11:12 am Jun. 28, 2012
The problem with reporting breaking news on television, especially when its a staged event, like the release of a Supreme Court decision, is that everyone's already got the same information you do.
And so CNN's Wolf Blitzer took a beating today on Twitter after the cable news network ran graphics and chyrons touting the defeat of Obamacare in the moments immediately after the release of today's blockbuster Supreme Court decision.
More than an hour later, CNN issued a statement about the error:
In his opinion, Chief Justice Roberts initially said that the individual mandate was not a valid exercise of Congressional power under the Commerce Clause. CNN reported that fact, but then wrongly reported that therefore the court struck down the mandate as unconstitutional. However, that was not the whole of the Court’s ruling. CNN regrets that it didn't wait to report out the full and complete opinion regarding the mandate. We made a correction within a few minutes and apologize for the error.
But a few politicians, almost all opponents of the Affordable Care Act, leapt in fast after CNN's initial report. Circulating widely right now are these now-deleted tweets:
But these guys weren't alone either:
For insanely detailed second-by-second coverage of the coverage muck-ups, you can't do better than to go here.
To see the seven or eight punchlines being repeated ad nauseam on Twitter (Jon Stewart will have a field day! Wolf Blitzer's tie is stuck in the fax machine!), check out the trending hashtag, #cnnfail.