Steve Benen (Washington Monthly): We talked a few weeks ago about the very different ways in which the media responds to court rulings on the Affordable Care Act. Those upholding the constitutionality of the health care law get very little attention, while conservative rulings against the law are literally treated as front-page news.
Now that there’s a new federal court ruling – Judge Gladys Kessler ruled in support of the law on Tuesday, becoming the fifth to rule on the merits – let’s take a moment to reevaluate this.
Three federal district courts have said the Affordable Care Act meets constitutional muster; two have reached the opposite conclusion. Here’s how four major media outlets have covered the rulings, in the order in which the decisions came down: See here for statistics
…the discrepancy is overwhelming. In every instance, conservative rulings get more coverage, longer articles, and better placement …. the Washington Post couldn’t bother to run a single article – not one – about the Kessler ruling…
…it seems very likely the public has been left with the impression that the health care law is legally dubious and struggling badly in the courts because that’s what news organizations have told them to believe.
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