Fun with the bungling of the health care ruling by CNN and Fox News

The fact that CNN and Fox News initially reported the wrong verdict was, in my opinion, a trivial matter that merely told us something about the absurd premium placed on being first with news by even a few minutes, as if news was some kind of Olympics event where only the first place finisher got the coveted gold medal.

However, it did provide for good comedy material and The Daily Show and The Colbert Report were not going to miss such a golden opportunity.

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
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(These clips appeared on June 28, 2012. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report outside the US, please see this earlier post.)


  1. 'Tis Himself says

    “And like many great dramas, it was a work of fiction.”

    “I have not been so embarrassed since I endorsed Leo Tolstoy’s epic novel War.”


  2. F says

    You may then not credit what weight news organizations give to “hot news”. They have intellectual property cows over it. Sometimes they even convince themselves that they own stories and facts, not just hold copyright over their actual product.

    There really isn’t as much of a gold medal as they think, but yeah, the news olympics have been going on for a long time. You heard it here first! Fox 8 exclusive! Dewey wins!

  3. says

    What I found most interesting is that teensy little SCOTUSblog reported the correct verdict at essentially the same time that the big networks were reporting the wrong verdict.

    The mistake is somewhat understandable: The ruling upheld the mandate as a tax rather than under the commerce clause, so a very brief and clumsy skim might give someone the impression that it had been struck down. But the fact that SCOTUSblog got it right, and in the same amount of time, means that it’s doable. What this implies to me is that Fox and CNN are not hiring the kind of experts they need to be hiring in order to do world-class reporting. The focus is on the entertainment aspect of it, not the journalism aspect of it, as evinced by all of their attractive anchors contrasted with their inability to put together a legal analysis team to rival a teensy little online publication like SCOTUSblog.

  4. says

    Actually, it just occurred to me… Reading the breakdown of judges should have been enough to tell you which way the ruling went. Yes, Roberts voting with the majority was a shock here, but the fact that the four liberal judges were in the split decision should have told pretty much anyone with even a passing familiarity with SCOTUS that the law had been upheld.

    Could it be… that the idiots in the newsroom read literally TWO WORDS of the opinion, only getting as far as seeing that Roberts had authored the majority opinion, before committing to the story? That would be pretty fucked up…

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