Fact-checking website PolitiFact on Thursday announced it had hired former Florida Reps. David Jolly (R) and Alan Grayson (D) as “reader advocates,” only to seemingly fire Grayson hours later following backlash on Twitter.
The two former lawmakers were hired to critique the website’s fact-checking and publish additional insight on issues as part of a pilot program that will run through the end of April, according to PolitiFact when the hires were announced.
“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,” PolitiFact executive director Aaaron Sharockman wrote an his initial statement.
Shortly following the announcement, reporters and others pushed back on Grayson noting his past treatment of the press:
Great hire https://t.co/zGDJt9Kci0— Jimmy (@JimmyPrinceton) February 1, 2018
I hear Corrine Brown has a lot of spare time these days. https://t.co/kARPFlbsDS— Jeff B. (@EsotericCD) February 1, 2018
LOLOLOL https://t.co/coRxrN0czK— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) February 1, 2018
Hours later, PolitiFact announced that Grayson “did not meet” its “threashold” for improving trust and credibility.
Grayson threatend to have a Politico reporter arrested in 2016 after the journalist approached him asking about allegations he’d abused his ex-wife. The allegations were published in Politico.
Many pointed to the following video of the confrontation:
Here is former Congressman @AlanGrayson threatening to have Politico's @IsaacDovere arrested... @PolitiFact has just announced that they're bringing Grayson on to "serve as reader advocate for PolitiFact...critiquing our work and publishing on https://t.co/8q55Id18Vr"— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) February 1, 2018
The following a screenshot of PolitiFact’s original announcement of the Grayson hire, which was deleted: