Comedian Jon Stewart believes the intense response among some to podcaster Joe Rogan is an “overreaction” and a “mistake.” Rather than cancel or censor, he called on people to “engage” ideological opponents.
“We all exist in this world and on this planet, and there’s no question that there is egregious misinformation that’s purposeful and hateful, and that being moderated is a credit to the platforms that run them,” Stewart said Thursday during his “The Problem With Jon Stewart” podcast. “But this overreaction to Rogan, I think, is a mistake.”
The former “Daily Show” host made his comments as Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, and others are now famously removing podcasts and music from Spotify in protest of Rogan and claims of misinformation on his show. Spotify signed a $100 million deal with Rogan in 2020 to secure exclusive rights to “The Joe Rogan Experience.”
Stewart went on to say Rogan appears to be someone with whom people can engage, rather than an ideologue who spouts ideals with fervency.
He concluded the reaction to Rogan is “overblown,” as Insider noted.
Stewart stated the obvious during the conversation: Rogan has immense power because so many people tune in to hear what he has to say. With that in mind, the comedian questioned the tactic of abandoning Spotify over Rogan’s presence on the platform.
“[Rogan] has four-hour conversations, and they are expansive, and he may say some things that you think is misinformation,” Stewart said. “And he may platform people that you think are wrong.”
But the comedian said singling Rogan out creates a bit of a rabbit hole. Stewart used Fox News as an example, an outlet on the docket of most cable carriers.
Watch Stewart’s comments (caution: strong language):
Would you take your music off of Spotify? pic.twitter.com/ltrA81DUee— The Problem With Jon Stewart (@TheProblem) February 3, 2022
While Stewart accused Fox of being filled with lies, he said almost anyone with a show who has a problem with purported mistruths on the network would essentially need to abandon ship. This is especially true if the Spotify reaction is the new gold standard for appropriate responses to purported misinformation.
“If you’re on any cable station, they’ve got Fox News on,” he said. “So now everybody on TV has to pull out of their shows or deplatform because, in the same tube you exist, they exist?”
Stewart offered a blanket statement early on in the discussion that concisely summarized his views.
“Don’t leave. Don’t abandon. Don’t censor,” he said. “Engage.”
Watch the above segment to understand the entirety of Stewart’s arguments better.
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