The famous picture of Harry Truman, beaming as he holds up a newspaper reading “Dewey Defeats Truman” is doing the rounds today. Albeit modified.
In the 1948 election, President Truman was seeking a second term against contender Thomas Dewey. He won, obviously, but the election was famous for the incredible come-from-behind victory and a picture of the two-term president (though elected for the first time in 1948 !) holding a newspaper with the wrong headline. A President widely expected to lose has never looked so happy. Until today.
The new picture, or meme, shows President Obama, holding an iPad with the incorrectly reported CNN headline from early this morning: Mandate Struck Down. As we know by now, it wasn’t, hence the comparison to Truman. And boy does the President have a big smile.
As the New Yorker suggests:
CNN’s false report that Obama’s health-care plan had been struck down by the Supreme Court may go down in the annals of journalism as one of the more embarrassing mistakes since “DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN”
But more important than mainstream media getting it wrong (FOX was another too-eager culprit), is the fact that social media was right on the money. Collectively that is. Sure, twitter was sent into a tailspin while contradictory headlines flew around this morning, but it all worked itself out with SCOTUSblog playing the slow and steady hero.
We have long thought that while Twitter might be crazy and downright faulty on a micro level (see the tweets from people who wants to move to Canada in protest — don’t they know that Canada has socialized health care !), it is the best source of information in the aggregate.
With so many victories won today, it was only right that social media had one too.