Both CNN and FOX News whiffed it today in their coverage of the Supreme Court’s decision on Obamacare. CNN’s correspondent was breathless in her exclamation that the Supreme Court had struck down the law. I’ve seen this happen before when reporters try to break news about a Supreme Court decision before actually reading the majority opinion in full. I watch MSNBC, so I missed this while it was happening. But I did see the confusion on Twitter, and it was quite the spectacle as people tried to get their stories straight.
What happened was that reporters only read the portion of the opinion in which Chief Justice Roberts said that the individual mandate couldn’t be upheld on the basis of the commerce clause. What the reporters failed to do was to read a few sections down where the Chief Justice also said that the mandate could be upheld on the basis of Congress’s power to levy taxes. It was an embarrassing moment for both networks. In their attempt to break news they blew the news. You can watch CNN’s coverage above, and FOX’s below.