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Left Kind of Upset With Politifact’s ‘Lie of the Year’ Choice

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By Doug Powers  •  December 20, 2011 01:41 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

Politifact has revealed the “Lie of the Year” for 2011.

First let’s review the last couple of winners, followed by some on the left who applauded Politifact for those choices.

In 2009, Politifact’s Lie of the Year was “Death Panels.” The left applauded the choice.

In 2010, Politifact’s Lie of the Year was “government takeover of health care.” Another liberal round of applause.

This year, Politifact’s “Lie of the Year” is…

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What?

A “credibility-killing choice” says one unhappy former customer. “Politifact, RIP” writes MRC’s Quote of the Year winner Paul Krugman. The latter thinks Politifact is terrified of appearing partisan and made this choice to appease the right. Apparently the only way Politifact could avoid appearing partisan would be to give a claim from the right the “Lie of the Year” distinction every single year.

Krugman, et al, are claiming that the Republicans did vote to end Medicare and that Politifact got this one colossally wrong. On that, here’s Avik Roy writing at Forbes.com:

Their [lefty critics of Politifact’s 2011 “lie of the year” choice] defense of the “ending Medicare” claim, such as it is, is that using private insurers to deliver health care to seniors, instead of a government agency, fundamentally “ends” the program. This is, plainly, ridiculous. When the British government privatized British Rail in 1993, the railway system did not cease to exist. When Germany privatized Lufthansa in 1994, the German airline wasn’t “ended.”

Similarly, if the government comes up with alternate modes of delivering the same health care to seniors, the program hasn’t been ended. As PolitiFact notes, a more accurate label would be to say that the Ryan plan “privatizes” Medicare. The problem for would-be liberal demagogues is that privatization isn’t the scare word for most Americans that it once was.

But just in case “privatization” is still the scare word it once was, let’s show the “Paul Ryan’s going to kill your grandma” ad one more time:

**Written by Doug Powers

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