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Fact-Checking the Gasbags of TV and Talk Radio

 by Danielle Maestretti

Tags: Media, New Media, pundits, fact-checking, PolitiFact.com, talk radio, Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, St. Petersburg Times, Danielle Maestretti,

Bill O'Reilly 2PolitiFact.com has made a name for itself by fact-checking politicians’ statements and promises, an extremely valuable service that earned the site a 2009 Pulitzer Prize. Now, the St. Petersburg Times reports, the site is taking on the truth-distorting pundits of TV and talk radio—and not just the Rush Limbaughs and Bill O’Reillys of the world; the site has also fact-checked statements made by lefty pundits Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow.

PolitiFact.com, which is a project of the St. Petersburg Times, rates the veracity of claims on its Truth-O-Meter—for example, Joe Scarborough’s recent statement that “President Obama has never received a paycheck from a profitmaking business in his entire life” landed firmly on the “false” end of the spectrum—and lists the arguments and sources involved in the researchers’ conclusions. 

The best part? Editors and reporters at the St. Petersburg Times do all this work so that you don’t have to. Just suggest a statement to check, and they’ll consider putting it to the Truth-O-Meter’s test.

(Thanks, Romenesko.)

Sources: PolitiFact.comSt. Petersburg Times

Image by futureatlas.com, licensed under Creative Commons.