Politifact, the left-leaning website that purports to set us straight on misleading claims made by various talking heads, will soon be announcing its 2013 Lie of the Year.
It's unthinkable that its editors and writers would select anything other than President Obama's "You Can Keep It" lie as the runaway winner. But, given how Politifact has blown two of its past awards defending Obamacare, it's anyone's guess.
In 2009, the group selected Sarah Palin's "Death Panels" as the Lie of the Year. Except, that turned out to be true. Don't take my word for it. Ask Howard Dean. Or Paul Krugman. Or Time Magazine's Senior Political Analyst. Committed liberals everywhere are admitting Palin was right.
The next year, Politifact's Lie of the Year was that Obamacare represents a government takeover of the healthcare industry. After the new government standards resulted in the cancellation of millions of private policies and the new government website had a disastrous rollout, President Obama deigned to not prosecute policies that were in violation of his new rules. It seems at his whim, millions policies are legal or they are illegal. That's our private system for you.
The reason Politifact got its 2009 and 2010 awards wrong is because it contains at its core the same problem as most mainstream media. They play it too safe--and the safe position is usually the official one, no matter how wrong it is or how easily it is to refute it with an ounce of common sense.
Yes, the Affordable Care Act legislation does not mention the phrase "death panels" or "government takeover." It didn't mention that millions would lose their policies, but it happened even though it's not written in black and white.
People with common sense realize that things don't always turn out how it is on paper. But with nothing tangible to point to--just thoughts, ideas, and arguments--it's not as safe as an official government document.
With all the attention paid to the You Can Keep It lie, it might be safe for Politifact to award it the Lie of the Year. But given its past mistakes, don't be surprised if it doesn't.