The most powerful forces in America are aligning against podcaster Joe Rogan – and no, we’re not talking about a bunch of warmed-over hippie musicians from the 1960s.
The Biden administration had already urged its partners in Silicon Valley to squelch Rogan for his conversations with people who doubt the effectiveness of the federal government’s COVID-19 strategy.
But now the legacy corporate media and the Hollywood elite are now coming for Rogan over his use of the N-word on his show.
Rogan reportedly removed dozens of episodes of his show from Spotify, his broadcast platform, after a video surfaced of his comments, in which he reportedly was quoting what other people said, such as legendary stand-up comedians like Richard Pryor and Redd Foxx.
Despite the supposed context, Rogan apologized, calling it the “most regretful and shameful thing that I’ve ever had to talk about publicly.”
To its credit, Spotify is standing behind the man it invested $100 million in – while also making a stand for free speech, something that we grow perilously close to losing every day.
Daniel Ek, the streaming service’s CEO, issued a letter to his company’s staff after the video appeared.
In the letter, which was leaked to the Hollywood Reporter, Ek said he did not think “silencing” Rogan was the answer, as “canceling voices is a slippery slope.”
“There are no words I can say to adequately convey how deeply sorry I am for the way The Joe Rogan Experience controversy continues to impact each of you. Not only are some of Joe Rogan’s comments incredibly hurtful – I want to make clear that they do not represent the values of this company. I know this situation leaves many of you feeling drained, frustrated, and unheard,” Ek told his team.
He noted that Rogan himself wanted the episodes removed. Ek then added, “While I strongly condemn what Joe has said and I agree with his decision to remove past episodes from our platform, I realize some will want more. And I want to make one point very clear – I do not believe that silencing Joe is the answer.”
“We should have clear lines around content and take action when they are crossed, but canceling voices is a slippery slope. Looking at the issue more broadly, it’s critical thinking and open debate that powers real and necessary progress.”
“If we believe in having an open platform as a core value of the company, then we must also believe in elevating all types of creators, including those from underrepresented communities and a diversity of backgrounds,” Ek continued.
Ek then pledged to spend an “incremental investment” of an overall $100 million to develop and market content from “historically marginalized groups.”
“While some might want us to pursue a different path, I believe that more speech on more issues can be highly effective in improving the status quo and enhancing the conversation altogether,” Ek added.
“I deeply regret that you are carrying so much of this burden,” he continued. But, “I come back to centering on our mission of unlocking the potential of human creativity and enabling more than a billion people to enjoy the work of what we think will be more than 50 million creators. That mission makes these clashes worth the effort.”
“I think it’s critical we listen carefully to one another and consider how we can and should do better,” Ek concluded.
We’ll soon see if Ek and/or Rogan have the stomach to be the champions for free speech and the open exchange of ideas that they claim to be – because as we know from watching leftists in action, the first drop of blood only makes the mob thirsty for more.