In an editorial against health insurance reform dated July 31, 2009, the fine folks at Investor’s Business Daily informed us that…

People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn’t have a chance in the U.K., where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless.

Of course, anyone with a passing acquaintance with reality knows that Stephen Hawking lives in Britain. The last I checked Britain is indeed part of the UK and Dr. Hawking is still alive.

When caught in a completely bogus claim, what did Investor’s Business Daily do? They deleted the above paragraph and added a pretend correction,

Editor’s Note: This version corrects the original editorial which implied that physicist Stephen Hawking, a professor at the University of Cambridge, did not live in the UK.

I call it a pretend correction because no one actually cared about the editorial’s lack of veracity when it came to Professor Hawking’s address. People were concerned that the IBD saw fit to build an entire editorial built around a lie about the British NHS, which they supported by using the original Hawking claim. Caught in an outright lie IBD could have manned up; instead the editors decided to pretend that they never published the lie in question.

By itself this might be funny. Sadly, however, the right-wing attack on health insurance reform is built entirely on this type of fast-and-loose relationship with the truth.