Monday, December 28, 2009

Palin’s “Death Panels” Charge Named “Lie of the Year”

By Susan Davis

Former Alaska GOP Gov. Sarah Palin's Facebook allegation that the Democrats' health-care overhaul would include "death panels" to decide whether seniors and disabled people were worthy of care was named "Lie of the Year" by fact-checkers at Politifact.com.

"Of all the falsehoods and distortions in the political discourse this year, one stood out from the rest," writes Politifact.com, the non-partisan, Pulitzer Prize-winning site run by the St. Petersburg Times. Palin's "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," Polifact.com says.

The "death panels" allegation accounted for 61% of about 5,000 votes cast at Politifact.com to determine 2009's Lie of the Year. It is the first year Polifact.com has held such a contest.

Politifact.com credits Palin for coining the phrase. Shortly after she first made the charge in August, fact-checkers rated the statement as "Pants on Fire" on their truth-o-meter.

http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2009/12/22/palins-death-panels-charge-named-lie-of-the-year/

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