News Organizations Don’t All Get Health Ruling Right

A rush to quickly report the Supreme Court’s decision on President Barack Obama’s health care law on Thursday tripped up some news organizations that got it wrong and had to quickly correct themselves.

Both CNN and Fox News Channel initially reported incorrectly that the law’s central provision, requiring virtually all Americans to have health insurance, had been struck down. In an apology, CNN said it “regrets that it didn’t wait to report out the full and complete opinion regarding the mandate.”

The Associated Press got it right, as did other news organizations and broadcast television outlets, generally. A minute after the AP flash alert at 10:07 a.m., The New York Times asked its readers for time, with Washington bureau chief David Leonhardt posting that reporters and editors were analyzing the decision.

“Once we are comfortable with its basic meaning, you can expect a torrent of coverage,” he said. The Times next sent news via Twitter at 10:20.

It was a particularly embarrassing muff for CNN, which has suffered through one of its worst ratings quarters in several years, primarily due to a paucity of big news. The network eagerly awaited the Supreme Court’s decision Thursday, running a “countdown clock” on its screen during the morning ticking down to 10 a.m.

Anchor Wolf Blitzer and reporter Kate Bolduan quickly reported that the health care law was struck down, based on a reading of Chief Justice John Roberts’ decision that the mandate was not a valid exercise of congressional power under the commerce clause. Later in the reading, the justices found other reasons for upholding that portion of the law.

CNN’s screen read: “Supreme Ct. Kills Individual Mandate.”

“The court striking down that mandate is a dramatic blow to the president,” said John King, CNN reporter.

The network also sent an email reporting that the mandate had been struck down and posted the news on Twitter.

By 10:13 a.m., some doubt had seeped in and the onscreen headline read: “Supreme Court Rules on Obama Law.”

“Let’s take a deep breath and see what the justices actually decided,” Blitzer said. “It could be more complicated than we originally thought.”

By 10:15, the network was reporting that the entire law had been upheld, and King called it “a huge, huge victory for President Obama.”

Fox made the same initial mistake, with Bill Hemmer touting the “breaking news” that the individual mandate had been declared unconstitutional. Fox anchor Bret Baier tweeted the same news. Within two minutes, however, Megyn Kelly was citing the SCOTUSblog in casting doubt on that interpretation, even ordering producers to change an onscreen headline that read: “Supreme Court Finds Health Care Individual Mandate Unconstitutional.”

“We’re trying to do the best we can,” Hemmer said.

Michael Clemente, Fox executive vice president of news and editorial, was unapologetic. “We gave our viewers the news as it happened … Fox reported the facts, as they came in.”

Several members of Congress tweeted incorrect information about the ruling, perhaps based on the initial misreading by cable networks.

Republican Rep. Darrell Issa of California called it a “big win for liberty and the Constitution. Rep. Tom Rooney (R, Fla.) said it was “great news for the American people, victory for constitution.”

On CBS, Jan Crawford spoke on the air as she scanned the decision. “It appears, based on our quick summary, that the mandate, the individual mandate at the heart of this case may be in jeopardy under one provision of the constitution but they may have upheld the mandate under another provision.”

ABC initially bobbled one detail – calling the ruling 6-3 instead of 5-4 – but correctly reported the outcome in a special report by Terry Moran. NBC’s Pete Williams said that “the bottom line here is the Supreme Court has upheld the health care law.”

(AP)

Evading Ticketmaster Louis C.K. Sells Tour Himself

After selling a comedy special directly to fans and upending the comedy business, Louis C.K. is taking the same approach with tickets to his next tour.

The comedian announced Monday evening that he’ll charge a flat, no-fee rate of $45 to all of the shows on a 39-city tour he kicks off in October. Tickets will bypass ticketing services and be available only through louisck.com.

That’s similar to how he sold downloads of his special “Live at the Beacon” for $5, a move that was widely hailed and has since been imitated by other comics.

In an effort to deter scalping, he pledged that any tour tickets sold above the original price will be canceled.

Louis C.K.’s show “Louie” debuts its third season on FX on Thursday. (AP)

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Online: http://www.louisck.net/

Uggie Leaves Paw Prints at Famed Grauman’s Theatre

Every dog has its day — and Monday belonged to Uggie.

The canine star of the Oscar-winning film “The Artist” became the first dog to put its paw prints in cement outside Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.

Uggie arrived in a fire truck and was celebrated with a cake in the shape of a fire hydrant and with a golden bow-tie collar. The event also marked his retirement from show business.

The Jack Russell terrier joined a long list of celebrities, including Johnny Depp, Marilyn Monroe and Fred Astaire, with hand and foot prints in the courtyard of the famed Hollywood tourist spot.

“The Artist” won the best picture trophy at the Academy Awards earlier this year.

Uggie’s other film credits include “Mr. Fix It,” “Wassup Rockers” and “Water for Elephants.”  (AP)

Library Picks 88 ‘Books That Shaped America’

The Library of Congress is celebrating “Books that Shaped America” with a list of 88 titles and an exhibit in Washington.

The library released its picks of the most influential books Friday. Librarian of Congress James Billington says the titles aren’t meant as “best” books. Instead, he says the library wants to spark a conversation about books that influenced the nation.

The list begins with Benjamin Franklin’s “Experiments and Observations on Electricity” from 1751. It includes Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense,” novels “The Scarlet Letter,” “Moby-Dick,” “Little Women” and “The Great Gatsby” and other famous titles like “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” and “The Cat in the Hat.”

The library wants the public to nominate other titles.

An exhibit on the “Books that Shaped America” opens Monday.

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http://www.loc.gov/bookfest/

(AP)

Forbes List of Top Earning Actresses

Ok, I didn’t expect this – I usually don’t keep up with salaries, but wow Kristen Stewart?! She’s only 22! For years – Julia Roberts was 1. Not no mo’!

No wonder Kristen Wiig left “Saturday Night Live.” They couldn’t pay her nearly as much as Hollywood does. Forbes magazine says Wiig made $12 million in the past year, the same as Meryl Streep and $1 million more than Jennifer Aniston. Wiig and Streep are tied for eighth place on Forbes’ list of the top-earning actresses.

Kristen Stewart is the highest paid, making $34.5 million in the past year.

Cameron Diaz is a half-million behind.

Sandra Bullock is third at $25 million.

Angelina Jolie is fourth with $20 million.

Charlize Theron made $18 million, putting her in fifth place one spot ahead of Julia Roberts and two spots ahead of Sarah Jessica Parker. (AP)

Woot! Arsenio Hall Returning to Late-Night TV

Arsenio Hall is returning to TV’s late-night scene, where he flourished with a talk show two decades ago.

CBS Television Distribution says it is developing a syndicated nightly talk show with the 57-year-old actor and comedian. The company said Monday that the show is set to premiere in fall 2013.

Hall is best known for hosting the Emmy Award-winning “Arsenio Hall Show,” which ran from 1989 to 1994. That show’s place in pop-culture history was clinched in 1992 when then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton appeared and played “Heartbreak Hotel” on the saxophone.

Hall was featured in the 1988 Eddie Murphy comedy “Coming to America” and was a regular on the CBS series “Martial Law” in the late 1990s.

Recently, he won the latest edition of NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice.”

Hall’s new show will debut in the fall of 2013. (AP)

Federal Officials OK Larger Crowd for Burning Man

Ten thousand more people are expected to be on hand in the Nevada desert for this year’s Burning Man festival after federal officials increased the event’s attendance cap.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management issued a special recreation permit to San Francisco-based Black Rock City LLC, the nonprofit group behind Burning Man. The permit allows 60,900 people to attend the arts festival, up from 50,000 last year. Officials announced the increase Tuesday.

Organizers had requested the change in the face of growing demand for tickets. The request was met with little opposition.

The annual arts and music gathering takes place in the sprawling Black Rock Desert, about 100 miles north of Reno, during the week leading up to Labor Day. It’s overseen by federal officials because it takes place on public land. (AP)