To sum up the bad side of things: In a post on the scorecards, PunditFact combined ratings of “Mostly False,” “False” or “Pants on Fire.” Sixty percent of Fox News statements examined by PunditFact fell on this dark side, as did 46 percent of NBC/MSNBC statements and 18 percent of CNN statements.
The summaries come with a note of caution from PunditFact, in that the outlet uses its “news judgment to pick the facts we’re going to check, so we certainly don’t fact-check everything.” Aaron Sharockman, editor of PunditFact, tells the Erik Wemple Blog that his group is determined to “go around the block” to check on all the TV networks. That said, tips from the public supply up to 30 percent of the site’s stuff, he says. And most of those tips pertain to either the Sunday talk shows or Fox News and MSNBC. “You have a whole bunch of people watching Fox looking for falsehoods and you have a bunch of people watching MSNBC looking for falsehoods,” says Sharockman. Also, Fox News and MSNBC do a great deal of roundtable/political discussion segments, which tend to yield dumb and sometimes un-factual comments by pundits.
Note: The PunditFact totals don’t include statements by politicians on the TV airwaves.