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Spin Control

CNN blows the call on health care ruling

Viewers of CNN may have been justifiably confused this morning when, over a span of four minutes, the Supreme Court ruling was described as a major defeat for President Obama and the Democrats to a “huge, huge victory.”

That's because at about 7:12 a.m. Pacific, CNN said the court struck down the individual mandate, based on the reading of their reporter at the scene. Instant analysis by Wolf Blitzer and company began assessing the damage, and they were quick to call the game against Obama.

Meanwhile, other sources were reporting the Affordable Care Act was essentially being upheld. CNN was missing a key point, that the individual mandate was being upheld as a tax, and within the power of Congress.

By about 7:16 a.m. CNN was reversing course, acknowledging that the mandate was upheld. “This is a huge, huge victory,” Blitzer intoned.

They only touched briefly on the fact that they blew the initial call.

John King: “It's a complicated decision.”

Blitzer: “It's a historic moment.”

Apparently in those historic moments, TV anchors sometimes get a little overanxious..

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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