Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Volokh Conspiracy: "Politifact’s “Lie of the Year” – Part Deux"

Jonathan H. Adler, writing at the Volokh Conspiracy blog, highlights an overlooked aspect of PolitiFact's 2013 "Lie of the Year" snafu:
Avik Roy writes on how Politifact’s assessment of the “if you like your plan, you can keep it” promise went from 100% true to half-true to a “pants on fire” lie to the “lie of the year.”  The column is fairly devastating by itself, but then Politifact’s Angie Holan, who authored some of the relevant evaluations, tried to defend Politifact with a tweet:
The mind reels.  Then-Senator Obama’s 2008 health care plan had numerous elements that were sure to disrupt health insurance markets, as Roy noted in the column.
Drobnic Holan's right that the campaign proposal was different from the eventual law.  But Roy and Adler are obviously correct that the campaign proposal was, on its face, even more disruptive than the Affordable Care Act with its individual mandate.

With Drobnic Holan's response we can count her as a worthy successor to former PolitiFact editor Bill Adair, who was also notably inept at dealing with criticism.

Drobnic Holan wants to forget about the "True" rating Obama received for the "If you like your plan" pledge based on his campaign proposal.  The campaign proposal was different from the ACA, she says.  But at the same time, Drobnic Holan wants everyone to accept without question that PolitiFact can combine Obama's ACA version of the "If you like your plan" pledge with his later "What we said was" hedge.

PolitiFact combined those two statements to produce a Frankenstein's monster candidate for its 2013 "Lie of the Year" candidate.

Dr. Holanstein doesn't want the 2008 "True" rating connected to her monster.

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