The Passion of Joe Rogan
Spotify and Joe Rogan decided to remove dozens of the podcast giant's episodes over the past few days. It wasn't Rogan's open-minded discussions of all things COVID and vaccines that finally got the digital axe out, though that is relevant. It was a bunch of old episodes in which he quoted other people using the n-word.
Read that last sentence again. Joe Rogan is no racist. He is a comedian who converses with and quotes numerous people from all backgrounds and beliefs. He used the n-word within quotes of other people using it.
Now, should he have known better? Perhaps. Leftists have been trying and sometimes succeeding to get the masterpiece American novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, removed from schools for decades because that book uses the n-word several times. The censor scolds do not care that Mark Twain's book is still one of the greatest works of fiction ever written in any language. They don't care that it transcends time and space to tell a classic story of American adventure and racial tolerance while militating against evils such as slavery. They don't care that Mark Twain was not a racist — he was friends with Abraham Lincoln, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Ulysses S. Grant, and he admired Frederick Douglass. None of that matters. It contains a word that clangs against modern ears. And it represents American greatness. So it's gotta go.
Joe Rogan is no Mark Twain. Neither is Quentin Tarantino. He used the n-word in his cinematic masterpiece, Pulp Fiction, multiple times. And by used, I mean he wrote the script and wrote his own character saying it, and then actually said it — on camera. Why isn't anyone trying to cancel him? Well, Spike Lee tried, but Samuel L. Jackson came to Tarantino's defense.
That is the most important question anyone can ask in this moment of social media witch hunts and censorship. Why have the digital torches and pitchforks come out for Rogan but not Tarantino (or any other artist, or even Joe Biden himself, who is guilty of exactly the same sin)?
The ruthless pursuit of Joe Rogan looks organic because that's how it's supposed to look. But it's orchestrated. It's calculated. It's a coordinated surgical political strike against a man who speaks his mind and threatens the left's orthodoxy, despite the fact that he's vaccinated and has even mocked the unvaccinated.
Think back to January. The push to censor Rogan was coming from social media, mostly from a group called MeidasTouch and its partner PatriotTakes. Rolling Stone once tried to look under the MeidasTouch hood but found its finances "impossible" to figure out. So much for transparency. They're a social media agitator and a Democrat super-PAC that generates many of the cancel crusades we've suffered over the past couple of years. They can receive and expend unlimited amounts of money doing whatever they want to whomever they want, and they explicitly took on Joe Rogan. Why?
Well, first, he denounced California, which is owned by progressive Democrats and the lavishly funded teachers' unions, for stifling freedom. Then he spoke with his feet and his massive wallet and moved himself and his huge show out of California and into Texas, the giant red state that still represents freedom. Then — and this may be his first unforgivable sin — he maintained an audience that dwarfs anything CNN and MSNBC can put together, combined. He is an existential threat to the party line they parrot, which comes straight from the DNC. CNN's new boss admitted that last week, after Jeff Zucker resigned in disgrace.
Rogan's next unforgivable sin was to interview experts who question the Biden party line on COVID, which is Rogan's God-given right to do. The experts from Fauci on down have been proven wrong time and time again. They're not infallible. No one elected them.
The campaign to cancel Rogan hit high gear when the Biden White House explicitly weighed in and said "more can be done." That came from Biden spokesweasel Jen Psaki, standing at the podium in the White House press room, using the American bully pulpit to assault the constitutional rights of a law-abiding American. Joe Biden can't control the border, can't get a handle on the anti-cop socialist Squad or the radical criminal-coddling district attorneys in his own party, and threw Afghanistan and one of America's most capable airbases to a bunch of terrorists, but through his flak he deliberately unleashed the digital hounds on Joe Rogan, an American just doing that most American of things — exercising his First Amendment rights and his freedom of movement and his freedom of association.
If only the Biden White House would treat the Taliban the way they treat Joe Rogan.
They're un-American. But it's where we are in 2022, thanks largely to fools who thought Joe Biden would somehow restore normalcy. He hasn't. He won't. He never intended to. He's a puppet owned and operated by far-left radicals.
Now we're stuck in a horror movie, where the calls to kill our American freedoms are coming from deep inside America's house.
After Psaki's call to do more, more was done. Neil Young and other has-beens leaving Spotify never made a scratch, but some paid intern going through hours of Rogan's old shows and snipping and clipping the naughtiest bits to push out on social media made serious dents. Dozens of those episodes are gone now. The podcast giant is staggered.
Spotify says it'll stand by Rogan. Maybe it will, but I doubt the White House wants Rogan's crucifixion to end here.
A.J. Rice is author of the book The Woking Dead: How Society's Vogue Virus Destroys Our Culture. He serves as CEO of Publius PR, a premier communications firm in Washington, D.C.
Image: Screen shot from Fox News video via YouTube.