El Paso Times Takes Down 'Beto Is a Furry' Explainer

Beto O'Rourke
Beto O'Rourke / Getty Images
April 1, 2019

The El Paso Times appears to have taken down without explanation an article explaining an Internet meme accusing Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke of being a furry.

"Why is 'Beto is a furry' trending after his El Paso rally?" reported the former Texas congressman's local paper Saturday. "Also, what's a furry, and is he one?"


A "furry" is a member of a primarily Internet-based subculture of people who strongly identify with or as a particular animal. The more extreme members of the community go as far as to dress as their preferred animal at conventions by donning a "fursuit."

O'Rourke is jokingly accused of being a furry because he once performed in a punk band dressed in a sheep outfit. As The El Paso Times correctly reported, the most recent uptick in "Beto is a furry" replies to O'Rourke was sparked by a tweet from "political troll" Comfortably Smug.

But a day after the piece went up, it appears to have been taken down. "Oops! The page you're looking for isn't here," the link now reads. "Either someone gave you a bad link or there's something funky going on. Either way, we're truly sorry for the inconvenience."

Judging by a critical Twitter thread from New York Times editor Erin McCann and a tweet from an actual furry, the piece went dead sometime between 7 and 8 P.M. on Sunday.

The El Paso Times did not respond to requests for comment about why the story was taken down, or whether the paper had been contacted by the O'Rourke campaign. Another piece about Twitter reactions to Beto's speech—absent any furry remarks—remains live.

Published under: Beto O'Rourke