By Tom Blumer | November 27, 2015 | 11:24 PM EST

Twenty years of economic growth averaging less than 1 percent have failed to convince Japan's leaders — and apparently its citizens — that Keynesian-style government spending and handouts are not the answer to turning that long-suffering nation's economy around.

So the Shinzo Abe government, fresh from learning that the country is in yet another recession — its fifth since 2008 — is doing more of the same, while counting on press shills around the world like the Associated Press's Elaine Kurtenbach to be gentle in their coverage. Kurtenbach cooperated as expected early Friday morning (bolds and numbered tags are mine):

By Tom Blumer | November 24, 2015 | 6:32 PM EST

Call it the triumph of the "new normal."

At Reuters today, after today's first revision of third-quarter gross domestic product showed that the economy grew by an annualized 2.1 percent, up from the late-October estimate of 1.5 percent, reporter Lucia Mutikani and Editor Paul Simao demonstrated that they have completely given in to the artificially lowered expectations of past seven miserable years. Despite the fact that annual growth in the U.S. economy averaged 3.4 percent from 1946-2007 — a period which included ten recessions — and that it has seen four-year spurts averaging over 4 percent several times in the past three decades, the Reuters pair claims that its "long-run potential" is now only 2 percent, thus making today's 2.1 percent result "respectable."

By Tom Blumer | November 23, 2015 | 1:56 PM EST

Gosh, this gets tiresome.

Once again, with one noteworthy exception, the business press's virtually blind acceptance of seasonally adjusted economic data, and its accompanying refusal to look at the underlying raw data, led it to paint a deceptive picture of an important element of the economy. This time, it was existing home sales for October. The seasonally adjusted annual rate for October reported by the National Association of Realtors this morning is almost 4 percent higher than seen in October 2014. The trouble is, the raw sales data show an increase of less than 1 percent.

By Ken Shepherd | November 18, 2015 | 5:54 PM EST

Pulling an Officer Barbrady, the Reuters news wire this afternoon essentially told us all to "move along, people" as regards news of five Syrians caught in Honduras bound for the U.S. with fake Greek passports.

By Tom Blumer | November 16, 2015 | 12:35 AM EST

Japan's two-decade romance with Keynesian economics has led to another betrayal — and yet the press and all the supposedly smart economists and analysts seem to believe that just one more fling might bring about a different result.

The Land of the Rising Sun, aka the Land of the Two-Decade Zombie Economy, has just reported an annualized contraction of 0.8 percent in the third quarter. The decline, following a revised 0.7 percent second-quarter downturn, means that the country is once again in a recession — its second in three years (Update: And fifth since 2008). Oh, but don't worry. It's no big deal. The Associated Press insists that it's only a "technical" recession, and more Keynesian "stimulus" could set things right — even though such measures, in place to varying degrees since the 1990s, have consistently failed to bring about sustained, meaningful recoveries:

By Tom Blumer | October 31, 2015 | 10:47 PM EDT

On Thursday, the government reported that the nation's economy turned in yet another quarter of poor economic performance, estimating that its gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 1.5 percent in the third quarter.

The business press almost universally downplayed the news, and told readers that the fourth quarter will be better. No one talked about how much the tepid growth of the past six-plus years since the recession officially ended has been sacrificed in the name of misguided and dangerous Keynesian stimulus. As is so often the case, an editorial at Investor's Business Daily did that, performing a job the press has consistently refused to do.

By Tom Blumer | October 30, 2015 | 2:12 PM EDT

The government's Personal Income and Outlays report for September bore more evidence of a slowing economy. Consumer spending rose by only 0.1 percent, trailing expectations of 0.2 percent. That's troubling news, given that the optimists believe that strong consumer spending will supposedly drive stronger fourth-quarter economic growth.

Lucia Mutikani's coverage at Reuters made a common error in explaining the importance of consumer spending, made a significant technical error in describing the report's contents, and ignored a very disturbing item present in the government report's detail (related items are tagged [1], [2] and [3], respectively, in the excerpt following the jump; bolds are mine):

By Tom Blumer | October 24, 2015 | 10:30 PM EDT

The news coming out of Detroit about near-deadline negotiations between the United Auto Workers union and General Motors has been pretty quiet. As the Sunday 11:59 p.m. deadline approaches, the Associated Press only has a four-paragraph blurb indicating that the union wants to get a richer package than it just garnered in negotiations with Fiat Chrysler. A Reuters report goes into detail about GM's cost structure still being higher than that seen at Toyota's and Nissan's U.S. plants by about 15 percent and 31 percent, respectively. The New York Times is only carrying reports from the wires.

One note of substance about the UAW's strategy covered at Bloomberg News — surely known to others following the industry who are filing bland reports — is that it plans to milk the unemployment insurance system in the event of a protracted strike.

By Tony Perkins | October 10, 2015 | 11:27 AM EDT

In the largest security detail in American history, there's no such thing as a "chance" meeting. But that's exactly what the media is claiming took place between Pope Francis and Kentucky's Kim Davis. Frustrated by the Pope's obvious support for the jailed clerk, the press is stirring up speculation about whether the conversation even took place.

By Randy Hall | October 7, 2015 | 6:55 PM EDT

With former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton losing ground in virtually every poll, it looks like she and her campaign staff have decided that answering a question posed by a long-time reporter is not as important as responding to the same query from an "average voter."

That was apparently the case on Monday evening, when Bloomberg Politics reporter Mark Halperin received no answer from the Democratic presidential candidate when he asked if she had a message for the National Rifle Association.

By Tom Blumer | October 3, 2015 | 10:02 PM EDT

On Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke at the United Nations. As described by George Jahn at the Associated Press, it was "an impassioned speech interspersed with bouts of dramatic silence."

Jahn failed to report the absence of U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power and Secretary of State John Kerry. So did Rick Gladstone and Judi Rudoren at the New York Times. An unbylined Reuters report drily noted that U.S. representation at Netanyahu's speech consisted of "Ambassador Samantha Power's deputy, David Pressman, and U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro." Breitbart also noted the presence of "Richard Erdman, Alternate Representative to the UN General Assembly." Reuters uniquely explained why Power and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who was in town, did not attend (bolds are mine throughout this post):

By Tom Blumer | September 20, 2015 | 9:55 AM EDT

We've been told for over 20 years — at least since pundits falsely claimed that "angry white men" drove the GOP takeover of Congress in 1994 — that Republicans and conservatives have far more issues with anger than liberals and socialists. In the the 2016 presidential election cycle, current frontrunner Republican Donald Trump and especially his supporters have often been described in media reports as "angry," while the left's candidates and followers have largely avoided that tag.

So it's worth noting that Dan Hill, in a guest column at Reuters, claims that the really angry candidate in this election cycle is none other than socialist Bernie Sanders. What's more, an item published in August at confirms that Sanders is also a serially angry guy in his daily dealings.