Fact checking the News

So PunditFact published “Scorecards for the TV networks”, and how much one network “lies” got some social media traction today.

The comparisons are interesting, but be cautious about using them 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. (1)

Shouldn’t we fact check everything ? Isn’t it the responsibility of journalists to fact check everything ?

The conservative news website of the National Review, which I believe was trying to discredit PunditFact’s scorecards, had this to say:

“Fox News is a personalities-driven opinion network with occasional news reports” (2)

A “personalities-driven opinion network” … that is great … a PON … So shouldn’t this cable channel be called “Fox PON” ? Is this an excuse and justification for not being 100% truthful?

“Seek Truth and Report It. Ethical journalism should be accurate and fair.”

This is the first principle of Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics.

So, pause for a minute. Think about that.

So what are “News” Networks ? Do these “News” networks contain ethical Professional Journalists? Does the United States’ Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press over rule and override the idea of reporting the truth? And if not, who enforces this? What are the consequences? And what is the remediation? Who checks the checkers?

I don’t have a problem with anyone expressing their opinion. The problem is when this opinion is cloaked as a facts, news, and is blindly trusted.

Who am I suppose to believe and trust ? I just really want the facts. Is that even possible ?