Friday, August 14, 2009

The Origins of "Death Panel"

I was curious about the providence of the phrase "Death Panel". Not the idea of it, just the phrase itself. It sounds just like the kind of focus-group tested marketing phrase we have come to know and love from the GOP and their fellow travelers. And it just sounded to good to have been wholely an invention of Sarah Palin.

So I went searching for the first use of it on Google News. Prior to August 7th, when she made her infamous Facebook posting, I found only a smattering of uses of the term, and all of those were either news stories about panels reviewing death penalty cases or panels reviewing transplant decisions. There was absolute zero use of the term in the context of the current health care debate.

So, at least according to the Google News archive, Sarah Palin really does appear to be the mother of this abomination.

update

Gawker has an interesting suggestion (one I considered but forgot to include in my original post): did Sarah Palin even write her Facebook entry? Palin may simply be the spokesmodel for the launch of the "Death Panel" brand. It is an idea worthy of consideration.


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