[lg policy] Why we misread

Baron, Dennis E debaron at ILLINOIS.EDU
Sun Jul 1 04:47:41 UTC 2012

There's a new post on the Web of Language: Why we misread

Shortly after 10 a.m. EDT on June 28, FOXNews and CNN erroneously reported that the US Supreme Court had invalidated the Affordable Care Act. Simultaneously, Scotusblog, which was live-blogging the last Supreme Court session of the 2011 term, correctly announced that the Court had upheld most of the ACA.

The networks that rushed to judgment were widely criticized for failing to read far enough into the 59-page opinion before reporting it. Their error initially led many, including Pres. Obama, to think that the health care bill was dead. Granted the health care opinion is long and intricate (the opinion, concurrences, and dissents fill 193 pages), but we find out in the middle of page two that the ACA is “affirmed in part and reversed in part.” That should have been a clue. . . .


Dennis Baron
Professor of English and Linguistics
Department of English
University of Illinois
608 S. Wright St.
Urbana, IL 61801

office: 217-305-0067
fax: 217-333-4321


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