On Nov. 28, 2023, a user on X claimed that American singer-songwriter Hank Williams Jr. had said the words, "I wouldn't be caught dead on stage with Garth Brooks."
As of this writing, the post had received over 1,000 reposts and nearly 10,000 likes.
One of the users who reposted the quote about Garth Brooks was stand-up comedian Tom Segura, who in the past had made the country star a subject of a long-running joke on one of his podcasts and even a small part of a bit in his 2023 Netflix comedy special, "Sledgehammer."
Segura never said he believed the quote was real. He simply shared it.
However, there was no truth to the rumor that claimed Williams said he "wouldn't be caught dead" on a stage with Brooks.
The quote originated in an article that was published on a website named The Dunning-Kruger Times on Nov. 27, 2023. The Times is under the umbrella of America's Last Line of Defense, a network of content that is described by the website as containing "parody, satire and tomfoolery."
As of this writing, a Facebook post that promoted the article and fake quote had already received more than 35,000 likes in its first 24 hours. The Facebook page where the post was created appeared to be managed by America's Last Line of Defense.
As for the article, any users who continued to read it to the end would have found that its author had dropped plenty of hints that it was not a genuine news story. For example, one part of the article mentioned the imaginary monetary figure of "eleventy billion dollars."
Garth Brooks' Bud Light Controversy
The basis for the negativity toward Brooks was remarks that he had made earlier in 2023.
On June 7, Billboard.com published an interview with Brooks where he had talked about the plans for his Nashville bar, which was not yet open at the time. During the interview, Brooks appeared to reference a controversy about Bud Light's previous partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney. Brooks said it was his intention to serve "every brand of beer":
"I know this sounds corny," [Brooks] continued, "I want it to be the Chick-fil-A of honky-tonks … 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. 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 [are let] into this house, love one another. If you're an a–hole, there are plenty of other places on lower Broadway." A number of artist-owned bars on Lower Broadway, including John Rich's Redneck Riviera and Kid Rock's bar, quit serving Bud Light after the brand partnered with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney earlier this year.
In the months following the publishing of the interview, some users who aligned themselves with right-wing politics continued to chide Brooks for his remarks that had been reported by Billboard.
More about the timeline of events regarding the controversy with Brooks and Bud Light can be found in our previous reporting.
For background, here is why we sometimes write about satire/humor.