Jason Aldean and Kid Rock went viral after reports swept the internet that the two conservative performers had canceled their upcoming New York tour stops to protest a court ruling against former president Donald Trump.

The news touched off a firestorm of controversy on Twitter, but there's just one small problem: It simply isn't true.

According to various ultra-conservative news outlets and online accounts, Aldean and Kid Rock — both of whom are personal friends with the real estate mogul and former reality television star, as well as staunch supporters — canceled all of the New York dates of their You Can't Cancel America Tour in response to several unfavorable rulings against Trump in the New York court system in recent days.

Those rulings include a $355 million penalty for fraud after a judge found Trump and his two sons had engaged in a years-long pattern of inflating and deflating his assets on paper to obtain favorable loan terms for his businesses. Trump is also banned from doing business in New York for three years, according to Reuters.

In a separate decision, another judge in New York has set a trial date for March to hear evidence that Trump conspired with his former attorney and "fixer," Michael Cohen, to pay off porn star Stormy Daniels to keep his alleged extramarital sexual encounter with her a secret in order to influence the results of the 2016 presidential election. Cohen has already served prison time for that offense, but Trump was actively serving as president at the time and could not be charged.

All of the various reports and social media posts trace back to an article published on a satirical site called the Dunning-Kruger Times, which specializes in posting obviously far-fetched "news" and seeing who will respond.

The original story quotes the tour's supposed website, saying, "The tour was set to play more than a dozen dates in New York, adding untold millions to local economies and giving patriotic Americans living in a liberal nightmare the chance to have a night to themselves."

The article goes on to quote Joe Barron, who's identified as the president of Kid Rock's fan club: "I have tickets for the West Platsville Pig Roast. Floor seats. We were gonna get the free commemorative popcorn bucket signed by Kid himself for an extra $12.99. We're pretty bummed."

There are several glaringly obvious problems with the report, however:

  • Aldean and Kid Rock have not announced any You Can't Cancel America Tour. They are slated to hit the road for a tour of smaller towns titled the Rock the Country Tour, which never had any dates scheduled in New York.
  • Joe Barron is not the president of Kid Rock's fan club. He is also identified later in the same article as the manager of a bowling alley in Cooperstown. A brief Google search reveals no other source for the quotes 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."

Dunning-Kruger Times openly advertises itself as satire, 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."

Those easy-to-Google facts did not stop both conservatives and liberals from reacting to the "news" via social media, posting in a predictable split along politically partisan lines:

Jason Aldean was trending on Twitter as of Tuesday morning (Feb. 20) due to the false report going viral.

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Aldean paid $4.1 million for the new 5-bedroom, 5-bathroom, 4,452-square-foot beach house. The spectacular property affords the singer and his family the opportunity to walk out their back door and down a bridge to their own private beach, and the exterior of the villa features a courtyard with iron gates that includes gas lanterns, a swimming pool and a fountain.

The home's interior includes a downstairs with an open floorplan and oversized windows, chiseled stone floors, a gourmet kitchen, a bedroom and study and a fireplace, with coffered ceilings throughout. The upstairs of the home includes two separate master bedrooms that both overlook the Gulf, as well as two more bedrooms that each have their own attached bathrooms.

The stunning home is also set for whatever weather might blow in from the Gulf. Built in 2005, the house features all-impact windows and doors, as well as Geo-Thermal heating and cooling, cellulose insulation, foam ceiling and floor insulation and more.

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