You'll soon be able to know just how accurate your favorite (and least-favorite) pundits are thanks to PolitiFact, which is launching a spin-off site next month called PunditFact. Since 2007, PolitiFact has been cataloging politicians' claims and making judgments on how factual they are, giving each one a simple rating like "True," "Half-True," "Mostly False," or its lowest mark, "Pants on Fire!". The new site will begin using that same scale to judge claims made by popular pundits: in its promotional video, it highlights Jon Stewart, Bill O'Reilly, Rachel Maddow, and Rush Limbaugh, among others.
PolitiFact says that the new site won't just cover TV and radio personalities, but prominent bloggers and columnists as well. It's an area that PolitiFact itself has dabbled in, but never fully committed to. Now it's putting together a dedicated staff of journalists to focus solely on pundits' claims. "Pundits ... are prominent voices in our political discourse, yet sometimes they blur the lines between opinion and fact," Neil Brown, vice president of PolitiFact's owner, the Tampa Bay Times, says in a statement. Like PolitiFact itself, there's a good chance that politically inclined readers will come to appreciate PunditFact, especially as elections near and more and more potentially disreputable claims spread.