Digital Journalism is Destroying Accuracy for the Sake of Being Fast and First

This week marks two new low points in journalism. As we’ve reported over the last couple of days, they are, 1) Glenn Greenwald’s effort to conflate malicious hackers with political activism via a leaked Snowden document, and 2) the broadly misreported analysis of the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) report on the economic impact of the Affordable Care Act.

Regarding the latter, nearly every major online publication reported that Obamacare would cost the economy more than two million jobs over the next ten years. Nearly all of them. As of this writing, very few have corrected their headlines, while others changed the wording but preserved the overall panic-inducing idea that the ACA is a jobs killer.

The Washington Post‘s Chris Cillizza, whose CBO article was titled “The worst headline for Democrats this year,” defended his headline yesterday, explaining that he was merely reporting on how the Republicans would use the CBO’s (distorted) findings against the Democrats in the midterms. In his original post from Tuesday Cillizza went so far as to write up a mock GOP campaign commercial.

Close your eyes for a minute and fast forward to October. And imagine yourself sitting in a Charlotte hotel room watching TV. And this ad comes on: “Kay Hagan voted for Obamacare, a law whose rollout was so botched that a million people decided to not even sign up for health coverage. And the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office says Obamacare will cost America 2 million jobs. Kay Hagan voted wrong. Now it’s time to vote her out.” That’s a VERY tough hit on any Democratic incumbent who voted for the Affordable Care Act.

Cute.

Cillizza’s mea culpa is yet another variation of Chuck Todd’s notorious remarks about how it’s not his job to correct the GOP’s talking points about the ACA.

To repeat: the truth is that the ACA will allow many Americans to work fewer hours while retaining their coverage; it will allow people to quit their jobs to find better ones or to start up new businesses and so forth.

On top of all of that… [CONTINUE READING HERE]

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  • Axomamma

    Excuse me but YOU ARE NOT HELPING. Americans will not “work fewer hours,” they will have their time occupied by work that is not for the benefit of a business in order to maintain health insurance. They will be self employed, taking care of their own or someone else’s children/parents/other relative. Or they will quit that second job that was required to pay for health insurance before the ACA.

    Stop saying “the ACA will allow many Americans to work fewer hours” because it is misses the truth by a mile..