Texas Gov. Greg Abbott finds himself in the glare of the internet spotlight after tweeting then deleting a fake news story claiming Garth Brooks had been booed off stage in a fictional Texas town.
The clearly fake tweet in question came from the author “Flagg Eagleton – Patriot” and linked to the satirical site the Dunning-Kruger Times. Titled “Garth Brooks Booed Off Stage at the 123rd Annual Texas Country Jamboree,” the article states that Brooks was forced to leave the Hambriston-based festival after two minutes. Neither Hambriston, Texas, nor the Texas Country Jamboree exist. However, the Texas governor missed both of those red flags.
After sharing the headline, Abbott tweeted, “Go woke. Go broke. Garth called his conservative fans. ‘assholes’ Good job Texas [sic].” Abbott’s tweet also contained a link to the parody article.
Abbott quickly deleted the tweet after realizing his mistake, but not before his mistake was screenshot and spread across the internet.
Twitter users were quick to criticize Abbott for sharing an article from a site Snopes once referred to as “junk news.” The governor has been called an “idiot” and “not fit to tweet, much less govern.” One user questioned why a state governor wasn’t able to catch a fake town. Still another summed up the gaffe as “Abbott fails Texas everyday.”
Earlier this month, Brooks alluded to the intense transphobic backlash Bud Lite received while talking about his new Nashville, Tennessee, bar on a Billboard Country Live panel. Bud Lite has has been at the center of an incredibly vocal boycott after putting brand put influencer Dylan Mulvaney’s face on a commemorative can as part of a digital marketing campaign.
“I want it to be a place you feel safe in,” Brooks said. “I want it to be a place where you feel like there are manners and people like one another. And yes, we’re going to serve every brand of beer. We just are. It’s not our decision to make. Our thing is this: if you come into this house, love one another.”
“If you’re an asshole,” Brooks added, “there are plenty of other places on lower Broadway.”
Though Brooks has been criticized on the right for these remarks, supporting the LGBT community is nothing new for the singer. In 1993, Brooks won a GLAAD Media Award for his song “We Shall Be Free.” He also performed at the Equality Rocks benefit concert for gay rights in 2000.