Video: CNN employee’s own mistake crashed Obamacare Web page

In a rather embarrassing revelation for CNN, their own “expert” crashed the Obamacare Web site yesterday by doing something that every child in America knows you simply do not do on the Internet: Refreshing the Web page while your transaction is processing.

Yet, an examination of the video, first noticed by AMERICAblog reader Jea this morning, reveals that that is exactly what CNN did – their expert refreshed the Affordable Care Act federal exchange site while their application was “processing.”

And what happened as a result?  The page crashed.  As it does on every single Web site in the world when you’re dumb enough to refresh the page while a transaction is in progress.

And now Republicans are crowing about how this CNN video “proves” that Obamacare is a disaster – because CNN managed to produce an error message with a rookie “my first Internet” mistake.

Here’s the transcript from the CNN segment, video is below:

cnn-obamacare-web-site-crashCNN reporter: Then came the roadblock. Tell me about what happened, because we’re getting another error message here, and it’s supposed to be running smoothly – we’re just not seeing that.

CNN’s Matt: Yeah, so, you know, we’ve been trying to get into this site since October 1, on and off again. I have to say, it did work a lot more smoothly this morning. I got through, I picked my state, I put in all my information, and I got through the whole process in about 8 minutes. And then it said my status was ‘in progress,’ so I went to refresh it and I got the error message.

You got the error message.  No sh-t, Sherlock.

If you refresh a Web site while any submission is “processing” you will get an error message.  Always, always, always. Have you never purchased anything online before?

And if you refresh a page that has already finished processing, you will also usually get an error message, as the page is attempting to resubmit the same information you already just submitted.

In this case, the page would be resubmitting an application that was already just submitted.  So it would have no other choice but to give you an error message as you can’t submit the same application twice in a row.

I’m surprised that Matt at CNN didn’t know that, or bother mentioning it on the air.  Rather, CNN gave the impression that the Obamacare Web site messed up, and in fact, the site appears to have worked fine – it was CNN’s own employee, on the air, who messed up.

Considering that this CNN video is now being used all the Internet by conservatives as “proof” that the Obamacare Web site has not yet been fixed, CNN owes its viewers an on-the-air correction.  Especially since the video actually shows that the process went “smoothly,” the exactly opposite of what Republicans are now claiming.


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Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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