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
March 22, 2016, 1:00 PM EDT

At Salon.com at 10:28 a.m., Amanda Marcotte wrote that "It will likely be days, perhaps weeks, before we know much about the horrific terrorist attacks on an airport and subway in Brussels on Tuesday morning that killed dozens of people."

Actually, dear, as of when I began this post about 90 minutes later, we alreadly know plenty. Most crucially, the Associated Press reported that the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks roughly an hour after Marcotte's post. Once that's verified, and it almost certainly will be in short order, what else beyond the names of the de facto soldiers of the Islamic State will remain of the "much" that we don't know? But the most important thing to Marcotte, who is clearly blind in one eye and can't see out of the other, is that the United States has "a grown-up in charge" (links are in original; bolds are mine throughout this post):

March 21, 2016, 4:10 PM EDT

Ridicule by media critics has apparently made some headway against the business press's annoying habit of describing bad news about the economy as having occurred "unexpectedly." Now they seem to be reserving the "U-word" for unexpected improvements, which haven't been seen very much during the past seven-plus years.

Instead, reacting to today's bad news from the National Association of Realtors, which reported that seasonally adjusted existing homes sales dropped by 7.1 percent in February, Bloomberg News said that they "dropped more than forecast." Reuters opened with "U.S. home resales fell sharply," saving specific comparisons to forecasts for a much later paragraph. The Associated Press, which rarely even recognizes the existence of such forecasts, stuck to that posture. AP and Bloomberg both deliberately ignored a red flag about the overall health of the economy the realtors' group included in its narrative. Reuters grudgingly cited worries about the economy as "potentially troubling."

March 20, 2016, 11:59 PM EDT

Matt Lauer, aka Mr. Softee (when interviewing people with whom he sympathizes), tried to act like a tough guy in his Friday interview with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. You're not fooling us, Matt.

After observing that he had "an enormous outpouring of questions about censorship" after he asked his Twitter followers what they would like to see discussed, Lauer "cleverly" asked Dorsey: "Does Twitter censor the content of its users? Does it hide what it would consider inflammatory comments, whether they be social or political?" Dorsey replied in a slightly rushed manner which seemed rehearsed: "Absolutely not. Twitter's always been about controls. People can follow whoever they want, and it's our job to ensure that they see the most important things and the things that matter to them." Lauer didn't follow up on that seemingly coached, specific-in-appearance but vague-on-substance response. Instead, he redirected the conversation towards tweets that are "dangerous."

March 17, 2016, 8:35 PM EDT

Does anyone remember how The Onion "humorously" satirized then-Democratic Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle's refusal to consider the federal court nomination of Miguel Estrada in 2003? Oh come on, it was the one where there was an accompanying cartoon showing Daschle holding Estrada's "Severed Head Aloft in Front of the Capitol Building"? That was just a laugh riot, wasn't it?

Of course, no one remembers it, because it didn't happen — and the establishment press would still be in mass hysteria over it if it had. But on Wednesday, The Onion, now not so coincidentally 40 percent-owned by Univision, did exactly what I just described with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Merrick Garland, the person President Barack Obama nominated for the Supreme Court earlier in the day (HT Instapundit):

March 17, 2016, 11:39 AM EDT

Most readers here are by now painfully familiar with how miserable mainstream media reporting on police shootings of criminals can be.

That said, the Associated Press's headline writers and reporter Lindsay Whitehurst have lowered the bar even further in their coverage of the shooting of a 17 year-old who was beating a man "near a homeless shelter" in Salt Lake City, Utah.

March 16, 2016, 11:51 PM EDT

The government's Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today that consumer prices fell 0.2 percent in February.

Lower prices should be good news, right? Wrong, at least according to Martin Crutsinger at the Associated Press. Crutsinger's Wednesday dispatch also managed to ignore the fact that even the supposedly low inflation seen during the past 12 months has eaten up most of workers' very nominal pay increases, even though the BLS's Real Earnings news release came out at the same time as the Consumer Price Index. This is yet more evidence that the so-called "recovery" we were promised years ago still hasn't fully happened, and that the current situation is on the verge of getting worse, and not better.

March 16, 2016, 10:19 PM EDT

In a Monday afternoon post which gets close to taking pleasure in the serious economic decline in the heart of the coal mining industry in West Virginia, CNN Money's Patrick Gillespie observed, based on Hillary Clinton's recent remarks about coal miners' jobs, that she "has no love for coal companies."

But in Gillespie's world, what Mrs. Clinton said doesn't matter, because "Clinton won't have much coal to put out of business: the industry is already gutted." Besides, in a complete flight of fancy, the CNN Money reporter appears to believe that the solar industry and its current army of 209,000 workers will pick up the slack. The facts, including the hugely inconvenient truth that solar only accounts for barely 1 percent of the power produced by coal, say otherwise.

March 16, 2016, 4:11 PM EDT

The business press's determination to convince the public that weak economic news is really strong seemingly knows no bounds.

Today, shortly after the Federal Reserve's Industrial Production report for February showed a seasonally adjusted 0.5 percent decline — worse than expectations of -0.3 percent — the Associated Press pretended in its headline and in reporter Christopher Rugaber's first three paragraphs that the Fed's release only covered manufacturing, which "just so happened" to be its single somewhat positive element (bolds are mine):

March 15, 2016, 3:22 PM EDT

Today's report from the government on February's retail sales was awful. Last month's sales fell by 0.1 percent, which was bad enough. Beyond that, January's originally reported 0.2 percent increase was revised down to a 0.4 percent decrease. Additionally, as I noted at my home blog this morning, January's seasonally adjusted revision should have been much worse, based on how terrible that month's raw (i.e., not seasonally adjusted) sales figure was.

In his dispatch following the Census Bureau's release, the Associated Press's Christopher Rugaber recognized the fall in sales as a problem; but as he sees it, consumers have money, and just aren't spending it. The hardly subtle implication is that if the economy struggles, it will be due to our collective failure to engage in profligate spending:

March 14, 2016, 9:01 AM EDT

Layers of editors and fact-checkers at the Columbus (OH) Dispatch and others involved in its production "somehow" failed to detect the creation of an obviously false caption to a campaign rally photo of Donald Trump taken by a St. Louis Post-Dispatch photographer.

The photo, taken on Friday at Trump's St. Louis appearance by the Post-Dispatch's David Carson, had the following caption, apparently added surreptitiously, when it appeared in print at the Columbus Dispatch: "Donald Trump addresses a campaign rally in St. Louis. He was scheduled to go to Chicago for a rally, but canceled as his supporters became violent."

March 13, 2016, 10:53 PM EDT

Retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. apparently got on the good side of the Associated Press a year ago when it announced that would be raising entry-level wages.

Since that announcement, AP, in particular wire service reporter Anne D'Innocenzio, has been excusing the company's relatively poor financial performance while complimenting it for a virtually imaginary "perk up" in sales. Falling profits, store closures, and even the company's mid-February announcement that it expects sales to be "relatively flat" during the 12 months ending January 31, 2017 — summarized in one report from another media outlet as indicating that its customers "are too broke to shop" — have failed to dampen the wire service's strange enthusiasm.

March 12, 2016, 11:22 PM EST

Sometimes there's a problem when a far-left reporter admiringly covers a far-left political official or candidate. What occasionally happens is that items which would clearly be objectionable to sensible people make it to print or onto the airwaves because the lefty journalist doesn't recognize how problematic they are. If he or she did, it would be kept out of their reports.

At NBC News, former Salon.com columnist Alex Seitz-Wald's far-leftism is beyond dispute. Writing that conservative outlets ignored the Kermit Gosnell trial as much as liberal outlets did, claiming that cable news king Fox News is "a stable for journalists who have fallen on hard times," and gushing over the appearance of Hillary Clinton's "Scooby van" in Iowa clinch that evaluation. On Saturday, Seitz-Wald allowed a quote from Bernie Sanders' statement on Donald Trump's cancellation of his Chicago speech on Friday into his report on how the cancellation came about. Big mistake.

March 12, 2016, 7:45 PM EST

From reading most establishment press news, especially their economy-related reports, you'd think that those who are complaining about the current U.S. economy are outliers — especially the millions of Americans who are angry about it. Though they sometimes acknowledge that forward progress  since the recession hasn't been robust, the media's meme-makers have mostly told us that "overall job gains have remained solid," and that we have a "resilient U.S. economy" despite woes seen in the rest of the world.

So imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon a Wednesday afternoon item by Heather Long and Patrick Gillpesie at CNN Money which told readers that those who "believe the middle class is dying, trade is killing U.S. jobs and that their kids won't have a chance to get ahead ... (have) some rationale behind their claims."

March 11, 2016, 11:59 PM EST

For the "Freedom for me, and not for thee" file: Donald Trump decided to cancel a campaign rally in Chicago tonight "due to safety concerns after protesters packed the arena where it was to take place."

An Associated Press report time-stamped at 10:12 p.m., like so many AP reports in similar circumstances before subsequent revisions "clean things up," so to speak, has some elements of balance, in the sense that it included quotes from protesters whose stated goal was to shut down the event. That said, there appears to be a serious and perhaps deliberate journalistic oversight in the final two paragraphs of the wire service's report designed to make it difficult for others to investigate how orchestrated the whole affair was.

March 10, 2016, 8:08 PM EST

Those not well-versed on events in the Middle East and how the international press routinely distorts its coverage there might think from the following headline at CNN.com yesterday — "American fatally stabbed in Israel terror attack that wounds 10 others" — that the state of Israel carried out the brutal attack which killed Vanderbilt Universtity student and U.S. Army veteran Taylor Force.

Of course, that's not the case. But it took the trio of CNN reporters who covered the story — Oren Liebermann, Steve Almasy and Amir Tal — a full 20 paragraphs before finally acknowledging that the attacker was Palestinian: "Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld tweeted that the attacker, a Palestinian from the West Bank, was fatally shot by police."

March 10, 2016, 9:12 AM EST

For years, Andrew F. Puzder, the CEO of CKE Restaurants, the parent company of the Carl's Jr. and Hardee's fast-food chains, has been telling the world that while the U.S. government makes life needlessly miserable for businesses, California, where it has been headquartered, is exponentially worse.

This week, CKE announced that it is moving its headquarters to Nashville, Tennessee. A story at the Orange County Register failed to go beyond the company's deliberately non-combative statement to explain why. As far as I can tell, the Los Angeles Times hasn't covered the move at all (I can't be absolutely sure because the paper's search engine is demonstrably horrible). Meanwhile, LA's CBS News affiliate appears to have intentionally omitted their reporter's attempt to cite "the unfavorable economic climate here in California" as a factor contributing to the move from its print coverage of the story.

March 9, 2016, 4:11 PM EST

Actual sales at the wholesale level in January, as reported today by the Census Bureau, fell sharply from December. That's to be expected. But this time was different — really different, because the drop was to a level lower than January 2012, i.e., four years ago.

Four press outlets which covered today's release either missed (or ignored) this shocking news. They only told readers about what happened with the seasonally adjusted data — which, while still pretty dismal, didn't look quite as awful.

March 8, 2016, 4:37 PM EST

Beginning early in 2014, shortly after its initial disastrous rollout, there has been a virtual blackout on anything resembling negative coverage of the "Affordable Care Act," aka Obamacare.

It hasn't been due to a lack of horror stories: plan cancellations, shocking rate increases, shrunken provider networks, co-ops going out of business, etc. It's because the nation's establishment press has worked mightily to minimize their exposure and to avoid dealing with their larger significance, calling them "glitches," "tricky situations" and the like, while mostly ignoring individual local nightmares. Now several Minnesota residents, clearly kept in the dark until now about something yours truly and several others on the center-right warned of in late 2013, have learned that Obamacare has saddled their children with tens of thousands of dollars in debt.

March 7, 2016, 9:06 PM EST

Since the economy finally began consistently regaining jobs in early 2010, the establishment press has had a consistent, predictable and annoying reporting (and non-reporting) pattern.

It starts with the Friday morning jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics at or near the beginning of the month. Virtually without fail, it has spit out positive and sometimes even very positive seasonally adjusted increases in overall payroll employment (one small exception: the Census hiring season in mid-2010). Later that day, or in some cases a week later, but in either case in the late afternoon when most reporters are thinking about their weekends instead of their jobs, the USDA releases its report on enrollment in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), aka Food Stamps. If you didn't know that the economy was adding jobs, the Food Stamp figures would lead you to believe that it wasn't. Somehow, this is never news.

March 7, 2016, 3:16 PM EST

Score another blow for (allegedly) "unintended consequences."

A proposed 33-page rule applying to investment advisers emanating from the Department of Labor would redefine the fiduciary relationship between investment advisers and their clients investing for retirement, which is the predominant objective of most investors. According to the Wall Street Journal, the rule "could be released as soon as this month." One side effect of the rule is that it could mark the beginning of the end of financial talk radio and TV broadcasts. Since such programs tend to lean center-right (there are exceptions, including Suze Orman), it seems mighty convenient for the government and its regulatory army that the press, particularly the Associated Press, has paid no visible attention to this apparently imminent rule.