The Irony of Idiotic Idiots and the Rush to Be FIRST!

I hadn’t planned a direct reaction to the Supreme Court upholding all aspects of the Affordable Care Act (calling it ‘Obamacare’ is a pejorative term that shows clear bias), as it isn’t the focus of the site and there wasn’t a direct ‘hook’ that made sense. Well, there wasn’t until the announcement and the hour or so after it … and then there were TWO interesting developments!

First, when the ruling came down, I saw a quick notification across my iPad; since I was on my PC I headed to to check out the news and see what was decided. I came upon the banner shown at top, stating erroneously that the Supreme Court had struck down the individual mandate. Before I really got that far reading the article I saw an email on my iPad from CarlyZ about how the court had UPHELD the ruling! So I headed to USAToday (which I have set to push on my iPad) and found the correct news … and then refreshed CNN which had corrected the story.

This has become quite an embarrassment for CNN, as well as FOX News and HuffPo for getting it wrong, as reported here:

As the complicated ruling was being announced, CNN reported that the Supreme Court had struck down the individual mandate. The network corrected itself within minutes, but the Internet had already taken note.

Critics were quick to reprimand the cable network. Twitter was ablaze with scathing commentary, including this tweet from Detroit Free Press editor Brian J. Manzullo.

“Note to CNN: No one would have remembered you posting the *#SCOTUS, decision first. Now everyone will remember you for having it wrong,” tweeted @BrianManzullo.
The Washington Post’s Eric Wemple went further to question how breaking news is defined, writing, “Someone needs to tell CNN: There is no such thing as fashioning a scoop over something that’s released to the public.”

Ouch. It got to the point where the AP had to tell staffers “Please, immediately, stop taunting on social networks about CNN and others’ SCOTUS ruling mistake and the AP getting it right”

But that didn’t stop John Stewart from having some fun – watch the video here for some great laughs.

Naturally, the false headline quickly became a meme – with a photoshop of Obama holding an iPad with the incorrect CNN headline inserted over the infamous ‘Dewey Defeats Truman’ picture from 1948. Check it out here.

As expected, Conservatives have railed against the decision just as they have against the law itself. That is fine and is an important part of our national discourse. But … well, sometimes at the intersection of anger and ignorance we find hilarity.

First, Rush Limbaugh made a statement that the Huffington Post quoted as follows:

I don’t know. I’ll just tell you this, if this passes and it’s five years from now and all that stuff gets implemented — I am leaving the country. I’ll go to Costa Rica.

In reality that was a partial mis-quote, with Limbaugh clearly stating he would seek care elsewhere rather than MOVE to Costa Rica … but the reality is that Costa Rica has a universal health care system, thereby making the core argument Limbaugh made hilariously ironic.

But of course, Rush Limbaugh is far from the only one without a basic understanding of the reality that the United States is an anomaly of the ‘first world’ in NOT providing coverage to all citizens. And of course BuzzFeed, who LIVES for this stuff, rounded up some tweets from people who were going to protest the SCOTUS ruling on ACA by … moving to Canada!

Of course … Canada has a universal health care system, one that was used by both sides in the debate over the ACA law itself. But why worry about the facts or let them get in the way of your mindless rant!

Ultimately I think CNN has lost the most in all of this – for several minutes after the announcement they fervently debated the impact of what had happened, then tried to claim ‘confusion’ after most everyone else had it right for at least 5 minutes before CNN themselves finally got a grip.

Do you have any other funny stories or gaffes from the SCOTUS ruling?

Categories: Gear Bits


7 replies

  1. I couldn’t agree more. I have thought for a long time that in the era of the Web, Facebook, and Twitter, the whole concept of “a scoop” and exclusive interviews was kinda silly.

    • And I just saw on Buzzfeed that NPR had compiled a picture of young reporters (most interns) heading ‘off to the races’ with court papers in hand right after the announcement … how quaint!

      • The “I’m moving to Canada” thing just reinforces the fact that so many people just listen to the sound bites and don’t go any further. Nuance? No way. Subtly? Uh uh. Buy into the strategically-placed nonsense the “message-shapers” put forward? Yup.
        Just watched the first episode of Newsroom on HBO. Does a great job of showing what’s wrong. And could be right again.
        Sent from my iPad

        • My first thought with how messily wrong CNN and Fox were was that Aaron Sorkin must have been doing backflips. He has material for years based on those gaffes alone.
          (And despite all the sarcastic jokes I made about it, I enjoyed The Newsroom immensely-I am just anxious for it to get past the world building and preaching and into good meaty storylines…after all, today’s news gives them plenty of inspiration!)

  2. I take almost all breaking news stories with a rather large grain of salt these days. As for Republicans threatening to leave the country, remember Alec Baldwin promised to do that in 2000 if Bush was elected. 😉

    • But he didn’t predicate his leaving on a specific issue and… Name his new country, one that has long had exactly that issue as public policy.
      The “I’m leaving the country” thing is silly from any side of the aisle but to say “I’m leaving the US because of universal health care and going to X” when X HAS universal healthcare is beyond silly.
      Sent from my iPad

      • Seems to me, that Baldwin threatening to leave because of Bush winning the election is a specific issue. However, I agree that threatening to leave is plain silly regardless of who says it.