“Nonpartisan” fact-checker PolitiFact announced on Thursday morning that they had hired “insane” former Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson to be a fact-checker… and then announced they were firing him Thursday afternoon, amid massive blowback from the media.
PolitiFact’s hiring of Rep. Grayson–who has a history of threatening and harassing reporters, and was subjected to a House Ethics Committee investigation into his hedge fund–caused immediate controversy:
Jake Sherman, a reporter for Politico, tweeted incredulously: “is this a joke? Alan Grayson harassed my colleague @IsaacDovere after i wrote a story with @BresPolitico and @MarcACaputo about allegations of domestic abuse.”
Alex Burns, of the New York Times, also expressed how supremely unfit for the job Grayson was, tweeting: “Alan Grayson was accused of domestic abuse and then menaced a reporter for the outlet that reported it.”
Ben Shapiro, of the Daily Wire, also piled on–writing a scathing op-ed about Grayson’s hiring: “There’s just one problem: Alan Grayson is a pathetic, loathsome pile of human excrement. Fact check: true.”
Shapiro, calling Grayson “insane,” cited the former Congressman’s threats against Politico reporters like Sherman, as well as comments Grayson made about Republican Sen. Ted Cruz wanting to “create a sort of mass suicide cult” and a 2010 political ad where Grayson compared his opponent to the Taliban.
The blowback against PolitiFact was so severe that the fact-checker was forced to announce that they were canning Grayson–mere hours after initially announcing his hiring.
“We sought out a Democrat and Republican to critique our work in order to try to improve the trust and credibility in fact-checking and PolitiFact. It has become clear our choice of Alan Grayson did not meet that threshold to many,” wrote PolitiFact’s executive director Aaron Sharockman, in a statement on Twitter. “I called Alan a short while ago and informed him that we would be canceling our agreement for him to write on PolitiFact.”