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
Sandwiched in between two domestic terrorist attacks by Islamic extremists in Canada during the past three days, USA Today ran a Tuesday op-ed which appeared in Wednesday's print edition by Mary Zeiss Stange called "Beware the Christian Extremists."
With all due respect, ma'am, we've got bigger worries. But in Ms. Stange's world, Christian "religious extremism taken to potentially lethal ends" is really the "primary threat to homeland security." She castigates the news media, which in her view "have been remarkably slow when it comes to zeroing in on the pervasive reality of hate-based Christian extremism," because "It is easier, after all, to blame the un-American other."
At their debate Tuesday night, former Florida governor (2007-2010), former Republican (1974-2010), former independent (2010-2012) and current Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist got out the crying towel over why the Sunshine State's economy was so bad on his watch. He also refused to acknowledge that incumbent Republican Governor Rick Scott deserves any credit for the state economy's overachievement during the past 45 months.
At the debate, Crist tried to explain away the economic disaster which occurred during his term in office by claiming that — quoting from the debate transcript — "I was serving during the global economic meltdown. And we did the very best we could to get Florida through it and we did." As seen after the jump, the "best we could do" for Crist was far, far worse than the rest of nation's "best" could do. As would be expected, I haven't found any establishment press coverage which has made the comparisons which follow.
In relaying the results of their polling partnership's latest survey, Associated Press polling director Jennifer Agiesta and reporter Emily Swanson held their most important finding until their report's seventh paragraph.
Despite their effort to downplay it, Matt Drudge, whose nose for genuine news is legendary, spotted it. Accordingly, his current headline screams: "POLL SHOCK: WOMEN WANT REPUBLICANS!"
The Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, appears determined that there not be any more reported embarrassments of Democrats who refuse to directly that they support President Barack Obama.
One such embarrassing moment occurred in tonight's debate in New Hampshire between Republican Scott Brown and incumbent Democrat Jean Shaheen, who has reportedly voted as Obama would prefer 99 percent of the time. In her coverage, AP reporter Holly Ramer acted as if the following exchange between a debate moderater and Shaheen — and the audience laughter which accompanied it — never happened:
On Friday in a Facebook hangout, in a statement noted Saturday afternoon by Tim Graham at NewsBusters, MSNBC's Chuck Todd described himself as "stubbornly neutral." Sunday, Mr. "Stubbornly Neutral" attacked the NRA on "Meet the Press" for having the nerve to oppose President Obama's Surgeon General nominee, a man who is obsessed with gun control.
Elizabeth Williamson's coverage at the Wall Street Journal of the latest WSJ/NBC News poll has a very strange omission.
It contains a graph showing "right track/wrong track" polling percentages heading each midterm election going back to 1990. But Williamson, while addressing why the American people feel as they do right now in larger historical context, never commented on the graph's specific message, which is about as damning as it can get:
Josh Lederman's report this morning at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, treats President Barack Obama's return to Chicago as a trip down memory lane: "Obama got glimpses of a simpler time when his life was for the most part, normal: the unpaid bills on his desk, the volunteers who pitched in on his first Senate campaign, the day he marched in seven Fourth of July parades."
The reference to "unpaid bills" is from the President's remarks at a DNC event at a private home in Chicago. But the speech transcript now posted at the White House web site has scrubbed the related passage, as Daniel Halper at the Weekly Standard noted early this morning. There may have been an additional development since that post appeared.
The story filed by Politico's Jennifer Epstein after President Barack Obama's campaign appearance in Upper Marlboro, Maryland yesterday seemed evenhanded enough.
Unlike Josh Lederman at the Associated Press, who, as I noted yesterday, failed to report that it happened at all, Epstein even got around to describing how many of those in attendance left the event early: "... once the president started speaking, the crowd began streaming out, a few at first, but then by the dozen once Obama was about 10 minutes into his talk. Still, the vast majority of the large crowd stayed for the full event." However, given that Time's Zeke Miller described "a traffic jam next to the pool's tables as folks tried to exit the gym," Epstein may still have been sandbagging her readers. More remarkably in a 6 p.m. tweet, she acted like a frustrated campaign worker instead of like the reporter she allegedly is (HT Twitchy):
To the relief of sex offenders throughout the state, Arizona Democratic gubernatorial candidate Fred DuVal, during a Tuesday forum at Redemption Church in Gilbert, said that, in the words of an unbylined Washington Free Beacon story, "he is opposed to mandating parental consent for a girl as young as 14 years old to get an abortion."
This is a non-story in the establishment press, which made it a mission to take out two GOP U.S. Senate candidates two years ago over abortion-related remarks with far less real-world impact. Based on a search on "DuVal parental consent" (not in quotes) at the Arizona Republic, the paper hasn't done a story specifically noting DuVal's outrageous position — even though it did manage to notice that DuVal, like Ed FitzGerald, the Democrat who is running for Governor in Ohio, has been known to drive without a valid driver's license, though far less often or brazenly.
The two dispatches are so radically different in tone and content that they it doesn't seem possible that they both could be from the same event. But they are. Jeff Mason at Reuters (saved here for future reference and fair use purposes) observed "early departures of crowd members while he spoke underscored his continuing unpopularity." But at AP (saved here) Josh Lederman (pictured at left) described "a rowdy crowd of about 8,000 people" attending "a rally that had the feeling of a gospel service." A more detailed comparison follows the jump:
The White House is apparently feeling pretty full of itself over the fiscal 2014 federal budget result it has just reported.
Reacting to the news that this year's deficit was "only" $483.4 billion, White House budget director Shaun Donovan crowed that "This is a return to fiscal normalcy." The press, of course including Andrew Taylor at the Associated Press, has accepted all of this with little challenge, including the administration's misleading "percentage of GDP" assertions, which completely ignore how much more the national debt has grown than the reported budget deficits. Taylor went one step further, blatanty deceiving readers as to how much money the federal government borrows for every dollar it spends.
On October 8, Andrew Taylor at the Associated Press wrote that "(President Barack) Obama inherited a trillion-dollar-plus deficit after the 2008 financial crisis." In a NewsBusters post later that day, I pegged Obama's true inheritance at roughly $245 billion as of when he was first sworn into office, and at about $600 billion if projected over the full fiscal year. The actual deficit for fiscal 2009 came in at just over $1.4 trillion due to deficit-increasing actions by Obama and the Democrat-dominated Congress.
I guess we're supposed to forget about Taylor's egregious falsehood, because AP's national site has since replaced his story, perhaps more than one time. That's not happening.
In an all too typical unskeptical report, Jim Kuhnhenn at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, allowed President Barack Obama to claim, in Kuhnhenn's words, that "health and security experts continue to tell him that the screening measures already in place for travelers are more effective" than "restricting travel to the U.S. from the three Ebola-stricken West African nations."
I'm sure that readers would just love to know who these "health and security experts" are, especially given the fact that the AP itself reported Thursday that nations in Africa which have successfully kept the virus at bay have cited "border closings" as a critical element of their strategy.
For years, government watchdog groups have chronicled numerous instances of waste and abuse — at the very least — at the Centers for Disease Control and its National Institutes for Health.
An establishment press corps doing its job, upon hearing the director of the National Institutes for Health claim that "if we had not gone through our 10-year slide in research support, we probably would have had a vaccine" for Ebola by now, and especially upon hearing leftist poltiticians then claim that it's all Republicans' fault, would look into whether part of the problem might be poor bureacratic stewardship. But they're not doing their job.
Early this morning, Glenn Kessler, the Washington Post's designated fact-checker gave the left's claims that Republicans alone were responsible for alleged "cuts" to Ebola research four Pinocchios (i.e., a "whopper").
That's nice, but it hardly undoes the damage news outlets like the Associated Press have inflicted on the truth in the apparent name of ginning up resentment among low-information voters. I'll get to that, but first, here are the key passages from Kessler's critique, which essentially gets down to who's responsible for sequestration (the correct answer is that it was President Obama and the White House; bolds are mine throughout this post):
Apparently the folks at Vocativ, who took a look at over 600 presidential speeches going all the way back to George Washington, were a little reluctant to document what their "scientific" analysis of those speeches told them about this nation's two most recent chief executives.
After finding that there is very little difference between the "sophistication" of speeches made by President Obama and former President George W. Bush, the former Clinton speechwriter the firm enlisted to comment on the results couldn't resist taking a gratuitous and I believe false swipe at Bush 43, one which I daresay most readers here will find absolutely hysterical.
Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey's told Marth Raddatz on ABC's "This Week" that ISIS fighters got to within 16 miles of Baghdad's airport in Iraq earlier this week. Framing that distance in a way those in the nation's out of touch Beltway political class will understand, that's the driving distance from the U.S. Capitol Building to Tysons Corner Mall in Northern Virginia. The U.S. had to call in Apache helicopters to prevent Iraqi forces from being overrun.
ABC's Benjamin Bell, in preparing his 12:50 p.m. report on the Dempsey interview, saved that startling piece of information for his fourth paragraph and kept it out of his headline. It's almost as if he was hoping that no one will want to watch the report's accompanying video, which is nowhere near as blasé about that news.
Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis's "wheelchair" ad, her latest and most despicable attempt to smear her Republican opponent, Attorney General Greg Abbott, got favorable reviews in a Friday evening column by Jonathan Tilove at the Austin American-Statesman.
Tilove, the Statesman's chief political writer, wrote that the ad provoked "debate about whether it was an act of unseemly desperation or daring inspiration," and asserted that it "breathed new life" into Davis's flagging campaign. Cheerlead much, Jonathan? As seen in the excerpts which follow, Tilove also found a prominent University of Texas at Austin prof who characterized the Davis ad as "ballsy" (bolds and numbered tags are mine):
The federal government's latest fiscal year ended on September 30. The final Monthly Treasury Statement for the fiscal year, will likely be published during the coming week or possibly a few days later.
From time to time, commenters at NewsBusters have pointed that Uncle Sam's reported deficits don't represent the whole story. They are certainly right. While the press is all excited over this week's Monthly Budget Review released by the Congressional Budget Office, which contain an unofficial but probably accurate estimate that the fiscal 2014 budget deficit was "only" $486 billion, the national debt has grown by far more than that.
In covering the latest debate between incumbent Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker and Democratic challenger Mary Burke, the Politico's James Hohmann significantly understated the number of jobs added in the Badger State during Walker's tenure.
Hohmann wrote that "Burke attacked Walker for his 'broken promise' to create 250,000 private sector jobs during his first term. He’s now at a little over 100,000." That's only true if you think that 126,000 is only "a little over" 100,000: