Paul Krugman rips Politifact over “Lie of the Year” claim. I knew when GOP presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann started saying Politifact was vouching her claims, that they were on their way out as a source for political fact-checking. Now, they may have outdone themselves with the “Lie of the Year 2011: Republicans voted to end Medicare.”
Paul Krugman writes: “This is really awful. Politifact, which is supposed to police false claims in politics, has announced its Lie of the Year — and it’s a statement that happens to be true, the claim that Republicans have voted to end Medicare.”
How is this not an end to Medicare? And given all the actual, indisputable lies out there, how on earth could saying that it is be the “Lie of the year”?
The answer is, of course, obvious: the people at Politifact are terrified of being considered partisan if they acknowledge the clear fact that there’s a lot more lying on one side of the political divide than on the other. So they’ve bent over backwards to appear “balanced” — and in the process made themselves useless and irrelevant.
Steve Benen writes: ”This is simply indefensible. Claims that are factually true shouldn’t be eligible for a Lie of the Year designation.
It’s unnerving that we have to explain this again, but since PolitiFact appears to be struggling with the relevant details, let’s set the record straight.
Medicare is a single-payer health care system offering guaranteed benefits to seniors. The House Republican budget plan intended to privatize the existing system and replace it with something very different — a voucher scheme. It would still be called “Medicare,” but it wouldn’t be Medicare.”