CNN, The Most Trusted Name in News, called the Supreme Court’s ruling this morning on its website and in broadcast: with both a bright yellow BREAKING banner and a huge headline, CNN informed its viewers and web-readers that “The Supreme Court has struck down the individual mandate for health care” and “Mandate Struck Down.”
They even had the sub-head wrong on their website splash page: “High Court Finds Measure Unconstitutional.” And then provided readers more (wrong) detail in the article:
Justices’ ruling overturns requirement that Americans buy health insurance. The decision will affect you, generations of Americans and this fall’s presidential race.
“The most trusted name in news?” Not today.
Someone needs to tell CNN: There is no such thing as fashioning a scoop over something that’s released to the public. Here I cite New York University professor Jay Rosen, who repeatedly chants about how cheap it is when news outlets brand as “exclusives” bits of information that everyone will know in a short time anyhow. This afternoon, one day from now, one week from now: No one will notice, care or otherwise take heed that your outlet was the first to report on a Supreme Court decision. There’s not an outlet that’ll own that news. But much heed will be taken of a quick and mistaken interpretation of such a decision.
Let’s have a slogan contest to help CNN more accurately reflect their performance? “First with the news, but wrong!” “CNN: when you care more about getting the news fast than getting the news right” “CNN: We inform AND misinform!”