Fox down, MSNBC up on our network Truth-O-Meter scorecards

Our network scorecards measure the accuracy of claims by pundits for each major television network. (AP File)
Our network scorecards measure the accuracy of claims by pundits for each major television network. (AP File)

Want to see how a particular cable channel or network is performing on PunditFact’s Truth-O-Meter?

Now you can.

Each of the news networks that we routinely follow -- ABC, CBS, Fox, MSNBC and CNN -- has a scorecard that breaks down that network’s performance on the Truth-O-Meter. The scorecard tallies each statement we fact-check on that network and groups the rulings by percentage.

What does that mean?

Right now, you can look at the MSNBC file, which also includes NBC, and see how that network’s pundits and on-air talent stand. For instance, currently 43 percent of the claims we’ve checked from NBC and MSNBC pundits and on-air personalities have been rated Mostly False, False or Pants on Fire. (That’s two percent better than when we last looked in September.)

At Fox and Fox News Channel, that same number is now 61 percent -- up three percent since September. At CNN, it’s a consistent 22 percent.

As we said in the past, we urge caution about using the tallies to draw broad conclusions. We use our news judgment to pick the facts we’re going to check, so we certainly don’t fact-check everything. And we don’t fact-check the five network groups evenly. CBS, for instance, doesn’t have a cable network equivalent, so we haven’t fact-checked pundits and CBS personalities as much.

The ABC scorecard, meanwhile, includes fact-checks that were part of a 2010 partnership between PolitiFact and ABC’s Sunday news show This Week.

The scorecards include statements made on that network by a pundit or a host or paid staffer. That means they do not include statements made by elected leaders, candidates or party officials. We feel it’s difficult to hold a network accountable for the comments of a politician.

Also, if a Fox News host appears on NBC and makes a claim that we fact-check, that rating would appear on the NBC page, not the Fox one. In this case, it’s about the network that aired the content, not the person who said it.

You can read more about our network scorecards in our Q&A.

Aaron Sharockman is the editor of PunditFact.com.