CNN was conciliatory, and Fox News defiant, in their misreporting this morning that the Supreme Court had struck down the individual mandate, the key part of the Affordable Care Act.
Per TV Newser, CNN said in a statement, “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.”
Fox News’ Michael Clemente issued this statement: “We gave our viewers the news as it happened. When Justice Roberts said, and we read, that the mandate was not valid under the Commerce clause, we reported it. Bill Hemmer even added, be patient as we work through this. Then when we heard and read, that the mandate could be upheld under the government’s power to tax, we reported that as well — all within two minutes.
“By contrast, one other cable network was unable to get their Supreme Court reporter to the camera, and said as much. Another said it was a big setback for the President. Fox reported the facts, as they came in.”
President Obama was watching both networks this morning, but the White House counsel flashed him the thumbs up sign to indicate that it was a victory for his administration.
A picture being circulated on Twitter, comparing the misreporting to the “Dewey Defeats Truman” screw up of the Chicago Tribune in 1948, is here. It was made within an hour of the ruling by photojournalist Gary He.