The lyrics for Jason Aldean's "Try That in a Small Town" glorify violence against protestors and its music video features him performing at the place a black teenager was lynched in 1927, edited around scenes Aldean claims are "real news footage" of looters and rioters in the U.S. It turns out, however, that there's not much "real news footage" at all. And now the author of an online debunking, who found and listed all the sources, is being targeted with racist threats. Turns out it's largely stock footage of riots in other countries.
Meanwhile, the controversy over the song, so blatant that the County Music Channel removed it from rotation, guaranteed that it would be a massive hit, storming to #2 in the Billboard Top 100 as conservatives rush to buy it.
In a TikTok video that's gotten at least 1.5 million views, Stark found that two of the clips in the video came from stock footage. One showed a woman flipping off police at at labor day event in Germany and another was a commercial stock clip of a molotov cocktail.
"I just think that people have a right to know," Stark said. "Things like this, they inform politics and it informs how we vote, how we see the world and who we interact with. And I just think that if we're consuming content that's not even accurate, that it's just propaganda. And it's just fueling people, you know, to commit more violence."
NBC News also found stock clips of a protest in Montreal, Canada, and a protest in Kyiv, Ukraine. The Montreal clip does not have a date nor does it have context for the cause behind protest.
Stark's debunking video is embedded below. Small town guy Jason Aldean grew up in Macon, population 233,802, and now lives in a beachside Florida mansion with cherry floors and "a variety of greenery and florals," though in his defense the chandeliers were selected by an interior designer from Tennessee.