American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump by Tim Alberta:
With his health care plan languishing, the president convened a joint session of Congress on September 9 to reset the national conversation and dispel some of the more sinister myths about his proposal. It was an attempt to bring down the temperature. Instead, the fever spiked. When Obama reiterated that his bill did not provide coverage to illegal immigrants, Joe Wilson, a South Carolina congressman seated near the front of the House chamber, hollered, “You lie!” It was an atrocious breach of decorum. It was also erroneous: Obama was right one these facts, as health care experts and fact-checkers certified, and Wilson was wrong.
Not that it mattered. Wilson’s online fund-raising exploded the next day. Talk radio hailed him as a hero. Conservative movement groups made him an honored guest at upcoming banquets. He was reamed out by Boehner behind closed doors and forced to apologize, but the lesson fo the incident was clear. By disrespecting the president of the United States with a blatant, provable falsehood, Wilson had become right-wing royalty.