Did you hear the one about Kid Rock and Jason Aldean canceling multiple concerts in New York ? Apparently the musicians and conservative favorites are refusing to perform there as part of their tour, ironically titled “You Can’t Cancel America,” in protest of the multimillion-dollar decision against former President Donald Trump in that state’s court.

The thing is, it’s all an absolute lie. Rock and Aldean’s tour of seven small-town festivals is actually called “Rock The Country,” and because New York is emphatically not a small town, it was never on the schedule in the first place. The original story — which gained lots of traction on social media — came from a satire site called the Dunning-Kruger Times, which takes its name from a psychological phenomenon in which people grossly overestimate their knowledge in a specific field because their ignorance shields them from what they don’t know.

The fact that this scuttlebutt was all so easy to believe is yet another example of the perseverance of so-called “cancel culture,” the phenomenon of cultural institutions and people being boycotted, damaged or destroyed for any misstep.

“It’s at an all-time high,” said radio personality Persia Nicole, who can be heard from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Baltimore’s 92Q. “But it doesn’t always stick. People are usually canceled for a few months and then [listeners] move on.”

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Josh Cohen, a 1994 Towson University graduate, longtime host of ESPN West Palm’s “Josh Cohen and the Home Team” radio show and podcast host, said that the virtual torchlit marches that have recently demanded the cancellation of superstar Taylor Swift, crooner Michael Bublé and New York City, are about “confirmation bias, about saying ‘Ha! See? I told you you were were wrong! Your guy’s a scumbag.’”

But Swift, Bublé and the Big Apple will all likely survive the effort because the public passion that fuels the initial outrage is only as strong as the corporate financial need to fan those flames. Both Nicole and Cohen believe most cancellations are actually more of a temporary pause, the length of which can usually be measured in dollars.

“The money will always win,” Cohen said. “Election Day isn’t the 20th of November. It’s every time consumers open their wallets. They’ll tell you who and what sticks around or not.”

Take the curious case of Beyoncé’s foray into country radio, which is sort of an uncancellation led by fan fervor and business. Fans who called an Oklahoma country station requesting the singer’s new single, “Texas Hold ‘Em,” were originally rebuffed because the station, which claimed to have been unaware of the megastar’s musical foray into cowgirl territory, said, “’We don’t play Beyoncé,’” Nicole explained.

But then, Queen Bey’s massive fanbase, the Beyhive, “went insane, and the listener really has control of radio. The fans control the playlist, the commercial time, the giveaways,” said the DJ, whose own R&B station, which wouldn’t normally play country, has added “Texas Hold ’Em” because “it’s Beyoncé’s country song, and our listeners said, ‘We want it.’ So guess what? We’re gonna play it.”

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Radio personalities are on the frontlines of both fan requests and opinion, the needs of the companies that own their stations, and their advertisers. Country star Morgan Wallen saw his fortunes dive and his contract temporarily suspended in 2021 after a tape was released of him using a racial slur. But just two years later, his album sold millions and his concert became “the most difficult ticket of 2023,” Cohen said, because fans changed their minds and the industry knew that change meant money.

Finances has been a factor for those whose cancellations have lasted longer than others. Cohen mentioned Janet Jackson, whose Super Bowl “wardrobe malfunction” tanked her new album and damaged her career for years, perhaps because then-CBS chief Les Moonves allegedly blackballed her from all Viacom-owned radio and television outlets. Meanwhile, co-malfunctioner Justin Timberlake thrived.

And then there’s the Chicks, formerly of Dixie, whose statements against then-President George W. Bush resulted in country radio cutting the trio from playlists and regular public booing. In both those cases, Cohen said the initial upset was emotional, but the prolonged corporate flogging of those artists was financial. “The Dixie Chicks thing was for radio groups to sell promotions. It was country radio holding stupid rallies and saying, ‘Let’s meet up in the Walmart parking lot and bring your CDs,’ and then renting a bulldozer,” he said.

I wondered about cancellations that seem to be permanent, like the blackballing of former NFL star Colin Kaepernick after kneeling during games to protest police brutality against Black Americans. Cohen believes that while the backlash was real, if Kaepernick was at the height of his powers at the time, “he would still have a job in the NFL. And if [former Baltimore Ravens player] Ray Rice had been 24 years old” when a recording showed him assaulting his now-wife, “the NFL would have said, ‘He’s in counseling, he’s in treatment, he’s owned up for what he did and we live in America, the land of second chances.’”

Rice, of course, was just honored by his former team as a Legend of the Game, so these things don’t last forever. Kaepernick, who hasn’t played in years, retains his multimillion-dollar Nike sponsorship and had his own Netflix documentary series. Cohen noted that even accused murderer and convicted armed robber O.J. Simpson is a co-host of a podcast — “with sponsors.”

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Nicole said stations stopped playing Tory Lanez’s songs after he went to jail for shooting Megan Thee Stallion, “but now we get requests for his music again.” Radio continues to shun the also-incarcerated R. Kelly, whose crimes against young women were common knowledge in the industry and among fans for decades. “What’s crazy is that it took him a long time to get canceled,” Nicole said. “When he got charged, we stopped playing his music, but secretly people listen to his music on the low. The official word is that he’s canceled, though.”

Cancellation prognostication isn’t an exact science. Bud Light is still suffering the effects of the hit it took after a conservatives boycott the beer because of the brand’s brief association with trans social media star Dylan Mulvaney. But Cohen thinks that all pauses hit play eventually.

“The only thing we love more then tearing down rich and powerful people is watching them rise again from the metaphorical ashes,” he said.