In the race to be the first to break a major news story, both CNN and Fox News blew one of the biggest stories of the year.
According to the Huffington Post, “CNN and Fox News were left with egg on their faces on Thursday, as they got the Supreme Court’s ruling on President Obama’s health care law wrong.”
CNN’s congressional correspondent Kate Boulduan read out part of the Court’s ruling, which said that the individual mandate could not be upheld using the Commerce Clause.
Disastrously, though, it failed to pick up the other part of the ruling, which said that it could be upheld as a tax.
“Wow, that’s a dramatic moment,” Wolf Blitzer said, as a chyron saying “SUPREME CT. KILLS INDIVIDUAL MANDATE” flashed on the screen.
And news organizations complain about citizen journalists getting facts wrong? Sad day for journalism.
“I think these flubs are a good reminder to all journalists that getting it wrong in the rush to be first is an error many orders of magnitude worse than getting your story up after the competition,” noted Kansas City Star Public Editor Derek Donovan. “And realistically, today “later” often means a matter of minutes, if not seconds.”
Maybe there is a reason why it was recently announced CNN’s prime time ratings were the worst in 21 years…
UPDATE (6/29): Veteran CNN staffers really are venting over their network’s embarrassing reporting (LINK).