I recently came across an article from Yahoo News about Jason Aldean’s song, “Try That In a Small Town.” Both the article and the people quoted in it display the intolerant, authoritarian bias that is infuriatingly common in the media today, which I will explain and rebut below:
The article quotes Aldean’s response to his critics: “In the past 24 hours I have been accused of releasing a pro-lynching song (a song that has been out since May) and was subject to the comparison that I (direct quote) was not too pleased with the nationwide BLM protests.”
Well, yes. It’s kind of understandable that a person wouldn’t be too pleased with the nationwide BLM protests, given that these protests are racist and have the goal of destroying everything that makes life worth living. I’m not sure why being displeased with the BLM protests would be considered a bad thing.
“The country star — who witnessed the worst gun massacre in U.S. history at the 2017 Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas — had already caught flak for the song’s seemingly pro-gun lyrics… In a tweet, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America founder Shannon Watts pointed out the hypocrisy of an artist ‘who was onstage during the mass shooting… that killed 60 people and wounded over 400 more’ recording a song ‘about how he and his friends will shoot you if you try to take their guns.'”
Why would “pro-gun” lyrics be something that a person would catch flak for? I’m not sure why being in favor of people’s fundamental rights being respected would be considered a bad thing.
Also, I don’t understand Shannon Watts’ allegation of hypocrisy (let alone Yahoo‘s decision to take this false and nonsensical allegation as a fact by using the words “pointed out”). Aldean witnessed and survived a crime. And he does not believe that every person in the country ought to be punished for the crime. I am not sure why this is considered hypocritical. I am not sure why Watts, and Yahoo, believe that logical consistency requires the belief that whenever a crime occurs, the correct response is to punish all people by violating their rights.
“In another viral tweet, police reform activist Brittany Packnett Cunningham pointed out: ‘Uvalde? Small town. VA Tech? Small college town. Newtown? Small New England town. Parkland? Small town that had just been voted Florida’s *safest* town. Most mass shootings occur in *small towns*. Your listeners are dying.'”
I am not sure what the locations of mass shootings have to do with anything. It is morally unacceptable to respond to mass shootings by violating people’s rights, regardless of the locations in which the shootings take place. As for the claim that Aldean’s listeners are dying… well, yes. Of course they are. Every person dies eventually, regardless of whether or not they listen to Aldean’s music. Perhaps Cunningham is trying to point out that Aldean’s listeners have died in mass shootings. I don’t see the point of that observation, either. Mass shootings, just like any other type of tragedy, happen from time to time. Given this, it makes sense that some victims would be Aldean listeners and some wouldn’t, because one would expect the victims of tragedies to represent more or less a cross-section of the population. Again, I don’t really get the point of this observation. It is morally unacceptable to respond to mass shootings by violating people’s rights, regardless of whether or not the victims are Aldean’s listeners.
The article quotes Mississippi Free Press news editor Ashton Pittman, who tweeted: “Jason Aldean shot this at the site where a white lynch mob strung Henry Choate up at the Maury County Courthouse in Columbia, Tenn., after dragging his body through the streets with a car in 1927.”
And this is relevant how? Also, I think Pittman meant to say, “a lynch mob,” as opposed to “a white lynch mob.” There is no reason to mention the race of the members of the mob, other than to be blatantly racist, and presumably the editor of a newspaper does not intend to be blatantly racist.
The article also quotes reporter Matthew Chapman, who said that the song “absolutely captures everything about the American Right, from the paranoid threats of violence, to the irrational fetishization of communities where everyone acts and thinks the same, to the fact that the singer in fact grew up in a city.”
First of all, Chapman’s use of the term “American Right” is somewhat bigoted, because it paints an entire nationality in a negative and pejorative light. Why wouldn’t he just say, “the Right”? Also, I am not sure what aspects of Aldean’s song Chapman considers to be “paranoid.” I am also unsure why liking something would be considered “fetishization” or “irrational.” I’d be interested in hearing Chapman explain what factors make an affinity for something “irrational” and constituting “fetishization,” as opposed to normal and rational. Also, I’m confused as to why Chapman characterizes the types of communities Aldean likes as “communities where everyone acts and thinks the same.” The types of communities that Aldean sings about are actually communities where everyone acts and thinks differently from the norm. Those who subscribe to the ideology of political correctness, as Chapman and Aldean’s critics do, actually form a community where everyone acts and thinks the same. That is why those who subscribe to this ideology have been so eager for the removal of statues honoring the Confederacy and Christopher Columbus – because those statues symbolize the idea of being different and thinking differently from the majority. By having the courage to challenge this ideology of mindless conformity, Aldean and the communities about which he sings are doing the exact opposite of everyone acting and thinking the same. And of course, Chapman chooses to condemn Aldean and the “American Right” for… acting and thinking differently than he does. He characterizes as “irrational fetishization” the fact that someone likes something different from what he likes. In reality, it is Chapman, and not Aldean, who irrationally fetishizes communities where everyone acts and thinks the same. Chapman has the whole “acting and thinking the same” thing completely backward and is a complete hypocrite. Chapman’s contemptuous, self-righteous, and idiotic comment captures everything about the ideology of mindless conformity that is commonly referred to as the left.
The Yahoo article also quotes Rev. Jacqui Lewis, who said: “There is no non-racialized way to write a song about lynching.” This statement is false. The concept of lynching has nothing to do with race. People of any race can lynch someone of any race. There is also the fact that Aldean’s song is not about lynching, so I am not sure why Lewis chose to mention lynching at all.
And the article quotes someone named Leigh Love, who wrote: “It’s like he forgot about the January 6 insurrection.” This statement really confuses me. I am not sure what the protest that took place on January 6 has to do with Aldean’s song, or what it is about Aldean’s song that indicates that he forgot about that protest. I’m also not sure why Love considers resistance to an unjust and tyrannical authority to be bad. Love almost seems to be implying that because people resisted authority, everything associated with those people and their ideology is bad and should never be praised or spoken of positively ever again. If this is, indeed, what Love is implying, then her statement is one of the most appalling instances of bigotry, intolerance, cruelty, moral bankruptcy, and aggressive, mindless conformity that I have ever seen in my life. If this is, indeed, what Love is implying, then she is an absolutely terrible person whose despicable views should not be amplified or platformed in any way.
“However, a representative for the video’s production company, TackleBox, told Yahoo Entertainment that ‘Try That in a Small Town’ was shot at a ‘popular filming location outside of Nashville’ and claimed several other projects have been filmed there over the years.”
The use of the word “claimed” implies that the author of the article doubts the veracity of the representative’s statement. The author should have used a more neutral word such as “said.”
“Responding to the growing backlash Tuesday, Aldean continued to deny that his song and video have any racist or pro-gun connotations.”
Similarly, the use of the word “deny” demonstrates bias because it implies that the author doubts what Aldean is saying. Also, I’m not sure if Aldean is denying that his song has pro-gun connotations or merely stating that there is nothing bad about having such connotations. He certainly would be 100% correct if he was doing the latter because, as I explained above, there is nothing bad about being in favor of people’s fundamental rights being respected.
“He and his wife, influencer Brittany Aldean, have posted anti-Joe Biden, anti-vaccine and pro-Trump statements online and they caught flak for spending New Year’s Eve 2021 weekend with Donald Trump.”
I am not sure why someone would catch flak for spending a New Year’s Eve weekend with Donald Trump. Trump is simply a person, with good and bad attributes, just like any other person. Would Yahoo characterize someone as having “caught flak” if that person had spent a weekend with Joe Biden? Also, I am not sure whether the Aldeans have actually posted anti-vaccine statements online, or whether they have merely posted statements expressing opposition to vaccine mandates. Being opposed to forcing people to do something against their will is not the same as being opposed to the thing itself. I am not sure why this is such a difficult concept for Yahoo to grasp.
“In September 2022, the singer parted ways with his publicity company of 17 years, GreenRoom, after Brittany drew the ire of liberal country stars like Maren Morris and Cassadee Pope with what many considered to be transphobic remarks.”
It’s interesting that the article mentions Brittany Aldean’s remarks and what some people consider to be objectionable about them, while completely omitting any mention of Morris’s remarks in response, which were vastly more intolerant, insulting, hurtful, problematic, offensive, and deserving of criticism.