Constitution Daily

Smart conversation from the National Constitution Center

CNN, Fox making headlines, not just reporting them

July 3, 2012 by NCC Staff


In recent days, two major media outlets, CNN and Fox News, have gotten mixed up in some big political stories they have been covering, with some rather odd implications.

The old journalism saying is that a media outlet shouldn’t be the story, it should just report on the story.

However, CNN and Fox News are making headlines on their own for reacting to news, and jumping into it, in some cases.

Both news networks made major mistakes in reporting the Supreme Court’s decision on health care on Thursday, with CNN getting the brunt of the bad press – for sticking longer with a wrong story.

Fox News amended its story quickly as anchor Megyn Kelly was attentively reading SCOTUSblog on the live news set and corrected reports coming into the studio that the Supreme Court rejected the individual mandate.

CNN took far longer to realize its mistake, broadcast it over all its platforms, and then had information about the incident leaked to the press that indicated employee outrage and an internal investigation.

Then over the weekend, Rupert Murdoch, the 81-year-old head of News Corp. (the parent company of Fox News) went into a controlled Twitter critique about Mitt Romney, the presumed GOP candidate.

Murdoch said he wasn’t impressed with Romney’s campaign and it should hire some “real pros.” On Monday, Murdoch was tweeting about how the Romney camp was upset with his Twitter activity.

That was just days Murdoch announced that he was splitting his prized News Corp. franchise into two separate companies.

Murdoch’s opinion is important, since he owns Fox News, which doesn’t apologize about being a conservative news outlet. His lukewarm support of Romney is a political story that has many media observers scratching their heads.

For CNN, it was still dwelling on the Supreme Court mistake.

A weekend news analysis show, Reliable Sources, hosted by Washington journalism insider Howard Kurtz, replayed and analyzed the mistakes at CNN and Fox, with an emphasis on CNN.

At one point Kurtz said that CNN's blunder was "the kind of mistake that people remember for a long time." But he also ripped Fox for not issuing a clear-cut apology and called it “Orwellian.”

By Monday, there were reports that CNN was in executive turmoil after the Supreme Court mistake and a historically bad ratings period.

That report came from the New York Post, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch.

Recent Constitution Daily Stories

An open letter to Chief Justice John Roberts Andy Griffith’s breakout political movie CNN, Fox making headlines, not just reporting them Address America with your six-word stump speech

Sign up for our email newsletter