The Pulitzer Prize-winning PolitiFact.com is holding its annual “lie of the year” contest in which the site’s editors and reporters will choose between 10 finalists for the biggest political whopper of 2013.
There is also a “Readers’ Choice award,” however, where readers can have their say.
The 10 contenders are ranked in no particular order, and you can read the first five and their associated descriptions below:
Congress is exempt from the health care law. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said, “President Obama just granted all of Congress an exception” to Obamacare during an August speech in Iowa. False.
Obamacare will question your sex life. Betsy McCaughey wrote an op-ed for the New York Post in September that said doctors will be required to ask about your sex life under Obamacare. Pants on Fire.
The FISA Court is transparent. In a June interview, President Barack Obama defended the government’s monitoring of telephone and Internet traffic by invoking the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and saying the court “is transparent.” Pants on Fire.
The United Nations is coming for your guns. Chain emails repeatedly claimed that the United Nations has “adopted a proposed agenda” to enable member nations to “disarm civilians within their borders.” False.
If you like your health care, you can keep it. Obama repeatedly made this claim in previous years; back then we rated it Half True. When people got cancellation notices in the individual market this year, Obama claimed, “What we said was, you can keep it if it hasn’t changed since the law passed.” That got a Pants on Fire.
Other contenders include, “the IRS will keep a database of health secrets,” which PolitiFact rated “pants on fire,” and “the United States doesn’t tolerate genocide,” which it ranked the same.
The contest marks the fifth year PolitiFact has held a “lie of the year” contest, and in the past, many of the winners have been health care-related. In 2009, the organization singled out the phrase “death panels” as the wildest and most inaccurate claim of the year. In 2010, the biggest “lie of the year” as they saw it was the claim that Obamacare represented a “government takeover of health care.”
The organization has been criticized as having a left-leaning bias in the past. Though they rated the president’s repeated assurance that if you like your health care plan, you can keep it a “pants on fire” lie, in the run-up to the 2012 election they also called Mitt Romney’s warning that Obamacare “puts the federal government between you and your doctor” false.
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