CLAIM: Newspaper report shows Democratic candidate Pete Buttigieg was arrested as a teenager in 1998 for killing dogs.
THE FACTS: A fabricated newspaper article was created to make it appear that Buttigieg had been arrested as a teenager for killing dogs in the town where he later served as mayor. Social media posts with the false report about the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, circulated widely after the Feb. 7 New Hampshire debate. The false report was carried on what appeared to be a newspaper front page that had been folded in half. Only South Bend appeared in the title of the newspaper.
The false article, dated August, 30, 1998, said that Buttigieg was arrested on suspicion of killing at least five dogs. Alan Achkar, executive editor of the South Bend Tribune, knocked down the false article on his Twitter account, posting the original front page from the newspaper on Aug. 30, 1998. It shows no mention of Buttigieg.
“It is obviously bogus,” Achkar told The Associated Press. Robert Franklin, director of photography at the Tribune, also commented on Achkar’s Twitter post, saying that the newsroom had received calls about the fake post. “We were more upset about the style errors: Five not spelled out, no byline, no dateline, a jump in the middle of story,” Franklin said in his tweet. The fake article was created using an online newspaper clipping generator where users can create fake stories.