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Fact Check-Image purporting to show Houston Chronicle headline on Beto O’Rourke calling for fight with Abbott is fabricated

(Editor’s note: This article contains profanity and ableist language in paragraph two)

An image is circulating online purporting to show a tweet published by The Houston Chronicle seemingly reporting that Texas Democrat Beto O’Rourke challenged Republican Governor Greg Abbott to fight is fabricated, and was likely intended as satire.

The screenshot appears to show a tweet sent at 8 a.m. on Sept. 20, 2022 with text that reads: (Editor’s note: This article contains profanity and ableist language in paragraph two)

An image is circulating online purporting to show a tweet published by The Houston Chronicle seemingly reporting that Texas Democrat Beto O’Rourke challenged Republican Governor Greg Abbott to fight is fabricated, and was likely intended as satire.

The screenshot appears to show a tweet sent at 8 a.m. on Sept. 20, 2022 with text that reads: “Beto O’Rourke: “if you don’t want to debate me then fight me. I’ll whoop your ass at the Whataburger off of Guadalupe in Austin. It’s only a walking distance from your house. Fuck, I forgot you can’t walk.” He said at a rally in Round Rock this Saturday.”

The supposed headline of the linked article reads: “Beto O’Rourke challenges Greg Abbott to a fight at ‘the Whataburger off of Guadalupe in Austin.’”

Although some viewed the image as inauthentic and likely intended as satire, others were duped into thinking that the screenshot showed an authentic post published by The Houston Chronicle. One individual who shared the tweet said: “So much for…the tolerant left…” (here).

One user who shared the image on Facebook said: “Just your typical liberal democrat calling for violence and doing so against the disabled. Tell me again who are the tolerant ones? Who are the hate filled violent ones? Liberal Democrats. Try to deny it. Again. Try to justify your way out again. Show me a Conservative official who says things like this” (here).

Other examples of the image shared online can be found (here), (here), (here).

A search through The Houston Chronicle’s Twitter page reveals a post published at that same exact time (8am CT) and date, but reporting on O’Rourke’s investments in Spanish language outreach ahead of November’s midterm elections (here). The article preview also features the same photograph of O’Rourke.

The authentic tweet reads: “Gov. Greg Abbott and Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke are making a historic investment in Spanish-language outreach as roughly a fourth of Texas’ eligible voters speak Spanish.”

A search through The Houston Chronicle’s website did not reveal the purported article, nor did archived versions of the outlet’s homepage reveal the supposed report (archive.ph/wip/hpGv7), (here), (here).

A Twitter advanced search similarly did not reveal the supposed post (archive.ph/wip/kYSqb).

No news articles or Google search results appear when searching for the supposed quote (www.shorturl.at/hswBF).

Chris Evans, Director of Communications at Beto for Texas, confirmed “it is not a real story or quote.”

The Houston Chronicle did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

VERDICT

False. A screenshot showing a tweet allegedly published by The Houston Chronicle saying Texas Democrat Beto O’Rourke challenged Republican state Governor, Greg Abbott to a fight is fabricated. No such post or article were published.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here .

.”

The supposed headline of the linked article reads: “Beto O’Rourke challenges Greg Abbott to a fight at ‘the Whataburger off of Guadalupe in Austin.’”

Although some viewed the image as inauthentic and likely intended as satire, others were duped into thinking that the screenshot showed an authentic post published by The Houston Chronicle. One individual who shared the tweet said: “So much for…the tolerant left…” (here).

One user who shared the image on Facebook said: “Just your typical liberal democrat calling for violence and doing so against the disabled. Tell me again who are the tolerant ones? Who are the hate filled violent ones? Liberal Democrats. Try to deny it. Again. Try to justify your way out again. Show me a Conservative official who says things like this” (here).

Other examples of the image shared online can be found (here), (here), (here).

A search through The Houston Chronicle’s Twitter page reveals a post published at that same exact time (8am CT) and date, but reporting on O’Rourke’s investments in Spanish language outreach ahead of November’s midterm elections (here). The article preview also features the same photograph of O’Rourke.

The authentic tweet reads: “Gov. Greg Abbott and Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke are making a historic investment in Spanish-language outreach as roughly a fourth of Texas’ eligible voters speak Spanish.”

A search through The Houston Chronicle’s website did not reveal the purported article, nor did archived versions of the outlet’s homepage reveal the supposed report (archive.ph/wip/hpGv7), (here), (here).

A Twitter advanced search similarly did not reveal the supposed post (archive.ph/wip/kYSqb).

No news articles or Google search results appear when searching for the supposed quote (www.shorturl.at/hswBF).

Chris Evans, Director of Communications at Beto for Texas, confirmed “it is not a real story or quote.”

The Houston Chronicle did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

VERDICT

False. A screenshot showing a tweet allegedly published by The Houston Chronicle saying Texas Democrat Beto O’Rourke challenged Republican state Governor, Greg Abbott to a fight is fabricated. No such post or article were published.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here .

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