Oops! Blake Shelton Trends on Twitter Over Fake Story About Jason Aldean Controversy
Blake Shelton went viral online on Saturday (July 22) after a story broke reporting that he withdrew from a massive project with CMT to protest the network pulling Jason Aldean's "Try That in a Small Town" video. The story delighted many supporters of the song and video, but there were two major problems with the report: It derives from a satire site, and it isn't true.
CMT pulled Aldean's new video for "Try That in a Small Town" from rotation after its first weekend on the air over accusations that the song and clip promoted vigilante gun violence and racism.
The move has resulted in a firestorm of controversy in the ensuing week, with political pundits, stars and social media users from across the spectrum weighing in from all angles. The result illustrates the fundamental sociopolitical divide in America.
A website called Dunning-Kruger Times published a story titled, 'Blake Shelton Cancels $30 Million Project With CMT: “Jason Is My Friend.”'
The story reads in part:
Country Music Television (CMT) is still paying the price for canceling Jason Aldean’s video “Try That In a Small Town.” In what may be the most crushing blow yet, country megastar Blake Shelton has announced that he’s backing out of a $30 million project with the network.
“Jason is my friend,” said Shelton, “He deserves better than the disrespect shown to him by CMT.”
CMT Spokesman Joe Barron said the network didn’t mean to upset anyone with the move. “We wanted to make everyone comfortable, so we removed it,” he said.
The website that originated the story openly advertises that it is a satire site, writing in the "About Us" section of the site, "Everything on this website is fiction. It is not a lie and it is not fake news because it is not real. If you believe that it is real, you should have your head examined. Any similarities between this site’s pure fantasy and actual people, places, and events are purely coincidental and all images should be considered altered and satirical. See above if you’re still having an issue with that satire thing."
Twitter users shared the story widely on Saturday, resulting in Shelton trending:
A brief Google search reveals that there is no other source for the quote attributed to "Joe Barron," which is a false name that is frequently cited in satirical news stories with fabricated quotes.
Dunning-Kruger Times takes its name from the Dunning-Kruger effect, which Psychology Today describes as "a cognitive bias in which people wrongly overestimate their knowledge or ability in a specific area. This tends to occur because a lack of self-awareness prevents them from accurately assessing their own skills."
Aldean previously responded to the controversy over the song and video in a statement via social media: