Looking at you CNN, and FOX, and CBS, and several news organizations and individual news people on twitter, too many to name believe it or not. A quick recap of the stakes.
Today was the day the United States Supreme Court handed down it’s ruling on the Affordable Health Care Act or ACA, or socialized medicine , depending on what side of the crazy you inhabit. The biggest issue was the mandate stating all Americans must purchase health care. If that was struck down the whole law would likely fall. If the mandate was upheld, the Republicans would get their rallying cry for November.
Rally cry Ho!
The court ruled the mandate is constitutional, but not the way it was written. It is not constitutional to mandate health care under the commerce clause, but it is so, under the taxing authority of the government. That little subtlety is where the news organizations crapped on themselves. More on that in a second.
Game with in the Game
Chief Justice Roberts, a conservative put on the bench by President Bush 43, wrote the decision for the majority, meaning he ruled in favor of the law. Truly a big surprise there. Not as big but still a shocker, Justice Kennedy, the most liberal of the conservative justices, sided with the minority conservatives. He went as far as to say the law should be struck down entirely. So much for claiming partisan politics on this deal. That’s a small blow really, for conservatives but in my opinion a bigger win overall.
A sleeping giant
The pizazz is missing from team Romney. His party is in like with him, not in love. This might be the spark that ramps up the love. Well probably not, it will more likely ramp up the hate for the President. The last time that happened – 2010 when a lot of D’s lost their jobs over this very issue. The Tea Party is drying their powder right now, I can assure you. To steal and modify a line from the President’s chief advisor David Axelrod, that sound you hear is the buzz of Karl Rove’s super pac bombers revving their engines.
Wisconsin: in a word – meaningless
Remember the most important election of our lives, you remember, the recall election of Scott Walker, Governor of Wisconsin. That was fun. I predicted that event would have little impact on the November election and ultimately be meaningless if for no other reason than timing. Way too much time between that fight and November. Well the Supreme Court just moved the Wisconsin election to meaningless-ville. It’s still June folks, this decision may move there as well. Who knows what will happen between now and each party’s conventions in late summer? A lot of golf left my friends, which ever side you are on, trust me, the Presidential election was not decided today.
Jump first, blush second, wait, is it jump first look second, no, no it’s read first jump second, or… oh hell just jump.
Such in the journalistic motto of my friends at CNN. All the news outlets came on the air an hour before the decision was handed down. All but MSNBC failed to wait that one crucial minute and read past the first paragraph. The Supreme Court is not an elected body. Those folks serve for life, cannot be removed unless they break the law, and do not have to campaign. There was never going to be a press conference to announce the decision.
It was handed down they way all Supreme Court rulings are handed down, in written form. Each network had one press pass to be in the room when the decision was handed out. They were then required to go outside to report. Only Pete williams and Chuck Todd took the 2 minutes necessary to read it. John King and Wolf Blitzer of CNN now wish they had used those two minutes.
CNN folks read the first sentence and then went to Breaking News – Health Care Law struck down! Whoops. The first lines detailed how using the health care law as part of the commerce clause was in fact unconstitutional. That was good enough for King and Biltzer. They went nuts about the blow to Obama. FOX did the same but CNN’s melt down was so much more epic that the FOX gang was overlooked. At least the FOX reporter was reading the ruling as she was reporting.
But at CNN you could hear the voice of John King slow to a “oh crap, it’s not repealed, it stands, what did I just do” silence. Wolf was left holding the flaming turd bag trying desperately to put it out as King decided that shutting up might be the best course of action. That only lasted a minute, maybe 90 seconds, but it was the funniest thing I’ve seen on TV in a while. King is still on the air but he looks a lot like Charlton Heston did in Ten Commandments after he went to see the burning bush.
CNN’s John King before reading shouts “Struck Down!”
King seconds after finding out “It Stands!”
I don’t care who you are, that’s funny right there.
So let it written, so let it be done.
Be advised, this fight is far from over. In fact it may have just started.