Almost immediately, the Twitterverse expressed disbelief, pointing out that Grayson had gotten into a physical altercation with a reporter in 2016. (Fingers were pointed, ugly things were said, chests were bumped.)
hi Aaron, as a reader, could you ask Congressman Grayson to fact check lying about pushing journalists out of the way while pushing journalists out of the way?— Edward-Isaac Dovere (@IsaacDovere) February 1, 2018
At a time when the credibility of journalism is under attack, @PolitiFact is supposed to help us understand true from false. @AlanGrayson who shoved a reporter for uncovering years of police reports of alleged domestic abuse has no place in such a role. https://t.co/1WN6TYQrPR— Josh Wolf (@_joshwolf) February 1, 2018
Politifact backed down within hours, saying they realized Grayson didn't "improve [their] trust and credibility":
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. pic.twitter.com/uJuoHhiObI— PolitiFact (@PolitiFact) February 1, 2018
Grayson, a hedge-fund manager-turned-pol who often looks like he's ready to step into the role of the Giant in a community-theater production of Jack and the Beanstalk, has had a colorful and contentious political career.
These days he's mostly disregarded, thanks to his many missteps and unfortunate turns of phrase. Who can forget the Reddit AMA in which he refused to post a pic of his cat, the time he offered to argue with your Democrat-hating relatives on Thanksgiving (for the low campaign contribution of $3), the time he accused Joy Reid of "sliming" him on her MSNBC show?
Then again, sometimes he got it right – like when he said Marco Rubio should adopt all the Zika babies if he was so set against exposed mothers choosing to terminate their pregnancies.
And no matter what, we will always have a place in our hearts for the man who stood on the House floor, looked his GOP colleagues right in the eye, and boiled down their health care plan to the bones: "Don't get sick. And if you do get sick, die quickly!"
So anyway, godspeed, Alan. That sure was a quick turnaround.