PolitiFact POUNCES on Rick Scott Over Merrick Garland’s Angry Parents Probe

PolitiFact reacts strongly to Republicans’ attacks on the Biden government. On Monday, PolitiFact’s Jon Greenberg gave Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) a “False” for an October 5 tweet about Attorney General Merrick Garland’s controversial orders to investigate parents as potential violent criminals. 

The headline read “Rick Scott warns wrongly that the FBI will pursue loud parents at meetings of school boards

This is the short version of the check. 


  • Merrick Garland, the Attorney General of Texas, ordered Justice Department agencies across the country to discuss criminal threats against school personnel.

  • Many parents have been angry at school board meetings from coast-to-coast over mask mandates or racial concerns.

  • Garland’s directions say “spirited debate” is protected.

Greenberg quoted from Garland’s memo …., but never thought of whether he should double-check his liberal argument to see if there was in fact a “disturbing rise” in violence or threats at school administrators. Is there a count?

“In recent months, there has been a disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff who participate in the vital work of running our nation’s public schools,” Garland wrote Oct. 4. Although spirited discussions about policy are protected under the Constitution, this protection doesn’t extend to violence threats or attempts to intimidate people based upon their opinions.

Eugene Volokh (law professor) argued that Garland had mentioned intimidation and harassment. We’d agree if he didn’t use criminal threats. But I’ve seen the terms ‘harassment’ and ‘intimidation’ used very broadly. A person in a meeting might worry that they will be charged if they talk too much or get up too many times.

Greenberg appears to have been following Scott’s comments extra closely. Just two weeks before, Greenberg also slammed him as “Mostly False” for insisting Democrats should raise the debt limit by themselves since “Democrats are responsible for the massive spending and debt growth.” PolitiFact even produced a video of him:


Scott has been pounced upon by Greenberg This year, seven timesAll are either “Mostly False”, or “False.” Jon Greenberg had a total of 2021. 28Fact checks of Republican politicians and entities. SevenAll Democrats. All four of them were for President Biden. Greenberg’s two fact checks on Senate Democrats (Tim Kaine and Sherrod Brown) were both rated “True.”

Overall, Rick Scott has 172 PolitiFact has 80 fact checks — all Mostly False and worse. Charles Schumer, Senate Majority Leader has…23. 

We can only guess that this is Scott’s fault, as PolitiFact was a Poynter Institute project in Florida.Scott beat Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat. Nelson also has 30 fact-checks. Half of them were either “True” (or “Mostly True”), and the rest were only Six were “Mostly False” or “False.”

In June, I reported that 33 of the 50 Senate Democrats had fewer than 10 fact checks.

Attorney General Merrick Garland has zero fact checks from PolitiFact, ever. Four years ago, Attorney General Jeff Sessions already had eight PolitiFact checks at this point in his tenure, and had 16 during his time at Justice — and tenwere either “Mostly False”, or “False”.

Three fact checks were conducted MoreJeff Sessions — All on Democrats, all three “True” Democrats

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