Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ (R) spokesperson is the latest person to fall for a satirical story about a homophobic dog.
On Monday, DeSantis’ Press Secretary Christina Pushaw tweeted a screenshot of a fake story by Washington Post writer Taylor Lorenz headlined, “This dog is the new face of online homophobia: Internet trolls have turned a dachshund into a viral homophobic meme—and her gay owners don’t know what to do.”
Pushaw sarcastically wrote that it was “cutting edge journalism from the … activist infamous for showing up masked on random people’s doorsteps.” She’s presumably referring to Lorenz attempting to contact the woman behind the influential right-wing Libs of TikTok account in an effort to confirm whether the account belongs to her.
In a follow-up tweet, Pushaw wrote that she plans to respond with a photo of the all-white dachshund when “churnalists” contact her.
Pushaw didn’t respond to questions about getting fooled by the fake story sent via direct message on Twitter Tuesday morning—with a photo of the dog or otherwise.
People wasted no time pointing out that the story isn’t real. Many mocked Pushaw, who’s notorious for picking fights on Twitter and has frequently tweeted criticism of Lorenz’s reporting, as well as other journalists.
“I’m just here to thank you for making a cake of yourself in public for everyone’s entertainment,” wrote one. “Don’t let the haters get to you, do it again pls.”
Via Twitter direct message, Lorenz told the Daily Dot, “I would have assumed a press secretary could recognize the difference between a fake screenshot from a meme page and a real news story, but apparently not.”
“It’s the real life version of this iconic tweet,” she added, along with a screenshot of the tweet below.
Some also fell for the fake story Pushaw posted.
“My favorite part is that she’s claiming it’s this ‘viral’ things sweeping the internet, but this is the first time I’m hearing about it,” commented Nicholas Fondacaro, deputy news editor of the conservative Media Research Center. Twitter user @Brendelbored replied, “Gosh I wonder why, better not look into that!”
Memes about the supposedly homophobic dachshund, Whitney Chewston, have reportedly been circulating for over a year.
LGBTQ Nation reports that Whitney’s owners, who are in fact a gay couple, learned of the memes about her a few months ago. The memes use images from their popular Instagram account dedicated to Whitney, which has 100,000 followers.
They have no qualms with their dog’s celebrity status, however, which has attracted attention from the likes of gay icon Lil Nas X.
“She’s not homophobic in real life! Her dads are gay. It’s interesting, almost ironic, her voice on Instagram has always been kind of sassy and a little gay, so it’s very ironic that she’s branded as homophobic,” Whitney’s co-owner Logan Hickman reportedly said in a recent video.
“But Ben [Campbell] and I were actually talking about it, it’s more satire than it is anything,” he continued, adding. “We are here for it.”
“[It] makes fun of people who are actually homophobic.”