CNN, Fox News Blow It on Healthcare Ruling

For months the buildup to the Supreme Court's ruling on the constitutionality of President Obama's Affordable Care Act has been intense. The whole world was waiting for the scheduled time of the ruling: 10 a.m. ET. on July 28. Millions were ready to retweet coverage of the ruling.

And many of those trigger-happy tweeters passed on this tweet from CNN: "The Supreme Court strikes down individual mandate portion of health care law."

That tweet linked to CNN's home page, which displayed this headline at the top: "Mandate Struck Down."

Unfortunately for CNN—which has been hammered in the ratings this year by Fox News and MSNBC and just this month canceled John King's 6 p.m. news program—the opposite proved to be true. According to AP, The New York Times, Reuters and you name it, the Supreme Court upheld the healthcare law's mandate that most Americans must get health insurance by 2014 or pay a financial penalty.

Fox News made the same error on air, saying at first that the individual mandate was ruled to be unconstitutional.

According to the Huffington Post, the trouble for CNN began when one of its correspondents misread the Supreme Court's ruling on air. Then came the incorrect tweet, and then the retweets.

The New York Times, meanwhile, waited 15 minutes after the ruling was released before posting a story about it.

CNN and Fox News' haste leaves them both with black eyes and highlights the dangers of giving in to the mania to share news and content instantaneously on social networks. As always, tweet and retweet with caution.

Follow Steve Goldstein: @SGoldsteinAI


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About Steve Goldstein

Steve Goldstein is editorial director for Access Intelligence’s PR News brand, which encompasses premium, how-to content, data and competitive intelligence for public relations professionals; PR News Online; PR News conferences, webinars and awards programs; and PR News guidebooks. Previously at AI Steve was editorial director of min, min ’s b2b and minonline as well as managing editor of CableFAX: The Magazine and CableWorld. Before joining Access Intelligence, he was executive editor of World Screen News, and editor of Film/Tape World, which covered film, television and commercial production in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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