Politifact.com, a fact-checking Web site owned by the St. Petersburg Times
, has selected its No. 1 political falsehood of the year
: Sarah Palin's assertion that the Democratic health care bill would create "death panels" -- government bodies with authority to decide whether individual citizens should receive medical treatment. The site said that 61 percent of its readers also voted Palin's "death panel" remark as the No. 1 political lie of the year.
The remark was one of Palin's first political statements after she announced she would resign as governor of Alaska on July 3, and catapulted the former vice presidential candidate back into the political spotlight.
"The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down syndrome will 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,' whether they are worthy of health care," Palin wrote. "Such a system is downright evil."
The statement "spread through newscasts, talk shows, blogs and town hall meetings," Politifact writes. "Of all the falsehoods and distortions in the political discourse this year, [it] stood out from the rest."