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
January 22, 2016, 11:01 PM EST

These people play the press and the courts like a fiddle.

At 2 p.m. Friday — just in time for a slow-news weekend and the onset of what is supposed to be a serious blizzard in the Northeast — the State Department asked a federal court for an extension of time to February 29 to complete its interagency review and release of Hillary Clinton's private-server emails. But State didn't merely use the snowstorm to minimize news visibility. In the court filing, it also cited the weekend snowstorm as a reason why it can't its work done:

January 22, 2016, 9:00 PM EST

It would appear that the incurably leftist UK Guardian can be tougher on a Democratic Party presidential candidate than the U.S. establishment press.

The Guardian, the perch from which Edward Snowden exposed the activities of America's National Security Agency in June 2013, had reporter Adam Gabbatt at Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's Iowa City campaign appearance. The couple of U.S. press reports which noted that Mrs. Clinton spoke for less than five minutes seemed not to think that such a short speech was unusual. Additionally, only Gabbatt did the obviously necessary follow-up to see how the audience felt about getting so little attention from Her Majesty (bolds are mine). They weren't thrilled:

January 22, 2016, 6:13 PM EST

When the Associated Press issues a brief unbylined report on an obviously important matter, one's first instinct should always be to ask: "What are they deciding not to tell us?"

More often than not, the answer is "Plenty." An example justifying the need to look further appeared this morning when the wire service published a five-paragraph report on inflation in Venezuela's economy:

January 22, 2016, 12:16 PM EST

It would appear that the New York Times and MSNBC, in focusing on Hillary Clinton's speaking fees, are, after many months of serving as virtual Clinton campaign mouthpieces, beginning to hedge their bets in the race for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. This information has been available since last spring, but only now is it being seen as geuinely troubling. Why wasn't seen as a big problem when it was first revealed?

In May of last year, Times reporters Maggie Habermann and Stephen Eder conceded that the speaking fees charged by Mrs. Clinton and her husband Bill, which have averaged roughly $250,000, "could create challenges for the former secretary of state as she tries to cast herself as a champion of everyday Americans in an era of income inequality." My, how the tone has changed now that Mrs. Clinton's coronation has become less than seemingly certain.

January 21, 2016, 6:42 PM EST

You could have set your watch to it. When a leftist local, gubernatorial or presidential regime enters its final year after demonstrating its corruption, incompetence and inexcusable disrespect for law and procedure to that point, someone in the press will directly or indirectly excuse them by saying that the entity that person is running is "ungovernable," or that "its best days are behind it."

President Barack Obama hit the one-year-to-go mark for his second term yesterday. On cue, Eduardo Porter at the New York Times told readers that "America’s Best Days May Be Behind It." Naturally, Porter did not mention Obama's name, nor did he cite Obama's outsized contribution to why that may be the case.

January 21, 2016, 12:19 PM EST

On December 28, the headline at a conveniently unbylined report at the Associated Press screamed: "HOLIDAY SPENDING UP 8 PERCENT; ONLINE SALES SURGE." As I noted in a post later that day, this was odd, to say the least, given that even the incurably optimistic National Retail Federation had predicted an increase of only 3.7 percent. It turned out that the reported growth rate was based on the number of sales transactions, not their dollar amount. Despite that, the late-December AP report repeatedly and irresponsibly characterized the percentage increase as showing growth in "sales" and "spending."

The NRF came out with its official Christmas shopping season sales increase on Friday: +3.0 percent.

January 20, 2016, 1:40 PM EST

Poor President Barack Obama.

Juan Williams, in a Monday column at The Hill, insists that "the president is not to blame for the rancor and polarization that have characterized his presidency," and "is not responsible for the unprecedented obstructionism employed by (Mitch) McConnell’s Senate Republicans." Why, In Williams's world, Obama has apparently been the very model of civility, while Republicans "have let anger and extreme voices define their party."

January 20, 2016, 12:46 AM EST

Politifact, the leftist propaganda mill disguised as a "fact-checking" web site, always has its "Pants on Fire" matches at the ready for conservatives and Republicans. This is remarkable, given that it has never given any Hillary Clinton statement or campaign assertion a "Pants on Fire" evaluation. The one example it cites falsely claims to "involve" her, but has nothing to do with anything she or anyone in her campaign said.

One of the latest outrages concerns the web site's obvious problem with accepting the realities behind the January 1981 resolution of the Iran hostage crisis. GOP presidential candidate Marco Rubio made an obviously true claim about the timing of the hostages' release after 444 days, namely that it occurred as Reagan took the oath of office on January 20 of that year. He further stated that the Iranians knew that America would "no longer (be) under the command of someone weak."

January 18, 2016, 11:58 PM EST

On Wednesday, Amber Phillips at the Washington Post's The Fix blog impressively took President Obama to task for his over-the-top bragging about the nation's mediocre (and likely getting worse) economy. She noted that "the biggest knock on the Obama economy ... is that the recovery has been very good for the wealthy and certain sectors and not so much for the middle class and everyone else." Hear, hear.

Phillips referred to a study released the previous day by the National Association of Counties, an 80 year-old advocacy group. One of NACo's maps showed that only 7 percent of all counties in the U.S. have fully recovered from the recession. The irony of the county-based results cannot have been lost on the business writers at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press.

January 18, 2016, 12:10 PM EST

During the middle years of last decade, the business press, including the Associated Press, worked the word "recession" into its reports on the economy quite regularly.

Yesterday, despite a current economy facing far worse fundamentals than were seen during 2007, the AP's Paul Wiseman and Bernard Condon gave us a nearly 882-word treatise on "WHY GLOBAL WOES AND SINKING STOCKS DON'T MEAN US RECESSION." In the process, they inadvertently admitted that the business press's recent obsession with blaming any and all weak U.S. economic news on the economies of the rest of the world has been wrong. Additionally, while quoting a prominent bank's full-year 2015 economic growth projection, they ignored the fact that this same bank projected that the fourth quarter of 2015 is on track to come in at a dismal annualized 0.1 percent.

January 17, 2016, 9:33 AM EST

The Associated Press's coverage of Friday's deep U.S. stock market dive in two Friday afternoon reports engaged in the reality avoidance longtime readers here have come to expect.

An item by Stan Choe ("Get used to it: Big drops for stocks are back again") spent most of its verbiage on "volatility," and only cited "China's sharp economic slowdown ... Tensions in the Middle East ... the plunge in prices of oil and other commodities" as reasons why the "volatility" will continue. (AP seems to believe that "volatility" is a synonymn for "decline"; it isn't.) Separately, Alex Veiga's more detailed coverage, after an analyst's insistence that "Oil is the root cause of today," didn't get to Friday's awful economic data until his ninth paragraph, and then only vaguely descrbed "some discouraging economic news." Meanwhile, a CNBC columnist, using a word amazingly not found in either AP writeup, warned that "A recession worse than 2008 is coming."

January 17, 2016, 7:44 AM EST

The press's determination to protect liberal politicians against their own mistakes by minimizing their significance or failing to report them at all extends far to the left — as far left as Vermont Senator, self-described socialist and Democratic Party presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

Excerpts from Ars Technica's report on Team Sanders' attempt to prevent Wikipedia from using the campaign's logo with a copyright takedown notice follow the jump. As of early Sunday morning, that entry is one of only three listings found in a Google News search on "Sanders Wikipedia logo" (not in quotes) citing the Sanders-Wikipedia fiasco (a listing from the New York Times has no content relating to the controversy). Imagine the field day the press would be having if the campaign of a Republican or conservative presidential candidate did something similar (links are in original; bolds are mine throughout this post):

January 15, 2016, 5:14 PM EST

The press's fierce determination to avoid blaming any of the steep decline in this nation's stock markets so far this year on horrid U.S. economic data, or on the Obama administration which has given us such a sour economic environment, has gone way beyond annoying.

Shortly after noon at Yahoo Finance, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average's Friday dive hit 500 points, Nicole Sinclair, who is also a senior analyst at TheStreet.com, asked: "Why the heck are the markets tanking?" The mystified Sinclair came up with five reasons. None of them directly related to U.S. fundamentals, which she eventually described as "mixed," or recently released data, though she finally mentioned "disappointing" December retail sales in passing in her second-last sentence.

January 15, 2016, 7:16 AM EST

The Brookings Institution, the leftist think tank, is wailing and gnashing its teeth over its finding that in many metro areas, "income inequality," their favorite bogeyman, is being "driven by declining incomes" among their poorest residents. The problem isn't so much that the rich are getting richer as it is that the poor are getting poorer. As a result, "Inequality is higher today in most metropolitan areas than in 2007."

Well golly gee, I wonder who has controlled U.S. economic policy while this calamity has occurred? Brookings predictably failed to call out President Obama or even his administration by name, instead blaming "a federal government hamstrung by partisan gridlock and budget constraints." At the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, Josh Boak's Thursday coverage at least mentioned the president's name, but failed to note the role that the subpar economic growth since the recession's official end in mid-2009 caused by his policies has played.

January 14, 2016, 8:33 PM EST

On Saturday, after one of the worst year-opening weeks for the stock market in many years, Myles Udland at BusinessInsider.com complained that "The stock market is having a nightmare start to 2016 and it's all the Fed's fault." This sentiment is apparently widely held in the media. At NationalInterest.org on Tuesday, Christopher Whalen wrote that "the Fed created the current unstable market situation by keeping dollar interest rates too low for too long," and now "is out of step with other major central banks ... causing markets an extra degree of anxiety."

This morning, Jay Somaney at Forbes.com complained about "the foolish and self-serving move made by our Federal Reserve last month ... (of) raising rates and then continuing to yap off about 4 more rate hikes this year." In other words, the complainers really want near-zero rates, apparently in perpetuity, and cower in fear at anything resembling market-based capital allocation. This caused CNBC's Rick Santelli to warn that the U.S. is in danger of going down the ugly road Japan has travelled for two decades.

January 13, 2016, 11:58 PM EST

It would appear that Yuri Kageyama at the Associated Press has fallen into the trap of believing the rubbish her employer and much of the rest of the world's press has been pushing about how the world's economies really aren't performing all that poorly, that this "new normal" world isn't all that bad, and what we are seeing is all we have a right to expect.

You see, Kageyama doesn't understand why the world's stock markets are tanking when there is so much "data showing economies on the mend."

January 13, 2016, 6:10 PM EST

Iran's increasing belligerence towards the United States in the wake of — or, more accurately, as a result of — the so-called nuclear "deal" between the two countries is unmistakable, as is the Obama's willingness — no, make that eagerness — to kowtow before that rogue regime.

Thus, the facade created at the New York Times by reporters Thomas Erdbrink and Helene Cooper after Iran released ten U.S. sailors who were captured and detained on Tuesday should be cause for embarrassment at the Old Gray Lady, except that it appears to no longer have any sense of shame, or even of reality. The headline: "Iran’s Swift Release of U.S. Sailors Hailed as a Sign of Warmer Relations" (bolds are mine throughout this post):

January 13, 2016, 3:17 AM EST

In October 2013, late-night PBS talk-show host and author Tavis Smiley told Sean Hannity at Fox News that "The data is going to indicate sadly that when the Obama administration is over, black people will have lost ground in every single leading economic indicator category."

On Monday, on the eve of what has been said to be President Barack Obama's final State of the Union address, Smiley was again on Fox News, this time with Megyn Kelly. Sadly, 27 months later, his message hasn't changed, nor has its fundamental truth.

January 11, 2016, 10:27 AM EST

Despite reports and statements containing the term coming out of Germany during the past week, searches at the Associated Press on "no-go zones," and even on "no-go," return nothing. The New York Times has no recent report identifying European no-go zones, but has at least demonstrated that it might be getting over its nearly allergic reaction to the term by observing that parts of Ramadi, Iraq recently liberated from Islamic State control are "no-go zones because they have yet to be searched for booby traps left by the jihadists."

"No-go zones" again became news because, despite U.S. media outlets continued denial of their existence, several officials in Germany once again used the term.

January 9, 2016, 11:27 AM EST

At the Associated Press, as seen at its "Top Business News" page Friday afternoon, Christopher Rugaber opened his song of praise for yesterday's jobs report ("US EMPLOYERS HIRE AT ROBUST PACE, DEFYING GLOBAL TRENDS") as follows: "American employers added a robust 292,000 jobs in December, suggesting that the U.S. economy is so far defying global weakness and growing solidly. ..."

Rugaber's opening sentence has since been revised, but the damage was done — or, being cynical, the mission was accomplished. Thanks to Rugaber's original opening sentence being used at AP-subscribing outlets nationwide, most news readers, listeners and viewers will believe that decent job growth has been translating into "solid" overall economic growth. Too bad that hasn't been the case — and there are reasons to believe that it will continue to not be the case.