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
During the past several days, the press mentioned Wheaton College in Illinois when a former student was arrested for multiple burglaries, and when there were new developments relating to a football team hazing incident. On the positive side, the college's partnership with a school for children with disabilities got coverage, as of course did Wheaton's most famous graduate, the just-passed Rev. Billy Graham. But there hasn't been a word in the national establishment press about the Christian college's victory over the Obamacare contraception mandate — a victory which should ripple though all remaining related cases.
In an epic self-awareness fail, several liberal commentators claim that Broward County police officers who remained outside as Nikolas Cruz massacred students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were "good guys with a gun." This, they believe, shows that a good guy with a gun doesn't always stop a bad guy with a gun. It apparently hasn't occurred to them that these officers who swore an oath to protect and serve weren't being "good guys."
At NBCNews.com's "Think" section Wednesday, Marcie Bianco checked almost all of the left's outrage boxes, characterizing private-sector efforts to reach Mars as, among other things, "patriarchal," and evidence of male "midlife crisis ... laced with an imperialist ethos."
A week ago, Facebook's VP of Ads responded to Robert Mueller's indictment of 13 Russians by posting a series of tweets at his personal account contending "very definitively that swaying the (2016) election was *NOT* the main goal." Instead, Rob Goldman wrote, the Russians' goal is to "divide America by using our institutions, like free speech and social media, against us." A short time later, outside and inside pressure forced Goldman to apologize for his "uncleared thoughts."
Many people failed the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida before Nikolas Cruz's massacre last week. Someone also failed them during the attack: armed Resource Officer Scot Peterson, who, according to Broward County's sheriff, "never went in" to try to stop Cruz, instead remaining outside "upwards of four minutes." In a Thursday afternoon tweet, a Los Angeles Times editor expressed "some sympathy" — for Peterson. She later doubled down, dragging in the NRA while excusing cowardice.
Nina Burleigh really blew it this time. Wednesday morning, Newsweek retracted their reporter's Monday story on "How an Alt-Right Bot Network Took Down Al Franken." Newsweek's move leads to a bigger question: When will the Associated Press correct or retract reports claiming Florida high school massacre perpetrator Nikolas Cruz was connected with white nationalism?
On Tuesday, CNN's Chris Cuomo retweeted a Monday tweet by Cody Davis, who claimed that "I was able to buy an AR-15 in five minutes," even though "I’m 20 and my ID is expired." The young man's account of what he supposedly did 20 months ago indicates that he never genuinely began the gun-purchasing process. One might forgive Cuomo for a careless retweet; but once sharp criticism poured in, he showed that he bought into Davis's false narrative.
In the final Friday segment of The Ingraham Angle, Fox News's Laura Ingraham focused much-needed attention on the public safety impact of California's refusal to cooperate with ICE's attempts to deport predominantly criminal illegal aliens in that state. Leveraging a Department of Homeland Security press release identifying the dangers the sanctuary state's policies have created when ICE agents try to do their jobs, Ingraham declared: "Shame on you, California. People could die or be injured because you refuse to cooperate."
Tuesday at the Louisville Courier Journal, part of Gannett's USA Today network, two reporters claimed that whoever vandalized a prominent billboard in that city to read "Kill the NRA" had "called out" the gun-rights group. David Harten and Darcy Costello never described the billboard as what it was while it was briefly visible: a violent threat.
Monday at what remains of Newsweek, Nina Burleigh hysterically claimed that "An Alt-Right Bot Network Took Down Al Franken." Her erroneous timeline didn't match actual history, rendering her headlined contention false.
On Monday, CBS News tried to claim that buying a gun is easier in Florida than purchasing several household items, obtaining a marriage license, or getting medical marijuana. Glaring errors in its comparisons rendered its effort a fake-news failure.
On Thursday, CNN's Richard Quest had a heated discussion with Gun Owners of America head Eric Pratt. Pratt punctured the establishment press-held myth that gun-controlling countries in Europe are meccas of safety. Quest didn't handle it well.
On Thursday, Minneapolis station WCCO reported on guns and crime in Minnesota. Anchor Frank Vascellaro's introduction: "More people are carrying guns than ever before, but the crime rate remains low." Imagine that.
The legion of the perpetually aggrieved "white supremacy"-obsessed jumped on a Monday remark by Trump administration Attorney General Jeff Sessions to concoct a bogus "racial dogwhistle" when he used the term "Anglo-American heritage of law enforcement" in a speech to the National Sheriffs' Association. Five days in, many of them still haven't acknowledged that former President Barack Obama and others in his administration have used the term without generating controversy.
Early Thursday afternoon, the Associated Press abandoned skepticism when the leader of a white nationalist group contacted it, claiming, in AP's words, that "Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz was a member of his group and participated in paramilitary drills in Tallahassee." Subsequent AP reports downplayed or ignored law enforcement's assertions that there are "no known ties" between Cruz and the Republic of Florida, as well as ROF leader Jordan Jereb's bizarre reported walkback. By Friday afternoon, reporters at several medai outlets, including Shawn Musgrave at Politico, declared that Jereb and others had "fooled the media." thanks to a "coordinated efforts by internet trolls."
On Wednesday, a Global Opinions Editor at the Washington Post praised the work of Christopher Steele as "extraordinarily prescient," created by a man who "had stumbled onto a breathtaking threat to U.S. national security." Accordingly, Steele, per the headline at Christian Caryl's opinion piece, "is a hero – and Americans owe him their thanks" — a Four-Pinocchio claim by the Post's own standards.
MRCTV's Brittany M. Hughes reported Monday that Kehinde Wiley, Barack Obama's official portrait artist, previously created two paintings of black women holding white women's severed heads, making him the art world's equivalent of Donald Trump severed-head comedienne Kathy Griffin. Additionally, Wiley, described in New York Magazine as "possibly the wealthiest painter of his generation," outsources much of "his" painting to China to "cut costs." Establishment press coverage has virtually ignored these components of Wiley's background, but their descriptions of Obama's involvement in selecting him reveal his almost certain awareness of the artist's full portfolio.
The New York Times, the self-described paragon of journalism, embarrassed itself thoroughly Tuesday when it hired, and hours later fired, a "lead opinion writer" brought on to focus "on the power, culture and consequences of technology" — because the paper inadequately investigated her Twitter history.
As bad as the establishment press's coverage of national stories is, the situation with bias, ignorance, and sloppiness seen at local and regional news outlets may be worse. Here's an example from Monday: A story at St. Louis TV station KSDK about "crimes involving stolen guns" was headlined "More legal guns used in St. Louis area crimes."
The propagandists disguised as "fact-checkers" at the Washington Post unleashed pent-up frustration Wednesday when they evaluated President Donald Trump's February 5 claim that wages are, "for the first time in many years, rising." They gave Trump's claim its worst possible evaluation of "Four Pinocchios," i.e., a "whopper." Too bad for the Post that detailed work published by Reuters two days earlier had already debunked its evaluation.