The White House has welcomed Swedish audio streaming giant Spotify’s decision to add advisory warnings to any content discussing Covid-19 – namely The Joe Rogan Experience, in light of the recent increase in self-satisfied bullshit emanating from the big, stupid, misinformation-spewing face of its eponymous host.
Rogan, who has an average audience of 11 million per episode, has made a range of pernicious claims about Covid in recent times, under the proclaimed desire to “just talk to people”.
In turn, 270 US doctors, scientists, healthcare professionals and professors wrote an open letter to Spotify regarding the podcast’s “propagation of false and societally harmful assertions”, which convinced the likes of Neil Young and Joni Mitchell to pull their music from the platform.
The problem is that Rogan’s show is the most popular podcast on the app, which means CEO Daniel Ek seems to see the price of taking him off-air ahead of the value of keeping available to its customers the back catalogues of two of our greatest living artists.
Easy as it should be by now to expect citizens of the likes of the US and the UK, hard-wired as they are to so often vote against their own best interests at the ballot box, to also torch their right to Joni Mitchell’s Blue or Neil Young’s Harvest via a propensity for Joe Rogan, it nonetheless remains a constant source of torment to accept – be it when he “just talks” about vaccines with a doctor who has been suspended from Twitter, or about race and climate change with the unhinged Gingerbread Man from Shrek.
Alas, such is our inertia, it’s going to take an even bigger folk icon boycott to finally get us off Spotify ourselves. Your move, Mr Styles.