News Does Not Start With the Phrase “If This is True”

Howard Kurtz issues a network-wide mea culpa for CNN’s blown call on the SCOTUS health care ruling. Look, there’s no real upside in shaming CNN forever, but this is too soft. Kurtz points out that the ruling was complicated. His academic explains that the mistakes “wasn’t intentional, it wasn’t political bias.” But 1) is bias worse than getting something upside-down wrong? and 2) how does “complication” explain the failure of CNN’s producers – and, more astoundingly, talking heads – to read down to this part of page six?
Screen shot 2012-07-02 at 7.06.26 PM Ask yourself: Would Sotomayor, Kagan, Ginsburg, and Breyer have joined an opinion that struck down the law? It boggles the mind that didn’t tell John King and Wolf Blitzer, at least, to cool it before predicting what the decision meant for liberalism. Further mind-blowing: Why Fox News anchors admitted that they were getting “conflicting reports” about what the decision meant. “Conflicting reports” means you’re in some foggy situation – the halls outside secret meetings, maybe – and different stories are emerging. It does not mean “I am telling you, the TV audience, what different blogs claim to have found in the decision I have not yet read.”