Fact Check: Cracker Jack Did NOT Change Name To More Politically Correct Caucasian Jack

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fact Check: Cracker Jack Did NOT Change Name To More Politically Correct Caucasian Jack Satire

Did "Cracker Jack" change their name to "Caucasian Jack" because that would be more politically correct? No, that's not true: the story was published by Christian-themed satire website The Babylon Bee to mock the recent real announcement about Aunt Jemima changing its brand name.

The satirical article was published by The Babylon Bee on June 17, 2020 under the headline "Cracker Jack Changes Name To More Politically Correct Caucasian Jack" (archived here) which opened:

PLANO, TX--When ballparks finally open again, those standing for the traditional seventh-inning stretch will be singing some different lyrics to "Take Me Out to the Ballgame."

After over 100 years of selling its caramel popcorn snack under the name Cracker Jack, Frito-Lay announced today that it would be rebranded as the less offensive "Caucasian Jack."

The story also came with a digitally altered image showing the new name on the packaging:

(Image source: The Babylon Bee)

The original source image for the digitally manipulated version can be seen in this 2016 news article, note the exact same expiration date.

The story led to a sharp uptick in searches for "Caucasian Jack" according to Google Trends, suggesting many people were not really sure if the story was real or not:

crackerjack.jpg

The Babylon Bee is a satire site with following disclaimer on the 'about' page:

What is The Babylon Bee?

The Babylon Bee is the world's best satire site, totally inerrant in all its truth claims. We write satire about Christian stuff, political stuff, and everyday life.

The Babylon Bee was created ex nihilo on the eighth day of the creation week, exactly 6,000 years ago. We have been the premier news source through every major world event, from the Tower of Babel and the Exodus to the Reformation and the War of 1812. We focus on just the facts, leaving spin and bias to other news sites like CNN and Fox News.

If you would like to complain about something on our site, take it up with God.

Unlike other satire sites, everything we post is 100% verified by Snopes.com.

At Lead Stories we are big fans of satire but in accordance with our Satire Policy we sometimes fact check satirical content if it seems there are many people who don't get the joke (or if the joke gets stolen by Macedonian fake news sites and is then presented as "news"). To quote from our Satire Policy:

Sometimes jokes need to be fact checked. Not for you, because you are smart and you get the joke. But for the crazy uncle who thinks it is real. Or for the foreign journalist who doesn't know what The Onion is. Or for the people who missed the disclaimer and the hints. Or because the disclaimer and the hints were hidden on purpose.

And that is certainly not hypothetical in the case of The Babylon Bee:

Early in 2020 Sputnik News was fooled by a piece from The Babylon Bee into reporting Jordan Peterson would be hosting the Oscars. If only they had read our fact check from a year before...

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  Maarten Schenk

Lead Stories co-founder Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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