Joe Rogan apologized for his Spotify show over the weekend, which was bad enough, but he managed to make things far worse in his Instagram statement.
Rogan’s in the spotlight because singer Neil Young — he of Rocking in the Free World fame — pulled his music from the streaming service because Rogan’s COVID-19 discussions were not deferential enough to the government. It’s that free speech guy or me, said Mr. Stick-It-to-the-Man, Anti-War, four-dead-in-oh-HI-oh to Spotify.
Spotify’s CEO couldn’t handle the heat and even though he let Young walk and sided with his 100-million-dollar man Rogan, he announced that from here on out, his company would place a scarlet letter on every “podcast episode that includes a discussion about COVID-19.” An advisory “will direct listeners to our dedicated COVID-19 Hub [to get] up-to-date information as shared by scientists, physicians, academics and public health authorities around the world.” These are, of course, some of the very people who have lied about the origins and funded the gain of function research to create the very virus which appears to have escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. They’re some of the same people who said masks were bad but then they were good, that shooting up kids with experimental shots and adults with boosters was unethical but now that’s good, too, and that the “vaccinated” were bulletproof to COVID-19 but now claim they never said that. In other words, information is ever-changing so if disclaimers mean nothing, why disclaim anything?
Rogan, who runs the juggernaut podcast, gave a great recitation of why the two most controversial guests on his program, Dr. Peter McCullough, an epidemiologist and cardiologist, and Dr. Robert Malone, who holds nine patents on mRNA technology, were perfectly suitable guests for his program. He said, “both these people are highly credentialed, very intelligent, very accomplished people and they have an opinion that’s different from the mainstream narrative. I wanted to hear what their opinion is.”
Because the Left refuses to debate and prefers to censor (seen Fauci debate anyone since the inception of the pandemic?), they claimed Malone and McCullough spread “dangerous misinformation,” as if they were telling people to drink out of dirty toilets. But, dangerous misinformation compared to what? The canned press releases from Dr. Fauci as parroted by Sanjay Gupta? Rogan’s show had the CNN doctor on, too.
“The problem I have with the term misinformation, especially today,” Rogan said in his statement, “is that many of the things we thought of as misinformation just a short while ago are now accepted as fact.” And then he listed a number of them, such as “eight months ago if you said ‘if you get vaccinated you could still get COVID and you could still spread COVID,’ you’d be removed from social media; they would ban you from certain platforms.” He continued, “Now, that’s accepted as fact.” Cloth mask efficacy and the lab leak theory were two other pieces of “dangerous misinformation” for which you could get banned but are now accepted wisdom, Rogan said.
He was right. And then he made a very wrong turn.
Rogan, hewing to his liberal-to-Left roots, said it was perfectly fine to put a disclaimer on podcasts and that he would “try harder to get people with differing opinions on right afterwards — I do think that that’s important.”
Rogan promised to trim his sails in hopes of tacking to the right side of the Left.
And as an old radio hand — The Adult in the Room, I call myself — I recognized what Rogan was describing. I’m old enough to have lived through the so-called Fairness Doctrine and Equal Time Rule, and there’s not much that is “fair” or “equal” about either of them. Because of those rules, America got less information, not more. Because of those rules, radio was filled with school lunch menus, farm reports, and maybe some recipe sharing. It was government-approved, non-controversial radio. It was a snooze fest.
Joe Rogan probably owes his success to Ronald Reagan loosening the creativity of the markets and content creation when he deregulated radio in the late 1980s. It wasn’t a panacea and there were downsides, but the fact is that when those two Federal Communication Commission rules went out the window, spoken-word radio exploded. All of a sudden there were more choices. Rush Limbaugh went from a local backwater Sacramento host to the biggest radio personality America has ever heard. He was a multiples-larger version of Joe Rogan, with more rigor, humor, and panache.
I listen to Rogan regularly. He loves to talk UFC and takes us into The Octagon and the gym. I loved his fighting spirit.
Now, all the rest of us on Spotify will be tagged with the platform’s scarlet letter if some Leftist censor doesn’t like what we have to say.
Joe Rogan could have fought for us. He might have lost, but he could have tried.
Instead, he tapped out.
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