A photo circulating online falsely identifies a man who appears to have wet his pants as Beto O’Rourke. The photo actually shows Alexander Giannascoli, a 26-year-old musician, who said he had spilled beer on his pants.
Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke was in a punk rock group when he was younger, and there are photos to prove it. However, a picture of a musician that is circulating online with text criticizing O’Rourke does not show the former Texas congressman.
The picture shows Alexander Giannascoli, a 26-year-old indie rock musician who goes by the name (Sandy) Alex G. 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.)
“I spilled a beer on my pants,” Giannascoli told us in a phone interview. “I was joking around,” he said, adding, “It obviously isn’t that funny anymore.”
The photo is now circulating online with captions like: “‘Robert Francis’ O’Rourke in college. Drunk and pissing his pants. He wants to be your president in 2020!”
Another version says: “I’M BETO ROBERT FRANCIS O’ROURKE I’M HERE FOR YOUR GUNS!”
This isn’t the first time we’ve written about an outlandish photo falsely identified as showing the El Paso, Texas native. In March, we wrote about a viral image of an activist in Greece that was being shared with the false claim that it showed O’Rourke.
Editor’s note: FactCheck.org is one of several organizations working with Facebook to debunk misinformation shared on social media. Our previous stories can be found here.
Golshan, Tara. “Texas Republicans are trying to use Beto’s punk rock days against him.” Vox.com. 29 Aug 2018.
Giannascoli, Alexander. Interview with FactCheck.org. 17 Sep 2019.
“BETO ‘Robert Francis’ O’Rourke in college drunk and pissing his pants. He wants to be your president in 2020.” Facebook post. 14 Sep 2019.
Fichera, Angelo. “Viral Image Does Not Show O’Rourke.” FactCheck.org. 15 Mar 2019.