PolitiFact, the fact-checking website of the Tampa Bay Times , is launching PunditFact, which will check the accuracy of claims made by pundits, columnists, and bloggers.
“Pundits on TV and radio, as well as bloggers and columnists, are prominent voices in our political discourse, yet sometimes they blur the lines between opinion and fact,” says Neil Brown, editor and vice president of the Times . “Now we will hold them accountable, much as we’ve done with politicians.”
The fact-checking for pundits will follow the same formula the Times uses with politicians. The pundit’s statement is presented and then analyzed, with a Truth-O-Meter providing a short-hand rating of whether the comment is mostly true, mostly false, somewhere in the middle, or “pants-on-fire” wrong.
PolitiFact has done some pundit fact-checks in the past. In June, for example, Rachel Maddow on her MSNBC show said new abortion regulations contained in the Ohio budget would require a “mandatory vaginal probe at the insistence of the state.” It turns out the regulations require an external ultrasound to see if a fetal heartbeat can be detected. Maddow’s comment got a pants-on-fire rating on the Truth-O-Meter. A study in 2011 indicated nearly half of all claims made by columnists and talk-show hosts are false in some way.
The state Senate has passed a bill mandating that cities and towns come up with shelter and evacuation plans for household pets during emergencies.
A UMass Dartmouth study indicates Worcester leads Gateway Cities in establishing networks to help the less fortunate in the community, the Telegram & Gazette reports.
Some of the 3,000 people who paid $50 each for engraved bricks laid in the walkway of the then-new addition to Quincy City Hall 21 years ago are angry that the remembrances they thought would be there for generations have been removed to make way for the new downtown park project.
Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan continued to defend his relationship to a local businessman with alleged ties to the Mob, claiming a series of devastating stories in the Herald News were politically motivated to undercut his bid for reelection.
In an internal memo, an US Airways pilots’ union expresses fears that a terrorist organization is planning for a 9/11 style attack.
President Obama and top Republicans talk on budget matters , and say they’ll talk more, Time reports.
Just how bad are things for the GOP? “There is a growing fear among Washington Republicans that the party, which has lost two national elections in a row, is headed for history’s dustbin. And I believe that they are right to worry,” writes John Judis in The New Republic.
Former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is sentenced to 28 years in prison for corruption, NPR reports (via WBUR).
The New York Times questions whether New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie quashed a corruption indictment for a political supporter.
A federal government shutdown driven by wacky Tea Party Republicans is just what Charlie Baker didn’t need right now. So he takes to the Globe op-ed page to try to address the headache head-on, pushing the fairly safe “a pox on both your houses” viewpoint.
A UMass Lowell poll (without the Herald ) indicates John Connolly is leading Marty Walsh by a margin of 45 to 37 percent, the Sun reports . A Herald poll in East Boston finds Connolly up big in the neighborhood, while anti-casino forces in the neighborhood are showing surprising strength . A group of ministers lines up behind Connolly; the Herald also notes Connolly is trumpeting the endorsement of William Celester , a former police official who carries a federal corruption conviction around with him.
Greater Boston compares the education plans of the two Boston mayoral candidates. WBUR reports on the class divide emerging in the race for mayor. The Boston Teachers Union will not endorse in the mayor’s race, WBUR reports.
In a Western New England University poll on the governor’s race, Attorney General Martha Coakley leads Treasurer Steve Grossman among Democrats and both of them have hefty leads over Republican Charlie Baker, the Sun reports. Coakley appears on NECN’s Broadside.
At a mayoral debate in Beverly, former state rep Mike Cahill accused rival Wes Slate of “character assassination,” the Salem News reports.
The Hilltop Steakhouse , a fixture along Route 1 in Saugus, is closing down, the Item reports.
Meanwhile, Shirley Leung has a beef with Twitter . #whynowomenonyourboard?
A bumper crop in the cranberry bogs means a tough year for growers price-wise.
All four candidates for Quincy School Committee say they oppose a nonbinding question on the ballot that proposes a merger of the city’s two high schools .
State investigators question trustees at Westfield State University as part of continuing investigation into the allegations of financial improprieties by university head Evan Dobelle and others.
The nonprofit that had pledged $1 million for a proposed medical marijuana dispensary in New Bedford pulled out yesterday just days before a crucial state vote on the application because of opposition from some city officials, including the mayor.
The Berkshire Eagle ponders whether federal officials will move to prosecute firms that run medical marijuana dispensaries.
Using plainclothes officers posing as pedestrians, police in Methuen issued 218 citations to drivers for failing to stop for walkers at crosswalks last month, the Eagle-Tribune reports.
The state’s Energy Facilities Siting Board approves a natural gas-fired power plant for Salem, the Salem News reports.
CRIMINAL JUSTICESt. Louis has a high crime rate, but officials there say the problem is not too much crime but how the rate is calculated, Time reports.
A group of Chicopee city councillors asks the attorney general’s office to look into how city police handled photographs at a crime scene.