“Journalist” Harris Faulkner didn’t care about Joe Rogan spreading potentially deadly misinformation to his Spotify podcast listeners. No, he’s like her, being canceled for bringing up “some topics” “people are not always comfortable with us asking about."
Unless you’ve been under a rock, you know that Spotify has come under a lot of pressure over the COVID disinformation Rogan spreads on his Spotify podcast. Veteran rockers Neil Young and Joni Mitchell have pulled their catalogs from the streamer and podcaster Brené Brown who, like Rogan, has an exclusive deal with Spotify, said she would not release new episodes “until further notice.”
Not surprisingly, Spotify put a band-aid on the problem and is hoping it will all blow over. From The Guardian:
On Sunday, the CEO of Spotify, Daniel Ek, released an official statement setting out the streaming platform’s plan to tackle misinformation. New content advisories will direct listeners of any podcast that discusses coronavirus to a dedicated website that “provides easy access to data-driven facts, up-to-date information as shared by scientists, physicians, academics and public health authorities around the world, as well as links to trusted sources”.
As for Rogan, he says he’ll “try harder to get people with differing opinions on” and “do my best to make sure I’ve researched these topics.” He can’t even promise to know what he’s talking about on a show he’s getting paid an estimated $100 million for.
A sampling of the disinformation from one guest, Dr. Robert Malone, via PolitiFact:
Speaking to Rogan, Malone said it’s "nucking futs" for people who have had COVID-19 to get vaccinated. He cited the federal Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, an unverified database that cannot be used to assess causality, and claimed that it shows an "explosion of vaccine-associated deaths." (It does not.) He said hospitals are so financially incentivized to claim COVID-19 as the cause of patient deaths that a hypothetical patient "with a bullet hole to the head" would be ruled as a COVID-19 fatality if they tested positive. (This is wrong; if anything, research indicates that COVID-19 deaths have been undercounted.) He said a state in India, Uttar Pradesh, "crushed COVID" using an early treatment package featuring ivermectin but resolved with the U.S. not to disclose that. (There’s no scientific basis for that assertion.) He said vaccine mandates are illegal. He said vaccinated people are more likely to be infected with the highly contagious omicron variant than unvaccinated people. (This is missing key context.) He wondered aloud whether the vaccine President Joe Biden took on live TV was "really a vaccine." (There’s no evidence to back that.)
Of course, as PolitiFact also notes, Malone has gotten a friendly reception on Fox News, too.
On today’s Outnumbered show, cohost and compulsive liar Kayleigh McEnany said that Rogan “merely wants to get a different opinion and he's entitled to do that.” Then she asked cohost Harris Faulkner for her “thoughts.”
Let’s be clear: Faulkner claims to be a journalist but, as I wrote in a recent post about her whining over President Biden’s pledge to nominate a Black woman to replace Justice Stephen Breyer on the Supreme Court, she has long been a shameless, right-wing propagandist. She didn't break that record here. She even worked Hunter Biden into the Rogan story!
FAULKNER: Well, look, I look at this the same way that Twitter sticks a sticker on my stuff when I put out true polling or the things that are actually happening, right? As a journalist. And they just don't like the fact that, oh yeah, you mean there is an investigation into - and they're looking at Hunter Biden. I mean, they'll, they'll take you down, they'll sticker you, they'll cancel you.
I wonder if this isn't the same road that Spotify is now willing to walk down because it will cost them. It will cost them more than the people who leave the platform.
Then Faulkner relayed a question her 15 year-old daughter asked about Rogan. “She said, ‘Well, why would they try to keep one guy’s questions out, Mom? Isn’t that what you do?”
FAULKNER: Crickets, ‘cause yeah. I mean, I ask questions. Now, I'm not Joe Rogan and he's not me, don't get it confused. We do different things, but we bring up some topics that are considered to be those things that people are not always comfortable with us asking about. Does Spotify have the kind of fact-checking foundation or history to be able to say what is informational and what isn't? That would be my question to them.
You can watch it below, from the January 31, 2022 Outnumbered.
Harris Faulkner weighs in on Joe Rogan: "I look at this the same way that Twitter sticks a sticker on my stuff... They will take you down and sticker you and cancel you."— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) January 31, 2022
"You know that they want to sticker me for asking that." pic.twitter.com/ehCS18f5MV
she is a real vile stooge manipulator. her interviews are always one sided and only “feigns fair and balanced” crap.
She cuts off, talks over and ALWAYS dismisses her rare progressive voices with the likes of schlapp or some other fascist talking voice. It pains me to see how she stiffles opposing views to her fascist nonsense and drivvle.
Don’t take her lightly. she has more credibility to the brain dead stooges that tune in for their daily dose of pouson propaganda. She is one evil, twisted biotch.
But the Right Wing outrage is based on false premises. Rogan wasn’t “cancelled”. He continues to enjoy his 100 million dollar podcast every day. He is being appropriately castigated by other Americans who wish not to be associated with his blatant and dangerous falsehoods. And they have the right not to be connected to his behavior.
It’s interesting to watch angry Right Wingers trying to play two different games with Neil Young and the others retracting their permissions from Spotify. On the one hand, we’re meant to be outraged that Rogan is somehow being “silenced”. On the other hand, Right Wingers have taken pains to sneer that nobody cares about Neil Young anyhow. Which would indicate that it’s not an issue. But they’re still saying this means Rogan is being “silenced”. So that would indicate that the Right Wingers really DO care what Neil Young does. And there’s the part where angry Right Wingers are loudly shouting how much they don’t care what Neil Young does. If this sounds familiar, it’s because it’s the very same 2nd Grade schoolyard behavior encouraged and emboldened by the Pence White House and its childish former spokesman.
To set the record straight, Rogan is not somehow being denied his first amendment right to free expression. He’s being called out for abusing that right, and for doing so in a particularly dangerous way. Free Speech does not mean it’s okay to shout Fire in a crowded theater. In other words, it’s not okay to spread wild falsehoods and conspiracy theories around a public health emergency that has killed millions and is continuing to kill. It’s not okay to exhort people to take quack “instant cures” that have actually led to even more deaths. And hiding behind the flimsy curtain of “I was just asking questions” does not change the record of Rogan’s behavior. The reason these blatant falsehoods get tagged is because they have been shown to cause very real harm. If Faulkner really is so concerned about being “stickered” every time she brings up another debunked conspiracy theory about Hunter Biden, perhaps she could consider not telling blatant lies on the air?
A final thought: Watching multiple artists refuse to associate with rumor mongers and falsehood spreaders, I’m reminded that this also applies to the Presidential Medal of Freedom. I note that this award has not been given since Pence’s childish former spokesman befouled it by throwing it away on Devin Nunes, Jim Jordan and most infamously, unrepentant bigot Rush Limbaugh. The tricky part of presenting this award to the next Maya Angelou or Steve Jobs is that the new recipient would be forced to share the stage with such unsavory company. Multiple people were offered this award by the Pence White House after the befouling and declined for the obvious reason. In order to present this Medal again, it will need to be redesignated, with the prior winners save Limbaugh, Jordan and Nunes grandfathered in. In that way, we’ll be able to maintain that tradition and scrub some of the sewage left over from the Pence White House.