Aaron Sharockman, PunditFact Editor

Aaron Sharockman

Aaron Sharockman is editor of PunditFact.com, a fact-checking project launched by the Tampa Bay Times in November 2013. Previously he served as deputy government and politics editor for the Times, and a writer and editor for PolitiFact.com. Sharockman has been following Florida government and politics for the Times since 2003 and has city governments in Clearwater and St. Petersburg, and the Tampa Bay Rays' pursuit of a new baseball stadium. He's a graduate of Indiana University.

Phone: (727) 892-2273

Email: asharockman@tampabay.com

Twitter: @ASharock

Blog: PunditFact

  1. PunditFact: Fact-checking the April 13 news shows


    Another Sunday, another set of misrepresentations about the Affordable Care Act.

    On ABC's This Week, a gaggle of pundits discussed the resignation of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. That evolved into a debate about the law's effectiveness and the implications for the midterm elections.

    Conservative radio host Laura Ingraham argued that the health care law is resulting in higher health care costs and fewer health care choices, claims that got a rise out of liberal pundit James Carville....

  2. PunditFact: Fact-checking the April 6 news shows


    A pair of politicians on Sunday debated gun policies on military bases in the wake of the Fort Hood shooting, while a conservative pundit wanted to talk Obamacare poll numbers.

    On Fox News Sunday, Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, and Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., discussed what could have been done to prevent last week's shooting, which killed four including the shooter.

    McCaul noted that most servicemen are prohibited from carrying guns while on a military base and said that Congress should consider lifting the prohibition. Kaine said the decision should be left up to commandeers, not politicians, and tried to downplay the idea that guns aren't available or accessible on bases....

  3. Who is behind the attacks from the left on Charlie Crist?


    UPDATE 4:10 p.m.: We have heard from Fontaine via email. Her comments are included in this blog post.

    A shadowy group calling itself Progressive Choice is attacking Charlie Crist as "a conservative Republican" who is "no friend of progressive Democrats."

    Mailers started showing up around the state over the weekend, claiming Crist is pro-life, A+ rated by the NRA and that he signed a petition banning gay marriage....

  4. PunditFact: Fact-checking the Sunday news shows

    State Roundup

    An internal report clearing New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie of wrongdoing in the "Bridgegate" scandal has breathed new life into the months-old controversy.

    On Sunday, politicians and pundits debated the findings of the report — which was ordered by Christie — and how much stock to put into the investigation in the first place.

    Former New York City mayor and Christie ally Rudy Giuliani said the report isn't a complete investigation, but it is a good first step. "I think this is a pretty strong report. It is not conclusive. No one claims it is, but it's a good step in the right direction," Giuliani said on Meet the Press....

    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie answers questions on Friday in Trenton, N.J., about the bridge closure scandal.
  5. PunditFact: Following the trails of money


    PunditFact covered plenty of ground in the past week, from fact-checking claims about the minimum wage to the NCAA men's basketball tournament.

    Here's a sampling of our recent work. Read more online at PunditFact.com.

    The statement

    The NCAA will "get billions" from the men's basketball tournament. "Players get a trophy." Houston Texans running back Arian Foster, March 19 in a tweet....

  6. PunditFact: Fact-checking the Sunday March 23 news shows


    Mitt Romney returned to the Sunday news shows — for the third time in 2014 — to criticize President Barack Obama's handling of Russia and the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

    Speaking on CBS' Face the Nation, Romney attacked the president for not anticipating Russia's move to annex Crimea from Ukraine.

    "There's no question that the president's naiveté with regards to Russia, and his faulty judgment about Russia's intentions and objectives, has led to a number of foreign policy challenges that we face," Romney told host Bob Schieffer....

  7. Fact-checking the March 16 news shows


    Have President Barack Obama's poll numbers turned a corner?

    Meet the Press moderator David Gregory said Sunday that Obama's approval number remained at 41 percent, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC poll. That's low, but not historically dismal.

    Obama senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer offered a brighter outlook in response. (It's no shock that he'd try.)

    "Public polls, they're all over the map," Pfeiffer told Gregory. But, Pfeiffer said, "We're working our way back. If you look at the aggregate of public polling, we've gained 3 points in the last couple months."...

  8. Our Reubin Askew coverage in one place


    The collection of our work in response to the passing of Gov. Reubin Askew:

  9. PunditFact fact-checks the Sunday March 2 news shows


    Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday warned Russia about possible economic sanctions if it continued to intervene militarily in Ukraine.

    In separate interviews on ABC, NBC and CBS, Kerry said the United States and its allies are prepared "to isolate Russia" if it continues to keep troops on southern Ukraine's Crimean peninsula.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the troops are there to protect the Russian people who live there....

    Secretary of State John Kerry was warning on Sunday that the United States and its allies would isolate Russia economically.
  10. PunditFact fact-checks the Feb. 23 news shows


    Violent uprisings in Ukraine had pundits and politicians wondering Sunday if the Eastern European country will be the first theater in a new Cold War between the United States and Russia.

    On Fox News Sunday, U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., set up the conflict as a proxy struggle between President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    "I believe the president needs to up his game and send a clear, unequivocal, public message to Putin not to interfere in what is happening in Ukraine — to let the Ukrainian people determine their future," Ayotte said....

  11. PunditFact fact-checks the Sunday Feb. 16 news shows


    Panelists on ABC's This Week asked for our help on Sunday sorting out a claim about the cold and the history of presidential inaugurations.

    Host George Stephanopoulos asked pundits Jonathan Karl, Peggy Noonan, Alicia Menendez and Katrina vanden Heuvel, "Which president's inauguration was held in the Senate chambers because of a blizzard?" (Stephanopoulos tries to stump his guests each week with a bit of trivia.)...

  12. Weighing the Olympic assertions on the Sunday talk shows

    State Roundup

    With the Sochi Olympics underway, politicians and pundits took to the Sunday shows to discuss whether American athletes are safe and the state of relations between the United States and Russia.

    Janet Napolitano, the leader of the U.S. delegation at the Games and former director of Homeland Security, said that the security in Russia seems to be adequate.

    "What we've seen and what we've heard … (it) seems that the level of security is quite appropriate and very good," Napolitano said on CNN's State of the Union....

  13. Pundits' Super Bowl predictions


    Cris Carter, ESPN. Broncos 27-20. "Just in case the Seattle wideouts didn't like me."

    Trent Dilfer, ESPN. Broncos 27-24. "Seattle's great, Peyton Manning's greater."

    << Jimmy Johnson, Fox. Broncos. "I just don't think Seattle can score with Peyton Manning."

    Steve Young, ESPN. Broncos 27-17. "Peyton Manning and the Broncos offense will figure out a way to win this game."...

  14. PunditFact fact-checks Super Bowl claims


    Worried about the weather for the Super Bowl? Psshh.

    Former New York Jets running back Curtis Martin told an ESPN audience recently that football is meant to be played outdoors. And he has seen it much worse.

    "I played in a game here against the Pittsburgh Steelers where there was 23 inches of snow, and they couldn't get all the snow," Martin said on Mike & Mike. "We played in at least 15 inches of that. The only thing you could see on the field were the lines that they would clear out."...

    DENVER, CO - JANUARY 12:  Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos looks on from the sideline against the Baltimore Ravens during the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 12, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. The Ravens won 38-35 in the second overtime.  (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) 159347768
  15. PolitiFact fact-checks the Sunday news shows

    State Roundup

    President Barack Obama's upcoming State of the Union address gave Republicans and Democrats on Sunday an opportunity to make their case about the economic successes and failings over the past five years.

    On Fox News Sunday, Obama adviser Dan Pfeiffer said that the United States has added 8 million jobs since March 2010. On Face the Nation, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, offered a seemingly opposite assertion about the jobs picture....

    As President Barack Obama&#8217;s adviser Dan Pfeiffer touted the 8 million jobs created under Obama since 2010, Republican critics painted a very different economic picture.