Sunday, December 20, 2009

Lie of the Year

PolitiFact (a project of the St. Petersburg Times) has selected their first annual "Lie of the Year". And the winner? Sarah Palin, natch, for her contribution of "death panels" to the health care debate.
Of all the falsehoods and distortions in the political discourse this year, one stood out from the rest.

"Death panels."

The claim set political debate afire when it was made in August, raising issues from the role of government in health care to the bounds of acceptable political discussion. In a nod to the way technology has transformed politics, the statement wasn't made in an interview or a television ad. Sarah Palin posted it on her Facebook page.

Her assertion — that the government would set up boards to determine whether seniors and the disabled were worthy of care — spread through newscasts, talk shows, blogs and town hall meetings. Opponents of health care legislation said it revealed the real goals of the Democratic proposals. Advocates for health reform said it showed the depths to which their opponents would sink. Still others scratched their heads and said, "Death panels? Really?"

The editors of, the fact-checking Web site of the St. Petersburg Times, have chosen it as our inaugural "Lie of the Year."

I can't think of a more deserving winner.

1 comment:

PG said...

Of course, given that most of the right thinks the Independent Medicare Advisory Board is

(a) "Independent Medical Advisory Board," which obviously would have much greater powers than over just Medicare; and

(b) capable of deciding which individuals get treatment, rather than setting rates for Medicare reimbursement that are binding on Congress unless there's a 2/3 vote against;

the need to avoid cognitive dissonance means that they've just written off PolitiFact as the liars.

(They've gotten hysterical about it again in the last few days because of that binding provision that procedurally would require a 2/3 Senate majority to eliminate.)