On July 10, 2023, social media exploded with a bombshell: country superstar Garth Brooks was forced to cancel all remaining dates of his “Plus One” residency at Wynn Las Vegas. The reason was low ticket sales due to a backlash from his audience for his inclusive attitude toward the trans community.
In June 2023, country superstar Garth Brooks was the subject of a widely reported news story claiming that his fans revolted against him for refusing to be transphobic. (Image: clutchpoints.com)
“Garth Brooks had no choice but to cancel the rest of his Las Vegas contract — 11 shows altogether — after ticket sales went in the toilet,” reported the Dunning-Kruger Times, which then quoted Brooks as saying: “Nobody wants to see me right now. I’m hoping it will pass. All I said was I’m gonna serve Bud Light at my new bar.”
TikTok influencer Dylan Mulvaney promotes a Bud Light contest on Instagram in April 2023. (Image: Instagram)
Bud Light ’em Up
Last summer, conservative musicians led a boycott of Bud Light manufacturer Anheuser-Busch for running a social media campaign that featured transgender TikTok star Dylan Mulvaney.
Kid Rock and Ted Nugent, along with country singers Travis Tritt and John Rich, reportedly dropped all Anheuser-Busch beers from their tour riders and bars, and got loud about it.
But Brooks, who was about to open his Nashville bar, Friends in Low Places, refused to go along.
“Yes, we’re going to serve every brand of beer,” he said during a June 2023 interview with Billboard magazine. “We just are. It’s not our decision to make. Our thing is this — if you [are let] into this house, love one another.”
Beneath the Dunning-Kruger Times story, the comments seemed to illustrate the very backlash against Brooks that it reported.
“Sorry Garth … You’re now in Dixie Chicks territory for me, won’t buy or listen to another one of your songs,” wrote one Dave McCann. “When enough of us vote with our dollars then maybe the rich elites like yourself will finally take notice and STFU!”
There Was Only One Problem…
None of Brooks’ Wynn shows was ever canceled. In fact, his “Plus One” residency was extended through July 13, 2024. That’s because all previous tickets quickly sold out when they first went on sale — in late 2022.
And that’s because the Dunning-Kruger Times is not the news website it appears to be. Nor is it even the satire website it claims to be.
Fake news reporter Christopher Blair, posing on the stoop of his Maine home, proudly helps further erode America’s already flagging trust in the media for his own personal gain. (Image: bbc.co.uk)
Without a hint of The Onion’s humor or sarcasm, this website lures unsuspecting readers with fake news stories crafted for maximum sensationalism and believability.
The Wynn cancelation wasn’t even this website’s only fake story about the Brooks backlash. It also falsely reported that the singer was booed offstage at the 123rd Annual Texas Country Jamboree, and that he had to cancel his new bar’s grand opening.
Excuse us, it satirized these things.
The Dunning-Kruger Times is run by Christopher Blair, a Portland, Maine resident described by BBC News as “the godfather of fake news.” Blair excuses his “profession” by claiming that his site has a lesson to teach its misinformed readers.
That lesson is that everyone should read a website’s “About Us” page before passing along information from it. If anyone bothered reading the Dunning-Kruger Times’ “About Us” page, they would encounter its very first sentence: “Everything on this website is fiction.”
By the way, the Dunning-Kruger Times is named after the psychological effect displayed by self-proclaimed experts who don’t know enough about a subject to even know that they don’t know enough. Considering that Blair is a purveyor of misinformation who doesn’t even realize how damaging misinformation is to the free democratic society that allows him to operate, he picked one hell of an ironic website title.
So what does Blair have to say for himself? His response to any and all criticism is also right there on the “About Us” page that nobody bothers reading for good reason.
“As for the morality, what the fuck ever,” it reads. “I own a bunch of stuff, I’ve been building it for years, it makes me a nice living. Don’t like it? I don’t care.”
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