Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.

Donate
Topics

Politifact says Romney’s Ohio-Jeeps falsehood was the ‘lie of the year’

But do we really need a “lie of the year” award?

Every year, the fact-checking site “Politifact” chooses a “Lie of the Year.” This year’s “award” goes to Mitt Romney for a whopper he pushed in the late days of the campaign, in the key swing-state of Ohio, attempting to blame President Obama for selling Chrysler to Italians who were going to move Jeep manufacturing jobs from Ohio to China.

If you care to relive the details, here’s Politifact’s writeup, including a rating of “Pants on Fire” and the awarding of Lie of the Year.

Personally, I wish they would drop the award. U.S. political discourse is awash in various levels of falsehood, from mere spin to to the ever-popular half-truth to outright unmitigated and intentional mendacity. I very much appreciate what the whole journalistic fact-checking movement has added to the mix. And Politifact does very good work.

But the idea that of all the falsehoods in circulation, one of them surpasses all the other sufficiently to win a whopper of the year award is arbitrary and diminishes the rest of the exercise.

Article continues after advertisement

And what I really wish is that the electorate would send a message to all the candidates and campaigns that we value accuracy and honesty and will punish liars at the polls.