With a Variety of Whoppers to Choose From, PolitiFact Selects Its Lie of the Year
In selecting their annual "Lie of the Year," PolitiFact had a difficult choice in 2021. There were so many to choose from.
The laundry list of conspiracy theories and falsehoods concerning Covid vaccines is seemingly endless, and often hilarious. Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity manufacture lies and conspiracy theories like Toyota makes cars. And, of course, we have had to suffer through another year of Trump's ever-more fanciful lies about fraudulent votes in the 2020 presidential election. In fact, Politifact's Reader's Choice Poll selected this particular whopper as the Lie of the Year -
Donald Trump: "We won. We won in a landslide. This was a landslide."
You can see why it's a reader favorite. Trump's lies seem to get more grandiose over time.
The editors at PolitiFact, however, decided that the lies and conspiracy theories surrounding the Capital insurrection on 1/6 were more consequential, more threatening to the nation's stability and democratic traditions. The lies surrounding the attack on the Capital are meant to obscure a violent uprising undertaken to prevent a legitimately elected President from taking office. Moreover, they signal that a substantial portion of the Republican Party is on board with whitewashing an attempted coup.
In the weeks following 1/6, Trump, Republican lawmakers, and the right-wing media began an effort to reframe the events of Jan. 6 as a peaceful protest, a FBI false flag operation, or antifa's nefarious attempt to embarrass white supremacists. GOP Sen. Ron Johnson went so far as to compare the rioters to normal tourists, apparently miffed that the Capital was closed to visitors. Each theory was quickly debunked, but new lies immediately sprang up to replace them.
Oddly, all the various conspiracy theories about 1/6 are easily refuted by hundreds of photographs and videos of the event. It's as if Republicans and conservative media outlets now believe that they can reconstruct reality itself. And that's a bit scary. When the vast majority within one of our political parties come to believe that objective truth is entirely negotiable, easily replaced with propaganda, America has a rather large problem. But, that's one of the legacies of Trumpism, isn't it.
PolitiFact explains in detail why they selected the lies surrounding Jan. 6th here.
By: Don Lam & Curated Content