The Futility of PolitiFact’s “Lie of the Year” Award
Congratulations to the Republican Party, who, for the second straight year, have won PolitiFact’s “Lie of the Year Award” — once again for making shit up about health insurance reform.
In the spring of 2009, a Republican strategist settled on a brilliant and powerful attack line for President Barack Obama’s ambitious plan to overhaul America’s health insurance system. Frank Luntz, a consultant famous for his phraseology, urged GOP leaders to call it a “government takeover.”
“Takeovers are like coups,” Luntz wrote in a 28-page memo. “They both lead to dictators and a loss of freedom.”
The line stuck. By the time the health care bill was headed toward passage in early 2010, Obama and congressional Democrats had sanded down their program, dropping the “public option” concept that was derided as too much government intrusion. The law passed in March, with new regulations, but no government-run plan. […]
By selecting “government takeover’ as Lie of the Year, PolitiFact is not making a judgment on whether the health care law is good policy.
The phrase is simply not true.
Last year it was the Quitter’s “death panels” lie that won.
But, look. As long as you have an entire political party willing to brazenly and in lock-step flat out lie about everything, an obscure annual award isn’t going to change much.
Republicans are so deeply committed to parroting outright falsehoods in the media, that the only way to stop them (if that’s even possible) is to rebut them while they’re saying it on the teevee, do a follow-up segment explaining why they were lying — then refuse to let them back on the air or in print unless they issue a correction.
Conservatives don’t really care about “facts” — they care about ideology. If the facts don’t fit their wingnut worldview — they simply disregard them. That’s why it’s so easy for these people to lie (and why there’s so few Republican scientists).
And as long as the media keeps giving them air time and ink to spout their bullshit under the guise of “hearing both sides of the debate” — they will keep right on doing so.