Jon Stewart’s epic rundown of PolitiFact’s fact-checks of Fox News

Jon Stewart talked about PolitiFact, Fox News and fact-checking on June 21, 2011.
Jon Stewart talked about PolitiFact, Fox News and fact-checking on June 21, 2011.

Along with the rest of you, we were heartbroken to hear that Jon Stewart -- an equal-opportunity critic of political foolishness -- announced on Feb. 10 that he would be stepping down as host of "The Daily Show" later this year.

We’ve fact-checked Stewart a half dozen times over the years, but by far our favorite segment is the one he did after we caught him getting his facts about Fox News wrong.

Back in 2011, Stewart sat down for an interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday. The two got into a back-and-forth over media credibility and the accuracy of Fox News.

"Who are the most consistently misinformed media viewers?" Stewart asked Wallace. "The most consistently misinformed? Fox, Fox viewers, consistently, every poll."

We rated his statement False, because he was exaggerating when he said that every poll showed that consistently. We found some polls that did not show Fox at the bottom, and in a few cases, Fox viewers seemed to be better informed than other audiences. (See all the polls we looked at in our original fact-check.)

Stewart, to his credit, copped to being wrong soon after we published our fact-check.

"PolitiFact -- the nonpartisan fact-checking guy, or guys, or girls -- thoroughly researched my statement and they found that while, in two of the surveys, Fox News scored the lowest, in two of the polls, they were merely near the bottom. ...

"I defer to their  judgment and apologize for my mistake. To not do so would be irresponsible. … that would undermine the very integrity and credibility that I work so hard to pretend to care about. Hey, I wonder, you know what? I know PolitiFact checks mostly political statements from politicians and such, but has PolitiFact ever checked Fox for false statements? I’m hearing they have."

We could tell you what happens next, but it’s better to watch it for yourself. (Then go check out our list of links to all the fact-checks he mentions.) Thanks for the memories, Jon!