By Tom Blumer | November 24, 2015 | 3:09 PM EST

There was yet another sighting of the U-word ("unexpectedly") in connection with disappointing economic news today.

Bloomberg News, which most frequently employs the word, told readers that "Consumer confidence unexpectedly declined in November to the lowest level in more than a year as Americans grew less enthusiastic about the labor-market outlook." Expectations were that confidence would increase from October's value of 99.1 to between 99.6 and 101.0, not drop like a rock in just one month by almost 9 percent to 90.4. Over at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, Economics writer Josh Boak clearly wanted his readers to believe that the news was a one-off "curveball" in an economy which he contended "has strengthened by many measures over the past month." All one can say is that he must not be looking at the same economy as the rest of us.

By Tom Blumer | November 12, 2015 | 11:55 PM EST

The "fact-checking" press has become a parody of itself during the past several years.

It's not only because of their irritating penchant for putting statements by Republicans and conservatives under a twisted microscope while ignoring drop-dead obvious falsehoods delivered by Democrats and leftists. It's because, among other things, the fact-checkers often admit that a statement is true, but then proceed to essentially say, "So what?" They also take policy goals articulated by candidates, which may or may not come to pass, render an opinion that it can't be done, and then pretend that they've actually proven something. An example of each annoying habit was found in Tuesday evening's Associated Press "fact check" of statements made by Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush during the most recent Republican presidential candidates' debate.

By Tom Blumer | November 12, 2015 | 10:58 AM EST

Tuesday evening, Associated Press economics writers Christopher Rugaber and Josh Boak attempted to "fact check" statements made by candidates at the just-completed Republican presidential debate.

Claiming that "The fourth Republican presidential debate was thick on economic policy — and with that came a variety of flubs and funny numbers," the two writers botched at least half of the six points they tried to make. Their most obvious economic error concerned the impact of minimum-wage increases (I will cover two others in a future post):

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 Clay Waters | October 28, 2015 | 10:52 AM EDT

The New York Times proudly unveiled on the front of its Sunday May 10 issue an"expose" of nail salons in Manhattan by Sarah Maslin Nir, "The Price of Nice Nails" (Nir also criticized white "gentrification" among Hurricane Sandy volunteers in 2012.) The first part focused on alleged "rampant exploitation" of workers, and is causing major damage to a local industry composed mostly of lower class Asian workers. In her expose, privileged white reporter Nir certainly did her own part for "gentrification," helping heap onerous regulatory burdens on nail salons and hurting the mostly Asian workforce with a set of misleading articles. And the workers are responding with protests at NYT Co. headquarters.

By Tom Blumer | October 22, 2015 | 4:13 PM EDT

If a Republican or conservative was in the White House, the Associated Press's Martin Crutsinger would have found a reason to be unimpressed in his dispatch today about how low initial unemployment claims continue to be, even as hiring has been slowing down. (Ideally, reporters should just relay the facts and leave the theorizing out of their stories, but that ship has sadly long since sailed.)

Crutsinger exhibited no real curiosity because a Democrat is in the White House. Therefore, it's left to New Media to at least get the alternative ideas out there; a contributor at the contrarian blog Zero Hedge did that several days ago. After the jump, readers will find most of Crutsinger's report covering the Department of Labor's initial claims release today, and a healthly chunk of the just-mentioned Zero Hedge analysis.

By Brad Wilmouth | October 14, 2015 | 1:11 PM EDT

On Wednesday's CNN Newsroom with Carol Costello, during a discussion of the Democratic presidential debate, liberal CNN political analyst Marc Lamont Hill defended Bernie Sanders' socialist views and griped about Hillary Clinton apparently taking a jab at the Vermont Senator as the CNN analyst complained that "she's playing to people's insecurities and fears," and "play[ing] to the cheap seats."

By Dan Gainor | September 30, 2015 | 12:13 AM EDT

How do you spell hypocrisy? W-a-s-h-i-n-g-t-o-n P-o-s-t.

The Washington, D.C., paper of record has spent the past year filling bird cages and landfills with stories about income inequality – 156 in print alone and another 404 in blogs or 560 total. Subtract one of those (listed twice in LexisNexis) that included the name of billionaire Post owner Jeffrey Bezos. And that was a column by conservative George Will declaring: “Income inequality is good.”

By Tom Blumer | September 29, 2015 | 10:15 AM EDT

August's seasonally adjusted Pending Home Sales Index value contained in the related press release from the National Association of Realtors was the lowest in the past five months, and 2 percent below April's level.

Disclosing the size of the recent slump apparently wasn't considered important at the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press. What was news at AP, whose Josh Boak essentially copied NAR's release and added standard boilerplate about job growth instead of engaging in informative journalism, is that the index is up by over 6 percent from a year ago, even though that increase ended several months ago.

By Kyle Drennen | September 22, 2015 | 1:12 PM EDT

All three broadcast networks Tuesday morning seized on a pharmaceutical company hiking the price of a prescription drug in order to promote Hillary Clinton’s call for new government regulation of the industry. At the top of NBC’s Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaimed: “5,000% hike?! The young drug company CEO under fire for raising the cost of a life-saving pill overnight....The controversial decision making it all the way to the campaign trail.”

By Tom Blumer | September 19, 2015 | 10:51 PM EDT

The business press just can't understand why the Federal Reserve decided not to raise interest rates on Thursday. After all, these alleged journalists have been telling us for months bordering on years that U.S. economy is really in good shape. So it should be able to handle a rate hike, especially after over seven years of rates at essentially zero. The problem is that they now believe their own bogus blather. The U.S. economy is not in good shape, and data seen during the past several weeks show that the situation is deteriorating, not improving.

Excerpts from an early Friday report at the Associated Press by Josh Boak illustrate how out of touch the business press really is (bolds and numbered tags are mine):