Most of the time, Rita Skeeter was an irresponsible journalist and a horrible human being in the "Harry Potter" books, a fictional representation of the phone-hacking tabloid columnists of the real world.
That being said, Rita wasn't always spouting rubbish. The Daily Prophet reporter had her truth-like moments. (Granted, they were often ensconced in lies, but truth-like moments they still were.) Occasionally, she even got some things right. And, given that Rita always seemed to one of only a handful of reporters covering wizarding current events, we don't have the luxury of quantity.
In its absence, here were nine times Rita Skeeter actually told the truth and said what everyone else was thinking...
When she criticized security at the Quidditch World Cup.Warner Bros.
"Ministry blunders... Culprits not apprehended... Lax security... Dark wizards running unchecked... National disgrace for the Ministry." TBH, the Ministry did kind of drop the quaffle on this one. Rita's criticism of the Ministry was not only prescient, but, you know, what the fourth estate is supposed to be there for: as checks and balances for the government.
When she called Colin Creevey Harry's "close friend."Warner Bros.
OK, so it was a bit of an exaggeration, but poor Colin Creevey doesn't get nearly enough love.
When she called Hermione one of the "top students" at Hogwarts.Warner Bros.
Rita may be a shameless liar, but she still recognized Hermione's smarts when making up lies about her love life. Then again, it's hard not to recognize Hermoione's genius when she is seemingly the only person ever to have discovered Rita's Animagus secret.
When she questioned Mad Eye Moody's appointment.Warner Bros.
One of Rita's most valuable journalistic instincts may have been the critical eye she kept on Dumbledore. That dude got away with murder (pre-"Order of the Phoenix") from an adoring wizarding community. And, as it turns out, his instincts in hiring Mad Eye as a Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher were pretty terrible, considering it was secretly Barty Crouch, Jr. sipping on Moody-infused Polyjuice Potion and turning students into ferrets. (On the other hand, he did teach them some actual skills...) In Rita's words, the appointment was "a decision that caused many raised eyebrows at the Ministry of Magic, given Moody's well-known habit of attacking anybody who makes a sudden movement in his presence."
When she questioned Hagrid's appointment.Warner Bros.
We all love Hagrid, but you have to admit that his hippogriff lesson was a little dangerous. And he probably shouldn't be creating new magical creatures without letting the Ministry know what's up. (Not cool, however, how Rita harped on Hagrid's giant heritage or how she described him as having a "campaign of intimidation." You'll never meet a gentler soul!)
When she thought Harry probably shouldn't be in the Triwizard Tournament.
Rita unfairly went so far as to question whether Harry should even be at Hogwarts, but her musing that Harry's "unstable" behavior "casts doubts upon his suitability to compete in a demanding competition like the Triwizard Tournament" wasn't so far off base. Regardless of Harry's understandable teen angst, the kid probably shouldn't have been allowed to compete in the Triwizard Tournament — aka the worst school project EVER.
When she confessed to Hermione that the Daily Prophet was under the Ministry's thumb.Warner Bros.
One of the best things about Rita was that even though she may be morally-flexible, she wasn't stupid. Nor was blind to the corruption of wizarding institutions in dark times. In an alternate reality, Rita was probably the fearless, fierce, and ethical reporter the wizarding community deserved.
When she described Luna as "delightfully eccentric."Warner Bros.
There may have been a hint of sarcasm in this descriptor, but we're not sure we've ever heard a better rough description of the dear Ms. Lovegood.
When she blamed Percy Weasley for the Floo network being too busy.Warner Bros.
Given that this came in Rita's Pottermore-based article rather than a book, we don't have information to either support or disprove this accusation, but, given that Percy is currently Head of the Magical Transportation Department, Rita's probably right. And most of the wizarding world — or at least the portion of the wizarding world that uses the Floo Network — is probably thinking it. Also, it's just fun to blame Percy for stuff.