Pelosi takes on Palin over 'death panel' claim

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) called out former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) for having made the "lie of the year" for claiming the healthcare bill would set up "death panels."

Pelosi's office circulated a special edition of its "mythbuster" email to reporters on Tuesday touting PolitiFact's determination that Palin's claim about death panels was their "lie of the year."

Palin had claimed that seniors and the disabled would "have to stand in front of Obama's 'death panel' so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their 'level of productivity in society,'" under the healthcare legislation favored by President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats.

PolitiFact, which is owned and operated by the St. Petersburg Times and the Poynter Institute, a non-profit journalism think tank, won the Pulitzer Prize in 2009 for national reporting.

The group determined the death panel claim, on which some GOP lawmakers picked up at the height of the summer's health debate, was their top lie. The "lie of the year" were selected by readers.

Pelosi's office noted:

PolitiFact recounts how the Palin-inspired attack various twists on the phrase was either preceded or quickly parroted—despite being shot down by independent fact checkers, reporters, and experts—by House Republican Leader John Boehner, Republican House member Virginia Foxx, former Republican Speaker Newt Gingrich, and… in perhaps a new low … by Republican Senator Chuck Grassley who ended the charade that he was negotiating a Senate bill in good faith by claiming health reform would allow the government to determine “you’re going to pull the plug on Grandma.”


For the curious, PolitiFact's top runners-up for lie of the year were:

  • Glenn Beck's claim that a top science adviser to the president "has proposed forcing abortions and putting sterilants in the drinking water to control population."
  • Claims that President Obama was born in Kenya
  • Obama's claim that preventative care for healthcare saves money



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