Media, pol confusion on healthcare ruling

Harry S. Truman mocks an ancient and incorrect printed Tweet. (AP)

Harry S. Truman mocks an ancient and incorrect printed Tweet. (AP)

Twitter is fast, and like most fast things can be dangerous. Toss a hefty and complex legal ruling into the mix and you’ve got a good recipe for disaster, or at least confusion.

The @AJC Twitter account was among the media outlets that got the healthcare ruling wrong initially. I am told the AJC’s vaunted Lord of the Tweet was listening to CNN coverage and got a little trigger happy and hit send on this bit of embarrassment: “Breaking: Supreme Court strikes down mandate that requires individuals to buy insurance.”

CNN reporter John King, a huge Newt Gingrich fan, initially described it as “a dramatic blow to the policy and to the president, politically.”

Fortunately for Atlanta-based CNN, mortal foe Fox got it wrong too, according to Politico. Bill Hemmer was the unhappy fellow: “We have breaking news here on the Fox News Channel, the individual mandate has been ruled unconstitutional.”

In Atlanta, at the state capitol, Republicans cheered the ruling, the AJC reported. “That quickly gave way to confusion and then indignation at the decision,” writes Shannon McCaffrey.

In Washington, there was much of the same. Politico, in another article, reports “at least eight members of Congress — seven Republicans and one Democrat — jumped the gun on Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling, tweeting incorrectly that the individual mandate had been struck down as unconstitutional.”

“Let Freedom Ring,” said Dennis Ross (R-Fla.) in a tweet.

His pain, as well as ours, is still ringing around the Twitterverse as people hit “retweet.”

Why did people get it wrong? Trying to be first led to the errors, of course. And Chief Justice Roberts didn’t help. When reading the ruling he first explained the law was not constitutional under the Commerce Clause, but, as Business Insider points out, continued to say the law was constitutional as a tax.

CNN issued the following 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.”

Meanwhile, the Associated Press is asking its employees to “stop taunting” CNN.

18 comments Add your comment

Hee Hee

June 28th, 2012
12:15 pm

That last bit is too funny.


June 28th, 2012
12:20 pm

Gotta love the unhappiness & outrage expressed by the tea tards, plutocrats and limburger myrmidons.


June 28th, 2012
12:26 pm

I heart obamacare!


June 28th, 2012
12:33 pm

Yea! me, with no job and no insurance, Now I can count on the government for everyday needs!, Ill never have to work again, Ill just wait for my hand outs.. Thank you Obama, This is what vacation is all about.. now, where will I go next..


June 28th, 2012
12:36 pm

Love the attitude Nimrod. Enjoyment at others expense… The whole left versus right thing in this country is getting old. Grow up.


June 28th, 2012
12:38 pm

You have it right.You will never again have to worry about anything unless you’re stupid enough to go to work.


June 28th, 2012
12:43 pm

Actually, Rick, you don’t know whether you hate it or not. Most of it won’t take effect until 2014, and we won’t fully know until then exactly how it will impact us. You are just spouting the GOP Party line because all you right wingers hate Obama. It’s time both sides learned to compromise and work together for the good of the country. Otherwise, we will continue to have problems.


June 28th, 2012
12:51 pm

I don’t hafta worry about my mortgage, about putting gas in my car, and now I don’t hafta worry about healthcare. Hallaluah!

Bush/Gore All Over Again

June 28th, 2012
12:52 pm

CNN & Wolf Blitzer were horrible. Caption of ‘….Mandate Overturned’ for 15 minutes, when ‘Mixed Ruling’ for 10 muinutes then ‘UPHELD’. The entire broadcast was a POS and Blitzer sounded like a complete idiot. No wonder I only watch CNN once every 2 years.

Donna P.

June 28th, 2012
1:02 pm

I just expands Medicaid which means taxpayers will be taxed more to cover this.


June 28th, 2012
1:07 pm

The only thing that would make it better would be if professional a-hole Boortz found a granite cloud whilst puttering above his chalk-white FLA enclave. Or, better yet, augur in at a golf course, thereby reducing the infestation of GOP snoots on my planet.

Donna P.

June 28th, 2012
1:09 pm

Hey Boortz is retiring in January to Florida. Can you retire Nimrod?


June 28th, 2012
1:25 pm

When it is fully implemented, people will love Obamacare and President Obama will be blessed in history with the honor of having a major reform named after him. What sweet irony after the attempt to make it a term of disdain. In the meantime, it is the Democrats’ job to show how this wonderful reform has been muddied with a bunch of pure lies. Once the law is in place, people will again realize this as they did after the passage of Social Security in the 1930’s. The right can only live off of fear.


June 28th, 2012
1:42 pm

You people that say this is a good thing are drinking the kool-aid. This is nothing but a HUGE government takeover. We are 16 Trillion in debt because of King Obama and it’s only going to get worse under this Dictator. This country was founded o freedom, not big government control under the lie of trying to help the people.

The end is near

June 28th, 2012
1:54 pm

So now President Obama can claim victory by having implemented the biggest tax increase to the American people in at least the last 6 decades and that the program is not self-sustaining and will add hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars to our nation’s deficit as well. Anybody cheering this is more stupid than the members of congress who voted for it. At least they had the common sense to exclude themselves from this abhorrent law.

Tyler Sanders

June 28th, 2012
4:02 pm

Obama: This is not a tax. SCOTUS: The mandate can stand since it’s a tax. Huh? So let me make this a simple to understand as possible. The government has now full permission to tax NON-economic activity. So, you don’t buy healthy insurance? You’re taxed more. What’s next? You didn’t purchase the food the government has decided is the right food? You’re taxed more. You didn’t put the solar panels on your house like we said you had to? Taxed. You haven’t bought the prius yet? Taxed more. It will never end. We are in the last days of the Republic, folks. Arm yourselves.


June 28th, 2012
4:05 pm

it’s funny. i’m trying to figure out what’s free about this plan. from what i gather, everyone has to pay for the cost of their healthcare. now, i get that it’s subsidized by the govt, but in reality, i’d rather my tax $$ go to someone who at least is paying his/her part. as it stands today, i’m paying for all of the healthcare of those who are not insured…through my tax $$ AND through my increased premiums, which skyrocketed long before 2009.

why are we ok with rich folks hiding behind loopholes, and the avg person picking up the slack. but, we have a coronary when having to help another avg person out. just doesn’t make sense to me.

Fred ™

June 29th, 2012
6:08 am

Wow. The stupid here………. it BURNS……..