Fact Check: Did Paramount say it may cut CMT amidst Try That In a Small Town controversy? Viral claim debunked

Viral claim about Paramount
Viral claim about Paramount's possible removal of CMT has been debunked. (Image via Twitter/@ParamountPics, YouTube/Country Music Television)

A viral article claimed that film production company Paramount might cut ties with CMT, aka Country Music Television. The article stated that Paramount, Country Music Television’s parent company, has been concerned about the network’s performance.

Users on Twitter and Facebook started sharing the claim made in the article, which had country music star Jason Aldean’s photo in its thumbnail. Aldean recently made headlines after Country Music Television pulled the music video of his latest song, Try That in Small Town. The song garnered widespread attention due to its lyrics, and the singer was accused of showcasing pro-lynching stances in the video.

A viral article claims Paramount executive said that the company might cut CMT. (Image via Twitter/@curbi11attnet)
A viral article claims Paramount executive said that the company might cut CMT. (Image via Twitter/@curbi11attnet)

However, tracking the source of the claim, it was found that the article originated on The Dunning-Kruger Times, a satirical website that has now become well-known for its made-up stories on America’s ongoing socio-political affairs. The website posted the story about Paramount cutting CMT on July 27.

There has been no evidence of a Paramount executive saying that the company might have to remove Country Music Television from its lineup of channels. Though, some right-wingers and conservatives who had no idea about the claim being false approved of Paramount’s apparent decision.

The Dunning-Kruger Times' fictional story about Paramount and CMT. (Image via The Dunning-Kruger Times)
The Dunning-Kruger Times' fictional story about Paramount and CMT. (Image via The Dunning-Kruger Times)

Incorrect facts in the viral article claiming Paramount might remove CMT

The name of the website where the article was published is enough to infer that the story is made-up and has no truth to it. Moreover, certain information within the article concretizes the fact that Paramount did not make any announcement about cutting CMT.

The Dunning-Kruger Times mentioned Joe Barron as the Vice President of Programming at Paramount. The article stated that Barron said the following in reference to CMT:

“They’ve lost their audience…without an audience, it’s just a network of sitcom reruns and reality television. Who wants that anymore?”

The name “Joe Barron” is fictional and has appeared in several other articles published on The Dunning-Kruger Times’ website. Moreover, as per LinkedIn, the current President of Programming at Paramount is Angel Gomez, who has been working at the company since 2020.

Vice President of Programming at Paramount as per LinkedIn. (Image via LinkedIn/Angel Gomez)
Vice President of Programming at Paramount as per LinkedIn. (Image via LinkedIn/Angel Gomez)

The Dunning-Kruger Times also added a sarcastic comment that Joe said with nobody to watch the country music videos, Paramount can squeeze it in a late-night slot on MTV. It went on with its humorous takes on country music and wrote:

“There’s also the possibility that it could go on VH-1, yet another Paramount company, though it’s more likely that they’ll toss an hour-long tribute to Johnny Cash on Paramount Plus and stop pretending it hasn’t sucked in two or three decades.”

The story also had mentions of a network called ALLOD and its correspondent named Skip Tetheludah. Both these names are non-existent. In April, another article about trans swimmer Lia Thomas also mentioned ALLOD Sports and its non-existent correspondent Skip Tetheludah. It was a satirical article as well.

Although the source of the story was not found, it can be presumed that a similar website to The Dunning-Kruger Times under the umbrella network of America’s Last Line of Defense had shared the story.

However, considering all these factors, it is safe to say that the viral claim that Paramount might cut CMT from its lineup of channels is false and unverified.

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Edited by Shreya Das