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 6, 2013, 11:20 AM EDT

Associated Press reporter Matt Lee has been on the State Department beat for almost four years. At times, he has been one of a very few establishment press reporters who will challenge Obama administration officials when their assertions become too brazen to tolerate.

One of those times (HT Business Insider via Hot Air) occurred yesterday, when hapless State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki attempted to defend as "courageous" John Kerry's statement that the administration's non-mandatory request for a Congressional vote on U.S. military involvement in Syria:

September 5, 2013, 7:07 AM EDT

Yesterday in Stockholm at the G20 summit, President Barack Obama said the following in regards to the use of chemical weapons in warfare: "I didn't set a red line. The world set a red line." For years, the press obsessed over the alleged untruthfulness of President George W. Bush's "16 words" ("The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa") in his 2003 State of the Union address. Today, the Associated Press won't even directly quote the first six of Obama's.

Regardless of whether one thinks that Obama's statement is an attempt to abdicate personal responsibility for his original "red line" (i.e., in the sand) statement a year ago or an assertion that his year-ago statement merely affirmed what the rest of the world believes, it's news, and should be presented to the nation's readers and viewers in quotes. But not at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, which is barely recognizing the existence of the "red line" at all.

September 4, 2013, 12:50 AM EDT

The AFL-CIO has just lost 40,000 of its most militant members, and it's not news at the Associated Press's national site (there is a regional AP story at the Seattle Times) or at the New York Times. It is getting virtually no other establishment press coverage (results at the link are primarily center-right blogs and similar outlets).

The departing members are those in the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. In a three-page letter to AFL-CIO head Richard Trumka, ILWU President Donald McEllrath laid out concerns over picket-line crossings and encroachments by other AFL-CIO affilliates, but also cited Trumka's "overly moderate, compromising policy positions on such important matters as immigration, labor law reform, health care reform, and international labor issues." A few paragraphs from AP's unbylined regional story are after the jump (bolds are mine throughout this post):

September 3, 2013, 2:28 PM EDT

Monday morning, 22-term Democratic Congressman Charlie Rangel of New York, as reported by Tal Kopan at the Politico, said that President Barack Obama's drawing of a "red line" on Syria is "embarrassing," and that he is against "putting our kids in harm’s way to solve an international problem."

Rangel is the third most-senior House member of either party. If a senior Republican congressperson similarly criticized opposed a Republican or conservative president in a matter such as this, there would be widespread establishment press coverage. In this case, there's very little. This is not unusual for stories detrimental to Democratic Party interests, as the rest of the establishment press all too often seems content to say, "Oh, that was already in the Politico, so we don't have to cover it."

September 3, 2013, 9:34 AM EDT

In a Thursday morning speech, AFL-CIO head Richard Trumka told of how surprised how he was, in the words of Time's Alex Rogers at it Swampland blog, "that employers have reduced workers’ hours below 30-a-week to avoid an employer penalty scheduled to go into effect in 2015."

Here's another "surprise" from Rogers' report, at least for those who think that lawmakers sit alone and draw up 2,000-page pieces of legislation on their own (except when the media relays claims by the left that evil industries write laws which evil Republican congressmen simply rubber-stamp them): Trumka admitted organized labor's direct involvement in in writing Obamacare. In other words, labor created the mess it is now denouncing (bolds are mine throughout this post):

September 2, 2013, 6:45 PM EDT

Walter Shapiro's column at Yahoo yesterday might as well be called, "My Hero -- xoxo."

Its actual headline is, "Obama's history-defying decision to seek Congressional approval on Syria." As Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds noted a short time ago: "You can read this entire article about Obama going to Congress over Syria without seeing any mention that Bush went to Congress over Iraq and Afghanistan." After the jump, readers will get as much as (or maybe more than) they can stand, complete with the "There were no WMDs in Iraq" lie (bolds are mine):

September 1, 2013, 10:47 PM EDT

At the New York Times's "Dot Earth" blog, Andrew Revkin reports that "the science on a connection between hurricanes and global warming is going in the opposite direction" — as in, the evidence that the connection between human-caused global warming (overgenerously assuming that there is any) and hurricane intensity or frequency of "heavy precipitations events," as shown in a "snapshot" of a draft of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's upcoming report, is one of "low confidence."

Fine, as in "It's about time." But at the bottom of that same graphic are findings relating to sea levels which appear to be laugh-out-loud funny.

September 1, 2013, 8:31 PM EDT

Earlier this evening at NewsBusters, Tim Graham noted that the Washington Post gave space, in an item entitled "Reagan Historians to Decry 'Ahistorical Caricature' as Racist in 'The Butler' Movie," to refute the false portrayal of the Gipper in that film.

One more anecdote should be added in rebuttal to counter the "Reagan was a racist" lie. I'm referring to an event in 1982. Note that the related the unbylined AP report couldn't resist getting in a gratuitous dig (both reports at this post are reproduced in full for fair use and discussion purposes):

September 1, 2013, 6:33 PM EDT

Among ten charts presented by Brad Plumer at the Washington Post on Wednesday, the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech at the 1963 March on Washington, all meant to show that "the black-white economic gap hasn’t budged in 50 years," is one which purports claims that "The gap in household income between blacks and whites hasn’t narrowed in the last 50 years."

Words mean things, Brad. "Hasn't budged" means "no meaningful movement." That just isn't so, as will be seen after the jump. But first, let's look at the inflation-adjusted graph WaPo presented to support its claim:

August 31, 2013, 2:52 PM EDT

On Thursday morning, the Columbus Dispatch's Darrel Rowland reported ("Gun battle slated for high noon in downtown Columbus") that "Mayors Against Illegal Guns is coming to Columbus on Friday for an event urging Sen. Rob Portman to support expanding background checks on gun purchases," and that "guns rights groups are planning to make their voices heard, too." There was no follow-up on what happened at the Michael Bloomberg-supported group's rally; we'll see why shortly.

Organizing for Action, the group which exists solely to promote President Barack Obama's agenda, also scheduled a rally to promote illegal-immigrant amnesty in Columbus on Friday. Intrepid center-right blogger Jesse Hathaway reported attendance (HT Twitchy) of perhaps a half-dozen. A search of the first couple of pages (here and here) of results on "immigration" at the Dispatch's web site returned no relevant coverage (results were not sorted by date, but seemed to generally move backwards in time).

August 31, 2013, 12:52 PM EDT

If we're to believe Tom Raum's Friday afternoon report at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, the economy is humming along smoothly enough that we really shouldn't think about it that much any more, especially as something to consider when voting. And besides, it's being "eclipsed" by "other pressing events."

I'll stay away from those other "events" in the interest of concentrating on the 3-1/2 paragraphs Raum employed to convince readers that things really are okay, followed by a quote from a reliable leftist apparatchik (bolds and numbered tags are mine):

August 31, 2013, 10:26 AM EDT

At the Associated Press, economics writer Christopher Rugaber used not seasonally adjusted data published by the government's Bureau of Labor Statistics on metro area employment and unemployment to crow about "widespread improvement in the job market." The predominance of part-time jobs among the new ones created and fact that houshold incomes have yet to recover from the recession apparently had no impact on his assessment.

The opening sentence of the government's report reads: "Unemployment rates were lower in July than a year earlier in 320 of the 372 metropolitan areas, higher in 38 areas, and unchanged in 14 area, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today." But the second paragraph of Rugaber's AP report, headlined "Unemployment Rates Fall in Two-thirds of U.S. Cities," tells readers that "[U]nemployment rates fell in 239 of the nation's 372 largest cities in July from June."

August 30, 2013, 4:30 PM EDT

Well, if you can't say anything good about how your guy's foreign policy is going, you can at least try to trash one of his predecessors so your guy doesn't look so bad.

That would appear to be the idea behind David E. Sanger's attempt at the New York Times today to falsely inform readers that the two towering leaders of the 1980s, Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, angrily disagreed over the UK's choice to retake the Falkland Islands after Argentina had seized them. Sanger linked back to a previous Times story which clearly pointed to the real disagreement, but never described anything resembling anger. Additionally, a cable from Secretary of State Alexander Haig during that era directly refutes Sanger's contention.

August 30, 2013, 2:05 PM EDT

Illinois Democratic Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky added her ignorant voice to the cacophony of economic confusion Thursday on the low-rated MSNBC show hosted by Chris Hayes. If a Republican congressperson made a statement as breathtakingly ignorant as the one you're about to see, it would get wider media play. Schakowsky's "brilliant" suggestion almost certainly won't.

Why has nobody thought of this fantastic idea? Here it is as "articulated" by Schakowsky in response to a question from Hayes (HT Bridget Johnson at PJ Tatler; bolds are mine; click on the "transcript" tab at the link to see the full text of the discussion; the original transcript has no caps and is missing some punctuation, but yours truly has added them where needed):

August 30, 2013, 10:57 AM EDT

It must be nice to blithely talk about how you would spend somebody else's money without thinking through the consequences.

Kendall Fells, the organizing director of Fast Food Forward in New York, told Yahoo Finance's Bernice Napatch at its Daily Ticker site that "McDonald’s made $5.5 billion in profits and there’s plenty of money to pay the workers who work there and new hires without firing anyone.” As was the case with a Detroit protester's claim that "McDonald’s made like $500 billion last year" noted earlier today, Napatch did not challenge Fells's fallacy. After the jump, we'll come up with a better estimate showing that the company and its franchisees couldn't pay their employees $15 an hour even if they burned through all of their current restaurant operating income in trying.

August 30, 2013, 7:02 AM EDT

Vickie Thomas and the news department at Detroit TV station WWJ really ought to be ashamed of themselves. The open question is whether they even know enough to be ashamed.

In reporting on a Motor City McDonald's store which was forced to close — whether it was for a few hours or all day and night isn't disclosed — Thomas quoted a "protester" claiming that "McDonald’s made like $500 billion last year." Most readers would interpret "made" as the company's annual profit. The company's worldwide net income in 2012 was $5.5 billion, barely 1 percent of the protester's completely unchallenged figure. The "like $500 billion" cited and allowed to stand is also 14 times larger than the $35.6 billion in gross sales at all of McDonald's U.S. franchised and company-owned stores.

August 29, 2013, 12:31 PM EDT

In yet another Orwellian advance at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, the headline at today's AP "exclusive" report on President Obama's unilateral imposition of new orders relating to guns is: "OBAMA OFFERS NEW GUN CONTROL STEPS."

Reporter Josh Lederman is in on it too. He never specficially describes Obama's current actions as "orders." Alternate words include "announced," "proposing," "executive actions," and "new policy." It isn't until the second-last of his 13 paragraphs that Lederman informs readers that "the White House has completed or made significant progress on all but one of the 23 executive actions Obama had previously ordered in January" (but the actions themselves are not called "orders".

August 28, 2013, 11:17 PM EDT

It would appear that Politico would prefer to see a Democrat win the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Saxby Chambliss. Otherwise, why would its Elizabeth Titus, in her coverage of Michelle Nunn on Monday, reference a statement by that party's candidate, Michelle Nunn, which articulates a position on abortion that is at odds with EMILY's List, the entity which gave her the reason to do a story by announcing their endorsement of her?

Nunn's supposed position on abortion, according to a July Associated Press item, is that abortions should be "safe, legal and rare and that women should be ultimately able to make this very difficult personal decision in concert with their doctor and their family." Trouble is, that's not how EMILY's List sees it.

August 28, 2013, 10:02 PM EDT

At Slate, Mark Lynas tells the story of activist-orchestrated media deception — although one sometimes wonders whether the press even minds being deceived in these instances, and in certain cases whether some journalists are in on the scam.

The deception involves activists who are against any form of biotechnology advances laying waste to a field of genetically modified "golden rice" in the Philippines (bolds are mine; links are in original):

August 28, 2013, 9:17 PM EDT

There are two key words missing from the report Bloomberg's Kasia Klimasinska & Shobhana Chandra published Tuesday morning — a writeup that is so incredibly sunny and over-the-top that is probably would have embarrassed the Old Soviet Union's Pravda in its heyday.

One is "income." The reason is obvious. Real median household income is still way below where it was when the recession ended four long years ago. The other absent word is "deficit." This enables Bloomberg's pathetic pair to glide though a discussion of the national debt-ceiling situation and make Republicans look like the heavies. The final problem is that they act as if we're in the fifth year of unbroken expansion, when we're not. Excerpts follow the jump.