Woops! CNN and Fox News this morning incorrectly reported that the US Supreme Court had ruled President Obama's health care mandate unconstitutional.
They stated that the court struck down the individual mandate, which requires most Americans to get health insurance by 2014. The Supreme Court actually mostly upheld the mandate.
CNN reported the misinformation on television, broadcast it across its website and sent a message on Twitter reading: "Supreme Court strikes down individual mandate portion of health care law," with a link to its Live Blog. The Twitter message shot around the Twittersphere and by 10:26 a.m., less than 20 minutes after it was sent, it had been retweeted 958 times.
CNN also sent a breaking news email alert to subscribers announcing that the mandate had been struck down. Eight minutes later, it sent a correction:
Correction: The Supreme Court backs all parts of President Obamas signature health care law, including the individual mandate that requires all to have health insurance.
Twitter user Gabrielle Levy captured a moment on the CNN website when it was reporting both the correct and incorrect information:
— Gabrielle Levy (@gabbilevy) June 28, 2012
CNN news staffers are furious at the network for the error, calling it a "humiliating" moment, BuzzFeed reports.
The Associated Press reported the ruling correctly, and the staff are quite happy, according to a memo published on Jim Romensko's blog.
Politico reports that Bill Hemmer of Fox News initially said the following:
We have breaking news here on the Fox News Channel, the individual mandate has been ruled unconstitutional. This was a part of the law that was at the center of the oral arguments three months ago on this day when the justices hammered away at the White House and the administration's attorney, questioning the validity of the individual mandate and asking the following pointed question: if you can legislate healthcare, where can the federal government be stopped?
Fox News then changed its coverage of the ruling.
The networks corrected their errors, but not before the misinformation spread. The National Journal captured messages sent on Twitter by Republican lawmakers celebrating the false reports.
Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla., tweeted: "Breaking - #SupremeCourt strikes #individualmandate. Great news for American people, victory for constitution. #Obamacare."
See more of the Twitter messages.
DISCUSSION: Tell us your thoughts on the Supreme Court ruling. Did you think the mandate would be struck down? How will the ruling affect you and your family?