes. A large majority of them seriously and oh-so-predictably underestimated support for conservative and center-right candidates and causes in 2014 and 2015.

November 9, 2015, 3:32 PM EST

At the math-challenged mess known as MSNBC, the network's "all new video experience" known as "Shift by MSNBC" tweeted a dire warning: "Latest UN report says humanity will warm the planet by 2.7˚C or roughly 37˚F." Though not revealed in the tweet, this warming will allegedly occur by 2100.

If MSNBC's conversion were true, it would of course mean that the earth as we know it is in dire straits. Fortunately for us, but unfortunately for the ignoramuses at MSNBC, 2.7 degrees Celsius equates to roughly 4.9 degrees Fahrenheit — and even that estimate, based on the track record of computer models which have been predicting the arrival of catastrophic global warming, looks (excuse the expression) cooked.

November 7, 2015, 10:42 AM EST

On Friday's The View, as CNS News's Mark Judge reported, Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar went ballistic when GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina stated that Planned Parenthood is "harvesting baby parts through late term abortion." Part of Goldberg's response as she serially talked over Fiorina: "You know that’s not true. Carly, you know no one’s harvesting baby parts." Behar chimed in: "That offends my sensibility to hear you say something like that when you know it’s not true.”

Fiorina was and remains indisputably correct, while Goldberg and Behar are both embarrassingly wrong. Yet an ABC report filed at its web site Friday afternoon by Jordyn Phelps would only characterize Fiorina's assertion of an obvious, widely-known fact as a "claim." Beyond that, Phelps characterized the candidate's citation of Planned Parenthood's announced decision to cease taking compensation for harvested body as merely being (in Fiorina's view) "proof of her point."

November 5, 2015, 11:51 PM EST

Add Arizona's Meritus Health Partners to the growing list of Affordable Care Act co-op failures. The Daily Signal reports that this makes 11 of 23 such state Obamacare co-ops which will have closed their doors by the end of 2015 after three or fewer years in operation.

The Associated Press, which, along with most of the rest of the establishment press, has been playing aggressive defense on behalf of Obamacare since its passage and especially since Barack Obama's reelection in 2012, has no coverage of Meritus's crackup at its main national or "Big Story" site. Beyond that, readers will see after the jump that the AP's local stories about Meritus highlighted its association with ACA/Obamacare when things appeared to be going well, and buried it when they went south.

November 5, 2015, 4:04 PM EST

After the November 2014 midterm elections, I wrote that "Despite all of their supposed science, improved methodologies, and sophisticated turnout models, nation’s pollsters have just suffered through their worst midterm elections drubbing in 20 years. The last time they were off this badly was when they woefully underestimated Republican gains in the Newt Gingrich 'Contract with America' midterms of 1994." I also predicted that "If they’re right from now on, it will it only be by accident."

Very few, if any, such "accidents" occurred this year. In key contests, double-digit and worse variances from polled predictions were the norm.

November 3, 2015, 5:37 PM EST

As is so often the case with such stories, one can tell how favorable or disappointing a government report on the economy was by whether a story about it is still present at the Associated Press's "Top Business News" page several hours after its release.

Today's news from the Census Bureau on September's factory orders and shipments, released at 10 a.m., was extremely disappointing. Thus, it is utterly unsurprising that Martin Crutsinger's AP story covering that report was not at the "Top Business News" page a mere six hours after its release (it likely came off even earlier, as I didn't check the page until just after 4 p.m.). The AP economics writer's coverage, though bit of an improvement over prior months' efforts, still left important gaping holes.

November 3, 2015, 12:59 AM EST

Truth, the cinematic attempt to make heroes out of the agenda-driven journalists who produced and broadcast the fraudulent 2004 CBS News story about George W. Bush's Texas Air National Guard service, went into wide distribution this past weekend, with utterly disastrous box-office results.

Readers, in between moments savoring the film's apparent descent into oblivion — though it will almost certainly be revived in left-controlled high school and college classrooms for years to come — really should read William Campenni's writeup at the Daily Signal. It puts the final stake in the heart of any attempt by anyone with an ounce of sense to claim that Dan Rather's and Mary Mapes's 60 Minutes report has any remaining credibility whatsoever. After the jump, let's have some fun looking at the movie's weekend attendance figures.

November 2, 2015, 10:49 PM EST

On June 30, the Washington Post announced that it would be "compiling a database of every fatal shooting in the United States by a police officer in the line of duty in 2015." The Post has been "tracking more than a dozen details about each killing — including the race of the deceased, the circumstances of the shooting, and whether the person was armed."

The paper's work thus far has been a revealing exercise which should be getting far more attention than it is. I believe would be getting the needed attention if the revelations were different. You see, the analysis of fatal shootings thus far shows that, in layman's terms, the overwhelming majority of them were wholly justified (HT to an Investor's Business Daily editorial).

October 31, 2015, 11:58 PM EDT

A Friday evening story at the New York Times covered the Obama administration's decision to "try to block the release of a handful of emails between President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton."

In it, reporters Michael D. Shear and Michael S. Schmidt demonstrated that President Obama undoubtedly did not tell the truth in his interview with CBS News's Steve Kroft in a 60 Minutes episode which aired on October 11.