The problem with Joe Rogan…and white boys_freckle removal q switch laser

Michael Harriot·13 min readIn this article:
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  • Joe RoganJoe RoganAmerican martial artist, podcaster, sports commentator and comedian

OPINION: A group of researchers, doctors and medical experts expressed concerns about the Spotify podcaster’s willingness to spread COVID misinformation. But no one cared when people raised those red flags about Rogan’s willingness to spread white supremacy.

If you’re reading this piece (and you arereading it, I can tell), you should understand what this piece will not be.

You are not about to read about how Joe Rogan is racist. You aren’t going to read how Rogan isn’t funny or even deserving of being considered the most influential podcaster of all time. However, I cannot, in good conscience, declare that I am unbiased when it comes to Spotify’s $100 million white man because of one fact:

I like Joe Rogan.

Perhaps “like” is too austere a word. I’ve paid to see him perform live. I have listened to hundreds of episodes of The Joe Rogan Experienceand that number may well reach four digits if you include podcasters in the Rogan comedy universe such as Ari Shaffir, Tom Segura and Joey Diaz. I’ve heard Rogan speak about growing up in liberal San Francisco, living in Florida and spending his teenage years near Boston, which seems to have created a diverse set of interests, from mixed martial arts to Egyptology to dick jokes. My unvarnished opinion of Rogan is that he seems to be extremely interested in things and not just on a facile level. To be fair, I haven’t really listened to his podcast since he became exclusive to Spotify.

Still, there is no question that he created the most powerful platform in podcasting and may very well be the most powerful person in all of media. His estimated audience nearly triples Tucker Carlson’s, dwarfs all three networks’ late-night talk shows combined and, when Rogan’s YouTube views are included, his audience rivals The Oprah Winfrey Showat the height of its popularity. Plus, Rogan has cultivated a legion of young, mostly white, mostly male fans who have exalted him to a level that ranks somewhere between a guru and a renaissance man.


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