No, That Isn't a Photo of Beto O'Rourke Pissing Himself

(Sandy) Alex G artist Alex Giannascoli and Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke
Photo: Primary Talent, Win McNamee/Getty

Beto O’Rourke might have been a ~hot rocker~ back in the day, but the photo circulating the internet of a man appearing to have had an accident is not the Democratic presidential candidate.

On Wednesday, an indie artist by the name of Alex Giannascoli, his stage name (Sandy) Alex G, shared two screen captures on Instagram of a photo of himself labeled as “Beto Robert Francis O’Rourke.”

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“I’m here for your guns!” the photo caption reads on one Facebook page. It had been posted that page, which is a Trump “media” page, and to Twitter by at least two users (without the caption).

In the photo, the pants worn by the man labeled as O’Rourke are visibly wet. Giannascoli, however, has identified the photo of being of himself—not O’Rourke, as the right-wing accounts have claimed. (The O’Rourke campaign declined to comment to Splinter.)

From FactCheck.org, which fact-checked the authenticity of the photo:

Giannascoli confirmed that when we reached him by phone on Sept. 17, and he explained that the photo was taken backstage at a show in New York City in the summer of 2017. It shows him with shoulder-length hair and wearing a pale yellow button-down shirt and jeans that have a wet spot in the front and down one leg. (Other photos of his performances that summer show him wearing a similar outfit.)

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“I spilled a beer on my pants,” Giannascoli told FactCheck.org.

“I was joking around,” he continued. “It obviously isn’t that funny anymore.”

The photo seems to originate from a post made on the subreddit r/sandyalexg from 2017. (A related subreddit post shows a photo from the artist’s Facebook page, captioned, “Tonight in Providence, RI, our fearless leader pissed his fucking pants.”) A reverse image search of the photo shows that trolls have tried to use the picture to bait O’Rourke before, with a handful Twitter replies including the photo dating back to October 2018.

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Two instances of the false photo have been taken down so far—on the Facebook page @trumptruthtransparency, and from the Twitter user @roscoebdavis1, which claims to be the account of a former Texas Ranger but has allegedly posted misidentifying information before.

A third instance of the photo still remains up despite being false, though the user, once corrected, acknowledged the post as misinformation.

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This is what you get for trying to stop people from killing others with automatic rifles, I suppose.

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About the author

Samantha Grasso

Splinter Staff Writer, Texan