With its 2010 "Lie of the Year" still generating controversy the beleaguered crew at PolitiFact continues to blow oxygen into the flames of controversy.
PolitiFact's head, Bill Adair, wrote a little piece going over some of the ongoing discussion, repeating an acknowledgment of the critical WSJ editorial, the Eau Claire Journal's apparent unabashed agreement with PolitiFact and the Brattleboro Reformer's opinion that the so-called lie had significantly altered the debate. Adair also mentioned an objecting voice from the Oklahoman.
The Reformer example is particularly interesting since PolitiFact never made a factual case that the debate had been significantly altered. Indeed, political science researcher Brendan Nyhan looked into the issue and found no survey data to back the claim, albeit his paper spited his evidence by concluding that an influence was likely anyway.
The upshot is that PolitiFact has joined the political left in its own mythmaking project, selling the unfounded notion that "government takeover" was used to mislead people into opposing the PPACA.
Adair ended his little story by noting "On Thursday, Rep. Steve Cohen mentioned the Lie of the Year on the House floor." Adair included the video, offering tacit approval of Cohen's repetition of the unfounded claim:
If this is supposed to be objective reporting, it certainly carries the distinctive stench of covert editorializing.
The 2010 "Lie of the Year" will continue to damage PolitiFact until it acknowledges some of the problems. Doubling down isn't going to cut it, unless the goal is to resemble a sister site to Media Matters.