Fox News Hypes PolitiFact’s Lie Of The Year, One Week After Saying Never Trust PolitiFact

It’s time once again for the unveiling of the “Lie of the Year” by the fact-checkers at PolitiFact. This year the dis-honoree is President Barack Obama for his promotional assurance that under the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.”

Pretty much everybody, including Obama, now concedes that making such a blanket statement was unwise and unsustainable. There were signs early on that some plans would be terminated because they fell so far below the standards for acceptable coverage that they were effectively useless. Obama could have made small modifications to the statement that would have been easier to defend, such as: “if you like your health care plan, what the fuck are you thinking?” However, I’m pretty sure that comment wouldn’t have made it past the first draft.

The whole concept of liking one’s health care plan is rather comical to begin with. How often have you ever heard someone bring up in casual conversation how much they liked their health insurance provider? Insurance companies are rarely the object of much affection. Especially for those who get their coverage from the private market rather than from an employer. And that small subset of the population (about 5%) is all that is affected by this.

Whether or not the President’s statement deserved to be the “Lie of the Year” is subject to debate, just as every year’s selection is. But it is notable that PolitiFact’s explanation for their choice began by saying that…

“It was a catchy political pitch and a chance to calm nerves about his dramatic and complicated plan to bring historic change to America’s health insurance system.

‘If you like your health care plan, you can keep it,’ President Barack Obama said — many times — of his landmark new law.

“But the promise was impossible to keep.”

A promise, of course, is completely different than a lie. If it was the President’s intention to deliver on the promise, but in the course of legislative compromises and flawed implementation it failed to materialize as expected, than it was not actually a lie at all. But it is obvious that PolitiFact’s analysis is aimed at the distance of the intention from the outcome, not the veracity of the statement itself. And that’s fine since most people apply the same reasoning with regard to the truthiness of a public figure. Also, Obama didn’t help himself by initially trying to defend or rewrite his original comment. Although he does get credit for eventually owning up, apologizing, and taking steps to correct the matter.

The selection of this statement by the President is certain get a lot of attention from the press, particularly the conservative media that eats it up whenever they can shine a spotlight on presidential missteps. Therefore, it’s no surprise that Fox News has leaped to the front of the line to hype PolitiFact’s findings. Ironically, it was Fox Nation that was first out of the gate with a simple headline at the top of their page saying “Politifact: Lie of the Year!”

Fox Nation LOTY

Coming from a website that has been documented to be riddled with lies (see Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Community’s Assault On Truth) obliterates any moral authority they have to disparage the honesty of others. What’s more, the impact of their reporting might have been greater had they not posted this headline just last week: “Never Trust Politifact Again.”

Fox Nation Never Trust

To recap: On November 5, Fox admonishes its audience to never trust PolitiFact, and on November 13, one week later, they feature a PolitiFact ruling at the top of their website. This really says more about Fox than it does about PolitiFact, or even Obama.

For the record, while PolitiFact selected Obama’s comment as their “Lie of the Year,” they also posted the runners-up. It is not unreasonable to expect the winner to get the majority of the attention from the media, however, there is a notable trend amongst the year’s other lies that ought not to be dismissed. Most conspicuously that out of the remaining nine lies in the top ten, eight of them are from republicans or conservatives.

  • Ann Coulter: No doctors who went to an American medical school will be accepting Obamacare.
  • Betsy McCaughey: Obamacare will question your sex life.
  • Bloggers: Obamacare provision will allow “forced home inspections” by government agents.
  • Ted Cruz: Says “President Obama just granted all of Congress an exception” to Obamacare.
  • Chain email: A United Nations working group has “adopted a proposed agenda” to enable member nations to “disarm civilians within their borders.”
  • Barack Obama: The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court “is transparent.”
  • Saxby Chambliss: The United States has never stood by and seen innocent people slaughtered to the extent that’s happening in Syria.
  • Chain email: Says the word “Dhimmitude” is on page 107 of the health care law and means “Muslims are specifically exempted from the government mandate to purchase insurance.”
  • Michele Bachmann: The IRS is going to be “in charge” of “a huge national database” on health care that will include Americans’ “personal, intimate, most close-to-the-vest-secrets.”

Be Sure To “LIKE” News Corpse On Facebook

So while Obama may have captured the big trophy for the year, conservative liars were far more prolific in fabricating and disseminating disinformation in pursuit of an agenda that they obviously don’t believe merits honest discourse. It illustrates a pattern of behavior that marks the right-wing as incorrigibly deceitful and wholly untrustworthy. At least President Obama apologized, a gesture that is foreign to the unprincipled cretins on the right.


20 thoughts on “Fox News Hypes PolitiFact’s Lie Of The Year, One Week After Saying Never Trust PolitiFact

  1. Lie of the year – that’s about right – and you still try to excuse it – at least you’re consistent. Someone finally calls this guy out for what he is – pretty friggin funny.

    • I didn’t excuse anything. I made salient points – all of which you ignored. At least you’re consistent.

      • Yes, you make your salient points, which I read, but they are for the purpose of excusing his lie or whatever words you choose to characterize his lie without actually calling it that – I read your excuses as to why you think it’s really not a big deal. As for Fox, who cares, I don’t. He, president Obama, really is the 3rd and 4th terms of George W Bush with respect to incompetence and misleading the american public – it’s getting hard to deny, but you keep trying, you’ll never admit it I’m sure – keep trying though. Your life in fantasy land will eventually come to an end when you finally accept the reality of this guy. You’re like an abused spouse who can’t help but defend your abuser – get some help.

        • And you’re like a schizophrenic who cannot express a coherent thought and thinks everyone is out to get him and everything is coming to an end. You obviously can’t debate on substance so you get personal.

          • Why is he soooo important to you? He lies to you and everyone else and you just can’t hold him responsible? And you know I’m right, it just pisses you off that he’s making it so hard for activists like you to keep cheering for him – wake up already. Stop taking the abuse from these guys – they take you for granted because you aren’t strong enough or smart enough to demand they do the right things – you’re a sucker, say what you will about debate skills – I know and you know right is right – just accept it. Or is it just that it’s me saying it and you can’t have a conservative bad mouthing “your guy”.

    • It’s only a lie of he knew it was wrong in the first place. He did not foresee the health insurers acting like the GOP Congress and dropping policies like they used to drop people.
      He is still an honest man who expects people to do the honorable thing, even when the GOP has shown time and time again that they have no intention of helping anyone but rich white men in any way. So gloat if you like, but Politifact is wrong on this. The statement got the most press, but it was not a lie.

      • Come on – how can you be so damn naive. I’m not sure if I should just feel sorry for you or laugh my ass off that you actually believe this bullshit. how can you be so blind? You know they, just as the GOP does, take you for granted since they know you won’t vote against them. They abuse your loyalty over and over again and you just say “please sir, can I have another”

        • If Obama is guilty of anything, it’s not asterisking his promise (*Your insurance company may cancel your plan if it doesn’t meet minimum standards, just like they used to drop plans randomly. But odds are, you wouldn’t have liked that substandard policy if you actually had to USE it).

          Obama actually gets out of this one on a technicality, as far as I’m concerned, in that he said “if you like your plan.” Virtually anyone with those crap plans liked their PREMIUM, not their plan. Over and over again, their horror stories on FOX “News” have turned out to be untrue. And when a political promise really does apply to pretty much 95% of the populace? That gets a higher grade than “lie” in my book.

  2. A promise is not a lie unless there is no present intent to honor the promise. This has never been shown. But even more strange is that the “lie” was made 4 years ago, so it’s not really the “lie of the year.” When it was made, it was merely a promise or else a statement about future events. If someone tried to rescind a health insurance policy by alleging that this statement was “fraudulent inducement,” they would wind up paying for that policy because there was no present intent to mislead when the promise was made.

  3. Why are we surprised by this? Doesn’t the Fox principle go, never trust someone we don’t like until they say something we do like?

    You know, like Rasmussen AND FOX NEWS when the polls began to tilt towards Obama during the 2012 election? Typical.

    • No one is surprised – people here just act like they are so they can distract themselves from the fact the president lied. You should be more outraged by the desire to justify the lie – Fox News will abuse it until they can’t anymore. You should be more outraged by the fact this president lied, mislead, whatever when pushing this legislation, but you won’t be. You’ll worry more about what Fox News is saying so you can hide from having to face your messiah is a fraud and abused your trust. I’ll concede the fox news nonsense – nothing big for me as I generally agree they are a hyper-partisan “news” organization, but in the end it’s all a distraction. Fox news didn’t create the lie – they are using it to attack the president – nothing new here. In the end, there is only one person to blame here and that is the president. Place the blame where it belongs!

  4. What is unfathomable is the continuation of the accusation that the President lied about people being able to keep their do next to nothing insurance policies. It is my understanding that their was no intent behind his statement. He was wrong, but that didn’t mean he lied. He apologized for this. Being wrong does not equate lying. Of course there is nothing I can say here that will change the mind of anyone who has held firm in their steadfast belief that the President in the incarnation of the Devil himself. Our President isn’t perfect, I don’t agree with him on many issues (NSA spying for one) but he did not lie on this issue.

    • Now you’re just being stupid. How the hell do you come to that idiotic conclusion about “do nothing” insurance. What’s good for one family may not be for another – which is why open, free choice is best vs. minimum standards with respect to what must be included. And with respect to your “unfathomable” accusations against the president – why don’t you go to the politifact website and read it for yourself. You may actually learn something about how they came to their conclusion as to why it was their “lie of the year”. I did and there is much more information than what is included here – they actually talk about the issue vs. how Fox News or anyone else uses it.

  5. Of all the articles written here by Mark, I find the subject matter in this one the most interesting. It really puts your belief in the wisdom and goodness of the state to the test as it has so clearly betrayed you by its dishonesty. How do you all come to terms with it? You make excuses and rationalize how the act wasn’t actually what it’s stated to be. It’s easy for me, I had no faith in it at all – you all put all your faith and effort into it and you cling to those beliefs that government is good and should be respected and loved by all us dumb citizens. How does it feel to have your world crumble around you – the faith of the people in this political messiah of yours has been significantly shaken – light another candle for him. You don’t need to worry though, the GOP is a disaster and they won’t capitalize on his weakness.

        • Nah. I’m just bored with your repetitive blathering about “goodness of the state” and “political messiah” – things I’ve never espoused.

          But you’re clearly too intellectually vacant to actually debate the things I DID say. You never do. That’s why you’re such a bore. And that’s why I rarely bother to respond to you. Why don’t you re-read this article and try to rebut something in it? Never mind – I know you’re incapable of that.

          • I know it’s hard to accept – do what you need to do to make yourself feel better. Your article is about Fox news using a source they generally attack – fine. You bury your political ideas and your blind support for this president in an unrelated argument so you can claim those who attack your POLITICAL argument are not dealing with the point of the article – no, that makes it too easy for you to say whatever nonsense you can and get away with it. Note I generally don’t argue over Fox News because on that specific issue we see things similarly, but if you think burying your extreme leftist ideology and your insults in that narrative makes you immune to criticism – you’re mistaken. Fox News is just your smoke screen to spew your leftist agenda – It’s smart in the sense that if you can keep the focus on Fox News vs. your true intentions, that distraction could maybe get you where you want to go and maybe progressivism can move forward. It’s not that easy though. If it’s about Fox News, leave the leftist commentary and insults against righ wingers out and stay with the supposed point of your article. What’s your next defense – I attack your writing style vs. your substance – i’ve heard that before, even the President used that bullshit line. You would make a good politician.

            • What a load of pseudo-psychoanalytical bullshit. You are just continuing to prove that you are intellectually incapable of addressing the topic at hand. But your excuses are becoming even more unhinged, paranoid, and unrelated to reality.

              I’ve warned you before that I’m not going to let these comment sections devolve into off-topic platforms for unrelated ranting – and certainly not into ludicrous therapy sessions. So stay on topic, refrain from personal insults and assessments, or forfeit your commenting privileges.

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