Tom Blumer was a contributing editor for NewsBusters.
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 was with NewsBusters from December 2005 to July 2018. Along the way, he's had a decades-long career in accounting, finance, training and development.
Latest from Tom Blumer
Threatening and violent social media posts and overt actions against Trump administration officials and their families have escalated sharply in recent days. Apparently, some are taking the lack of outrage as permission for expanding the scope of their efforts. Thus, it's not enough to threaten the President's 12 year-old son Barron, as Peter Fonda did. This week, a Canadian TV writer threatened his four-year-old granddaughter. What's next? Cousins and in-laws? This incident has received some press coverage — in the UK, but virtually none in the U.S. establishment press.
Double standards were on wide display Saturday after a Lexington, Virginia restaurant owner's Friday evening refusal to serve White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. The Sanders incident has garnered a great deal of press attention, apparently because the she reacted to the incident on Twitter.
An obviously agenda-driven report on extreme poverty from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights accuses the U.S. under the Trump administration of, in the UN group's words, "becoming a champion of inequality." It also claims that, because of its policies, "the American dream is rapidly becoming the American illusion." As one might expect, many the press have eagerly relayed the UN group's Trump-blaming findings, even though the statistics undergirding the UN group's efforts predate Donald Trump's inauguration.
On Wednesday's edition of The Five on Fox news, Juan Williams passed off Peter Fonda's overtly threatening tweet wishing that 12-year-old Barron Trump should "be put in a cage with pedophiles" as "poorly worded." He also claimed that his fellow hosts were "taking delight" in the appearance of Fonda's series of threatening tweets, because talking about them "takes away from the conversation focusing on what President Trump did."
The narratives surrounding the 2-year-old girl photographed crying at the U.S.-Mexico border have imploded so completely that it couldn't possibly get more embarrassing, right? Wrong. A later segment of CBS's This Morning revealed that young Yanela Denise Hernandez's mother, Sandra Sanchez, was deported in 2013.
Pictures may sometimes be worth 1,000 words, but they often either don't tell the whole story or tell a misleading one. Significant issues have emerged with what the press has read into the "iconic" photo taken of a crying two year-old taken at the U.S.-Mexico border by Getty Images photographer John Moore. The most important one, according to a UK Daily Mail interview with the girl's father left behind in Honduras with the couple's other three children, is that mother and daughter "were never separated by border control agents and remain together."
Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson announced Tuesday that the nation's number 3 fast-food outlet (by number of locations) is closing 150 U.S. stores. It's not difficult to read Johnson's comments as indicating that the shuttered stores will primarily be in "blue" or liberal sections of the U.S. At the same time, he has specifically targeted "middle America and the South" for expansion. The business press isn't even trying to make the obvious connection between Johnson's announcement and the respective presence or absence of high minimum-wage laws and excessive regulation.
The press has gone into hyperbolic overdrive criticizing the Trump administration for separating families caught illegally crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. They clearly want the public, against all evidence, to believe that questionable processing of illegal-immigrant children and their families only began after Donald Trump took office last year. But in January 2016, the Associated Press, the Washington Post, and a Senate committee issued lengthy reports about unaccompanied children who were released to human traffickers. White House reporters, particularly at AP, utterly failed to push the Obama administration over how this was allowed to happen.
The establishment press, which never seems to miss a chance to highlight conflict among Republicans and conservatives, is ignoring a major dispute involving two of the left's most prominent organizations: The SEIU and Planned Parenthood. The union has tried to organize workers at the Rocky Mountains affiliate of the nation's largest abortion provider. Planned Parenthood is not pleased with the unionization effort, and has run to — get this — the Trump administration's National Labor Relations Board in an attempt to stop it. None of this is news at national establishment press outlets, or even at the local Denver Post.
In an interview posted on Wednesday, Hollywood Director Rob Reiner criticized Robert De Niro's profane, F-bomb Tony Awards speech aimed at President Donald Trump because such antics end up "helping Trump." (He didn't mention that the crowd's gleeful applause and Hollywood elitists' support on social media for De Niro's rant contributed mightily to "helping Trump.") On Howard Kurtz's Sunday Media Buzz show, Reiner demonstrated his obvious belief that any other direct or indirect criticism of Trump, no matter how unhinged or utterly divorced from reality — a long as it contains no profanity — is just fine.
Appearing to take the show's host by surprise, Henry Cuellar, a Democrat in Texas's congressional delegation contended Saturday on CNN that in 2014, the conditions at detention centers holding unaccompanied and separated illegal-immigrant children were "kept quiet under the Obama Administration." That's probably correct, but it should also be noted that enough info had leaked out that that the press, if it had been genuinely interested, could have investigated matters further, and clearly didn't.
The Wall Street Journal's Kimberley Strassel appeared on Tucker Carlson's Fox News show Friday to discuss Thursday's Inspector General report on "Various Actions by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice in Advance of the 2016 Election." She made the big-picture point most of the rest of the press is either ignoring or denying, namely that the IG has delivered "a searing indictment of the entire FBI and its culture."
David Leonhardt's Friday New York Times column about President Donald Trump's reactions to the Inspector General's report on the FBI's and Department of Justice's pre-2016 general election actions is treating it as a blanket exoneration. Therefore, everything Presidential Donald Trump has said about it is a lie.
Thursday's Inspector General's report reviewing FBI and Department of Justice actions before the 2016 election effectively concluded that former President Barack Obama lied to the American people and committed illegal acts in emailing then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's private-server email addresses. The IG also found that former FBI Director James Comey scrubbed all hints of Obama's prior knowledge from his July 2016 statement explaining why Mrs. Clinton would not be indicted for her illegal acts.
Tucker Carlson attempted to interview former DNC Press Secretary Jose Aristimuno on his Tuesday Fox News program. The effort quickly degenerated into a shouting match. Carson asked his guest to comment on the frightening situation at William Wirt Middle School in Prince George’s County, Maryland, where MS-13 members have made it "a ticking time bomb." Rather than respond substantively to Carlson's question, Aristimuno played the racism card.
The press is simplistically treating South Carolina Congressman Mark Sanford's Tuesday Republican primary loss as exemplifying the price one pays if one doesn't learn, per the Associated Press, "not to cross (President Donald) Trump." A closer look at Sanford's history illustrates that this is a classic case of sudden media respect which ignores why Sanford was so vulnerable.
On Monday evening Pacific Time, former Washington Post reporter Jose Antonio Vargas posted a photo on Twitter of children inside a cage. He assumed that the photo depicted unaccompanied illegal-immigrant children recently detained by ICE. He was wrong; but as of late Wednesday morning, he has from all appearances only indirectly admitted his error. An alleged "fact-check" at Snopes.com would not declare that Vargas's obviously fake-news tweet was false. Instead, it absurdly declared that the photo involved had only been "Miscaptioned."
Seattle's $275-per-employee "Head Tax" (EHT), which was to be levied against every business with over $20 million in revenue, was repealed on Tuesday by a 7-2 City Council vote. City leaders' abrupt repeal occurred when it became obvious that a referendum effort would gather far more than enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot. In a 1 p.m. ET Associated Press dispatch published before the vote, Amazon-obsessed reporter Phuong Le was extraordinarily bitter and hostile.
Venezuela's descent under Bolivarian socialist President and de facto dictator Nicolas Maduro has achieved yet another grim milestone. This time it's the return of polio, on top of other previously eradicated diseases including diphtheria, tuberculosis, measles, and malaria. The return of polio has caught the attention of some in the international press in the past few days, but only one of over a dozen related English stories found in early Monday afternoon Eastern Time Google News searches identified the nation or its leader as socialist. Also as of Monday afternoon, there was no coverage at major U.S. news outlets.
https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/17pdf/16-980_f2q3.pdfMonday afternoon, the Associated Press covered the just-released Supreme Court decision on Ohio's voter-roll purging procedures. Both the APNews.com tease and reporter Mark Sherman's content misled readers by stating that the Court, in upholding those procedures, had declared that "States can target people who haven’t cast ballots in a while in efforts to purge their voting rolls." Since when is trying to make sure that voters still live where they say they live is a form of "targeting"? And since when is six years "a while"?