When Cable News Failed On Year's Biggest Story
CNN might have been boasting today that it was the first to announce the Supreme Court's decsion on Obamacare Thursday morning. It was the first, beating Fox News by eight seconds, but it also got the story spectacularly wrong. So did Fox News, which also was vying for the right to claim that it had the result first. The actual winner was not on television The Bloomberg News wire service, which moved the story at 10 07 31. The Associated Press followed 24 seconds later. (Twenty minutes later, Sally Buzbee, AP's Washington Bureau Chief, contratulated legal affairs reporter Mark Sherman "You have made this newsroom happy -- sincerely, deeply happy. There were cheers I'm not kidding.") A few seconds after AP's report SCOTUSblog posted "The individual mandate survives as a tax." The latter news organizations got the story right. And as media columnist Andrew Beaujon observed on the Poynter journalism institute's blog, news consumers "were served well today by these three outlets no matter how you count them. The loser wasn't the one who was last, it was the ones who got it wrong trying to be first." Meanwhile, the screw-ups turned into comedy gold for late-night talk show hosts, particularly Jon Stewart, who devoted most of his Comedy Central show to them.