Accuracy in Media

politifact lie of the year

President Obama’s promise that under Obamacare, people would be able to keep their health care plan if they wanted to, earned the dubious distinction of being named Politifact’s 2013 “Lie of the Year.”

Politifact editor Angie Drobnic Holan appeared on CNN Thursday to explain why this lie was chosen above others:

The editors of Politifact chose this because it had the most impact on the national debate. It’s something we flagged back in 2009. We said this is partly right, the health care law does leave in place the existing health care system, but’s it’s partly wrong because we knew back then not everybody would to be able to keep their healthcare plan, and this was the year it was proved false as these cancellation letters went out.

Drobnic Holan also pointed out that the White House tried to backpedal on the statement by saying that what Obama actually said was that you can keep your plan if it hasn’t changed since the law was enacted. But that was a lie as well, as Drobnic Holan noted:

We found 37 times when he made that claim with no caveats, and that’s what got him the ‘pants on fire’ rating.

While CNN and Fox News have mentioned the lie, the silence is deafening from the rest of the mainstream media, especially from Chris “thrill up my leg” Matthews.

UPDATE: White House Press Secretary Jay Carney’s responded at the daily briefing by saying that the president had addressed this in a very “honest way,” and that “End of the year categorizations like that are always fun, even when they don’t gibe with past characterizations of the very same statement.”

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