Barack Obama's health care law ran into a legal buzz saw at the Supreme Court, Tuesday. So, how did the network morning shows on Wednesday cover the "historic" case? They mostly ignored it. Over two hours, ABC's Good Morning America allowed just two minutes.
Reporter Jon Karl hyped an ObamaCare loss as win-win for the President. He insisted it would be a "rallying cry for liberals" and that "it would also take away an issue for Republicans." [MP3 audio here.]
Co-host George Stephanopoulos admitted that the President's "signature" legislative achievement received a "rough reception." He tried to salvage things, spinning, "...Even if this went down...it would doom the President's law but we don't know what impact it would have on the campaign."
On NBC's Today, Matt Lauer squeezed the ObamaCare case into a
larger interview with House Speaker John Boehner. Instead of focusing on
the harsh treatment the law received from Supreme Court judges, Lauer
superficially zeroed in on the name and needled Boehner: "You call it
ObamaCare every time I hear you talk. Why don't you call it what you
called it when you debated it, the Affordable Care Act?"
On CBS This Morning, co-host Charlie Rose also deemed the case "historic."
But, similar to ABC, the program only offered two minutes and 45
seconds. Unlike the other networks, however, reporter Jan Crawford
acknowledged the generally poor reception the Obama legal team recieved.
Crawford explained, "[The Supreme Court judges'] tough questions for leading proponents of the law raising concern that the government didn't make its case, putting the law in jeopardy."
She added, "Some are going so far as to point the finger at Solicitor General of the United States, Donald Verrilli, who represented the government before the court."
Crawford then remarked, "The problem in the Supreme Court yesterday for the government wasn't its lawyer, it was the case."
Today, unlike GMA and CBS this Morning, actually had follow-up stories, although they were only quick news briefs. Natalie Morales allowed, "Tuesday's historic session indicates that the high court may drop a provision from the law that would require every American to purchase insurance or face a fine."
A transcript of the March 28 GMA segment, which aired at 7:15 segment, follows: