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
June 27, 2013, 4:05 PM EDT

Over at Jihad Watch, Robert Spencer has posted what he says is the substance of his entire email exchange with James Brooks of the Associated Press in the wire service's coverage of the UK Home Office's decision to ban Spencer and fellow Stop the Islamization of America leader Pamela Geller, so we can compare what actually transpired to what was published.

Brooks apparently did not contact Geller (or if he did, he didn't report any of it), and gave no indication that he tried. He gave 14 words of his report to his exchange with Spencer in his seventh of 11 paragraphs, and the AP's headline writers chose to call the pair "US anti-Islam activists" (bold is what AP included):

June 27, 2013, 1:21 AM EDT

Pamela Geller announced at her Atlas Shrugs blog Wednesday morning that "the British government has banned us (herself and fellow Stop Islamization of America activist Robert Spencer) from entering the country ... In not allowing us into the country solely because of our true and accurate statements about Islam, the British government is behaving like a de facto Islamic state. The nation that gave the world the Magna Carta is dead." She has posted the letter (Page 1; Page 2) from the British Home Office Secretary (UK's equivalent of our Homeland Security) telling her that her presence would not be "conducive to the public good."

A later post at Geller's blog has a collection of press reports which readers should review for the predictable signs of bias. One which isn't there is from the Associated Press, written by James Brooks (bolds are mine):

June 26, 2013, 9:12 PM EDT

First, they buried the lede, then they excised it completely.

An initial report yesterday at the New York Times on President Obama's speech on "climate change" at Georgetown University by Mark Landler and John M. Broder -- a report which was still up at least as late as 6 p.m. Tuesday evening, according to this story pull posted at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (go to the bottom of the article at the link), quoted "a member of a presidential science panel that has helped advise the White House on climate change" expressing his desire for a "war on coal" -- in Paragraphs 17 and 18 (HT to Ed Driscoll at PJ Media; bolds are mine):

June 26, 2013, 1:55 PM EDT

Continuing the business press's slavish devotion to seasonally adjusted figures in government reports to the exclusion of looking at what actually happened, Martin Crutsinger at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, began his Tuesday dispatch on May's new-home sales report from the Census Bureau as follows: "Sales of new homes rose in May to the fastest pace in five years, a solid gain that added to signs of a steadily improving housing market."

Except for two "little" things: Fewer homes were actually sold in May than were sold in April, and May's reported increase in seasonally adjusted annualized sales only came about because of a tax break which ended in April 2010:

June 24, 2013, 11:19 PM EDT

How ironic it is that, as Kyle Drennen noted today at NewsBusters, that NBC's David Gregory was so vocal in advocating that "Government Playing a Bigger Role" in the economy, given that yesterday was the eighth anniversary of the Kelo vs. New London decision, a monument to colossal government failure if there ever was one.

A 5-4 Supreme Court majority, believing that the Connecticut city of New London had "carefully formulated a development plan ... (with) appreciable benefits to the community," violated the plain language of the "public use" clause of the Constitution's Fifth Amendment which was clearly designed to limit government eminent-domain takings to true public projects (e.g., roads, bridges, etc.). They instead decided that "public use" really means "public purpose" (i.e., anything the government wants to do, including condemning property so that it can be transferred from current to new owners in the name of some higher good).

June 24, 2013, 9:07 PM EDT

A longtime but recently inactive Hispanic leader in Dallas has been arrested and, according to the FBI, is the "Mesh Mask Bandit" responsible for robbing 19 banks since New Year’s Eve."

Imagine if a recent Tea Party leader of the stature of Luis de la Garza (as named at his Wikipedia page; the linked story at CBS 11 in Dallas uses "delagarza" as his last name) were arrested in similar circumstances. First, it would become prominent national news. Second, his or her fellow activists wouldn't be offering up the pathetic excuses readers will see after the jump -- or if they did, the ridicule would justifiably be never-ending (bolds are mine throughout this post):

June 24, 2013, 12:14 PM EDT

Brightening up my Monday morning (not) is an item carried at CNN.com last Friday whose headline basically tells loyal, faithful spouses that they're nature-defying freaks who in the vast majority of cases are ignorantly honoring an institution which doesn't make any sense.

Meghan Laslocky doesn't have the gumption to use those words. But what else are we supposed to conclude from a column entitled "Face it: Monogamy is unnatural"? Not that there isn't some inadvertent humor, which I'll get to after excerpting her column (HT Hot Air Headlines; bolds are mine):

June 22, 2013, 11:55 PM EDT

Before taking a series of cheap shots at Howard Kurtz, the former Daily Beast Washington bureau chief and CNN "Reliable Sources" host who has moved to Fox News to host its "Fox News Watch" program, Salon political reporter Alex Seitz-Wald characterized Kurtz's new employer as "a stable for journalists who have fallen on hard times."

In related news, the New York Yankees and the Miami Heat, respectively, have become basement-dwelling final refuges for baseball and basketball players whose skills have seriously eroded. (/sarcasm).

June 22, 2013, 12:15 PM EDT

There's no word on whether Elizabeth Vargas had to receive smelling salts during her interview of Madonna which appeared on "Good Morning America." But it wouldn't be a surprise if she did.

When the ABC reporter, whose interview was relayed by the network's Sabrina Parise and posted at Yahoo.com, questioned the diva's use of gun choreography in her current tour's stage show, she certainly expected a robust defense. But she probably didn't expect a trip into the land of the Second Amendment. Nonetheless, that's what happened (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary; HT Hot Air; bolds are mine):

June 22, 2013, 10:08 AM EDT

Netroots Nation, the leftist annual convention currently in progress in San Jose (next year it's in Detroit; can't wait), bills itself as a "connector of awesome progressive activists."

Based on Emily Schultheis's Saturday morning report at the Politico on the viewpoints of those in attendance, the gathering's slogan should really be, "Blame it on Bush and Boehner." The Politico reporter also professes surprise that these largely angry leftists aren't angry at President Barack Obama, as if anyone would have really expected that (bolds are mine):

June 21, 2013, 11:56 PM EDT

In a tired Politico item on how President Obama plans to carry out his January State of the Union threat to go around Congress on "climate change" -- no surprise, his moves will be a "power plant clampdown," pouring more money into solar, wind, and geothermal, and micromanaging lamps and refrigerators -- Andrew Restuccia quoted a statistic on the production of certain "renewable" energy sources which actually understated their degree of increase during the past four years. He cited a "60 percent increase in renewable electricity produced from wind, solar and geothermal sources between 2008 and 2012."

The increase is much greater than that. But Restuccia shouldn't gloat. As seen after the jump, those three renewables still represent a pathetically small percentage of all U.S. energy production, and he should have informed his readers of that quite inconvenient fact:

June 20, 2013, 11:06 AM EDT

File this under: "She can dish it out but can't take it."

Tuesday, the Turkish newspaper Takvim published a fictional interview of CNN's Christiane Amanpour said to have taken place in Atlanta. As seen in a Google (less than perfect) Translate screen grab, it is clearly identified as sarcasm at its end. That didn't stop Amanpour from tweeting her anger at the fake interview while implicitly leading readers to believe that the paper was trying to pass it off as real:

June 19, 2013, 12:59 AM EDT

Odds are that the ultraliberal, Occupy movement-supporting crowd in Portland, Oregon, which includes its mayor in late 2011, who told the Los Angeles Times that "I support a lot of what the movement stands for, as a political leader" -- are already trying to figure out how to stop what they surely see as a dangerous idea which has sprung up about 10 miles to the south: fed-up citizens arming themselves.

Portland is among several localities in the Beaver State which "have banned loaded firearms in all public places." That's apparently not the case in an unincorporated area of Clackamas County near the suburb of Milwaukie, where a fed-up woman is forming a "Glock Block" that Portland's OregonLive.com web site, based on a search on "Glock" returning no relevant results, is ignoring, despite the national attention the group has begun to receive. Portland TV station KOIN has the following story (HT to Zero Hedge):

June 18, 2013, 11:23 PM EDT

A search at Google News on "households food stamps record" done at 9 p.m. ET (not in quotes, sorted by date, with duplicates and similar items) returned three items. Two are at the Daily Caller (here and here); and the other is at Reason.com. Program statistics for March, the latest month available, show that a record 23.12 million households -- one in every five in the U.S. -- received food stamp benefits. At 47.73 million, the total number of persons receiving benefits was only 65,000 below the record set in December. In 2008, average participation was less than 29 million.

That search result shows, despite the fact that records are supposed to be news, that the establishment press is completely uninterested in communicating the fact that the food stamp program continues to grow, though very slowly, even as the economy supposedly recovers. There is one number that the press has been citing frequently, namely the number of people who might be removed from the food stamp rolls if language attempting to limit the program to people who are truly in need remains in the otherwise bloated disaster known as the farm bill. 

June 16, 2013, 7:42 PM EDT

Either CNN's Tom Cohen, his headline and subheadline writers, or both thought it was a bit over the top to describe the IRS's targeting of Tea Party, conservative, and religious groups as a "forgotten scandal" in a Friday story. Evidence that the subheadline originally read "Republicans try to keep the public focused on the forgotten scandal of IRS targeting of conservative groups" is here and here.

As will be seen after the jump, Cohen tries to make the case that there's nothing to see, that everyone who matters agrees with him, and that forgetting about the scandal would be defensible (bolds are mine):

June 16, 2013, 12:17 PM EDT

In a four-paragraph "Big Story" item time-stamped 10:48 a.m. ("CURRENT, FORMER OFFICIALS BACK SECRET SURVEILLANCE"), Stephen Braun at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, names several Sunday news program guests who he writes are "are supporting the government's collection of phone and Internet data following new revelations about the secret surveillance programs aimed at disrupting terrorist plots." Meanwhile, the Politico is hyping former Vice President Dick Cheney's characterization of Edward Snowden as a "traitor."

Both outlets, and thus far most of the establishment press, are ignoring a report by CNETs Declan McCullagh Saturday afternoon which I believe would be dominating the news by now if anyone except Barack Obama were President. It directly contradicts an assertion Obama made -- "Nobody is listening to your phone calls" -- shortly after the NSA-Snowden story broke, and one of Congress' most liberal Democrats is the source (links are in original; bolds are mine):

June 16, 2013, 3:01 AM EDT

In an early Wednesday morning story which seems to have been a strategic trial balloon, Charles Babington at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, ran a story trying to portray the NSA surveillance revelations by Edward Snowden and subsequent developments as matters which have only riled up people on the "far left and far right." Otherwise, the American people are okey-dokey with NSA's data dragnet. Too bad for Babington and the administration, as I demonstrated in Part 1 (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), that what appears to have been a belated attempt to intimidate prominent elected politicians has to a large extent not worked.

This post will further show that polling data Babington cited near the end of his report contradicts his claim that "Solid majorities of Americans and their elected representatives appear to support the chief elements of the government's secret data-gathering."

June 16, 2013, 2:07 AM EDT

In an early Wednesday morning story which seems to have been a strategic trial balloon, Charles Babington at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, ran a story trying to portray the NSA surveillance revelations by Edward Snowden and subsequent developments as matters which have only riled up people on the "far left and far right." Otherwise, the American people are okey-dokey with NSA's data dragnet. Too bad for Babington and the administration that what appears to have been a belated attempt to intimidate prominent elected politicians has to a large extent not worked, and that polling data he cited near the end of his report (to be covered in Part 2) contradicts his claim that "Solid majorities of Americans and their elected representatives appear to support the chief elements of the government's secret data-gathering."

You can tell that Babington's effort was something out of the ordinary, because the self-described "Essential Global Network" actually used the term "far left" in the story's headline and content. In a U.S. story, that almost never happens unless a reporter is quoting a far-leftists' conservative or moderate opponent. Usually, the only time you see "far left" used in U.S. AP content is to identify a person's placement in a photo. Excerpts from the story follow the jump.

June 15, 2013, 9:45 PM EDT

A GOP candidate for the Connecticut State Legislature's 53rd District about 70 miles northeast of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown won election on Tuesday, marking the first time the seat has gone to a Republican since Richard Nixon was president.

Republican Samuel Belsito defeated Democrat Anthony J. Horn by a 58.5%-41.5% margin, largely because his stances in support of citizens' Second Amendment rights and fiscal restraint were more convincing. Based on a review of Newsday's Associated Press Connecticut feed carrying stories from throughout the Nutmeg State (most June 11 and June 12 stories as of the time of this post are here and here), it appears that the AP did not run any stories on the result, and almost certainly made no attempt to discern its meaning.

June 14, 2013, 12:20 PM EDT

Not that it absolves them from blame, but one contributor to the Big Three establishment TV networks' utter failure to report on or keep up with developments in the IRS targeting scandal -- failures which have been noted by Geoffrey Dickens at NewsBusters, as well as by the Media Research Center's Brent Bozell on Sean Hannity's TV show last night -- is the Associated Press.

The AP provides much of the raw material for the networks' stories and largely determines the nets' perception as to which stories are important. It is still quite appropriate to refer to it as the Administration's Press, even after Obama administration Attorney General Eric Holder admitted to scouring phone records involving 20 business and personal lines used by over 100 AP reporters and editors in April and May of last year. Yesterday's failure by the wire service's Pete Yost to even mention that the IRS scandal was on the agenda at a House Judiciary Committee hearing yesterday involving FBI Director Robert Mueller exemplifies how negligent or intimidated (or both) the AP has become.