The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Friday, June 29, 2012

CNN to investigate SNAFU; Fox News Ignores its "yellow journalism"

There is no other way to say it, so I will just say it. CNN exhibited an awful degree of unprofessionalism that verged on Fox News like "yellow journalism" as they jumped the ACA oral pause of Chief Justice Roberts.  The pause came immediately after he stated that the commerce clause does not provide sanctuary for the ACA, but........  Roberts followed the lexicon pause with an explanation of how the ACA Mandate was constitutional as he considered the tax implications of not securing coverage in accordance with the law.  CNN, Fox News and the usually credible NPR "bolted" to report the striking of the mandate, but each carried to their mics and cameras nothing more than severe misinformation.


Eight minutes after the scheduled ACA decision announcement time of 10:00AM, CNN was on camera reporting the mandate had been stricken. (Note digital time image on screen in the video below).  Wolf Blitzer delivers the "Breaking News" (a tired and well worn news media trick) by throwing the report to a reporter, Kate Baldwin, stationed outside the Court Building. The reporter states the statement for Chief Justice Roberts was ongoing, makes the horribly erroneous report, and tells Blitzer she will jump back on this phone" for more information. The shoddy reporting took place within 29 seconds of CNN's declaration of "Breaking News".

LINKED due to viewing availability from thew video source

It is simply impossible for me to twist my mind to free myself of thoughts CNN was pre-set to announce a stricken mandate.  CNN has many fully competent electronic media professionals on-air and in production roles. Surely the there had to be at least one seasoned professional who could have stopped the presses for some degree of verification.  CNN has clealry illustrated the reason so many viewers left the networks viewership in March of this year (50 percent down).  The Number 3 network (out of three) appears so desperate for credibility, the network stepped off the precipice of an abyss of journalistic shallowness. They literally cloned the model of Fox News.  As I speak of Fox News, let's take a look on that side of the remote.  First a word or two form POLITICO about the shoddy reporting.

Representatives from both networks did not immediately respond to a request for comment or clarification, though in the past CNN representatives have told POLITICO that they are more concerned with "getting it right" than with "getting it first.
Here's how it played on Fox News, which has yet to 
issue a statement:
LINKED due to problems at video source 

Of course, Fox News will not immediately issue a statement. Fox News is accustomed to such reporting and frankly, not concerned about leaving such 'yellow journalism' in the minds of its minions. Moreover, Fox News does not have to reach back to its viewers and express concern with their lack of competence. Why? Fox viewers do not care!

As I speak of statements, let's review the CNN statement and assurances of a probe into the matter. 

Huffington Post - MEDIA

CNN Staff Memo Promises Internal Investigation Into Supreme Court Health Care Mistake

Posted:  Updated: 06/29/2012 11:18 am
A memo to CNN staff on Thursday night promised an investigation into the network's erroneous reporting of the Supreme Court's historic health care ruling. 
CNN was deeply embarrassed on Thursday after it initially told viewers that the individual mandate central to President Obama's health care legislation was struck down. In fact, the court ruled that the provision could be upheld as a tax. The network wasn't the only one to make the mistake — Fox News initially reported and The Huffington Post tweeted the same thing. 
Later, senior vice president and Washington bureau chief Sam Feist told staff that the network is "looking into exactly what happened." He said in a statement, "Today we failed to adhere to our own standard, namely it’s better to be right than to be first. We take mistakes seriously, especially mistakes on such important stories." the full text of Sam Feist's memo (via Washington Post):
I wanted to send a quick note about our reporting of the Supreme Court decision this morning.
As you all know by now, our initial reporting of the decision turned out to be wrong. Despite the best of intentions, we told our viewers and our online readers that the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act had been struck down when, in fact, it had not.

Today we failed to adhere to our own standard, namely it’s better to be right than to be first. We take mistakes seriously, especially mistakes on such important stories. We are looking into exactly what happened and we will learn from it.

When we realized what happened, we owned up to the mistake, corrected on air, corrected on line, and corrected in social media. Our organization has also been entirely transparent about what happened and why. I wanted to make sure that you have seen CNN’s statement which is linked here:

While this may be of little solace, it is worth noting that our coverage after 10:20am was very strong. We covered the decision, the impact on the country, the impact on the presidential campaign, and the fallout. We covered it with our top reporters and analysts, with doctors, political leaders, attorneys, and most important – with ordinary citizens.

And we covered today’s Contempt of Congress proceedings exceedingly well.

Today was a historic day in Washington. We have much to be proud of but also some important lessons to reflect on.  
Thanks for everything you do.  


The findings of the internal investigation need go no further than simply principles of journalism: report after verifying information from two independent sources.  As we live in an age of immediate information that is 97% electronic, verification from independent sources is difficult regarding time constraints.  And, it does not take any stretch of the imagination that time-constraints places the ever-present "Breaking News' in a precarious state.

CNN's unprofessionalism is indicative of its slippage into the domain of partisan news reporting.  The network wants to position itself on the Right-Left spectrum squarely in the center position. I posit the network is showing increasing signs of adopting a Fox News broadcast and business model.  

And, yesterdays' FIASCO is clear evidence in support of my opinion.

As for Fox News...well.......why bother.

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