Fact Checking The Talking Heads? Why Fox News Is Nervous



Time marches on. First we had Fox News. No checking of statements or facts. Just say whatever works for the Right wing and it will be accepted as gospel.

Then comes along PolitiFact. It's a fact checking group who's mission is to take apart widely circulated stories and do some fact checking on them. The stories are rated on their veracity. That started to keep some of the more outrageous claims to a limit -- or at least allowed for a tamping down of the total fabrications. But even the results of the PolitiFact findings were often called into question -- just ask Rachel Maddow.

Now, born November 1st, just a few days ago is PunditFact, a site dedicated to checking claims by pundits, columnists, bloggers and the hosts and guests of talk shows.

According to the source itself, PolitiFact.com:

PunditFact is a partnership of PolitiFact and the Poynter Institute, the journalism school that owns the Tampa Bay Times.

The new site will have a dedicated staff of journalists who will research claims by media figures and rate them using PolitiFact’s Truth-O-Meter. The fact-checks will be published on PunditFact.com and will often be featured on the main PolitiFact site.

This could be interesting.

Soon those nattering nabobs of negativism, the jabbering ninnies of the networks will be encouraged to do more than just read the stories handed to them. They might have to actually start listening the the balderdash that comes out of their echo chambers. These pundits will be held to veracity levels that heretofore escaped them -- just like the hot air most expel with each eye-rolled sigh and statement they made courtesy of their teleprompters.

Will it matter? Will it change anything? Probably not, but it will be fodder for more criticism and conjecture.

How truthful is O'Reilly? Chris Wallace? Joe Scarborough and Sean Hannity? Well, if PolitiFact is any guideline as to the accuracy of facts and verisimilitude of PunditFact itself, Rachel Maddow will most likely nail it as she had done in the past. They ought to be sued for their own lack of fact checking.

While it remains to be seen who the most trusted name in news will be, the act of rating talking heads promises to be a fun one. Now if we can just hook up these people to get a large, non-lethal jolt of electricity every time they lie, we'd have a lot more fun with this. If we turn up the juice, we might even have ourselves a Hunger Games of News -- and around election time, won't that be fun?

  • Aggie L

    O'Reilly gets around facts by starting with, "Some say, " but it's the meshwork of negatives such as, 'runaway spending' (which has gone down to 2008 levels), or the 'failed policies', 'cover-up's and 'scandal's that implant in the low-info brain. Sowing doubt and fomenting anger is the general aim, and if voters stay home they've won.

  • flan59

    Perhaps a boycott against the advertisers of the shows of these pundits....it is working on Limbaugh. If a pundit time and time again rates high on the lie or low on the truth, how ever the meter works, then it should trigger a reaction against that show's advertisers. It is working against Limbaugh.

  • David G

    It'll be fun to see -- because Fox News isn't going to point out that they got a negative number when it comes to veracity and accuracy. Their audience doesn't care. But it could give ammo to the Democrats and Independents who run for office. DG

  • redastcyr

    Good start but we really need something that will actually penalize these people an get them off the air waves We just don't need liars!!