In my quest to find neutral arbiters of the truth, I was growing increasingly satisfied with Politifact’s record of fact-checking. They seemed quite thorough and diligent, and their reporting is more constant than the occasional article by FactCheck.org.
But, as Steve Benen pointed out, they really effed up their 2011 Lie of the Year. Now think back to some Republican statements recently. Just about every Republican candidate has called President Obama a socialist, and one of the frontrunners believes he’s waging a war on Christianity. They’re also calling the stimulus a “job killer” that didn’t work. The president is anti-business, they say, even though businesses are sitting on huge cash reserves and Wall Street is booming. We could go on and on. The Republicans are lie machines.
Yet, no, the 2011 Lie of the Year is the Democratic claim that the Republicans are attempting to destroy Medicare as we know it.
It’s not a lie. At all.
Paul Ryan authored a plan to change Medicare into something that’s no longer a guaranteed single-payer system. Instead, it would become a privatized voucher system. Even Newt Gingrich called is right-wing social engineering.
I still intend to cite Politifact, but with some healthy skepticism. This Lie of the Year thing is definitely worthy of a “Pants On Fire” rating.
UPDATE… FactCheck.org repeats the same Politifact nonsense. And they both engage in some forced balance. To repeat what I wrote on Twitter: “FACT: One group lies & misleads more often than another group. Forcing balance when it doesn’t exist is a LIE.”