By Tom Blumer | February 11, 2016 | 5:28 PM EST

The Federal Reserve, Fed Chair Janet Yellen, and the ever-cooperative Associated Press have a message for America: "If there's an economic downturn, even one that turns into a recession, it's going to be the rest of the world's fault. The U.S. economy is fine, and it will stay fine if everybody else doesn't ruin it."

As the AP's Martin Crutsinger reported today ("YELLEN: TOO EARLY TO DETERMINE IMPACT OF GLOBAL DEVELOPMENTS"), Yellen told members of the Senate Banking Committee that, in Crutsinger's words, "that global economic pressures pose risks to the U.S. economy," and that the Fed will wait until its next meeting to see "how much economic weakness and falling markets around the world have hamstrung U.S. growth." Folks, to "hamstring" growth, you've got to have growth, and the best estimates at the moment are telling us that at the end of last year there either wasn't any, or that it barely existed.

By Tom Blumer | February 11, 2016 | 2:27 PM EST

As Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential effort has weakened, many on the left in fairly prominent places have begun releasing years of pent-up frustrations about her, her husband, and their record. At long last, the long knives are beginning to come out.

Many of these missives are unhinged, but one which isn't, and deserves a closer look, comes from Camille Paglia at Salon.com. Given that Paglia's views don't neatly check off all of the far-left boxes, the fact that Salon has Paglia back for biweekly commentary on "the presidential race, the culture world, and everything in between" after a four-year hiatus is quite telling. Meanwhile, readers can count on the establishment press hanging on to Hillary as long as they can, while ignoring the mostly excellent points Paglia strenuously made early this morning.

By Tom Blumer | February 10, 2016 | 11:56 PM EST

If you're a couple of reporters at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, it's one thing to be personally disappointed and even upset at yesterday's move by the Supreme Court to grant a stay to states challenging the "Clean Power Plan" regulation issued by the Obama administration's Environmental Protection Agency last October.

It's quite another thing to falsely portray what occurred and the related impacts, which is what AP reporters Michael Biesecker and Sam Hananel most certainly did early Wednesday morning. The nature of their dispatch, which emphasized the administration's defiant reaction, likely contributed to TV networks' decisions to ignore or downplay what the Court did, choices which Julia Seymour at NewsBusters noted earlier today.

By Tom Blumer | February 10, 2016 | 8:49 PM EST

A truly annoying trend among leftist writers whose work appears exclusively online is their tendency to write a clickbait headline which either has nothing or almost nothing to do with the related post's content, or directly contradicts it.

On Monday, following the Carolina Panthers' poor Super Bowl performance, Salon.com writer Nathaniel Friedman's headline claimed that "Racist vitriol pours down on Cam Newton: Single-minded haters rush to judgment after a rough Super Bowl." Friedman's column provided zero evidence of "racist vitriol." Two days later, in the wake of Hillary Clinton's shellacking in the New Hampshire primary by Bernie Sanders, Janell Ross's headline at the Washington Post's "The Fix" blog told readers not to "blame Madeleine Albright and Gloria Steinem" for contributing to Mrs. Clinton's debacle — again, without any supporting evidence.

By Tom Blumer | February 9, 2016 | 2:54 PM EST

The headline at Nathaniel Friedman's Monday column at Salon.com is unmistakably clear: "Racist vitriol pours down on Cam Newton: Single-minded haters rush to judgment after a rough Super Bowl." Naturally, I went there expecting a long series of hateful tweets, social media references or other comments.

Friedman's column content, however, has no reference to "racism" at all — or to "racists," or even to "race." Perhaps the far-left website expected the writer to cover that topic, and then he didn't. Or perhaps the money-bleeding operation just wanted to put a clickbait headline out there to garner traffic. Regardless of how or why it happened, the headline's presence is irresponsible, as Friedman didn't even look at the criticism of Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton's relatively poor play and post-game conduct through a racial prism at all.

By Tom Blumer | February 9, 2016 | 8:56 AM EST

On Friday, in its January Employment Situation Summary, the government's Bureau of Labor Statistics served up a stack of lemons disguised as lemonade. President Barack Obama declared in a tweet that "We've recovered from the worst economic crisis since the 1930s," and the press dutifully fell in line.

The BLS reported that the economy added seasonally adjusted 151,000 payroll jobs and that the unemployment rate fell to 4.9 percent. As has been their habit for years, business reporters failed to label either key data point as "seasonally adjusted," even though they routinely apply that label to most other government data in their dispatches on the economy. The business press almost never looks at the raw (i.e., not seasonally adjusted) figures in any area. If they had looked at last Friday's raw jobs data, they would have wondered how the BLS could possibly have reported such a large number of additional seasonally adjusted jobs.

By Tom Blumer | February 7, 2016 | 5:43 PM EST

Hillary Clinton's campaign is in a place it doesn't want to be, and the New York Times really, really wants to help. Yesterday, Madeleine Albright told a New Hampshire audience at a Clinton rally that "there's a special place in Hell" for women who don't support Hillary. Her outrageous attempt to shame women into voting for Mrs. Clinton followed Gloria Steinem's Friday appearance on Bill Maher's HBO show, during which the 81 year-old feminist dismissed young women who support Bernie Sanders as only doing so because "That's where the boys are."

The blowback from these statements brought an emergency late Sunday morning Times dispatch. Reporter Alan Rappeport's ability to conduct damage control was limited, given that Albright and Steinem are on videotape saying what they said. In the process of trying, it appears that Rappeport and the Times may have done additional damage by uniting Albright's and Steinem's separate assertions in a common theme.

By Tom Blumer | February 7, 2016 | 12:36 PM EST

The past week has been tough on Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. The 2016 primaries and caucuses were supposed to be a coronation, not a a contest. They've seen that some of Joe Biden's donors, dissatisfied with the prospect of Mrs. Clinton or Bernie Sanders at the top of the Democratic ticket, want the Vice President to seriously consider jumping in. The sight of supporters at the Iowa headquarters of Bernie Sanders shouting "She's a Liar" as Mrs. Clinton appeared on TV on the night of that state's caucuses had to be unnerving.

What's really getting to Team Clinton more than anything else is how poorly she is faring among young people, particularly young women. It's so bad that "feminist" icon Gloria Steinem hauled out a tired, decades-old line so offensive that if a male candidate on the left or right were to use it, his political career would be over the instant the words left his mouth.

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 | February 3, 2016 | 11:24 PM EST

One of the economy's more important bellwethers has been on a steep year-long decline which shows no signs of abating this year. It's barely news, and much of the sparse reporting seen has been incomplete and sloppy.

Truckinginfo.com reported today that "January was a tough month for truck manufacturers as Class 8 truck orders were down 35% compared to the previous month, according to a preliminary report from ACT Research." This follows a 2015 calendar year during which total orders came in 25 percent lower than 2014. A Google News search indicates that only Reuters and the Wall Street Journal found this information important enough to cover. Reuters might as well not have bothered, given the sloppiness of its report as carried at CNBC:

By Tom Blumer | February 3, 2016 | 6:36 PM EST

A great deal was made of Facebook's announcement last week that it would ban private gun sales on both its flagship website and Instagram.

Readers who only followed establishment press accounts can be forgiven if they came away from most reports thinking that the firm has some kind of algorithm or recognition system for enforcing the ban. That's not so.