ABC, CBS and NBC on Monday night devoted more than half of their evening newscasts to the turmoil in Egypt, but while CBS and NBC squeezed in brief mentions of how a federal judge agreed with 26 states that the entire ObamaCare law is unconstitutional, ABC’s World News didn’t utter a syllable about the major setback for the Obama administration. Anchor Diane Sawyer, however, made room for a full story on an impending snowstorm and four minutes for a new series, “Families on the Brink: What to Do About Mom and Dad?”
While CBS anchor Harry Smith provided a short summary of the development, the CBS Evening News allocated four times more time to new USDA dietary guidelines which call for less consumption of salt. Smith tried to downplay the significance of the ruling:
In the legal battle over President Obama's health care reform law, the score is now two to two. A federal judge in Florida is the latest to weigh in, ruling today the law is unconstitutional because it forces people to buy insurance whether they want to or not. A judge in Virginia issued a similar ruling in December, but two other courts have upheld the insurance mandate. It seems quite certain this issue will have to be resolved by the Supreme Court.
Over on the NBC Nightly News, with Brian Williams in Egypt, Ann Curry delivered some domestic headlines, including a short item on the judge’s decision:
A federal judge in Florida ruled today that President Obama's health care reform law is unconstitutional. The judge sided with 26 states which had sued to overturn the law, arguing the federal government cannot force people to buy health insurance. Late this afternoon, the Obama administration said it will appeal the decision.
— Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.