How Palin Used Facebook to Help Usher in “Post-Truth” Politics | America’s Great Divide | FRONTLINE
(cheering and applauding) We can no longer afford to put healthcare reform on hold. We can’t afford to do it. It’s time.>>There is nothing more fraught than healthcare, because it is so personal and it is so intimate. And every political party that decides to take on healthcare in some massive, poorly understood way, reaps both the backlash and, and political retaliation.>>Americans are seriously worried that this is going to destroy the healthcare their parents get.>>This has been on the left’s to-do list since neither FDR or LBJ got it done. They have just been waiting, waiting, waiting. “When we have the presidency and both houses of Congress, we are going to push this through.”>>It’s about too much power going to federal government.>>The whole point of this is to get everybody enrolled in the government healthcare plan.>>NARRATOR: From across the divide, Sarah Palin reappeared, wielding a new political weapon.>>She was a maven on Facebook. The original politician who saw that you could skirt the media, and you could get the message out unfiltered, uncut to the public, was Sarah Palin. She did that with Facebook. (keys clicking)>>As more Americans delve into the disturbing details of the nationalized healthcare plan, our collective jaw is dropping, and we’re saying not just no, but hell no!>>NARRATOR: She exploited fear with a new phrase that went viral– death panels.>>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.”>>NARRATOR: It wasn’t true.>>She is the first of a generation of politicians who live in a post-truth environment.>>NARRATOR: Steve Schmidt had also been a top campaign aide for John McCain’s presidential run. He had pushed McCain to select Sarah Palin.>>She was, and there’s no polite way to say it, but a serial liar. She would say things that are simply not true. Or things that were picked up from the internet. And this obliteration of fact from fiction, of truth from lie, has become now endemic in American politics. But it started then.