For Millennials. By Millennials.
So, Joe Rogan is back in the headlines again, and it’s for controversial reasons. The internet is outraged at Rogan, as he invited conspiracy theorists Alex Jones and Tim Dillon on his ‘The Joe Rogan Experience’ podcast. And it turned out to be a disaster on social media.
Who is Alex Jones?
In case you don’t know Alex Jones, he is a famous far-right conspiracy theorist. In a span of two decades, he gained a massive following which believed in his ludicrous conspiracy theories, as developed his own dangerous brand of storytelling. These also included calling 9/11 an “inside job”, saying the government has “weather weapons”, Sandy Hook shooting was staged, Hillary Clinton is running a child sex ring out of a pizza parlor, and many others. Moreover, he is also a big Donald Trump supporter and claims to be close friends with the President. As a result, YouTube and other social media platforms banned him back in 2018, along with Apple and Facebook.
The other guest Joe Rogan invited was Tim Dillon. Dillon is an actor and a comedian who has his very own podcast, the Tim Dillon Show. The Rolling Stone magazine says this about him:
He’s a conservative-leaning gay man from Long Island who knows the average citizen might describe his aesthetic as ‘retired detective’.
Joe Rogan gets criticized for bringing him on his podcast
Despite these controversies, Joe Rogan saw fat to invite Alex Jones to his podcast. In the three-hour-long episode, they talked about vaccine conspiracies, and Hunter Biden’s laptop as well. Furthermore, they also talked about the first amendment and how social media companies censoring far-right commentators like Alex Jones is a “slippery slope”.
After the release of the podcast on Spotify and YouTube, Joe Rogan and Alex Jones started trending on Twitter. Critics called out both Spotify and Rogan for letting a blacklisted and banned speaker use their platform to spread hate and lies.
Christine Pelosi, author, attorney, activist, and daughter of Nancy Pelosi tweeted:
Alex Jones posted death threats against me. He called Sandy Hook a hoax and harassed mourning families. Now he is lying about #covid vaccines. His hate speech is not just vile – it’s dangerous. WTH @Spotify?
Alex Jones posted death threats against me. He called Sandy Hook a hoax and harassed mourning families. Now he is lying about #covid vaccines. His hate speech is not just vile – it’s dangerous. WTH @Spotify? https://t.co/iRXTlrnARW
— Christine Pelosi (@sfpelosi) October 27, 2020
Furthermore, free speech activist Nathan Bernard also tweeted:
Joe Rogan hosted far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones on his podcast today. They pushed anti-vaxx conspiracies and broadcasted banned Infowars videos. Rogan continuing to platform these far-right sickos is incredibly gross and dangerous.
Joe Rogan hosted far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones on his podcast today. They pushed anti-vaxx conspiracies and broadcasted banned Infowars videos. Rogan continuing to platform these far-right sickos is incredibly gross and dangerous. pic.twitter.com/ymNMm9GI5x
— Nathan Bernard (@nathanTbernard) October 27, 2020
Bernard also highlighted how even Joe Rogan himself was spreading lies about the polio vaccine on his podcast. And then, the picture they all posted of themselves shows that they weren’t following any COVID-19 guidelines either.
Joe Rogan platforming Alex Jones to millions of people a week before this election, and letting Jones propagate Joe Biden smears and pro-Trump propaganda has gotta be one of the worst things he has ever done.
I've defended Rogan for a while, but this is unforgivable.
— KnowNothing (@KnowNothingTV) October 27, 2020
Does Alex Jones deserve an audience?
Twitter critics were especially mad at Spotify because the streaming giants recently made an exclusive deal with Joe Rogan, which saw his podcast The Joe Rogan Experience removed from all other platforms except theirs, earning Rogan close to $100 million. That is why they were critical of them, as Alex Jones had been banned by platforms and blacklisted, whereas they were okay with giving Jones a platform to speak on arguably the most famous podcast in the world. Moreover, Joe Rogan also announced that Alex Jones will be joining him along with Kyle Kulinski for live coverage on Election Night.