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Friday, April 23, 2010
NewsBusters' Blumer Invents Bias
Topic: NewsBusters

NewsBusters' Tom Blumer already has issues with accuracy. Now he overreaches to create an issue of bias where none exists.

In an April 21 post, Blumer asserts that the Associated Press is guilty of bias because an article on Chrysler's quarterly earnings (in which it lost $197 million) waited until the second paragraph to note that Chrysler has lost a total of $4 billion since it exited bankruptcy.

No, really. That's his problem with the AP article, in contrast to a Wall Street Journal article that put the total loss in the first paragraph of its article. Blumer elaborates:

Yes, the second paragraph refers to "the staggering $3.8 billion that Chrysler lost from the time it left bankruptcy protection June 10 through the end of last year." But if the never previously reported number is so "staggering," why isn't it part of the headline or the first paragraph?

Answer 1: The AP knows that many readers never get past the headline. Lots of people will see "Chrysler posts $197M loss but cash balance grows" and say, "Gee, that's not so bad. Oh, and things are getting better." That conclusion is more than a little debatable.

Answer 2: The AP knows that many news readers on radio and TV and Internet search result narratives won't get past the first paragraph.

Answer 3: The AP knows, especially because it didn't refer to what follows in any earlier paragraph, that very few readers will get to Paragraphs 16 through 20, where outside analysts question Chrysler's very viability.

How about Answer 4: The quarterly loss was the actual news, and it didn't significantly add to the total loss.

Or Answer 5: Blumer wants Chrysler to fail. Why is he talking down American companies and hoping they fail?

The funny thing is, earlier in the same day another NewsBusters, Brent Baker, was bashing ABC for supposedly creating a controversy over someone's remarks.  They have no sense of irony, apparently.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:54 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, April 23, 2010 1:12 AM EDT

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