Tom Blumer

Tom Blumer's picture
Former Contributing Editor

Tom Blumer has written for several national online publications  primarily on business, economics, politics and media bias. He has had his own blog,, 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

The Associated Press's Martin Crutsinger used today's release by the Commerce Department's Census Bureau of November's Construction Spending Report as an opportunity to take an unsupported swipe at the housing market, and to give government spending full credit for the favorable news.

Here are the topline seasonally adjusted numbers (4-page PDF) released today (in billions; listed in order of November, October and the net change; figures may not add up due to rounding):

As the economy has improved, President Bush's association with its results has decreased, and now has virtually disappeared.

Good economic news has poured out as if from a geyser during the past couple of weeks: consumer confidence, GDP growth, Christmas retail sales, unemployment, durable goods, the booming online sales, just to scratch the surface.

This is the second update (third installment) of a series that began just before Thanksgiving looking at how the words "Christmas" and "holiday(s)" are being used. I have sensed a couple of tendencies over the years and wanted to see if my suspicions were accurate this Christmas season, and did Google News searches on November 23, December 7, and this morning to investigate. Here are this morning's results (Dec. 22, 9AM ET):


On December 7, The Associated Press's Martin Crutsinger reported on a rise in factory orders and productivity growth, and quoted an expert who predicted good times ahead:
"The momentum of growth has been very strong," said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at Global Insight in Lexington, Mass. "This suggests that growth in the fourth quarter of this year and early next year will remain robust."
Two weeks later, on December 21 at 8:37 AM ET, in a report on the slight downward revision of third-quarter GDP growth from 4.3% to 4.1%, Crutsinger wrote the following, apparently for consumption by the general population, based on where it appeared (bold is mine):

Veteran observers of media bias know that it's not just about the words. It's also about the pictures. Time Magazine deserves all the wrath that will be hurled its way in the coming days not only over not naming "The purple-fingered Iraqi voters" their 2005 Persons of the Year, but for totally omitting them from its 2005 "People Who Mattered" list. The Iraqi voter may not have mattered, but according to Time, actress Geena Davis, scifi character Darth Vader, singer Kanye West, and teenage golfer Michelle Wie all did.

But as outrageous as the selections are, the pictures of those selected are often worse. Scroll through the "People Who Mattered" pictures at Time's Web site and here's what you'll see (some captions were so awful I had to mention them too):

On Thursday, The Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued its report on their attempted audit of the United States Government's financial statements. The GAO opened its Media Release (2-page PDF) with the following:
GAO Again Disclaims An Opinion on U.S. Government's Financial Statements For the ninth straight year, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is unable to provide an opinion as to whether the consolidated financial statements of the U.S.

One of two things must be happening at The Boston Globe:
  • It must really be gnawing at the editorial writers at The Globe that the GOP has controlled the governor's mansion in Massachusetts, nearly the bluest of all blue states, for over a decade, and they just couldn't take it any more.
  • The Editorial Board has raised the standards of conduct for presidential aspirants to dizzying heights.
How else to explain The Globe's December 15 editorial (HT to James Taranto of Best of the Web) demanding that current Governor Mitt Romney, who recently announced that he will not run for reelection in 2006, resign immediately?:

Two "breakthoughs" in stem-cell research announced at roughly the same time have, based on Google News searches, received very disparate treatment in news coverage.

Click here to view the Google News screen shot. Note: the "hours ago" indicator is only for the lead item listed. Both stories originated in news coverage in the early AM on December 13.

One has to wonder after reading two Associated Press articles. The first, not attributed is about the Detroit Mayoral vote recount. Two Democrats are involved in the contested result. Neither candidate's party affiliation is named.

How does one analyze the economy's performance without considering tax policy?

In a column posted on the afternoon of December 8 at MSNBC's web site, James C. Cooper and Kathleen Madigan of Business Week Online devote over 1,100 words to analyzing and explaining the current strong economy, and fail to cite the 2003 Bush tax cuts as a possible contributing factor. In fact, the words "tax," "Bush," and even "government," do not appear at all!