Out to Debunk 'False Narratives,' Ron DeSantis' Press Secretary Gets Fooled by a 'Homophobic' Dog

Sunday May 22, 2022
Originally published on May 20, 2022

A white dachshund named Whitney Chewston and Florida governor Ron DeSantis's press secretary Christina Pushaw in a composite image.
A white dachshund named Whitney Chewston and Florida governor Ron DeSantis's press secretary Christina Pushaw in a composite image.  (Source:Twitter)

Gov. Ron DeSantis' press secretary, Christina Pushaw may claim to "debunk false narratives" in her Twitter biography, but appears to have help spread one earlier this week, Miami New Times reports.

"On May 16, Pushaw shared a screenshot on Twitter that appeared to show a Washington Post article headlined, 'This dog is the new face of online homophobia,' alongside a photo of a white dachshund and Washington Post technology reporter Taylor Lorenz's byline," the newspaper writes.

The fact-checking website Snopes labeled the tweet as false.

"More cutting edge journalism from the 49 year old Washington Post activist infamous for showing up masked on random people's doorsteps & sliding into the DMs of tiktok teenagers," Pushaw tweeted.

Except that Lorenz in in her 30s and never wrote the cited article for the Washington Post. "The headline was apparently Photoshopped onto a Washington Post article template."

"I would have assumed a press secretary could recognize the difference between a fake meme page screenshot and a real news article," Lorenz tells New Times. "But apparently not."

While Lorenz and the Post never published the story, there is apparently some truth to it: "a white dachshund named Whitney Chewston really has become known as the "homophobic dog," thanks to viral images of her with a glass of red wine, accompanied by bigoted statements like 'not too fond of gay people.'"

But, in a report from LGBTQNation, the dog's owners want the world to know the dog is not homophobic. "A gay couple's dachshund named Whitney Chewston is not homophobic, her owners want you to know, despite how she earned her internet fame."

But according to the website Know Your Meme, the dog is not homophobic, but the image was used ironically in comments.

"Homophobic Dog or Not Too Fond Of Gay People refers to a series of ironic image macros of a white dachshund named Whitney Chewston, often sitting next to a glass of red wine with a Whisper caption that reads, "not too fond of gay people," suggesting the dog is homophobic. The image was posted to Instagram in June 2019 and first appeared as a meme on Instagram in March 2021, gaining viral spread over the course of the year and inspiring users to place new quotes over the photo of the dog. In 2022, the meme inspired photoshops of additional Whitney Chewston photos adding similarly ironic homophobic captions, as well as captions suggesting the dog learned from its homophobic ways and is now tolerant of the LGBTQ+ community."

As of Tuesday evening, Pushaw had not deleted her tweet, Miami New Times adds.

"In fact, she says it was meant to be humorous."

"It was clearly a joke," Pushaw writes in an email to New Times. "I have often shared satirical and humorous memes and tweets."

But on social media, no one was having it.