CNN Flubs Coverage of U.S. Supreme Court Decision on Obamacare, Incorrectly Reports That Bill was Not Upheld; Fox Screws Up, Too; UPDATE: CNN Apologizes
Everyone was watching the big moment this morning, awaiting the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on Obamacare... and CNN blew it.
The flub started as veteran newscaster Wolf Blitzer breathlessly announces that reporter Kate Bolduan has some news from the steps of the courthouse.
Then Bolduan comes on, saying that CNN "wanted to bring you the breaking news that, according to producer Bill Mears, the individual mandate is not a valid exercise of the commerce clause, so it appears as if the Supreme Court has struck down the individual mandate -- the centerpiece of the legislation."
Of course, the real news is that the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare.
NBA Preseason Basketball: Phoenix Suns v. San Antonio Spurs
TicketsMon., Oct. 3, 7:00pm
NBA Preseason Basketball: Phoenix Suns v. Utah Jazz
TicketsWed., Oct. 5, 7:00pm
Arizona Coyotes vs. San Jose Sharks
TicketsFri., Oct. 7, 7:00pm
TicketsSat., Oct. 8, 7:00pm
CNN then began to display a rail across the bottom of the screen that hammered in the incorrect info: "Breaking News: Supreme Ct. kills individual mandate."
Blitzer seems to instinctively know his producer blew it and waters down what Bolduan and the TV screen are saying. He blurts that it would be a dramatic moment "if" the individual mandate is, in fact, unconstitutional."
Our emotions began to kick in based on that "news." Then we flipped it over to Fox to see how they were reporting it. Fox was reporting the story correctly: That the individual mandate would be seen as a tax, and that Obamacare had been upheld.
We have a feeling we'll be having a better morning than Mears.
* After writing this, we soon found out that Fox had screwed it up, too, then corrected their info just before we switched to them. Figures.
* CNN's Megan Grant just e-mailed us with a link to a statement from the news company, saying CNN apologizes for the error. And, we'll be big enough to admit that she also had the satisfaction of correcting our piece about something: We spelled Kate's name incorrectly, going with Balduan instead of Bolduan. To paraphrase CNN: Sorry 'bout that.
* Obama was fooled, too. News outlets report how the president was watching cable news networks for the announcement and saw for a few awful minutes that his premier piece of legislation might have failed.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.