Joe Rogan is a heroic broadcaster.
You don’t have to agree with every guest he has on his Spotify podcast or every opinion he shares about Covid-19 to admit the bloke has blown up the broadcasting model at a time when once great international news services like CNN, Sky News and, yup, the BBC have become highly censored, deeply biased and scaremongering obsessed shadows of their former selves, especially since the latest coronavirus was most likely leaked from a Chinese lab in 2019.
Neil Young was a heroic musician whose back catalogue is a treasured, if commercially insignificant, part of any music streaming service’s offering to subscribers.
But the prospect of entitled celebrities using their fame to throttle free speech has hit a chilling new nadir with Young’s Spotify strop over The Joe Rogan Experience.
Earlier this week, the rocker published a since-deleted letter to his manager and record company on his website, threatening: ‘I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform. They can have Rogan or Young. Not both.’
Neil Young was a heroic musician whose back catalogue is a treasured, if commercially insignificant, part of any music streaming service’s offering to subscribers
The prospect of entitled celebrities using their fame to throttle free speech has hit a chilling new nadir with Young’s Spotify strop over The Joe Rogan Experience
Young appeared to be joining an organised campaign by a 270-strong group of doctors and scientists who had signed an open letter earlier this month demanding Spotify reprimand Rogan – who they signed to an exclusive deal last year worth over $100 million – because of, what they claimed, was a ‘concerning history of broadcasting misinformation, particularly regarding the Covid-19 pandemic’.
In a farcical twist, it turned out only 87 of the signatories were medical doctors, with the rest an array of luvvie teachers, psychologists and engineers.
Young went even further, writing furiously: ‘I am doing this because Spotify is spreading fake information about vaccines – potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them.’
This is not the first time the notoriously prickly Young has gone to war with Spotify. In 2015, he demanded his songs be removed because he took issue with their sound quality.
But attacking Rogan in his latest hissy fit has seen the boycott explode into the mainstream, with the battle lines drawn for both sides of the Covid culture war.
The woke streaming giant is holding firm and not giving into the ageing rocker for now – and I respect that.
After confirming the process of removing Young’s music had begun, they released a conciliatory statement saying: ‘We want all the world’s music and audio content to be available to Spotify users.
‘With that comes great responsibility in balancing both safety for listeners and freedom for creators. We regret Neil’s decision to remove his music from Spotify, but hope to welcome him back soon.’
Further, the company, in a comment that I imagine would make Rogan bristle, boasted they have removed over 20,000 podcasts related to Covid since the start of the pandemic.
I’d love to know how many of those podcasts purged by Spotify contained so-called misinformation or conspiracy theories that are now widely accepted by the scientific and media establishment.
Harry and Meghan signed a similar exclusive deal to Rogan to join the streaming giant and produce podcasts
Young appeared to be joining an organised campaign by a 270-strong group of doctors and scientists who had signed an open letter earlier this month demanding Spotify reprimand Rogan
Like the fact Covid-19 was most likely leaked from a Wuhan lab, a highly credible theory that I have been talking about since March 2020, but which big tech labelled misinformation, thanks to a disturbing cover up campaign by influential scientists in cahoots with the media.
Or the fact cloth masks are pretty bloody hopeless at stopping the spread of Covid.
Or the fact Covid vaccines, while highly effective at reducing hospitalisations and deaths from the virus for those who are vulnerable, don’t stop transmission, as the latest Omicron wave has proven beyond doubt.
Or the fact that the new and experimental MRNA vaccines have a small but nonetheless evident risk attached of sparking the heart condition myocarditis, especially for young men.
Or the fact draconian lockdowns have become more about world leaders attempting to control their people on the march towards a biosecurity state, complete with digital medical IDs, than reducing the death rate from Covid.
Or the fact many of those counted as dying with Covid were infected with the virus while in hospital but passed away from other causes.
Or the fact governments across the globe were intending to make vaccination mandatory in order to live a normal life, with penalties including fines, increased taxes and being banned from much of civilised society.
Or the fact the vaccination programme would continue for many years, with folk expected to have a fourth, fifth or sixth jab.
My point is that many broadcasters and journalists – including myself – who dared to question the Covid orthodoxy and the highly damaging laws being inflicted were at the time branded purveyors of misinformation, but have since been proven to be right time and again.
We have quite rightly fallen out of love with the mainstream broadcast media over the course of the pandemic because of the censorship and propaganda that has now become commonplace.
And Rogan has become a haven for sanguine and uncensored conversation about all the big issues unencumbered by regulation facing most broadcasters.
For example, the state regulator Ofcom in the UK which at the start of the pandemic made it clear to broadcasters they faced severe sanctions if they questioned public health guidance.
Rogan has become a haven for sanguine and uncensored conversation about all the big issues unencumbered by regulation facing most broadcasters
Or YouTube and Twitter which has instituted a three-strike system based on often incorrect World Health Organisation Covid standards which has seen many controversial but important voices deplatformed.
Joe Rogan is too big and successful to be cancelled by any company, executive or regulator, so he has become a treasured voice – arguably the world’s most powerful broadcaster.
Over 60 million tuned into his controversial interview with MRNA vaccine developer Robert Malone, the virologist and immunologist who has raised the ire of his profession by turning against the vaccines his science helped to create thanks to his work in 1989.
Perhaps more importantly, though the podcast he introduced the world to the fascinating concept of Mass Formation Psychosis as a means to explain why the public has been prepared to follow such nonsensical rules throughout the pandemic without evidence to back up, in lots of cases, why we’ve turned our lives upside down.
I listened to the entire three-hour, six-minute episode of the podcast, released on New Year’s Eve, and was gripped.
I didn’t agree with every one of Malone’s theories, but he’s clearly an incredibly intelligent man, with the pedigree to be given a platform.
As a result of the backlash against Malone, which included Twitter permanently banning him from their sewer pit site, I invited him onto my GB News show where we had a fascinating discussion about why he believes we must question the current vaccination programme.
It’s impossible to dismiss Malone as an anti-vaxxer madman, as the MSM love to do with others, given, without him, we might not have the MRNA jabs in the first place and because he’s been jabbed with the Covid vaccine himself.
So instead, the medical establishment wants to deplatform him altogether and have Spotify censor what was a brilliant conversation with Rogan, who they also want to bring down.
Can you believe that’s the level of our scientific debate in 2022?
Have we learnt nothing from how much government and big pharma scientists have got wrong throughout the pandemic?
Honest and unfiltered debate has never been needed more.
And that is why I’m so worried that Young’s actions might spark other virtue signalling musicians into following suit.
For Spotify, Rogan – the world’s most popular podcaster – is far more commercially important to them than Young, a big artist historically, sure, but one whose chart heyday is behind him.
What happens, though, if (or more likely when) woketopian Spotify music stars like Taylor Swift, Dua Lipa and Adele threaten to quit the service if they continue to ‘platform’ Rogan?
I mean, Taylor doesn’t even believe other popstars should be able to have an opinion on her songwriting ability, as witnessed by her successful bid this week to use her Twitter mob to bully Blur star Damon Albarn into a grovelling apology after he stated in an interview that ‘she doesn’t write her own songs’.
The Hollywood liberal establishment is already using their usual bully boy tactics to exert pressure on other music acts to join the cancel Rogan club.
Big Bang Theory co-creator Bill Prady tweeted to his 199,000 followers a call for the world’s biggest pop superstars to follow Young and boycott Spotify, tweeting directly the accounts of Swift, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Shakira, Justin Timberlake, Jennifer Lopez, Nicki Minaj, Bruno Mars, Pink, Selena Gomez, Eminem, Demi Lovato, Adele, Alicia Keys, Chris Brown, Harry Styles, Miley Cyrus, Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg, Mariah Carey, Wiz Khalifa and even the defunct boy band One Direction.
And then there’s the intriguing question of what Spotify’s other major exclusive podcasters, the Duke and Duchess of Woke themselves, intend to do.
Harry and Meghan signed a similar exclusive deal to Rogan to join the streaming giant and produce podcasts, but so far in over a year their output has been pitiful, delivering just one 33-minute episode on December 29 2020 featuring messages about ‘the power of compassion’ from their liberal pals including Elton John, Naomi Osaka, James Corden and Tyler Perry.
But this week it emerged Spotify is taking the production of the couple’s podcasts in house after one year without any episodes being delivered whatsoever.
Harry and Meghan have been advocates of shutting down freedom of speech they don’t agree with and are likely to be opposed to Rogan’s open questioning of Covid vaccine efficacy given their public endorsement of the vaccine programme.
It’s highly likely they will keep schtum, given there’s an £18 million deal at stake and we know H&M seem to prize moolah above morality.
But if they do threaten to join Young and tell Spotify they want out of the deal because of Rogan, it’s critical the company continues to stand up for free speech.
The liberal media is becoming increasingly inward looking and prissy, seemingly wanting to ban any opinions they find personally offensive or confronting.
Spotify has the power to become a champion for free speech.
That’s why they must say: We will have Rogan, not Young.