Claim Jason Aldean replacing Garth Brooks as the CMA awards host is stolen satire | Fact check

The claim: The Country Music Awards replaced Garth Brooks with Jason Aldean as its host

A July 19 Facebook post (direct link, archive link) claims one of country music’s biggest names lost an opportunity to another performer with a controversial hit song.

“CMAs Replaces Garth Brooks with Jason Aldean as MC: ‘He’s More In Tune With Country Values,'” reads the post.

It was shared almost 500 times in five days. Other versions of the claim were shared hundreds of additional times.

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Our rating: False

Brooks was not slated to be the show’s master of ceremonies, nor has Aldean been tapped for the position. The claim originated on a satirical site.

Website where claim originated says all content is fictional

Aldean faced backlash after his music video “Try That in a Small Town” was released in July, with some interpreting the song as supporting gun violence and lynching, USA TODAY reported. The singer has denied such characterizations, saying the song is about a “sense of community and respect.” Scenes in the music video were shot at the Maury County Courthouse in Columbia, Tennessee, where a Black man named Henry Choate, 18, was lynched in 1927.

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Country Music Television pulled the music video from its rotation in light of the controversy.

Brooks, meanwhile, has had his own share of backlash following comments he made in June. After Bud Light’s partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney sparked outrage in some circles, Brooks spoke out in support of inclusivity and said his Nashville bar would continue to serve the brand, as reported by USA TODAY.

Fact check: Story of teacher redistributing white students’ lunches is satire.

But neither Brooks nor Aldean was part of the plans for the Country Music Awards. Luke Bryan and Peyton Manning are set to return as hosts for the 2023 awards show on Nov. 8.

The claim about Aldean replacing Brooks originated on the Dunning-Kruger Times, a satirical website that says all of its content is fictional. The post in question, however, does not label the claim as satire or attribute it to the Dunning-Kruger Times.

The claim is an example of what could be called “stolen satire,” where stories written as satire and presented that way originally are reposted in a way that makes them appear to be legitimate news. As a result, readers of the second-generation post are misled, as was the case here.

There are some elements of the article that also indicate it is not legitimate. The headline reads that the CMAs, which is the Country Music Association Awards, has replaced Brooks as host, but the article references the Academy of Country Music, which is a separate entity and awards show.

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Brooks hosted the ACM awards with Dolly Parton in May.

Additionally, the article identifies Joe Barron as the academy president. No person by that name is a member of the academy’s board of directors.

USA TODAY has previously debunked claims originating on the Dunning-Kruger Times website, including claims Miss USA is boycotting Miss Universe, DirecTV is dropping ‘The View’ and Spotify offered Tucker Carlson a $129 million podcast deal.

USA TODAY reached out to users who shared the post for comment but did not immediately receive a response.

Our fact-check sources:

  • Dunning-Kruger Times, July 22, About Us.
  • Academy of Country Music, accessed July 11, Board of Directors.
  • Billboard, May 16, Luke Bryan & Peyton Manning to Return as Co-Hosts of 2023 CMA Awards.
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    Our fact-check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.

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