Cancel culture isn’t done wrecking people’s lives.
Instead, it popped up from the canvas to fight again. Just ask Stephen King, the horror legend who backpedaled after suggesting talent matters most when it comes to the arts.
Now, Joe Rogan is in mid-cancellation from the usual suspects.
The podcast superstar suggested he’d vote for Sen. Bernie Sanders in the upcoming Democratic primaries.
“I think I’ll probably vote for Bernie. Him, as a human being, when I was hanging out with him, I believe in him, I like him, I like him a lot … He’s been insanely consistent his entire life. He’s basically been saying the same thing, been for the same thing his whole life. And that, in and of itself, is a very powerful structure to operate from.”
Rogan’s endorsement lit the cultural match. Sen. Sanders, eager to piggy back on Rogan’s massive fan base, threw gasoline on the flame by embracing it.
it wasn’t just the usual scolds who shrieked at the Senator’s “error.” Moveon.org, which began as a defense against a president who slept with a White House intern, lied about it under oath and more, excoriated Rogan.
It gets worse.
The increasingly partisan CNN piled on, too. This article says Rogan has “a history of making racist, homophobic and transphobic comments.”
Sounds bad, no?
Dig deeper, and you see those descriptions are either misleading or outright unfair.
Let’s take it one sentence at a time:
Rogan, a libertarian-leaning broadcaster with a public persona in the mold of Howard Stern…
He’s not remotely close to Stern in any way, save they both conduct powerful interviews. Stern’s shtick, while calmer now than in his heyday, still doesn’t match Rogan’s banter.
CNN then says Rogan uttered the “n-word” on his show. Was he using it in a racist fashion, or was he saying the slur in a descriptive manner to highlight an argument or conversation?
There’s a huge difference, and CNN doesn’t say. That’s a sizable tell that the reporter is working from Media Matters-style talking points without the necessary context. A separate article found Rogan comparing an all-black movie audience to “Planet of the Apes.” It’s an ugly comment, and Rogan admits to it during that conversation.
Do we cancel him for saying something wrong in a career where he’s uttered millions of words?
The CNN article goes on, saying Rogan used “offensive language” to question if a transgender MMA fighter should battle other women. That’s an absurdly fair and relevant question, especially given the severe injuries suffered when trans fighters are in play.
Forbes.com tried to cancel Rogan, too. The Human Rights Campaign piled on as well. Yes, that’s the same group that employs a communication expert who blamed gay Asian journalist Andy Ngo’s injuries from an Antifa assault on … Ngo.
(Charlotte Clymer wasn’t canceled, for what it’s worth).
Why would the Cancel Culture come for Rogan in the first place, though?
Remember, the PC police cares about power, first and foremost. They left Clymer alone because it suited their power needs, Ngo, one of the country’s bravest journalists who debunks the far-left Antifa, does not.
Celebrities have done and said far worse things than Rogan, and they aren’t attacked or cancelled. Two names quickly jump to mind: Alec Baldwin and Ellen Barkin. These far-left actors behave badly, but they get a pass due to their politics.
— angrybird (@alpine106) January 1, 2019
Rogan isn’t overtly political, but he commits an unforgivable sin via his podcast. He talks to anyone who might be interesting.
- Liberals like Sen. Sanders
- Centrists such as Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
- Conservatives such as Ben Shapiro
He’ll even chat up conspiracy theorists (Alex Jones) if only to spark debate.
The Left, which is part of the current woke mob, loathes debate. They hate people like Rogan even more, especially since he boasts a massive podcast audience. The Modern Left decides who should be given a perch, and who should be shamed. Cross them, and you’ve made a long-standing enemy.
Rogan must be taught a lesson. We’re watching that in real time.
It’s why Rogan cannot stay silent while his name, his brand, is sullied.
The worst thing he can do, of course, is apologize for his past statements. That only emboldens the woke mob. If you’re in their cross hairs they rarely, if ever, accept those apologies.
The second worst approach? Ignore it entirely.
If there’s one lesson of the Trump era for those who believe in freedom is that punching back is necessary, often essential, when someone Consider the Covington kids lawsuit, or how future Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh battled back against the slimiest of attacks.
Both emerged victorious.
Rogan, like fellow podcaster Adam Carolla, steers his own pirate ship. He’s not employed by anyone save himself, and his “Joe Rogan Experience” is massively successful. In theory, he could lose some jittery sponsors from this public skirmish.
He just might, too, given the tenor of the times.
In some ways, the damage is already done. That CNN article, and others like it, will live on. Whenever someone searches “Joe Rogan” those stories can and will appear. Dennis Prager noted this toxic legacy in a column defending his own good name against Fake News.
…the original lie about me has taken on a life of its own. It was conveyed on numerous left-wing sites.
The attacks on Rogan, too, will live on. It’s up to Rogan, who has the power, the platform and the fan base, to stand up now and stop the character assassination in its tracks.
More than Rogan’s brand is at stake. He must realize that on some instinctual level.