I try not to mention Sarah Palin. She gets more than enough attention without my help. But this time she has done something worth mentioning: She has won the Misinformer of the Year award.
You might have thought the folks at Media Matters would tap Glenn Beck for the title. He’s a champion when it comes to making stuff up. Or even that old rascal, Newt Gingrich. Or anyone at Fox News…
But Sarah topped them all.
Media Matters admitted it was a close call. Here’s how they put it:
It was a tough competition. On issues like health care, net neutrality, climate change and immigration, the conservative media offers an unprecedented flood of distortions, exaggerations and utter fabrications. We at Media Matters for America work around the clock to expose, fact-check and counter this non-stop flood of lies and attacks.
This year, Palin stood out for her sheer ability to dominate our national conversation and draw the attention of the entire news media to her factually challenged claims and vicious attacks. She has blurred the line completely between media figure and political activist.
When Glenn Beck’s over-the-top rhetoric and conspiracy theories inspired unhinged gunman Byron Williams to target the Tides Foundation with violence, Palin could have stood up for responsibility and helped rein Beck in. Instead, she legitimized him and his attacks, saying “I stand with you, Glenn.”
From spreading lies about “death panels” to cropping Obama’s comments about “American exceptionalism,” from her comfortable perch at Fox News to her self-promoting books and reality show, Palin has truly broken new ground in misinformation.
In the year to come, Palin is sure to keep up her efforts at dominating the headlines, influencing the political process and advancing falsehoods and distortions at every turn — aided and abetted by millions in free airtime and glowing coverage from her friends at Fox News.
I can’t argue with that. The Titan of Tweets stands alone when it comes to twisting the truth and inventing lies. I pity the millions who follow her dumb TV show and read her silly books.