Tom Blumer is 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 has been with NewsBusters since December 2005. Along the way, he's had a decades-long career in accounting, finance, training and development.
Latest from Tom Blumer
On Tuesday, the Associated Press produced a dispatch exemplifying why the public so deeply distrusts and despises the establishment press. Tasked with covering President Donald Trump's lunch with Republican senators, reporters Lisa Mascaro and Anne Flaherty decided that relaying what happened and what was discussed was relatively unimportant. Instead, in a transparent attempt to fuel controversies not germane to the event and to perpetuate the meme of a Trump presidency mired in controversy, they made their story primarily about what didn't happen and what wasn't discussed.
On Wednesday, the California Energy Commission adopted "standards requiring solar systems for new homes" beginning in 2020. Kathleen Ronayne at the Associated Press published a virtual press release celebrating the move, and presented woefully incomplete information about the alleged financial benefits of this unelected body's latest move.
In online news, there's "clickbait," a sensational headline which doesn't reflect the underlying story. The New York Daily News took that concept into the front page of its Tuesday print edition. Its headline — "DADDY'S LITTLE GHOUL" — included a photo of Ivanka Trump. The underlying article mentioned her only once in passing. We should call this "printbait."
Media outlets been hyping the recent increase in retail gas prices to nearly $3 per gallon, and primarily pinning the blame on President Trump's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear "deal." In 2012, when the price approached $4, CNN told readers that they "aren't as bad as you think," and that they weren't "a big drag on the economy" — and besides, according to the New York Times, "Gas prices are out of any president’s control."
Axios is yet another leftist website which promised "vital, trustworthy news and analysis" with "no bias" and "no nonsense" but has subsequently descended into parody. Saturday, Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei, two of the site's founders, posted "The Public Case Against Trump," allegedly a list of "known knowns" about "a damning tale that would sink most leaders." It's a colossal example of fake news.
Now-former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's serial and often violent mistreatment of women chronicled on Monday at The New Yorker is yet another example of scandalous behavior which was widely known among leaders in both the Democratic Party and the media elites that somehow never surfaced in public for years (a few of many additional examples would include former Today Show host Matt Lauer, former PBS/CBS newsman Charlie Rose, and retired NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw). The Empire State's chief law enforcement officer's abuse of women was so widely known that an associate editor at the center-right Manhattan-based City Journal predicted Schneiderman's ultimate demise six months ago.
Wednesday, CNN presented yet another story about Venezuela's implosion which did a fine job of portraying that country's human misery, this time in the oil industry. Unfortunately, it was yet another example of a story failing to mention its socialist form of government or even its leader, President Nicolas Maduro. Though such omissions have long been routine in establishment press reports, reporter Stefano Pozzebon's were particularly galling, given that the governments of Maduro and especially Hugo Chavez, his Bolivarian socialist predecessor, are entirely responsible for Venezuela's oil collapse.
Rarely does a CNN panelist come out swinging in defense of a Trump administration nominee while going after a Democratic Party senator. But on Wednesday, CNN's Philip Mudd, who like most on-air personalities at the network has been harshly critical of the Trump administration and its officials, reacted strongly to harsh questions California Democrat Kamala Harris directed at Trump CIA nominee Gina Haspel.
Ever since actress Cynthia Nixon entered the New York governor's race, current Empire State Governor Andrew Cuomo has quickly moved leftward to head off what he clearly sees as a credible Democratic primary challenge. Even though Cuomo and many in the media see him as a strong potential presidential candidate, national coverage of his moves, and especially of his unhinged rhetoric on Friday, has been light.
Since Donald Trump's election, America's late-night show hosts have abandoned genuine comedy in favor of rabid, anti-Trump resistance. That's certainly their perogative. But if that's how they want it, they should be called out when they attempt to rewrite history as Stephen Colbert did Tuesday night. The Late Show host claimed that the now-nixed Iran deal was an "American promise," and a "treaty." It was obviously neither.
Thursday morning, Hallie Jackson, NBC's White House correspondent, acted as if President Donald Trump had just invented political choreography, and that no previous presidential administration or politician has ever engaged in it. Jackson spent an inordinate amount of time describing the President's greeting of the three U.S. hostages released by North Korea as a "staged production" presented by a "former reality show producer."
The press has mostly gone off the rails in covering President Trump's proposal to rescind $15 billion in unspent funds, insisting on characterizing the move as "cuts." The competition for the worst coverage is fierce, but Andrew Taylor's story at the Associated Press, as carried at the Washington Post, probably wins the prize for the most incoherent headline: "Administration proposes cutting $15 billion in unused funds."
The establishment press appears determined to downplay the visibility of the bombshell news of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's resignation, and to avoid referring to him as a Democrat. The Associated Press avoided tagging him as a Dem in one story, and saved the tag for a very late paragraph in another. Meanwhile the Los Angeles Times found a unique solution to the problem in its Tuesday print edition: Despite being on the West Coast, it didn't cover the Schneiderman story at all.
Monday evening, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, a purported "champion of women" and an "outspoken figure in the #MeToo movement," became a pariah in barely three breathtaking hours. At 6:47 p.m., the New Yorker published "Four Women Accuse New York’s Attorney General of Physical Abuse." Just after 10 p.m., Schneiderman, a Democrat who was the nationwide point man for state-level anti-Trump "resistance," resigned. The New York Times's handling of the episode appears to betray deep disappointment.
Once again, protests against the NRA at its annual convention, this time in Dallas, have been pathetic. Turnout has been "shockingly small." One event had "maybe 100 (people), half of whom were journalists." An actress involved in the protest movement attended — accompanied by allegedly armed security guards, who illegally "chase(d) Texans out of a public park simply because they asked if she uses armed defense." Topping it all: The press has ignored the long, violent criminal record of local anti-NRA organizer Dominique Alexander.
You had to figure that a left-leaning journalist somewhere would denigrate Friday's news that the nation's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell below 4 percent for the first time since 2000. Jordan Weissmann, in a Slate.com column beginning with a headlined contention that "The Unemployment Rate Is Meaningless," came through.
Despite relatively recent Associated Press Stylebook changes mandating that elected officials' political party "should be routinely included" in stories about them, the wire service appears to be backsliding. On Saturday, I noted the wire service's failure – before being shamed into a partial remedy — to tag DC politicians engaged in public anti-Semitic outbursts and conspiracy theories as Democrats. Now it turns out that the AP's Scott Bauer, in a Saturday dispatch, failed to apply the Democratic Party tag to Lena Taylor, a Wisconsin State Senator charged with disorderly conduct in a racially-charged incident at a Milwaukee bank. Is the AP Stylebook genuine guidance, or a $22-per-copy exercise in pretense?
TheFederalist.com's Mollie Hemingway appeared Saturday morning on Fox & Friends: Weekend to discuss NBC's botched "Michael Cohen was wiretapped" story, which is only the latest in a long line of establishment press stories subsequently requiring major corrections or retractions. Hemingway observed that the errors "always go in one direction."
The Associated Press apparently was shamed by a Washington Examiner reporter Wednesday when it revised a story on District of Columbia Councilman Trayon White to include his Democratic Party affiliation. White has been sharply criticized and ridiculed for anti-Semitic remarks, including claiming that Jews control the climate. The Democratic Party tag didn't arrive in the AP's revision until Paragraph 5, even though White was named twice in previous paragraphs. Violating its own Stylebook rules, the AP also didn't specifically tag other DC Democrats who have made incendiary anti-Semitic remarks.
The New York Times just can't get enough of promoting, defending, and excusing Marxism and communism. At the paper's online blog called "The Stone" on Monday, Jason Barker, an associate professor of philosophy, celebrated the upcoming 200th anniversary of Karl Marx's birth by telling the Communist Manifesto's author: "You Were Right!