Abbott linked to a story about Brooks from a satire website called The Dunning-Kruger Times. If the name alone isn’t a giveaway, the site states outright that it’s part of “a network of parody, satire, and tomfoolery,” and adds: “If you believe that it is real, you should have your head examined.”
The story Abbott shared says Brooks was booed off the stage at the 123rd Annual Texas Country Jamboree in Hambriston, Texas.
But the jamboree isn’t a real event, and Hambriston isn’t a real place ― details that apparently raised no red flags with the state’s governor as he tweeted the story.
“Go woke. Go broke,” he tweeted. “Good job, Texas.”
Texas, for the record, loves Brooks as much as anywhere else: He sold out the 72,000-seat NRG Stadium in Houston and 80,000-seat AT&T Stadium in Arlington when his tour hit the Lone Star State last year.
Abbott deleted the tweet, but offered no apology to his constituents or Brooks for sharing the false report. And while the tweet itself is gone, it was preserved online by a number of people, including Rep. Greg Casar (D-Tex.):
Journalist Christopher Hooks also shared a screenshot of the tweet, and followed that up with an excerpt from the story the governor fell for:
The Twitter account for the story’s “author,” Flagg Eagleton, is having some fun at Abbott’s expense, noting that he’s the highest-level official to fall for one of his stories so far and calling it some of his “finest work.”
He also tweeted in response to a Daily Beast report:
Brooks has not been overtly political for much of his career, but did offer some words of wisdom in a 2020 interview with the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
“My message forever is tolerance,” he told the newspaper. “And don’t vote party, vote person.”
He was a little more explicit earlier this month when discussing his new bar set to open in Nashville. While conservatives are boycotting Bud Light for its partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney, Brooks said he would serve “every brand” of beer.
“I want it to be a place you feel safe in, I want it to be a place where you feel like there are manners and people like one another,” Brooks told Billboard. “Our thing is this: If you [are let] into this house, love one another. If you’re an a―hole, there are plenty of other places on lower Broadway.”
In a livestream on his Facebook page, he added that he embraced diversity and inclusiveness.
“That’s me,” he said. “That’s always been me.”
Twitter users tore into Abbott for sharing the false report about Brooks: