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
In an attempt to build up its already bulging "We'll never really know why they did it" file relating to Islamist radicals who have taken innocent lives, three reporters at The New York Times composed a 1,900-word report Saturday evening (for Sunday's print edition) about Manchester bomber Salman Abedi's family background. The reporters provided very little hard information about Abedi's motivations, despite the fact that readers who saw the paper's tweet which promoted the article were led to expect it: "What led Salman Abedi to bomb the Manchester arena?" But they did push hard the news that Abedi called his mom before he carried the attack.
The Associated Press, PolitiFact, CNN, Snopes and all of the other "fact-checkers" should be busy this weekend and well into next week vetting the howlers contained in Rebecca Traister's New York Magazine Friday afternoon interview of a politician who has been in the public eye for decades. But it's a virtual lock that they won't bother, because the person Traister interviewed was Hillary Clinton.
One of the more absurd spectacles in the press's coverage of the economy is the attack on the Trump White House's long-term economic growth assumptions in this week's budget release. The same reporters, pundits and outlets now ridiculing the Trump administration's belief that the economy can consistently grow by 3 percent each year beginning four years from now were stone silent when the Obama administration, whose alums have joined the current negative chorus, used far higher growth assumptions — and miserably failed to achieve them.
Longtime media bias observers know that if a Democrat wins a single special election race for national office during a Republican presidential administration, the press will say it's evidence that the nation's voters have changed their minds about which party should occupy the White House. If the Democrat loses ... well, in the pre-Internet era, the national press would pretend that the race never happened. These days, they instead have to come up with excuses, which are usually pathetic. The Associated Press engaged in such an exercise Friday morning after Republican Greg Gianforte defeated Democrat Rob Quist for Montana's single US House seat.
On Tuesday, Randy Hall at NewsBusters covered how "the Associated Press hired a 'freelancer' -- who turned out to be 'a hardcore left-wing activist' -- to attend a 'closed press' fund-raiser for the GOP in New Hampshire." In other words, the wire service sent Melanie Plenda to the event for the express purpose of crashing it, despite the NHGOP's clear instructions. It turns out that the Washington Post's Erik Wemple, in covering the fallout from Plenda's sneaky, sloppy work, is perfectly fine with that.
At NBC and Newsweek, it's still the late-1960s. The movie Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?, with its then-edgy portrayal of an engaged interracial couple visiting the white fiancee's parents, has recently debuted. Apparently the ink hasn't yet dried on the Supreme Court's Loving vs. Virginia decision, which nullified all remaining interracial marriage bans. What else can possibly explain the breathtakingly ignorant tweets emanating from those two media outlets acting as if America might not be ready for the idea that Rachel Lindsay, the first black woman in the history of The Bachelorette, might end up getting engaged to someone of another race?
When it comes to "news" which might discredit Donald Trump or a member of his family, the modus operandi for too many in the press is, "Tweet and report first, ask questions later (if at all)." On Sunday, several media members couldn't resist falsely tweeting that Ivanka Trump will somehow control $100 million pledged by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to a World Bank fund for women entrepreneurs, thus dishonestly opening the door to utterly false parallels to the Clinton family-controlled Clinton Foundation.
Thursday morning, Harvard Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy issued a report which confirmed what NewsBusters reported in April, namely that President Donald Trump "has received unsparing coverage for most weeks of his presidency, without a single major topic where Trump’s coverage, on balance, was more positive than negative, setting a new standard for unfavorable press coverage of a president." On Sunday, CNN's John Berman tried to cast Fox News as a conservatively biased outlier — as opposed to the relatively fair and balanced entity it has actually been during the Trump administration's early months — by selecting the results of one tiny element of the Shorenstein report and presenting it as if it was the study's comprehensive conclusion.
At the Washington Post's "The Fix" blog, which purports to provide readers with meaningful "analysis," general assignment reporter Avi Selk has one of the more bogus "scoops" one will ever see — and yes, it's even dumber than the "scoop" about President Donald Trump's ice cream-heating habits Time.com "broke" earlier this month. Selk is all fired up because he thinks that Donald Trump, after ridiculing President Barack Obama for bowing before foreign rulers for several years, has been caught "bowing" before Saudi King Salman.
On May 12, California Governor Jerry Brown, during a visit to that state's Orange County, said, "The freeloaders — I’ve had enough of them." His statement came during what the Orange County Register called "an impassioned defense" of the state's recently passed "road-improvement plan. The "freeloaders" he targeted with his remark are the state's taxpayers, those who wish to recall a tax-supporting legislator, and Republicans involved in putting the tax on November ballot. The rest of California's press, as well as key national press outlets, have not taken note of Brown's remark.
Time Magazine's May 29 cover features a purported parody of the U.S. White House turning red and well towards being transformed into what the illustrator believes is "the Kremlin." This is supposed to show just how creative and conscientious these folks are. What it really shows is the opposite.
On the left, there is obsessive talk of impeaching Donald Trump. Despite the fact that the press reports which supposedly form the foundation of such talk are almost always based on anonymous sources, and despite the fact that the Trump administration has successfully refuted most if not all of them, the obsession continues. On his Wednesday night show, after successfully swatting away pathetic pro-impeachment arguments made by guest Krystal Ball and her citations of weak-kneed Republicans who can't seem to resist bending with the Beltway wind, Tucker Carlson got fed up.
In a Tuesday post at the American Enterprise Institute's "AEI Ideas" blog, Marc Thiessen called out "The media hypocrisy over Trump’s intelligence leak." While acknowledging that the Trump-related leak, if true (very big if), would be "indeed a disaster" — though, as National Review's Andy McCarthy has noted, still within Trump's unreviewable authority" as President —Thiessen noted that the current hyperventilation is coming from "the same news outlets that regularly, and intentionally, published highly classified intelligence in recent years, based on leaks from the Obama administration."
Last week was a very bad week for the establishment press, and for the leftist politicians who can't resist repeating and relaying the media's questionable "news" its journalists have been reporting as if they are clearly established facts. But you wouldn't know it from the Associated Press, which, consistent with its practice during many previous weeks, directed all eleven of its "fact-checking" efforts to statements made by President Donald Trump or members of his administration.
On the heels of the dreadful performance this morning on New Day Curtis Houck at NewsBusters observed earlier today, CNN's Chris Cuomo, apparently convinced that President Donald Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey is the scandal of the century, actually went to Twitter and asked: "For the sake of argument, what did Obama do that compares to comey firing in your opinion?"
In an item likely targeted for mid-morning Saturday publication in the hope that few would notice it, the Associated Press's James MacPherson covered "SIGNS OF (an) OIL BOOMLET IN NORTH DAKOTA AFTER PIPELINE FINISHED." The "pipeline" in question is the Dakota Access Pipeline the hard-left so despises. Though it inexplicably took the AP reporter four paragraphs to identify the pipeline as the DAPL, the most remarkable aspect of the story was his specific identification of its vast economic benefits in the space of a mere three paragraphs.
In a Saturday op-ed in the Washington Post, Harvard constitutional law professor Laurence H. Tribe wrote that "The time has come for Congress to launch an impeachment investigation of President Trump for obstruction of justice." Tribe says it should happen now, because "To wait for the results of the multiple investigations underway is to risk tying our nation’s fate to the whims of an authoritarian leader." (Conviction first, trial later.) To make his case, Tribe distorted both past history and current reality, while the Post failed to disclose key matters about the professor's entanglement which readers deserve to know.
The Associated Press and reporter Julie Pace are among the last institutions and people on earth, respectively, with any credibility to harangue the public about the dangers of "a man willing to challenge - in dramatic fashion - the institutions created to hold the president accountable." But there they were on Wednesday morning, in the wake of President Donald Trump's decision to fire FBI Director James Comey, doing just that.
Time Magazine published a side piece by Michael Scherer and Zeke J. Miller accompanying its primary story on Miller's interview with the President. In "Donald Trump After Hours," the pair observed that "At the dessert course, he (Trump) gets two scoops of vanilla ice cream with his chocolate cream pie, instead of the single scoop for everyone else." Hard as it might be to believe, some unhinged members of the press have pounced on this sentence as proof of Trump's less than exemplary character.
Desperate to make a case that voter-ID laws kept "many" people who should be allowed to vote from casting ballots in Wisconsin in November, two reporters at the Associated Press claimed "it is not hard to find" examples of Badger State residents who were "turned away." Left unexplained is how reporters Christina A. Cassidy and Ivan Moreno apparently could only identify four people out of hundreds of thousands allegedly affected after six months of searching. Despite a headline claiming that those involved faced "insurmountable" barriers, each person cited could have successfully cast a ballot, but failed to do so because of inadequate follow-through.