By Tom Blumer | February 6, 2016 | 7:25 PM EST

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin referred to Madeleine Albright's somewhat well-known saying, found on a Starbucks coffee cup, that "There's a special place in Hell for women who don't help other women." At the time, Albright, who served as Secretary of State under Bill Clinton, huffed: "Though I am flattered that Governor Palin has chosen to cite me as a source of wisdom, what I said had nothing to do with politics." She naturally followed that statement with an intense political attack on Palin and GOP presidential nominee John McCain.

Now that Democrat Hillary Clinton is running for president and is in danger of losing the New Hampshire primary by a substantial margin, Albright has decided that her statement has everything to do with politics, and that women who don't support Mrs. Clinton's candidacy and vote for her deserve that "special place in Hell."

By Tom Blumer | February 4, 2016 | 9:49 AM EST

On Wednesday, Christopher Rugaber at the Associated Press was tasked with covering ADP's morning report on January private-sector payrolls. At 8:15 a.m., the payroll and benefits giant estimated that the economy added 205,000 seasonally adjusted private-sector jobs last month.

Rugaber also attended the 8:30 a.m. conference call which followed the report's release. It's clear that he was on it because his coverage, time-stamped at 9:18 a.m., contains quotes from economist Mark Zandi dealing with a key topic the sunnyside-up Moody's economist addresssed in that call. So why did the AP economics writer fail to report Zandi's acknowledgment that fourth-quarter economic growth, which the government estimated was an annualized 0.7 percent on Friday, could close in on zero in its February or March revision?

By Tom Blumer | January 31, 2016 | 11:45 AM EST

Those in the press who have insisted that the "Ferguson effect" is an urban legend will have a hard time explaining why the two cities with the most potential to be affected by this supposedly mythical phenomenon now have murder rates among the top 20 in the entire world.

St. Louis, Missouri, next door to Ferguson, where a leftist-"inspired" campaign of "protests," civil disorder and rioting began in August 2014, came in at Number 15, with a rate of 59 murders per 100,000 residents. The city's 188 murders in 2015 were up from 159 in 2014 and 120 in 2013. Baltimore, Maryland, where Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake infamously admitted in April 2015, as public safety was deteriorating in her city, that "we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that," was Number 19, with 344 murders (a rate of 55 per 100,000).

By Tom Blumer | January 30, 2016 | 11:56 PM EST

Observers can be excused for thinking that the politicial establishment is preparing the battlespace to convince us plebes that progress and economic growth are overrated. (That's sort of odd for people who call themselves "progressives," but making sense is not their strong suit.)

How interesting, for example, that Northwestern University economist Robert Gordon's book, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, was released on January 12, even though, as Bloomberg writer Noah Smith notes, Gordon "has been going around for several years making ... (the) case (that) ... the golden days of growth are over." Just in time for the arrival of a more visibly weak economy, Gordon's premise has been getting wildly disproportionate press attention. Smith goes further in his "Economic Growth Isn't Everything" column, referring to "the illusion of stagnation" (i.e., don't believe those weak stats, even if they go negative; everything is really fine), while reminding us of the supposedly marvelous things government has done and supposedly can still do for us.

By Tom Blumer | January 30, 2016 | 10:25 AM EST

Friday morning, the government reported that the economy grew at a pathetic annual rate of 0.7 percent in last year's final quarter.

As it did in covering the disappointing Christmas shopping season, the business press partially blamed yesterday's awful result on the weather, i.e., warm weather.

By Tom Blumer | January 29, 2016 | 11:59 PM EST

This afternoon, Catherine Herridge at Fox News reported that "the intelligence community has deemed some of Hillary Clinton’s emails 'too damaging' to national security to release under any circumstances."

This eighth "smoking gun" — on top of the seven an Investor's Business Daily editorial identified last week — wasn't enough to move the Associated Press Bradley Klapper from the AP's default position virtually since Mrs. Clinton's private email server was discovered, naturally referencing unidentified "independent experts," namely that "it's unlikely Clinton will be charged with wrongdoing."

By Tom Blumer | January 28, 2016 | 11:55 PM EST

The Associated Press may be down to one person in the whole wide world who will tell its economics reporters what they want to hear when the federal government releases economic data. That's what you almost have to conclude after reading the wire service's reports on two of Thursday's major releases, namely last week's initial unemployment claims and December's durable goods orders and shipments.

The only outside source AP reporters Christopher Rugaber and Martin Crutsinger consulted in their respective reports about initial claims and durables was one Ian Shepherdson, chief economist with Pantheon Macroeconomics. Naturally, Sheperdson was sunnyside-up despite relatively troubling news in each area.

By Tom Blumer | January 28, 2016 | 8:32 AM EST

The hype machine was in overdrive at the Associated Press on Wednesday as economics reporter Josh Boak covered the government's mid-morning release on new-home sales.

Boak opened by writing that "Americans rushed to buy new homes in December at the strongest pace in 10 months." Good heavens, we're talking about only 38,000 individuals or families, or about 0.031 percent of the nation's roughly 123 million households. While that's a bit of an improvement over previous months — which is why that number converted to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 544,000, the highest figure since February — it's hardly the stampede implied by the AP reporter's use of the word "rushed."

By Tom Blumer | January 28, 2016 | 12:00 AM EST

Critics who warned in 2010 that the odious Dodd-Frank law's Consumer Financial Protection Bureau would become a rogue agency which would become a largely unaccountable behemoth on a mission to create problems where none exist could not have been more correct.

Sadly, searches on terms relevant to one of the agency's latest controversies involving the distribution of funds in a two year-old auto-loan industry settlement indicate that only two media outlets have given it any attention; separately, a search at the Associated Press on the agency's name also returns nothing relevant. Those two sources are the Daily Caller, whose January 21 story first reported that "White loan borrowers are collecting settlement proceeds ... intended for black, Hispanic and Asian people," and a Monday Investor's Business Daily editorial. That's it.

By Tom Blumer | January 27, 2016 | 1:03 AM EST

Barely making the Associated Press's top 10 U.S. stories list shortly after 11 p.m. Eastern Time is a story about the arrest and indictment of Samy Mohamed Hamzeh in Milwaukee. With informants posting as co-conspirators, Hamzeh intended to carry out a massacre of "at least 30 people" at "a Masonic temple in Milwaukee," intending to kill "everyone they saw," and to then "walk away from the scene as if nothing had happened."

It's clear from the AP story by Greg Moore and Todd Richmond that the pair read the actual indictment, as they grabbed quotes from Hamzeh found there which are not present in the joint Department of Justice/FBI press release. What's odd is that they used one of them twice, while they chose to ignore other provocative statements quoted in the indictment.

By Tom Blumer | January 25, 2016 | 7:09 PM EST

In an unexpected development which may ultimately qualify as a "be careful what you wish for" exercise, the District Attorney in Harris County, Texas, whose county seat is Houston, has indicted Center for Medical Progress videographers David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt.

Yes you read that right, via coverage in the Houston Chronicle (bolds are mine):

By Tom Blumer | January 25, 2016 | 5:28 PM EST

Over the past several months, economics reporters at the Associated Press have told us time and time and time again that the U.S. economy is "largely insulated" from adverse economic developments overseas.

So why is the AP's Martin Crutsinger going along with the now-shifting conventional "wisdom" that Janet Yellen's Federal Reserve may have to defer implementing additional interest-rate increases for quite some time because of what the wire service headlined as a "darker global economy"? The obvious answer is that the U.S. economy is also weak, and the business press simply won't admit it.