PolitiFact names its 2014 Lie of the Year

A colorized scanning electron micrograph of filamentous Ebola virus particles (in blue) budding from a infected cell (yellow-green). (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease)
A colorized scanning electron micrograph of filamentous Ebola virus particles (in blue) budding from a infected cell (yellow-green). (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease)

The first victims in the fight against Ebola this year, according to our colleagues at the  PolitiFact National team in Washington, were the facts.

Politifact’s 2014 Lie of the Year, which was announced Monday, is actually a collection of distortions and downright absurdity about the deadly virus.

True, PolitiFact Georgia only called out two statewide claims for sheer ridiculousness: one that Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Nunn worked for an organization that funded terrorists and another claim saying that Republican Gov. Nathan Deal had the worst education record in state history.

But the 2014 Lie of the Year does have some decidedly Georgia ties.

U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga., wrote to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this summer, claiming that people are crossing the southern U.S. border carrying Ebola, citing "reports," that did nothing to confirm his statement.

And right in our back yard sits the CDC, whose job includes tracking outbreaks of serious infectious diseases, and Emory University Hospital, who treated the first Americans diagnosed with the disease.

Both agencies had to battle against claims that President Obama had mandated detention for anyone who simply "showed signs" of respiratory illness and that the government had secretly alerted disaster teams about a massive outbreak.

In all, PolitiFact and PunditFact rated 16 claims about Ebola as Mostly False or Pants on Fire on the Truth-O-Meter in 2014.

Read the full report on the Lie of the Year for 2014 here.

Let us know if you agree or would have selected other outrageous claims by commenting on our Facebook page, or at our page on myAJC.