We’re in the drip-drip-drip mode of the Neil Young/Spotify news cycle.
Young famously removed his music from the audio platform earlier this month to protest the pandemic “misinformation” found in “The Joe Rogan Experience.”
Rogan hasn’t publicly commented on the matter, but Young was soon joined by Joni Mitchell and Nils Lofgren of the E Street Band fame. Other artists may soon target Spotify next.
The critics rarely get specific about the “misinformation” in play, nor are any offering to debate Rogan on his wildly popular podcast. They also have little to say about other, blatant misinformation careening across the culture thanks to CNN and other dishonest news sources.
Will more follow in Young’s footsteps, or are most singers staying silent rather than engage in the culture war battle.
Spotify just agreed to put “content advisories” on podcasts that explore the pandemic. Will that be enough to stop the censorious attacks?
It’s rare for rockers to stay mum on most topics. Many open up their coffers, and stages, to the Democratic politician du jour during election cycles. Singers use various awards show galas to spread their opinions on abortion rights, BLM or other hot-button topics.
In short, they’re not the shy types.
So why aren’t they defending free speech now?
Sure, the media is ready to pounce on any artist who takes Rogan’s side, but should that stop a rebellious rocker or angst-filled pop star? What about rappers who elevate tough issues for all to see with their art?
Once again, our artist class is taking a knee.
Comedians are actually faring better in the free speech site. Sure, mainstream comics like Marc Maron and Stephen Colbert have sided with Cancel Culture. Many others, including Adam Carolla, Rob Schneider, Ricky Gervais, Chrissie Mayr, Tyler Fischer, Ryan Long, JP Sears and Tim Dillon stand firmly on the side of creative freedom.
Anthony Cumia created Compound Media so he and his fellow cut-ups could tell the jokes they want to tell without interference.
Hollywood stars have learned how to stay silent on inconvenient issues. They’ve practiced that technique for more than a decade in order to placate Chinese censors.
At least that pose comes with an explanation. China’s expanding marketplace proved irresistible to Hollywood, Inc., so stars looked the other way at the nation’s human rights abuses.
Movie stars grovel in Mandarin. Disney execs defer to censors in Beijing.
How did China come to rule Hollywood?
— Erich Schwartzel (@erichschwartzel) November 17, 2021
That moral cowardice exists for financial reasons. Their silence now has no explanation other than an unwillingness to stand up for free expression. Or, even worse, they silently hope Young prevails in his battle against Rogan.
Let’s give singer James Blunt the final word. The singer shared a more whimsical take on the imbroglio.
— James Blunt (@JamesBlunt) January 29, 2022