Streaming service Spotify has reportedly thus far cancelled 42 Joe Rogan Experience episodes from its digital platform archive, and it might be just the beginning.
The discreet deletions purportedly includes podcasts with conservative provocateurs Milo Yiannopoulos, Gavin McInnes, and Owen Benjamin, as well as comedian Chris D’Elia (who is engulfed in sexual misconduct allegations), among others. All of Alex Jones’ discussions with Rogan are apparently gone, with the exception that the most recent interview is apparently still available.
A possibly too-raunchy live show with a group of Rogan’s fellow comedians has also been removed, Digital Media News, which first broke the story about the 42 nixed episodes, added, while also noting that there are “potentially more shows quietly getting removed from the catalog.”
Some triggered Spotify employees tried to stage a potential mutiny last year when Rogan first signed the $100 million contract with the company to move his massively popular podcast there exclusively. Management held firm, but apparently their resolve didn’t last, if this group of banned podcasts is any indication.
Rogan, who exited California for Texas last year to obtain “a little bit more freedom,” is pretty liberal on most issues, although he is generally a free-speech advocate.
Apparently, his lucrative deal falls short of protecting the fullness of his content, however.
Rogan recently seemed nonchalant about the likelihood of certain episodes of his longform interviews being banned. “There were a few episodes they didn’t want on their platform, and I was like ‘okay, I don’t care.'”
Going forward, it will be interesting to see how the word “few” is further defined or evolves. It will also remains to be seen if Rogan will water down show content and guest selection to please his corporate overlords.
Some years ago, conventional wisdom held that campus activists would have to change their tune when they took jobs in the real world. It turns out that just the opposite has occurred, with the business community often giving in to the woke mob, a phenomenon which is enabled by the inordinate amount of attention paid to left-wing Twitter by corporate PR departments.
In her iconic novel The Fountainhead published back in 1943, Ayn Rand to some degree predicted the current state of affairs in the cancel culture in one of the book’s plot points. At the risk of oversimplification, the newspaper mogul in the book realizes that the left-wing labor union, rather than him, is in charge, and he eventually abandons his principles and capitulates.
Outkick media columnist Bobby Burack offered this analysis in reacting to the disappeared episodes:
Rogan’s fan base, as expected, is furious….Before moving his content exclusively to Spotify, Rogan was one of just a few media personalities who listened to no one, who had the freedom to dive into topics that no one else in media would touch.
What’s baffling is that Spotify knew what it was getting with Joe Rogan’s podcast, with both its library and future episodes. Spotify invested nine figures into the brand Rogan built, which in large part grew because he had conversations with personalities whom competing hosts wouldn’t dare talk to.
Did Spotify foolishly think it’d get a toned-down version of Joe Rogan? Spotify has not addressed why certain episodes were removed or whether more will join the naughty list.
$100 million is great. This partnership? Not so much.
Three Rogan episodes with holistic/alternative health advocate and Bulletproof Coffee founder Dave Asprey have also been taken down in the banned batch. Asprey may be wrong in some or many of his theories, but he is a champion of intermittent fasting, which is gradually gaining mainstream acceptance, particularly given the U.S. obesity rate. Note: Always seek guidance from a competent medical professional before embarking on any new diet or fitness regimen.
As of this writing, neither Spotify nor Rogan apparently have made any public comment about the latest purge.
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