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How SCOTUSblog Got It Right When CNN and Fox News Got It Wrong

Dewey Defeats Truman.jpg
Harry Truman was NOT defeated...and the Affordable Care Act was not overturned, despite what CNN and Fox News said.

You've probably heard about how CNN and Fox News screwed up the Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act.

It's "Dewey Defeats Truman" all over again.

So how did the big news organizations get it wrong, and the five-person SCOTUSblog, with only one credentialed journalist, get it right?

First of all, you should read the SCOTUSblog's own blow-by-blow analysis of the media coverage of the announcement.

But there are two other forces at play here, according to Kelly McBride of the Poynter Institute's Sense-making Project.

1. The major networks got it wrong because they placed a huge emphasis upon breaking the news first.

Their experts read the part of the decision where Chief Justice Roberts said the individual mandate was not allowed under the Commerce Clause...but failed to read the entire decision before jumping to conclusions.

"They just both felt a lot of pressure to pull the trigger quickly...and they pulled the trigger too quickly," McBride said.

2. We're depending less upon big media companies, and more upon specialized media outlets that can do better coverage on a highly-specialized topic -- like SCOTUSblog.

"In a way, I think this is the future of news," she said.

It's even more amazing, McBride says, considering SCOTUSblog can't get Supreme Court press credentials -- and probably won't any time soon.

Click here to listen to McBride discuss how these forces combined to bring us the mistake by CNN and Fox News.



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