10:07 a.m.: That’s the moment that CNN and Fox News were committing what will go down in Twitter, articles and books as historic broadcasting blunders. They got the pivotal Supreme Court ruling on the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act wrong by 180 degrees.
During that same minute, Bloomberg TV was getting it right. Bloomberg anchor Erik Schatzker:
We do have the decision from the Supreme Court, everybody: Obama’s health-care overhaul has been upheld. That is the latest headline that we are getting out of Washington, and this is not what anybody expected. Again, I’m just bringing you the latest, everyone. I do not have all the details of the ruling from the Supreme Court of the United States. But right now it does appear as though the justices on the Supreme Court have upheld President Obama’s signature law.
According to a Bloomberg spokesperson, this is how that report came together:
*Bloomberg News reporter Greg Stohr was on location when the decision was handed out this morning. Stohr has been covering the high court for more than a decade.
*Once he received the decision, Stohr read it very quickly. “He actually read through the entire opinion and was able to make an accurate call,” says a company spokesperson.
*After he finished reading the decision, Stohr pumped a headline into the Bloomberg system. That headline — that the health-care legislation had been upheld — hit Bloomberg’s famous info-terminals. Bloomberg TV anchors are hooked up to the same feed.
*Schatzker grabbed the headline and used it to make the statement transcripted above. The anchor worked at Bloomberg News for nearly a decade before anchoring, and he said through a company spokesperson that such experience afforded him a high degree of confidence in how the headlines are generated. “He knows how much time, preparation and care go into getting” them right, says the spokesperson.
Scotusblog had a pretty solid headline of sorts as well. It reported: “Amy Howe: The individual mandate survives as a tax.” That bit of huge news hit the web at 10:08.
As reported earlier on Romenesko, Bloomberg claims to have beaten the Associated Press by the generous margin of 24 seconds: 10:07:31, to 10:07:55. An eternity, that is, in Twitter years.
When asked if Bloomberg was prepared to say that it had beaten everyone to this news, the spokesperson responded: “We were the first to make the accurate call.” That sounds like a yes.