Rachel Maddow (Ali Goldstein/Associated Press)
Rachel Maddow (Ali Goldstein/Associated Press)

Last fall, PolitiFact, which fact-checked MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, launched PunditFact, which is fact-checking MSNBC host Rachel Maddow.

In a massive check, PunditFact, a project of the Tampa Bay Times and the Poynter Institute, examined the controversial remarks that Maddow made on her Jan. 2 program — decrying a Florida law that required welfare applicants to submit to drug testing; a federal judge had struck down the statute three days earlier. In tracing the law’s history, Maddow repeatedly hammered a “Koch brothers-affiliated group” for promoting and defending the law, referring to the political entities backed by industrialists Charles and David Koch. That group was the Naples, Fla.-based Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA).

Following the Maddow monologue about Florida and the FGA, the Kochs sent a request for correction to MSNBC, attempting to dictate just how she should clear the air. There is no link between the Kochs and the FGA, insist the Kochs.

Maddow bristled at receiving a script from the Kochs, telling her audience, “I do not play requests.” She stood by her characterization.

The host’s intransigence on the issue doesn’t look terribly smart in light of PunditFact’s findings, which are summarized as follows: “Maddow said the Foundation for Government Accountability, which supported a Florida law requiring drug testing of welfare recipients, is a ‘Koch brothers affiliated group.’ The evidence to prove that particular claim is thin. We rate the claim Mostly False.”

At first, some bloggers raised issues about Maddow’s Koch-Florida commentary. Now PunditFact. In other words, not enough to get Maddow to address the matter again on-air.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.