In the last two weeks we have seen another clear example of how the Cancel Culture suppresses and silences speech and seeks to destroy those with whom it disagrees.
Joe Rogan, former UFC fighter, actor, and sports commentator, hosts a daily show and podcast entitled The Joe Rogan Experience. Spotify, an audio streaming platform (i.e., songs, podcasts) hosts the Rogan program and the approximately 11 million people who listen or watch the program daily. On the show, Rogan invites guests of literally all kinds, from business and industry, entertainment, and all across the political spectrum. Recently, he hosted Dr. Robert Malone, a very experienced, highly esteemed virologist.
As a Doctor of Virology, Dr. Malone has been an integral part of creating the Covid vaccines being used in America. And, on the Rogan program, Dr. Malone, who invented the mRNA technology in Covid vaccines, had the audacity to question the “mainstream” narrative regarding Covid treatments. Malone was not responded to on the merits of his informed viewpoint, but was rather shouted down, attacked, and ostracized for these dissenting views, as was Joe Rogan. This, notwithstanding that the CDC itself has admitted that cloth masks generally don’t work, and vaccines do not prevent transmission as we know from the recent surge of Omicron among the vaccinated and the unvaccinated.
As a result of the sharing of this speech and these ideas of Dr. Malone—labeled “disinformation” and “conspiracy theories,” music artist Neil Young demanded his music be removed from Spotify. A sprinkling of other musicians have now done the same.
My point is this: a highly experienced researcher, scientist and medical doctor, whose specialty lies at the very heart of the debate regarding Covid treatments, has shared a viewpoint (obviously credible and well supported given his profession) that runs counter to the New Revealed Wisdom, a ‘wisdom’ of the experts on the China Virus who have been proven wrong time and time again over these past two years.
Another recent report from the health and science experts at Johns Hopkins concluded that the destructive shutdown of our economy “didn’t work, should be ‘rejected out of hand’ in the future.”
Dr. Malone merely expressed an idea, an informed, educated expert opinion which happens to run contrary to the Left’s efforts to ignore the science and to weaponize the China Virus not primarily to achieve better health for American adults and children, but rather as a tool to control the American people. So those like Neil Young and others who are clearly NOT experts and who are pontificating far afield from any known knowledge base, want him canceled and silenced. This is the literal madness of the Cancel Culture of Wokism.
(I simply can’t resist reflecting on that timeless Southern Anthem “Sweet Home Alabama” by the rock band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and the lyric—in response to Neil Young insulting the South in a song—“… Well I hope Neil Young will remember a southern man don’t need him around anyhow.” Well, freedom-seeking men and women wherever they live “don’t need him around anyhow”, either!)
Well, Spotify—after being threatened and browbeaten into pressuring Rogan to retract or apologize for that segment—reversed itself. After hearing from many Rogan listeners, Spotify decided to allow the airing of these thoughts, opinions, and ideas as well as not wanting to risk the millions of advertising dollars it receives from the Rogan program. This is a victory of free speech and the free market!
(And now, unofficial reports are that Rogan’s daytime viewership is surging to new heights precisely because of this controversy. All the while his chief attacker in the MSM, scandal plagued CNN, continues to hemorrhage daytime views, now reporting barely 500,000 daytime views.)
Well-informed Americans must be allowed to vote with their dollars in the marketplace of ideas and to receive information from news sources of their choice among the greatest possible variety of sources.
I want to again note that our 1st Amendment prohibits the restriction of speech by our government, but government censorship is not the only kind. Private sector suppression of speech is just as threatening, chilling, and destructive. This is particularly true where Big Tech platforms become news editors and ‘state actors’ and make common cause with the Deep State and presidential campaigns, such as in the suppression of the New York Post article on the Hunter Biden laptop.
According to post election surveys, media suppression of news damaging to the Biden campaign regarding the Hunter Biden laptop scandal could well have made the difference in the outcome of the presidential election. About 17 percent of Democrats indicated they would not have voted for Biden had they known the full story on the laptop issue. “Had one of six voters not voted for Biden in the swing states, or voted for Trump instead, the election would have turned out differently.”
The internet and social media have become the modern-day public fora, a role served by city center squares, public parks, and country fairs 30 years ago, and American principles of freedom should adhere there as well.
This kind of censorship simply cannot be allowed if our Republic—and the freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution—are to endure. The greatest virtue of free thought and free speech is that all kinds of ideas are thrust into the rough and tumble of the marketplace of ideas where the best idea prevails. It is this collision of, this testing of, speech and thought in a free and open exchange that produces the best results—and leads the nation to wise and popular policy results on challenging national issues.
In memory of the over 850,000 who have died from the coronavirus, and with more Americans dying under the Biden Administration than the Trump Administration—which was gifted three vaccines by the Trump administration we must be vigilant in demanding that the free flow of information in the Public Fora is never suppressed again.
As many wise Americans have noted, just as freedom is not free, eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.