Michael Cannon, who has been used as a source for PolitiFact’s health care reform fact-checks, announced that he is boycotting the fact checking organization. Cannon is the director of health policy studies for the Cato Institute, a conservative public policy research organization.
At the heart of Cannon’s criticism of PolitiFact is the group’s 2009 and 2010 “Lie of the Year” awards. As Cannon noted, “for a statement to be a lie, the speaker must know or believe it to be false.” But, according to Cannon, PolitiFact never proved that Sarah Palin’s statements on “death panels” or the “government takeover” claims about the new health care law were intentional lies.
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“I have concluded that the errors in those two fact-checks, plus the fundamental (and rather ironic) error at the heart of PolitiFact’s Lie of the Year award, are serious enough that until PolitiFact addresses them I can no longer serve as a resource for PolitiFact in good conscience. Since January, I have declined maybe four requests for help from PolitiFact reporters, and will politely continue to do so until they address these errors.”