More than 60% of Statements by Fox News Pundits and Guests Turn out to be False, According to PolitiFact

Friday, January 30, 2015
Fox News personality Sean Hannity (photo: John Amis, AP)

Liberals and media critics have complained that Fox News has a habit of stretching the truth in its news and commentaries. Now they have some numbers to prove it. But they also may be surprised to learn that the more centered CNN and left-leaning MSNBC aren’t exactly bastions of truth either.


PolitiFact, a fact-checking blog at the Tampa Bay Times, looked at 125 statements made by news pundits and guests on Fox News to determine their accuracy. The analysis revealed that 61% of the statements were either mostly false, definitely false or “pants on fire” false. Another 18% were half true, 11% mostly true and only 10% completely true.


A PolitiFact examination of statements made on MSNBC and NBC news programs found 44% to be mostly false, definitely false or “pants on fire” false. Twenty-two percent were half true, 24% mostly true and just 9% completely true.


CNN also delivered a fair share of untruthful statements, but substantially less than the other two networks. Only 21% fell in the false category, while 23% were found to be half true, 42% mostly true and 15% completely true, according to PolitiFact’s analysis.


Among examples of false statements cited by PolitiFact was Fox pundit Steve Emerson’s claim about alleged non-Muslim “no go” zones in Europe: “There are actual cities” like Birmingham, England, “that are totally Muslim where non-Muslims just simply don’t go in.”


Another Fox falsehood noted by PolitiFact was delivered by commentator John Stossel. “There is no good data showing secondhand smoke kills people,” he said on the air. To which PolitiFact countered, “There is plenty of scientific research and consensus that secondhand smoke does indeed kill people,” and it cited studies from multiple major scientific organizations to back it up.

-Danny Biederman, Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Statements Made on Fox (Tampa Bay Times PolitiFact)

Introducing: Scorecards for the TV Networks (by Aaron Sharockman, Tampa Bay Times PolitiFact)

People Who Live Inland more Likely to Deny Climate Change…and so are People Exposed to Media Owned by Rupert Murdoch (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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