Back in April of this year I wrote an article outlining what I thought might be forthcoming in regards to Joe Rogan and his extremely popular podcast “The Joe Rogan Experience.” Here’s the opening paragraph. To wit:
“For those that may not be aware Joe Rogan of the popular podcast “The Joe Rogan Experience” may have just entered a political octagon for a fight he is truly unprepared for. The issue at hand here is this: Although Mr. Rogan is a trained MMA fighter and has probably met many an adversary or two with a tendency to not just bend rules, but break them when no one is looking (i.e., think cheap shot). His assumption that he himself can bend or break the rules of the political arena shows just how unprepared he truly is to this blood-sport known as politics.”“Radar Alert: Watch For The Joe Rogan Political Tap Out” April 5, 2020
Although I was correct in the premise of there would be a “tap out.” What I did not expect was it would be Mr. Rogan tapping out of Google™. He showed rather than heel to the Silicon Valley overlords as to what he was going to discuss. He was willing to put his money where his mouth was and completely jettison one “broadcaster” for another. e.g., from YouTube™ to Spotify™. This was an extraordinarily unexpected move worthy for comparison with anything seen in the octagon by a Brazilian Jujitsu master. i.e., they never expected it.
However, here is where things begin to get interesting from a spectators point of view. The reason why is: when it comes to the octagon a tap out ends the fight and the winner is declared. Done. This fight? Let’s just say – not even close.
What we have here is the opponent (i.e. Google et.al.) believed there was no alternative for Mr. Rogan and he would conclude it himself soon enough, and just tap out. i.e., Acquiesce to either a neutering of his positions and/or demand a “hostage tape” style reversal be made.
Yet, the jujitsu move was made and Mr. Rogan signed a reported $100MM dollar deal with Spotify, taking most of his content with him. Both a daringly strategic and tactfully executed maneuver in my view. But it’s now fraught with danger for both Spotify, as well as Mr. Rogan. Let me explain…
As I iterated prior – this fight is far from over. And as a matter of fact it may be only intensifying.
This past Saturday began with a ringing-of-the-bell for “round two” across the Twitter™ universe where the demands that Mr. Rogan’s podcast be (wait for it…) cancelled. I know, right? Who knew?!
It seems Mr. Rogan was, once again, saying something that will not only be intolerable, but will unequivocally raise demands by the “cancel mob” that he be forthrightly cancelled. His sin?
Let’s just say it was the worst of the worst…
First: He dared say he would not only not vote for Mr. Biden – but would actually vote for Mr. Trump. A sin that is only eclipsed in Hades by those that drive too slow in the fast lane. I mean we’re talking sins that call for “special room status” here, if you catch my drift.
The second: This one could be categorized as a “two-fer.” On the same episode he dared not only state a word (warning: if you are susceptible to triggers, be forewarned here) but gave a possible rationale for using it. That word? “Men.” The offensive quote? “Because that’s what men do, we make fun of things. Anything. Anything that seems like you’re not taking chances. And that’s what the mask is.”
I know, if you need a moment it’s OK, I’ll wait. After all, he’s also questioning authority and efficacy in one fell swoop. Maybe someone has a few kittens they can spare and pass them around to the others. I mean, we’re talking scorched earth type rhetoric here, right?
Now Rogan is not someone who takes the virus lightly. He regularly has himself, as well as guest tested. The reason why the above should not be glossed over is where and why he said it. i.e., He was directly pushing back on his guest’s assertion (Bill Burr) of, “I just love how wearing a mask became like this soft thing that you’re doing — like being courteous.”
It is precisely that type of statement or premise which raises alarm bells to so many today, for it alludes to a possible bigger problem, with longer lasting effects, than what the virus itself may actually do. Or, said differently: So regardless of what the science may or may not show – you’re wearing it not because you think it’s effective – you’re only wearing it to conform.
I believe Rogan was right to push back, even if it was in his trademark style. However, with that said, this (all my opinion) will not be allowed to stand.
The issue now directly facing Mr. Rogan is whether or not the people at Spotify will, or will not, fold like the cheap suits many across Silicon Valley have demand most C-suites to do and cancel Mr. Rogan before he even gets started.
Don’t think for a moment this is not a possibility.
Spotify is (again, my conjecture) nothing more than another creation of what I call “The Silicon Valley model,” which basically means: regardless of what revenues (if any) it makes – it’s basic model is its stock value. i.e., nothing matters other than how any metric can be spun to keep Wall Street invested. Remember: Spotify has only been profitable a hand full of times in its now 13 year existence. Think about that.
So, why is that important?” you ask. Let me put it this way…
What happens to the decision making process for business going forward at the C-suite and/or Board of Spotify if suddenly their once considered brethren of all that is Silicon Valley let them know through the “pipelines” that all ad revenues that comes via one, if not the largest ad buyer or placement service (aka Google) decided to “shadow ban” or out right nullify any ads for Mr. Rogan’s show?
How about if Twitter does the same? Then what about Facebook™? Think it can’t, or better yet, won’t? Au contraire mon ami…
In the politically charged environment we are now in Silicon Valley’s tech overlords have shown they fear no one. Period. Even in the face of a possible change to their protected status via the courts and legislature they show they could care less and are willing to openly antagonize even the President.
Again, doesn’t matter if you like him or not. The act to actually warn a sitting president that his speech is not considered “free” to be posted is shockingly brazen. Again, whether one agrees with that view or not is irrelevant. It’s a defiant act with ramifications to all that no one truly understands, let alone estimate.
This ideological difference coming from big-tech is not just a preference – but is currently a position they have decided to bet everything as to win the complete overthrow of the political, becoming the ruling arbiters of all they deem worthy. This is for control – and any fight for control means: total and utter destruction by any means (person, place or thing) that does not comply, let alone agree.
I now believe the thing to watch for clues is whether or not Mr. Rogan has successfully countered the initial move with a move of his own worthy of the record books. Or, did he quite possibly get himself into a position that may turn into something far worse?
Or said differently…
Did he deliver a move that seemingly countered an all encompassing choke hold, only to find that move places him directly into that same adversary’s cross-hairs for an even more efficient way to be taken out?
© 2020 Mark St.Cyr