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.
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The Associated Press's Top Business News page lists the headlines and opening passages of what the wire service believes are the ten most important business stories at the moment. Its 9:16 a.m. version had a story entitled "JACKSON HOLE DEMONSTRATORS RALLY AGAINST RATE HIKE" listed fifth. Earlier in the morning it was fourth.
Surely, I thought to myself, this must be about a group of at least several hundred to merit this level of attention. Not at all. The opening sentence at Matthew Brown's Friday afternoon story tells us it was "a group of about 10," but that one group member somehow got to speak with Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen (bolds are mine):
Don Lemon at CNN isn't interested in being told what an "automatic" rifle is. He's decided what it is, and the truth doesn't matter. Even after recognizing after the fact that the person correcting him was right, he has no remorse for his demonstrated ignorance.
On Wednesday, as Charles C. W. Cooke noted at National Review's The Corner blog the next day, Lemon claimed that “most people can go out and buy an automatic weapon,” because he was able to do so "within 20 minutes" in Colorado two years ago. Radio host, CNN political commentator, and author Ben Ferguson corrected him. It didn't matter, because as Lemon lamely explained, "For me, an automatic weapon is anything that ... can shoot off a number of rounds very quickly." Video is after the jump, followed by Lemon's vain attempt to recover the next day.
The press never let George W. Bush forget about that "Mission Accomplished" banner on the USS Abraham Lincoln after Saddam Hussein was overthrown and his government's military was routed in Iraq. They often pretend that Bush said it, or adopted it. He did no such thing, saying only that “Our mission continues.”
So while the press has come close to making a claim Bush 43 never made an article of faith, it is virtually ignoring something current U.S. President Barack Obama actually said, namely that, concerning ISIS, "The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant." Kristina Wong at the Hill is a rare exception. She reminded readers of what Obama said in January as she reported Thursday on how the nation's defense secretary and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff completely disagree (bolds are mine):
You had to know this was coming. The only question was who was going to be the first to do it.
On Tuesday, echoing the Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil," wherein the devil slyly tells listeners that "it was you and me" who "killed the Kennedys" (making everyone responsible ensures that no one is truly responsible, allowing evil to advance), James Joiner, the Special Projects Editor at Esquire Digital, pointed the finger of guilt for recent events in Ferguson, Missouri at all Americans. He claimed that "we are all complicit" in what has transpired, starting with the shooting death of Michael Brown in an altercation with police on August 9. Execrable excerpts follow the jump (links are in original; bolds and numbered tags are mine):
A Cincinnati-area abortion facility will finally stop doing surgical abortions on Friday. Many of us, including yours truly, thought this would happen back in January, but the operators of the Lebanon Road Surgery Center, aka Women's Med, persisted in frivolous appeals which only delayed the inevitable. Finally, they have decided to give up their challenge to the State of Ohio's refusal to renew its license to operate because it does not have a legally required transfer agreement with a local hospital to treat post-abortive patients who experience complications.
Since January, I have received several emails from pro-life groups reporting on the status of Women's Med's appeals. Their identities are well-known: Ohio Right to Life, Operation Rescue, and others. They're easy to find and easy to reach. There's no indication that reporter Ben Petracco at local TV stations WLWT attempted to contact any of them. He instead gave the sore losers an open mic to criticize Buckeye State Governor John Kasich as if he personally oversaw the entire effort (report saved here in case it's update; bolds are mine):
Just to be clear, the racial makeup of a news organization should be irrelevant to its ability to cover current events. The answers to who, what, where, when, why, and how are colorblind. The practice of assigning reporters to stories based on the ethnicities or races of stories' subjects is offensive, and should be seen as insulting.
But the fact is that news organizations and so-called progressives are obsessed with "diversity" — in everything but viewpoint, of course. So it's especially delicious that Politico's Dylan Byers claim that Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery's tweet that "black ppl don't work for @politico" was "offensive and factually inaccurate" has caused the truth about the insufferably self-righteous web site's track record to gain wide exposure.
Over at Hot Air on Tuesday night, Mary Katharine Ham pointed to a headline at the New York Times, present at its web home page as well as at the story itself, which equally blames Hamas and Israel for the end of their cease-fire: "Rockets From Gaza and Israeli Response Break Cease-Fire." Someone needs to tell Isabel Kershner and Jodi Rudoren that it's the "rockets from Gaza" which broke the cease-fire.
There's a bigger problem with the story, and with establishment press coverage of the conflict in general during the past 36 hours, namely that virtually everyone is ignoring a Monday blockbuster report at the Jerusalem Post presenting compelling evidence that Hamas intended to overthrow the Palestinian government and its President, Mahmoud Abbas, in conjunction with its attacks on Israel (Shin Bet is Israel's internal security service; bolds are mine):
Liberals and even far-leftists who would normally be inclined to cheer political attacks on Republicans and conservatives have been distancing themselves from last Friday's indictment of Texas Governor Rick Perry. Former Clinton special counsel Lanny Davis, lawyer Alan Dershowitz (this "what happens in totalitarian societies"), and former Obama White House advisor David Axelrod are just a few of them.
"The Five" co-host Bob Beckel is definitely not in that crowd. In Monday's segment on the topic, Walter Mondale's 1984 presidential campaign manager called his fellow liberals "wusses" and Rick Perry "a jerk." Wait until you see his reason why Rosemary Lehmberg, who was sentenced to 45 days in jail for driving drunk with a blood alcohol reading three times the legal limit, should remain in her job. Excerpts from the relevant Monday segment follow the jump (bolds are mine):
Imagine that a prominent Republican activist proposed a campaign of malicious destruction against Hillary Clinton's latest book. Does anyone doubt that the press would be all over it as proof that conservatives and Republicans are disrespectful and mean-spirited?
Well, Erica Payne is a prominent, aggressively self-promoting progressive. The advanced nature of her activist bona fides might cause you to assume that she would think before stooping to openly suggesting destruction of property. Nope. Via Daniel Halper at the Weekly Standard (link is in original; bolds are mine):
Kudos to Ed Driscoll at PJ Media, Eddie Scarry at Mediaite, and likely others in pointing out that the Associated Press has frequently violated its own stylebook in describing Michael Brown, the 18 year-old who was fatally shot in a scuffle with police in Ferguson, Missouri, as a "teen" or "teenager."
The AP's latest stylebook, in sync with the one I have from over a decade ago, states that reports should (italics is theirs) “use man or woman for individuals 18 and older." The violations have been pervasive, and have likely occurred since Brown died on August 9. Let's start with the specifics at Mediaite (most bolds are mine; links are in original):
Recent news about Obamacare hasn't exactly been good, but the press has been pretty effective in keeping it quiet. To name just a few items, Enrollment is shrinking, because perhaps as many as 20 percent of enrollees aren't keeping up with their premiums. Rising costs have moved insurers to beg for bailouts, which appear to be forthcoming.
Then there's this: Just last week in Massachusetts, where the state-run health insurance got its start under Republican Governor Mitt Romney eight years ago, the state's exchange announced that everyone currently enrolled in 2014 or who should have enrolled and didn't is going to have to apply for 2015 coverage this fall. Oh, and the system it plans to employ may not even be working by mid-November.
Boy, it's a good thing that we don't have any bloggers, Twitter amateurs or Facebook fulminators going off half-cocked and helping people find out where Darren Wilson lives. Wilson is the Ferguson, Missouri police officer who reportedly shot and killed Mike Brown. I mean, if anybody knew that or could figure it out, his safety and that of any family members would be in jeopardy.
Oh, wait a minute. The New Media newbies to (please bow) "journalism" haven't had to lift a finger to do that, because supposedly responsible journalists have done it all for them (bolds are mine; links are in original):
Craig McDonald, the director of Texans for Public Justice, was on CNN today. He tried to "respond" to something Lone Star State Governor Rick Perry's didn't say yesterday in his reaction to his indictment, and followed that up with a comical gaffe.
McDonald opened as follows: "The Governor again in his defense yesterday said this is merely a partisan political witch hunt." The trouble is that, as seen at the Texas Tribune, Perry didn't use the term "witch hunt" in his official statement or during the brief follow-up question and answer period (the Q&A is in the video, but not the text of the paper's coverage). So McDonald, who was clearly claiming to quote a term Perry used, was already misleading CNN viewers. He followed that dishonesty with a comical gaffe, as seen in the video clip after the jump (HT Twitchy):
Texas Governor Rick Perry, who, in the oddest of coincidences (that's sarcasm), just so happens to be considered one of the Republican Party's stronger potential contenders for the 2016 presidential nomination, was indicted in Austin today by a Travis County grand jury. The charges are "abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant" in connection with a veto "threat" he carried out — thus making "promise" a better word to describe his original stated intentions.
"Threatening" a veto and then carrying through on that "threat" is obviously a pretty routine occurrence in governmental jurisdictions through the country, from the President on down. As to initial press coverage, Paul J. Weber and Will Weissert at the Associated Press predictably misstated the results of another politically motivated prosecution of a major GOP elected official, namely former Congressman Tom "The Hammer" Delay, and focused on how expensive it might be to defend Perry by quoting an hourly legal representation rate which may or may not be accurate. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):
The federal government reported a $94.6 blllion deficit in July, only marginally better than the $97.6 figure posted in July 2013.
As has become its habit, the Associated Press's coverage of that result contained omissions, spin and half-truths about government tax collections, spending and the origins of the Obama administration's first four years of consecutive trillion-dollar deficits. Particularly annoying is the wire service's insistence on ignoring the large tax increase in two decades as a factor — in the interest, of course, of supporting the Obama administration's call for more of the same. Veteran Martin Crutsinger was responsible for this month's rendition. Excerpts follow the jump:
Does anyone remember a media report expressing sympathy for former President George W. Bush when adverse events happened during his Crawford, Texas "vacations"? (Given that he and Laura lived there, calling a visit to your place back home hardly seems to qualify as some kind of "vacation")
Well, Thursday evening, Politico's Carrie Budoff Brown took pity on President Obama for his "vacation from hell." Excerpts follow the jump.
Give the New York Daily News credit for surfacing a video which originally appeared at Ed Notes Online, a publication whose "about" page says it opposes "the education corporate-based reforms ... undermining the public school system" and exposes "the motives behind the education deformers."
The video shows Michael Mulgrew, the president of New York City's United Federation of Teachers, threatening to "punch you in the face and push you in the dirt" if you oppose the nationally imposed and controlled Common Core standards, and from all appearances laying claim to America's children as the property of its teachers. Give the rest of the establishment press — which routinely pounces on inflammatory statements coming from the right and distorts others into making them appear to be — demerits for almost completely failing to expose an education tyrant. Video and excerpts from the Daily News's coverage follow the jump.
Remember all those books that the publishing houses rejected during the eight years before Dear Leader took office because they might get used by "the Left" to hurt George W. Bush? No you don't, because it didn't happen.
But now, things are different. Fellow soldiers of released 5-year Taliban captive Bowe Bergdahl are trying to publish a book on their side of the "he was a deserter" controversy. A divison of publishing giant Simon & Schuster has rejected their submission. That isn't necessarily unusual, but the contents of a rejection letter from one of the publisher's representatives certainly is.
This morning, the Census Bureau, in its advance report on retail sales, revealed that seasonally adjusted July sales were "virtually unchanged" from June. Expectations were for a 0.2 percent gain, supposedly with "solid upside" potential. Oops. June's result stayed at its previously reported 0.2 percent increase.
Reuters did the "U-word" honors this time out: "U.S. retail sales unexpectedly stalled in July, pointing to some loss of momentum in the economy early in the third quarter." Someone needs to tell the wire service's Lucia Mutikani that no increase means no momentum. Over at the Associated Press, Josh Boak tried the deadpan approach.
So what's more newsworthy: A white, privileged, female lawyer wearing pink shoes whose filibuster failed to stop abortion restrictions from taking effect in Texas, or a an African-American female state representative who sponsored and helped successfully shepherd a similar law through Louisiana's legislature — with overwhelming support from Democratic legislators? If you think it should be the latter, you obviously don't understand the priorities of the nation's establishment press.
The events in Texas have led to the gubernatorial candidacy of Democrat filibuster leader and media darling Wendy Davis. In June of this year, the legislature in next-door Louisiana passed a similar measure. Katrina Jackson's outspoken sponsorship and Democrats' majority support of the law has gotten nowhere near the attention Wendy Davis's shenanigans have received.