Monday, January 18, 2010

The Biggest Whoppers of 2009 (Mostly Circulated By Email)


Although 2009 was not an election year, it kept us exceptionally busy, and led to millions of visits to our site. In this year-end summary, we offer some of the worst examples of the falsehoods we encountered during the first year of the Obama administration.

The list of howlers includes the false claim that the stimulus bill would dictate to doctors what procedures they can and can’t perform, and assertions that health care legislation would require seniors to get advice on how to commit suicide. Democrats exaggerated the problems their legislation aims to fix — at one point Obama falsely accused an insurance company of being responsible for the death of an Illinois cancer patient. We debunked claims that the "swine flu" vaccine had killed some U.S. sailors, and another claim that a bill passed by the House would require homeowners to make expensive energy-saving modifications to their homes before they would be allowed to sell them. We dealt with false claims about levitating trains, "green jobs," gun control and — still — Obama’s place of birth.

If the year brought any signs that politicians as a class are getting any more truthful or less careless about their facts, we didn’t notice it. For a quick and (we hope) entertaining review of a spin-filled year, please read on to our "Analysis" section."

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