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.
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Thursday, CNN's Brian Stelter theorized, both on the air and in a tweet, that the Trump administration timed its announcement of National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster's departure, and the appointment of former UN ambassador John Bolton as his replacement, to distract from his network's upcoming interview of Karen McDougal, the former Playboy model who claims to have had an affair with Donald Trump over a decade ago. And they wonder why their ratings and their credibility continue to circle the drain.
Thursday evening, Curtis Houck at NewsBusters noted that CNN Chairman Jeff Zucker had criticized Fox News as “state-run TV” and a “pure propaganda machine” that “does an incredible disservice to this country” at a media conference earlier in the day sponsored by the Financial Times. Fox's Tucker Carlson also went after Zucker Thursday evening, reminding viewers that CNN is literally state-run TV in certain countries.
On Wednesday, a U.S. judge began considering lawsuits brought by San Francisco and Oakland, California claiming that multinational oil companies conspired to keep the alleged facts about alleged global warming from the public. Clearly the most newsworthy development, reported by advocates and skeptics alike, is District Judge William Alsup's contention that evidence submitted by plaintiffs of this alleged conspiracy “shows nothing of the sort.” Sudhin Thanawala at the Associated Press didn't report it, instead celebrating how Alsup supposedly got a "climate change lesson."
Several black activist groups conducted a lobbying effort Monday against a GOP House resolution condemning Louis Farrakhan, a person even the usually conservative-bashing Southern Poverty Law Center has condemned for his anti-Semitic, anti-white, and other racially hateful remarks. This is not news in the establishment press, and probably never will be. That's because Monday's effort exposes the groups involved — The New Black Panthers, Black Lives Matter, and Al Sharpton's National Action Network — as unrepentant defenders of hate, and would, if widely known, discredit their claims to speak for the broader black community.
Establishment press journalists are getting hot under the collar over the growing use of the term "Deep State." They imagine that only nutty conservatives and Republicans believe that the Deep State even exists. Thanks to poor show prep, MSNBC's Chris Matthews found out otherwise in embarrassing fashion on Tuesday evening's Hardball, while one of his show's presentation graphics effectively told 74 percent of Americans that they are "Deranged."
The Associated Press continues publishing "Fact Checks," which really are outlets for its unhinged, Donald Trump-obsessed reporters to vent against the President even more than they already do in their alleged hard-news stories. One of AP's more recent efforts went after Trump's Saturday tweets following Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe's firing.
A week ago, as seen in a video which gained some national attention on Monday, New York Congressman Thomas Suozzi, answering a constituent's question about President Donald Trump, suggested that "the Second Amendment comes in" as a factor "if the president was to ignore the courts." Eight years ago, the press treated a statement by Nevada GOP Senate candidate Sharron Angle referring to "Second Amendment remedies" as a call for armed insurrection. Suozzi's comment, which on substance comes closer to such a call than Angle's, has thus far been ignored by the establishment press's primary gatekeepers and most other outlets.
Shortly after the Parkland, Florida high school massacre, the Associated Press and New York Daily News treated the fact that the NRA had given $10,000 in non-cash assistance to the school's Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps, of which Nikolas Cruz had been a member, as some kind of scandal. Now, buried deep in a Friday Florida Sun Sentinel story, we learn that JROTC's leaders "banned Cruz from firing guns with the group during shooting practice" way back in September, 2016. That's more than a legion of others did to stop Cruz or get him help during the next 17 months.
UPDATE, March 21: Confirming Scott Whitlock's March 20 post, Elizabeth Bauer at Forbes has noted that McCabe's firing has caused him not to "lose his pension," but to lose out on "the ability to take his benefits at age 50, rather than somewhere between age 57 and age 62, and he lost his eligibility to a special top-up in benefit formula." Additionally, Bauer contends that "being terminated 'for cause' wholly eliminates eligibility for special age-50 retirement." Finally, finding McCabe work as a congressional staffer won't enable McCabe to accrue enough service, because "the particular nature of McCabe's pension benefits condition age-50 retirement eligibility on primary law enforcement employment, not just general federal government employment."
On Friday's Outnumbered, former Obama State Department spokesman Marie Harfwas "sort of ... offended" when asked why there is "such an open animosity to Christianity from those on the left." Harf rejected the idea "that there is something inherent among the left that means we don’t like Christianity." Gosh, what would make anyone believe that?
In the wake of Attorney General Jeff Sessions' Friday firing of Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, two Associated Press dispatches and an NBC news story wouldn't directly admit that his dismissal was largely based on a finding that he lied to internal investigators. Meanwhile, a pre-firing Wall Street Journal editorial had no problem using the word.
On the March 10 midnight edition of Fox News @Night, Juan Williams disingenuously made three attempts to create a false equivalence between Congressional Black Caucus leaders' political and physical embraces of National of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and Donald Trump's non-existent relationship with the KKK. Host Shannon Bream and the Daily Caller's Vince Coglianese weren't having any of it, but Williams wouldn't let go.
On March 10, "authorities say," a 22 year-old man in South Carolina killed "his grandparents, an aunt and a cousin." It appears that only the Associated Press has given attention to this story. By contrast, recent "mass killings" involving fewer victims received widespread national coverage. Why is that? The answer appears to be that the South Carolina attacker didn't use a gun.
A February 2017 ProPublica story claimed that Gina Haspel, nominated as CIA director this week, "was more deeply involved in the torture of Abu Zubaydah" at a secret Thailand prison "than has been publicly understood." Thursday evening, the group published a correction admitting that Haspel wasn't even present when one of the program's primary targets was, according to the New York Times, waterboarded 83 times.
Democrat Conor Lamb was declared the narrow special congressional election winner Tuesday in PA-18, where voters are predominantly pro-life. Lamb, with media help, came across as "pro-life." He's not — and his successful deception may portend an effort by abortion proponents and their lockstep establishment press supporters to spread disinformation about Democratic candidates' true abortion positions nationwide.
CNN's Chris Cuomo will soon leave New Day for the network's 9 p.m. time slot. His new Cuomo Prime Time will compete with Fox News's Sean Hannity and MSNBC's Rachel Maddow. In a Wednesday Variety piece, Cuomo said of his new competitors: "I don’t know where their partisan fights are getting us" — as if the CNN host himself isn't partisan.
Whenever establishment press reporters drop their masks of objectivity, de facto Democratic Party operatives or even hardened leftists almost invariably appear. Tuesday, in the wake of Rex Tillerson's announced departure from the State Department, Erica Werner at the Washington Post dropped her guard, tweeting the following about the Trump administration's related personnel moves: "A Benghazi bomb-thrower will be SecState and a torture overseer will be CIA director — IF CONFIRMED BY THE SENATE."
The Associated Press's Paul Wiseman has apparently tired of good economic news. Saturday, the AP reporter painted a frightening picture of what a trade war based on President Donald Trump's planned tariffs on a tiny sliver of U.S. imports might do to the world's economy, mischaracterizing a prominent economist's position to build his case.
Of all the absurd takes on the U.S.–North Korean situation in the wake of President Trump's tentative, conditional agreement to meet with Kim Jong Un, Barbara Demick's Friday "analysis" piece at the Los Angeles Times has to be near the top of any "worst" list. The headline: "Whatever comes next, North Korea's Kim Jong Un can claim a win against Trump." Oh really?
CNN last updated a presentation tracking job growth since President Donald Trump's inauguration on January 5, the day the government issued its December jobs report. This halt coincided with the January effective date of the GOP-Trump tax-cut law and wide expectations of significant job growth because of that legislation, and is more evidence — as if we needed any — that the network which is obsessed with reporting negative news about Trump and his administration is allergic to anything which might make him and his policies look good.