I'm not sure whether anyone has pointed this out yet, but CNN has more to apologize for than just getting the decision wrong this morning. That was bad -- but it was also very understandable. Ask whichever network it was that pronounced Gabby Giffords dead last January. Breaking events are hard to cover, and frequently produce erroneous reports.
No, the pressure to get it first is always going to produce getting it wrong sometimes. That's just the nature of the business. Nothing for them to be proud of, granted, and they certainly should be sure to check what exactly happened and why and try not to let it happen next time, but the crosspressure is always going to be there.
So what did they really do wrong? They referred to the individual mandate -- not once, but regularly when I was watching on and off during the morning -- as the "centerpiece" of the Affordable Care Act.
Centerpiece? That's just terrible reporting. Sure, the mandate is important (although there's considerable argument about how important), but not in and of itself'; it's important to the extent it makes the really important stuff work. That is, without the mandate to supply customers you couldn't get private insurance companies to agree to turn themselves into what some have called highly-regulated utilities -- forcing them to take all comers, limiting the products they can offer, and even (as those getting rebate checks will soon learn, sort of) limiting how much they can spend outside of benefits. Nor is it clear that the mixed system of employer-based insurance and exchanges work unless everyone is forced into the pool. But that doesn't make the mandate the "centerpiece" any more than, I don't know, a good modern fielder's mitt is the centerpiece of a great catch.
It's really bad reporting, and there's no excuse for it.