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
May 18, 2013, 10:39 AM EDT

In a story appearing this morning at the Politico about the Department of Justice's broad and unannounced subpoenas of the April and May 2012 personal and business phone records of reporters and editors at the Associated Press involving 20 phone lines and involving over 100 reporters and editors, James Hohmann found several "veteran prosecutors" who aren't necessarily outraged by what most members of the press and several watchdog groups have declared a blatant overreach. Instead, Hohmann summarizes their "far more measured response" as: "It’s complicated."

Hohmann utterly ignored a May 15 Washington Post story which chronicled claimed discussions between AP and government officials. Ultimately, it appears that the Obama administration's Department of Justice under Eric Holder may have only gone after AP out of spite because the wire service refused to accommodate administration requests to allow it time to crow about foiling a terrorist plot before the story gained meaningful visibility, and not because the release of the story, especially after what appears to have been an appropriate and negotiated delay, represented a genuine security risk. One obvious unanswered question is why DOJ waited, according to the AP's Mark Sherman in his original story, until "earlier this year" to obtain the phone records if it was so darned important to find out who the alleged leaker was.

May 15, 2013, 10:57 AM EDT

It's just so unfortunate that such nice guys are going through such trying circumstances.

That's the impression one gets from graphic teases seen at about 9:30 this morning at the Washington Post, where the captions underneath the three left thumbnails read as follows: "President Obama’s disastrous political week"; "Jay Carney’s tough day"; and "Jay Carney’s day — in 7 faces." If you don't recall such an obvious outward show of sympathy during the final year of George W. Bush's presidency, you're not alone. A quick look at the underlying items follows the jump.

May 15, 2013, 7:30 AM EDT

When I first heard of limp faux apology by the IRS's Lois Lerner on Friday for her tax-exempt division's harassment of Tea Party and conservative organizations, I thought she had done so on a conference call.

Well, she did have a conference call with reporters later that day -- the one where she said “I’m not good at math” -- but her original apology occurred at a conference of the Exempt Organizations Committee of the Tax Section of the American Bar Association in Washington (Lerner's relevant involvement is shown here). Why would such a mea culpa occur out of the blue at such a venue? The answer, per Kevin Williamson at National Review's The Corner blog, is that it wasn't out of the blue at all (bolds are mine throughout this post):

May 14, 2013, 10:18 PM EDT

Imagine that. Politico has a very negative story on our second-term president.

After over five years during which the online publication has engaged in virtual non-stop fawning over the wonders of Barack Obama -- going all the way back to shortly after its founding in January 2007, when Ben Smith found someone who described him as "frighteningly coherent" -- Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei tonight employed adjectives and described personality traits of their beloved "44" and those surrounding hime which just about anyone with eyes, meaning everyone except all too many members of the establishment press and those who have been deceived by them, has recognized for a long, long time (bolds are mine):

May 14, 2013, 7:35 PM EDT

In a disptach early this evening, the Associated Press's Pete Yost, perhaps signaling his employer's intent to remain the journalistic lapdog known as the Administration's Press, accepted at face value Attorney General Eric Holder's claim, while defending his department's actions, to have played no role in its wide-ranging subpoena of two months of AP phone records involving 20 cellular, personal and business lines used by over 100 wire service reporters and editors. Yost also did not address whether DOJ received judicial approval for its fishing expedition, a question the AP's Mark Sherman identified last night as unresolved.

It apparently hasn't occurred to Yost that if an Attorney General is aware that his underlings are about to engage in blatant, First Amendment-chilling prosecutorial overreach and intimidation -- a characterization the reporter himself made clear is shared by critics of all political stripes -- merely removing oneself from the case is a completely insufficient reaction. Instead, the AG is duty-bound to order it not to happen, and to remove anyone who chooses to defy his order. If the AG supports what his people have done, then he's responsible for the results and fallout. That's how being the boss is supposed to work. Excerpts from Yost's report follow the jump (bolds are mine):

May 13, 2013, 8:45 PM EDT

In a move which appears conveniently timed to coincide with a wave of other arguably more damaging bad news for the administration, the Associated Press has reported that the Department of Justice informed the wire service on Friday that it had secretly obtained two months of reporters' and editors' telephone records.

In the words of AP's Mark Sherman, in coverage late this afternoon, "the government seized the records for more than 20 separate telephone lines assigned to AP and its journalists in April and May of 2012." Sherman also notes that "more than 100 journalists work in the offices where phone records were targeted, on a wide array of stories about government and other matters," and that those records "were presumably obtained from phone companies earlier this year" (i.e., after Obama was safely re-elected). More from Sherman's report, a comment from yours truly, and several comments by others who have read AP's coverage follow the jump (bolds are mine):

May 13, 2013, 11:00 AM EDT

It says something about the seriousness of the rest of the news during the past several days when a story about unethical spying by reporters working for a company founded and built by the current mayor of New York City barely makes a ripple.

It has been alleged, and now admitted, that Bloomberg reporters monitored terminal login activity to develop stories about possible Wall Street executive departures before anyone else outside the entities involved knew and for other news-gathering purposes. The practice appears to go back to when Gotham Mayor Michael Bloomberg was still at the helm of Bloomberg LP, as seen in the bolded sections in the excerpt from a Saturday CNBC news story which follows the jump:

May 12, 2013, 12:03 PM EDT

Scott Pelley deserves grudging credit for recognizing something obvious at a Friday luncheon in New York. Readers tempted to go beyond that point would be advised to visit the archive of Pelley-related posts at NewsBusters on his brand of so-called journalism, a few of which will be identified later in this post.

At said luncheon, Pelley received the 20th annual Fred Friendly First Amendment Award from the School of Communications at Quinnipiac University. In his acceptance speech (full YouTube; excerpt here; HT Weekly Standard), Pelley spoke of journalistic failures during the past few months. He wants to believe that the past few months have been extraordinarily bad to a supposedly unprecedented extent.

May 11, 2013, 8:12 AM EDT

How many times have we heard establishment press members, particularly broadcasters, insist that no one on the left side of the gun control discussion wants to take away anyone's guns? Just a few examples include CNN's Piers Morgan, CNN's Carol Costello, and MSNBC's Alex Wagner, even after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was quoted in the New York Times before Christmas saying that "confiscation could be an option." Currently, New York, as Hot Air's Jazz Shaw noted in late April, actually is confiscating guns, based on "the exercise of reasonable professional judgment" of "mental health professionals."

Though I'm sure they'll try, the deniers are going to have a hard time explaining away what the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs has reported with accompanying audio. After the conclusion of a hearing of New Jersey's Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, an open mic captured the following discussion among three Democratic senators (HT PolitiChicks via Instapundit; internal link and bolds are in original):

May 8, 2013, 10:18 AM EDT

At the Daily Beast on Sunday, liberal Peter Beinart called on Democrats and liberals to "strongly denounce" former South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian's insult campaign against Palmetto State Governor Nikki Haley, or else "Democratic Party bigotry is likely to get worse."

It's too early to test Beinart's long-term prediction (such bigotry is bad enough already), but the denunciations he desires are nowhere to be found, even as Harpootlian has doubled and tripled down on his original wish to see Haley sent “back to wherever the hell she came from.” Meanwhile, the establishment press has virtually ignored Harpootlian's unhinged harangues.

May 7, 2013, 10:18 PM EDT

In the race to the bottom event known as South Carolina's First Congressional District special election, Mark Sanford has defeated Elizabeth Colbert Busch.

Not that the establishment press didn't try to help Ms. Busch, to whose background they gave little or no scrutiny. And when two forms of scrutiny did arrive from independent quarters, first of her actual beliefs expressed in tweets before she or someone associated with her deleted them, and then this weekend of her past jailing on contempt charges during a messy divorce, they chose to ignore it.

May 6, 2013, 11:07 PM EDT

A New York Times story posted online Sunday evening and appearing at Column 1 on Page 1 in today's print edition included a picture of 1995 Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh -- hardly a jihadist, at least not directly -- alongside that of three real jihadists: alleged Ft. Hood mass murderer Nidal Hasan, foiled Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad, and accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Another curiosity is the difference between the official headline of Scott Shane's report ("A Homemade Style of Terror: Jihadists Push New Tactics") and the browser window title ("Terrorists Find Online Education for Attacks"). That's interesting, because the presence of the "online education" and the following paragraphs in Shane's report effectively punch a gaping hole in the official meme, most strongly propagated by Boston Mayor Tom Menino and President Barack Obama, that Tsarnaev and his now-dead brother Tamerlan "acted alone":

May 6, 2013, 9:54 PM EDT

In a web interview after his appearance on ABC's “This Week” yesterday, former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, who suddenly withdrew after being nominated by President Barack Obama to be his first Secretary of Commerce in 2009, was asked the following about freshman U.S. Senator Ted Cruz: "Do you think he represents most Hispanics with his politics?"

His answer (video is at link) follows the jump:

May 5, 2013, 8:36 PM EDT

Time was, several decades ago, that local and regional news in many parts of the country served as a bit of an antidote against the relentlessly biased national establishment press.

That certainly isn't the case in Aurora, Colorado, site of last year's horrible theater murders at the alleged hands of James Holmes. Dave Perry, the editor of the Aurora Sentinel, wrote a column on April 25 proving that he is not fit to hold his current position, especially when it comes to overseeing reporting on Second Amendment matters. Among other things, he characterized the National Rifle Association as "the real terrorist threat here in America" whose members are "guilty monsters" who should be "sent to Guantanamo Bay for all eternity" (bolds are mine; HT Instapundit):

May 5, 2013, 7:37 PM EDT

It's not often that yours truly visits Huffington Post. One of those rare occasions occurred early today as I was preparing the post (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) about South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian relishing the idea that his party's candidate for Palmetto State Governor in 2014 might send current Republican Governor Nikki Haley "back to wherever the hell she came from."

In writing about Harpootlian's response to the controversy over his insensitive and arguably racist and nativist remark, HuffPo's Alana Horowitz, who serves as its Front Page Editor, wrote that Haley "is no stranger to scrutiny over her ethnic and religious background." To what sort of "scrutiny" did Horowitz refer involving Haley's "ethnic and religious background"? See after the jump:

May 5, 2013, 10:40 AM EDT

The latest insensitive and arguably racist public utterance coming from the supposed party of tolerance and compassion comes from a Democrat in South Carolina. But not just any Democrat. This one is Dick Harpootlian, the Chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party. Harpootlian has a history of making outrageously offensive public remarks about South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, yet he remained as party chairman until (according to Politico) his term ended on Saturday.

Mediaite, Politico, and almost no one else in the establishment press has reported that Harpootlian, speaking at a Jefferson-Jackson dinner Friday night just before Vice President Joe Biden appeared, said while introducing South Carolina gubernatorial candidate Vincent Sheheen (as carried at Mediaite; HT Instapundit): "In about 18 months from now,” he said, “hopefully he’ll have sent Nikki Haley back to wherever the hell she came from."

May 4, 2013, 9:12 PM EDT

Give Nancy Cook at NationalJournal.com credit for a generally well-written though somewhat naive report ("Forget the Unemployment Rate: The Alarming Stat Is the Number of 'Missing Workers'") on the unprecedented plight of the millions of adults who have dropped out of the labor force.

But in discussing the "glaring caveat" in Friday's employment report from the government, namely that "the 'labor force participation rate' held steady in April at 63.3 percent—the lowest level since 1979," she missed a major source of the rise in the rate to a record level in the late-1990s. She also left readers otherwise unaware of the actual history with the impression that the rate has been "on a gradual decline" since then, which is simply not the case.

April 30, 2013, 11:34 PM EDT

Today, The Newspaper Guild & Communications Workers of America issued a statement which began as follows: "Recently you’ve seen many petitions asking that Warren Buffett and his executives not be allowed to buy the Tribune Company’s newspapers. We understand why Buffett's group breeds this distrust. They are active political proponents of harsh left-wing positions. We’re also not certain that Tribune will listen to anything but money when the final decision is made."

Of course, I'm kidding. The statement at the Guild/CWA, which we should never forget outspokenly supported, endorsed and for a time actively participated in the crime-infested, disgusting, violent Occupy movement during 2011 and early 2012, was about the eeeevil Koch brothers' apparent interest in purchasing the Tribune's group of publications (HT Jim Romenesko via Hot Air headlines):

April 30, 2013, 10:43 PM EDT

How do you know when a Democratic politician's or candidate's quote will either hurt that person or hurt President Obama (in this case, it's the latter)? When the Politico reports it, and the Associated Press avoids it.

Elizabeth Colbert Busch, who is running against former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford for the congressional seat opened up when Tim Scott was appointed to replace Jim DeMint, apparently felt the need to appeal to those who oppose ObamaCare during a debate on Monday evening. Here's what she said, according to Politico's David Nather and Darren Samuelsohn:

April 30, 2013, 9:35 PM EDT

You've got hand it to some (probably most) of the reporters at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press. Their story is that the economy is all right, and by gosh, they're sticking to it.

Tom Raum's dispatch yesterday is a case in point. Along the way, he pulled out several of the tired spin-driven claims which have long since been taken down but which haven't yet penetrated the skulls of low-information voters. Raum and AP seem puzzled that the supposedly okey-dokey economy doesn't seem to be helping President Obama or Democrats' 2014 congressional and senatorial election prospects (bolds and numbered tags are mine):