The Huffington Post
Paul Krugman wakes up this morning, mourning the death of Politifact. He has good cause! In announcing its 2011 “Lie Of The Year,” the truth-squadding agency has settled on something that isn’t so much a “lie” as it is “100 percent true on its face,” and the selection seems to have been made because it doesn’t seem to understand some very basic things about Medicare’s defined health benefits.
As Politifact sees it, the “lie of the year” is the phrase, “Republicans voted to end Medicare.” Okay. What is “Medicare?” Medicare is a single-payer health care system that primarily benefits seniors aged 65 and up, but it also covers younger Americans who have certain disabilities or who require kidney dialysis for any type of end-stage renal disease. It helps to cover the following things: hospital care, doctors’ visits, outpatient care, prescription drugs and some preventative services. It’s a defined health care benefit provided by the federal government.
Mediaite also has a great article about the controversy:
Since announcing “Republicans voted to end Medicare” as its “Lie Of The Year” yesterday, Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-check outfit Politifact.com has faced more blowback than a chronic spitter on a Ducati. While they apparentlythink this is just griping by the left, even the conservative National Review says they got it wrong. What Politifact doesn’t seem to realize is that this wasn’t just a wrong decision, it was anirresponsible one that undercuts their own, and journalism’s, duty to serve the public.
After their announcement, Politifact editor Bill Adairwent on CBS’ The Early Show to propagandize, and even lie, about the Paul Ryan budget plan, while the site’s Twitter feed blithely retweeted cherry-picked criticism of their decision (notably not that National Review post, nor Mediaite’s calling out of their editor), and retweeting people who cast the blowback as a left/right issue. They also made sure to buttress their decision with support fromWaPo fact-checker Glenn Kessler (himself prone to bad judgment), and by pointing out that FactCheck.org made a similarly bad ruling.
You know we’re fucked when the ‘fact checkers’ reveal themselves to be liars too.