JAMES TARANTO: PolitiFact’s Forked Tongue: The site once vouched for its “lie of the year.”

PolitiFact.com, the Tampa Bay Times’s “fact checking” operation, is out with its “Lie of the Year,” and it’s a doozy of dishonesty: “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.’ ”

Just to show how fast the news can move, back in September this columnist tweeted: “If ‘I didn’t set a red line’ isn’t named ‘Lie of the Year,’ @PolitiFact is a state propaganda agency.” “I didn’t set a red line”–the reference was to Syria’s use of chemical weapons, in case you’ve forgotten–didn’t even make the top 10. Yet our September tweet proved to be mistaken: We cannot fault PolitiFact for the lie it chose instead.

Which isn’t to say PolitiFact doesn’t function as a state propaganda agency. For in the past–when it actually mattered, which is to say before ObamaCare became first a law and then a practical reality–PolitiFact vouched for Barack Obama’s Big Lie. . . .

Lots of people wrote opinion pieces endorsing ObamaCare, and some are still at it. Apart from the substance of the arguments, there’s nothing wrong with that. But selling opinion pieces by labeling them “fact checks” is fundamentally dishonest. In this case, it was in the service of the most massive consumer fraud in American history.

Indeed. If this sales job had been done by a private business, they’d all be broke and in jail.