Can Joe Rogan Save Journalism in 2019?
Help us, Joe Rogan, you’re our only hope.
A new Change.org petition is pleading with the podcaster to oversee a 2020 presidential debate.
Why would a former sitcom star and stand-up be nominated for such a task? The petition provides several valid reasons, including Rogan’s expansive list of guests over the years.
Joe Rogan has an audience containing viewers from all areas of the political spectrum. Joe Rogan is not registered under any political party and is well-known for having civil, productive, and interesting, conversations about political issues without partisan bias.
So far, north of 160,000 people have signed the form. Even “Guardians of the Galaxy” star Chris Pratt endorsed Rogan as moderator on Twitter.
The petition’s goal of getting 200,000 signees seems a snap at this point given the ensuing media coverage.
Now, star worship is nothing new. You could probably get 200,000 people to agree on Kardashian throwing out the first pitch at the World Series.
This feels different.
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If journalism isn’t officially dead in 2019 the Last Rites will be read any minute now. The New York Times scrambling to change an accurate headline to appease its far-left base (and employees) is just the latest, sorry sign.
The public recognizes the bias, the lies, the narratives that dominate the news today. It’s no longer shocking. It’s the new normal. There’s a reason President Donald Trump’s Fake News moniker stuck like taffy to the institution.
So how does Rogan fit into all of this?
He’s carved a unique space in the podcasting realm. He’s neither Left nor Right, which immediately intrigues us. For better or worse, every time Rush Limbaugh speaks you know the purpose behind it. That’s not a knock on arguably the most influential radio host of our lifetimes.
It’s just reality.
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Rogan appears genuinely curious during his conversations. He isn’t tuned out or waiting to pounce with a pre-determined angle. A good journalist may do his or her homework, but they should be open to going where the facts lead them.
How often is that the case today? Every shooting tragedy, for example, is another chance for reporters to push a pro-gun control narrative, no matter the emerging facts. Reporters routinely twist the truth to attack the GOP.
It happens so often it’s become part of the cultural fabric.
Fake News: Trump Official Did Not Say Statue of Liberty Poem Was Only for Europeans https://t.co/zXZsRTLO3A #Trending via @pjmedia_com
— Soph (@sophiatseliem) August 15, 2019
The podcaster is willing to own up to his mistakes, something today’s reporters are loathe to do. The media pushed the Russian collusion hoax hard for two-plus years. Hour after hour, news article after news article, we were fed slippery facts, innuendo and the assumption that Trump must have done something wrong.
Have we seen any apologies from the press? Any mea culpas or soul searching about their disastrous performance?
Instead, reporters moved on to branding Trump as a White Supremacist.
Compare that mindset to what Rogan brings to the podcasting realm. A few months back Rogan hosted Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on his show. The conversation, of course, proved civil.
That’s Rogan’s brand.
Still, many Rogan listeners complained the interview didn’t push Dorsey hard enough on accusations his platform trashed conservatives and squelched free speech.
Did Rogan get defensive like most journalists do when criticized? Did he use his growing clout as a shield against naysayers?
No. Instead, he invited Dorsey back on the show and brought one of the CEO’s harshest critics, Tim Pool, on to strengthen the debate.
What resulted was some of the best podcasting discussion you’ll ever hear.
Rogan remains a podcaster and stand-up comic. He doesn’t have any formal journalism training. Nor is he interested in going back to school to get some. He’s simply smart, curious and aware of his own intellectual limitations. That’s a wonderful skill set for any journalist.
The chances he’ll actually moderate a presidential debate are absurdly low. Rogan admitted as much during his recent chat with comedian Jim Gaffigan.
“That would be amazing,” Gaffigan said about a Rogan-led debate. “You’d make them all smoke pot before you start.” Rogan routinely shares his affection for marijuana on air.
Rogan quickly connected the debate possibility to the rise of PC groupthink.
“Someone said, ‘Why do that when you can give it to a talented black woman?’ OK, I’m out,” Rogan said.
It’s ironic that a comedian who came to fame on a show called “NewsRadio” could lead modern journalism in the right direction … if only reporters would listen.
It’s a neon red sign of how far the institution has fallen.