It looks like Politifact got it right this year, or at least more right than the past. They have selected their "Lie of the Year", and it was definitely a doozy. For 2012, Politifact has named Mitt Romney's lie about Jeep moving jobs to China as the Big Lie.
People often say that politicians don’t pay a price for deception, but this time was different: A flood of negative press coverage rained down on the Romney campaign, and he failed to turn the tide in Ohio, the most important state in the presidential election.
PolitiFact has selected Romney's claim that Barack Obama "sold Chrysler to Italians who are going to build Jeeps in China" at the cost of American jobs as the 2012 Lie of the Year.
But as the Baltimore Sun points out, the real story is that Fox News and Karl Rove are equally responsible for that lie spreading and getting enough traction to land right smack dab in the middle of the 2012 election:
No, the news about Fox News that mattered Wednesday was connected to PolitiFact naming the Mitt Romney campaign ad that said Jeep was going to move production and ship jobs to China “Lie of the Year.” Lie of the year.
And why that matters in any discussion of Fox is that the Rupert-Murdoch-owned channel “fact checked” the ad during the campaign and vouched for its accuracy – not once but twice. And, furthermore, Fox did it in one instance with Jim Angle, who is part of the news operation not the host of an evening show, doing the vouching. The channel’s website describes Angle as “chief national correspondent.”
And that cuts to the heart of the lie Fox News tries to sell about its news operation being as journalistically sound and non-ideologically driven as anything on the networks or CNN. Sure, Fox executives have said to me, the prime-time shows have opinion in them – just like opinion pages in a newspaper. But not our news programs and the reports by our correspondents.
Except, I guess, when it’s an election year, and things are going badly for the Republican candidate. Then, you use your chief national correspondent to vouch for the essential accuracy of the ad that is the “Lie of the Year.”
For a fuller discussion of Fox’s role in helping create an echo chamber for this Jeep-jobs-to-China lie, check out Media Matters. I know it’s an ideologically-driven liberal website. I’ve fought with Media Matters and been denounced by some of the best folks there. But the research and reporting on this matter are detailed and accurate.
The first part of that article described how sad and disheartened Rove and O'Reilly were over, well, just everything. Good. They should be sad. They are not news; they are propagandists, and they undermine our democracy on a daily basis when they pretend they're "fair and balanced."
Congratulations to Rove, Fox News, and Mitt Romney! They've received an honor which finally matches the recipient: Lie and Liars of the year.