PolitiFact Hires, Fires Alan Grayson on Same Day

Alan Grayson / Getty Images
February 1, 2018

PolitiFact announced Thursday that former Florida Rep. Alan Grayson (D.) would be joining its team as a "reader advocate," but after backlash stemming from Grayson's scandal-ridden past, the fact-checking website quickly canceled its agreement.

PolitiFact initially announced it hired the two former congressmen, Republican David Jolly and Democrat Grayson, as part of a pilot program to run through the end of April.

After quick backlash, Politifact announced in a press release that it had sought a Democrat and Republican to "try to improve the trust and credibility in fact-checking and PolitiFact." However, the organization said it had "became clear" Grayson did not meet that "threshold for many," and it decided to end the agreement.

PolitiFact Executive director Aaron Sharockman originally wrote Grayson was "particularly qualified" to critique the work at PolitiFact.

"David and Alan are both particularly qualified, we think, to critique the work of PolitiFact, because they’ve been subject to our fact-checks as members of Congress," Sharockman wrote in an initial statement.

Grayson, coming off a failed 2016 primary for U.S. Senate, threatened to arrest a reporter during the campaign and was under investigation by the House Ethics Committee. He has also been criticized for making colorful comments about his wife, and in 2016, Politico reported she repeatedly went to police with accusations of domestic abuse over a two-decade period. As a result, during the primary race, then-Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) urged him to drop out of the Senate race.

The backlash on twitter consisted of many bringing up Grayson's troubled past.