Garth Brooks finds himself once again under public scrutiny, and a misattributed quote falsely ascribed to Hank Williams Jr. has become the latest misinformation to circulate on social media. Influential personalities and accounts have unwittingly propagated this misinformation, overshadowing corrections and the truth itself.
Brooks recently launched a new album titled “Time Traveler,” available exclusively in a comprehensive CD box set at Bass Pro Shops as part of his “Limited Series.” This marketing strategy, featuring previous collections like “Man Against Machine” (2014), “Gunslinger” (2016), “Fun” (2020), and “Triple Live” (2018), has faced criticism for potential sales manipulation. Some question the relevance of CDs in the digital age and the accessibility of Bass Pro Shops.
Despite Brooks’ exclusive deal with Amazon Music, the album is not yet available digitally, further fueling the critique. Recently, Brooks and Trisha Yearwood performed at the memorial service for the late former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, leading to some attempts to politicize Brooks’ participation.
Amidst Brooks’ increased online presence, a widely shared quote attributed to Hank Williams Jr. surfaced in memes and online media, claiming, “I wouldn’t be caught dead on stage with Garth Brooks.” Allegations of a canceled joint appearance at a “country legends” concert added to the narrative. However, these claims are baseless, and there was no such concert.
The source of this misinformation traces back to a satirical fake news site named the Dunning-Kruger Times. The site, akin to The Onion but less recognized, has been responsible for various viral inaccuracies due to the subtle sarcasm in its stories. The author of the fabricated article, “Flagg Eagleton – Patriot,” contributed to the dissemination of the fake Hank Jr. quote.
Some individuals, including comedian Tom Segura, originator of the “Where are the bodies Garth” meme, shared the misinformation. Attempts to rectify the story through Twitter’s “Community Notes” feature have been made, but memes quoting Garth persist in going viral.
Risky Whiff recently highlighted a moment in 1992 at the Sandstone Amphitheater when an inebriated Hank Jr. appeared to mock Garth, but this was consistent with Hank Jr.’s behavior during that era. However, in 2023, Hank Jr. is more focused on personal interests, like spending time in deer blinds, than engaging in online conflicts.
Despite Hank Jr.’s likely disinterest in Brooks, the country singer remains a target for online criticism and clickbait artists due to his controversial public image.