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
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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):
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?
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":
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.
"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":
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):
The Politico email Tuesday night announcing incumbent Andrew Cuomo's primary victory in New York over a far-left opponent described the incumbent Democratic governor as having an "at-times centrist governing style."
Surely that nonsense wouldn't make it into the online publication's actual story, I thought. But of course, it did. This about a governor who has openly advocated confiscating guns, and who has said that "extreme conservatives" who believe in the sanctity of life and understand the Second Amendment's clear meaning "have no place in the State of New York." Excerpts from Elizabeth Titus's travesty follow the jump (bolds are mine):
On August 22 — a Friday, of course — the Obama administration's Department of Health and Human Services issued a brand-new version of the Obamacare contraception mandate supposedly "accommodating" organizations with religious belief-based objections to providing such coverage.
The new version is a facile variant of the subterfuge the Obama administration failed to slide by the Court in the recent Hobby Lobby case. It now says that organizations which oppose providing their employees abortifacient contraceptive coverage can notify the government of their objections; previously, objectors informed their insurers. The government will then tell the insurance companies to pay any claims involved. Anyone can see that nothing has substantively changed, and that affected employers are still associating themselves with practices they believe are abhorrent. Nevertheless, CNBC's Dan ("Obama-who-cares") Mangan described the administration's move as a "compromise."
CNBC's Dan Mangan, last seen at NewsBusters claiming that the American people want politicians to just "shut up about Obamacare," is out with a column today reacting to the Kaiser Family Foundation's latest Affordable Care Act-related polling effort.
Sarah Ferris at the Hill also reviewed the poll, and has two primary messages for readers. First, "support for ObamaCare continues to fall." Second, "Healthcare remains one of the most important issues in midterm elections, ranking only behind the economy and jobs as voters’ top issue." To be clear "the economy and jobs" is considered one issue. So it's really pathetic how Mangan twisted the same poll Ferris covered (bolds are mine):
The press is good at putting the most positive spin possible on the monthly job-market news. But at the same time, many of its members still claim that food stamp enrollment remains as high as it is because of the lingering effects of the (Bush did it) recession.
On Friday, following the release of August's employment numbers, Obama administration Labor Secretary Tom Perez celebrated how "businesses have added more than 10 million jobs over the last four and a half years," and have done so for "54 consecutive months of private-sector job growth, the longest streak on record." All true, though average job growth during that time has resembled an underperforming baseball player who somehow manages to go 1-for-5 or barely better every day. Meanwhile, food stamp enrollment has increased by 6.8 million.
The Obama administration-prepared koolaid delivered to the Associated Press's economics writers on Monday must have been extraordinarily concentrated.
How else can you explain how the AP's Christopher Rugaber could have written the following — "The U.S. job market has steadily improved by pretty much every gauge except ... Pay" — without doubling over with laughter? No, Chris. The reason pay hasn't improved is because a whole lot of other "gauges" aren't where they should be.
The smug self-confidence of financial analysts and writers who predicted that Japan's monstrous sales tax increase would have no long-term effect on its economy should be severely shaken.
An Associated Press report tonight by business writer Elaine Kurtenbach tells readers that the Land of the Rising Sun's economy "contracted at a larger than earlier estimated annual rate of 7.1 percent in April-June, as companies and households slashed spending following a tax hike." This means that the "experts" who assured everyone that the second-quarter contraction would be smaller than or merely offset the brisk first-quarter expansion of 6 percent were horribly wrong.
There's an establishment press cleanup in progress on behalf of Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
As Tim Graham at NewsBusters noted Thursday, the DNC Chair on Tuesday likened Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and tea party activists to domestic abusers.
The establishment press is working mightily to shield President Barack Obama from blame for, or even association with, decisions he has made and actions he has taken — unilaterally and with dubious constitutional authority in many instances.
One particularly egregious example is Libya. When Obama decided on his own to engage in "kinetic miliitary action" to topple Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, the press was thrilled. Now, as will be seen after the jump, three stories from major establishment press outlets don't even contain Obama's name, or any direct reference to him.