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Topics: CFPB

UPDATED: How could Bloomberg Businessweek reporter miss the Obama bundler in the CFPB renovation scandal?

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Mark Tapscott,Morning Examiner,Federal Reserve,CFPB,GSA,Inspectors General,Waste and Fraud

Sports reporters who never say anything critical of their local teams are known in the journalism profession as "Homers." Big government has its homers in the news media, too.

Consider, for example, Bloomberg Businessweek's Karen Weise, whose byline appeared earlier last week on a blatant example of Big Government Homerism.

Bloomberg's headline writer nicely captured the essential nature of Weise's effort: "Republican attacks on a CFPB office renovation don't add up."

Ad hominem, ad nauseum

As the Washington Examiner's Richard Pollock has exhaustively reported in recent months, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has consistently misled Congress and taxpayers about the costs of its headquarters renovation.

Pollock's reporting has relied upon multiple official documents, including those obtained from CFPB, the General Services Administration, and the inspector general of the Federal Reserve.

But, at every turn, Weise characterizes congressional criticism of CFPB's renovation as merely partisan misrepresentations by Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee, as in "Republican figures," "under attack by Republicans" and "the GOP members say."

Just the facts, ma'am

Weise's post is so shot-through with factual errors, however, that the committee's Republican staff took the unusual step of pointing out six serious mistakes.

For example, Weise claims, “the GOP members say their calculations show the renovation will cost $215.8 million.”

In fact, that figure came from the IG, which said in a June 30 report that “based on the CFPB's assessed requirements as of June 5, 2014, we currently estimate all-in costs to total approximately $215.8 million.”

The Obama bundler Weise missed

Back in March, Pollock reported that CFPB will pay more than $22 million to rent temporary space for its 1,000-plus employees during the renovation.

That temporary space is owned by Neil G. Bluhm, the Obama campaign bundler who, according to Pollock, "made headlines in 2010 when he hosted Obama's 49th birthday party at his Chicago home. Admission was $30,000 per person, with the proceeds going to the Democratic National Committee."

That's the sort of fact Homers always seem to miss. Weise did not respond Tuesday when asked if she plans to correct the record.

UPDATE: Weise has now added this sentence at the top of her original story: "(Corrects first sentence to remove reference that in 2011, an older office building was the "best available" space for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to lease. The agency told Congress that it hasn't found documentation that it evaluated other office spaces at the time.)"

Separately, Weise tweeted that she stands "by the rest."

On today's washingtonexaminer.com

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Watchdog/Mark Flatten: Veterans Affairs spies on, stonewalls congressional investigators.

Columnists/Ron Arnold: Heartland Institute's Las Vegas conference shows growing power of climate realism.

Columnists/Noemie Emery: Media can no longer ignore Obama and Hillary Clinton's problems.

Columnists/Timothy P. Carney: Who's really stalling reform of African food aid?

OpEds/Richard Manning: Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson lifts veil on Establishment GOP's Stockholm Syndrome.

OpEds/William Jacobson: Lawlessness is now the dominant theme in the Obama sage.

OpEds/Arthur Dewey and James Purcell: Why the border crisis is a challenge and an opportunity.

Beltway Confidential/Ashe Schow: Elizabeth Warren says government shutdown was really about birth control.

PennAve/David M. Drucker: Is fear of getting "Koch'ed" hurting Republican super PACs?

PennAve/Brian Hughes: This is why the White House press briefing is so hard to watch.

Legal Newsline/Kyla Asbury: Appeals Court dismisses Madoff appeal on lack of standing.

Video/Morning Examiner: Morning Examiner with Steve Doty for July 16.

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Time Magazine: Sen. Lamar Alexander is the Tea Party's next target.

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The American Thinker: Company run by Sen. Joe Manchin's daughter leaves U.S. to escape ruinous corporate taxes.

The American Conservative: Why liberalism means empire.

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Salon.com: The truth about the border crisis is it's America's fault.

The American Prospect: Justice Alito's deep roots in the American Right.

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Slate: The photo not taken.

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Author:

Mark Tapscott

Executive Editor
The Washington Examiner

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