Joe Rogan and legendary rocker Neil Young have been embroiled in a freedom-based pissing match of epic proportions over misinformation and freedom of speech...as most of you likely know by now.
But either way let's summarize for context:
The music streaming platform Spotify is in the process of removing Neil Young’s music after the company refused to take down Joe Rogan’s podcast amid the musician’s objections that it spread vaccine misinformation.
Young posted an open letter to his manager and record label that was later taken down in which he said: "With an estimated 11 million listeners per episode, [The Joe Rogan Experience], which is hosted exclusively on Spotify, is the world’s largest podcast and has tremendous influence. Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, though the company presently has no misinformation policy.”
The musician added: “I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform … They can have Rogan or Young. Not both.”
Rogan's Alleged Misinformation on Vaccines
Rogan has responded to the controversy...
"The podcast has been accused of spreading dangerous misinformation...specifically about 2 episodes.
One, with Dr. Peter McCollough and one with Dr. Robert Malone. Dr. McCollough is a cardiologist and he is the most published physician in his field in history. Dr. Malone owns 9 patents on the creation of MRNA vaccine technology and is at least partly responsible for the creation of the technology that led to MRNA vaccines.
Both these people are very highly credentialed, very intelligent, very accomplished people and they have an opinion that's different from the mainstream narrative.
I wanted to hear what their opinion is. I had them on [the podcast] and because of that those episodes in particular were labeled as being dangerous (and contained) misinformation."
Rogan goes on to cite 'misinformation' that is now accepted as fact:
- Saying you could still get Covid even if you were vaccinated would get you removed from Social Media. (we now know you can...and many are)
- If you said 'cloth masks don't work'. You would get blowback. Now, that is openly acknowledged on channels such as CNN.
- "I think Covid-19 came from a lab." You can't say THAT! Oh wait, you can now...this is now on the cover of Newsweek.
NOTE: You can watch Joe Rogan's full statement here.
Joni Mitchell...and now Nickelback are Not Having It?
Joni Mitchell joined in the Spotify boycott along with Young and a few others.
But the real turning point here is the band Nickelback coming on board and bringing real credibility to the issue. *cue laughing cows*
Need I say more?
Neil Young Says Keep on Rockin' in the Free World as Long as It's His Version of Free
It's important to note that Neil Young has battled Spotify before. In the past, he has removed his music from streaming services, only to quietly reinstate it. In 2015, after making complaints about the quality of sound on streaming, he took his music down from all major audio streaming services, including Spotify and its biggest rival, Apple Music. But it was added back soon after.
You might ask what this has to do with Rogan? Well, could Mr. Young be looking for ways to extend his beef with Spotify? Is it really about safety vs free speech?
Rogan is a Champion of Free Speech, Neil Young is a Champion of Safety...But Who is 'Right'?
I honestly do not think we will ever know...but I'll throw my hat (and mask) in the ring:
I personally side with Rogan on this from a free speech standpoint: It must be protected and given more leeway than most issues. We are seeing these rights being slowly eroded whether you want to believe it or not.
Conversely, I can see where Neil Young is coming from. There's a real fear in our society over the pandemic. So there is going to be a segment of people who questions anyone who questions the government. (Make no mistake...the CDC IS the government)
Spotify's Strategy: Protect the Younger Demo for its Future Business
Spotify chose to back Rogan in this and the reason is simple: Money and future money.
Spotify signed Joe to a mega deal and his audience is younger. With Neil Young you have a star of yesteryear that really only benefits Spotify from a 'classic cultural' standpoint.
To those of you who complain that the world is moved by dollars...well, yes it is and always has been.
Don't lose sleep over something that you will not change.