NY Times’ Censorious Techie Kevin Roose Sets Joe Rogan Up for a Fall

New York Times tech reporter-columnist Kevin Roose took on the controversy between hugely popular podcaster-interviewer Joe Rogan and the music-media streaming provider Spotify over supposed misinformation Rogan spread about Covid vaccines in an interview with a controversial doctor. The story dominated the front of Tuesday’s Business section: “Staying Power Of an Uproar.” 

It wasn’t hard to spot Roose was setting Rogan up for a fall. His jittery fear of conservative “misinformation” online has only increased during the COVID era and the Black Lives Matter riots:

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before:

Popular internet personality and beloved by millions of people for his humorous, anti-establishment comment, is now the focus of intense backlash from critics who accuse him. This is dangerous misinformation.

The controversy engulfs the creator’s biggest platform, which has rules prohibiting dangerous misinformationNow it is being pressured to enforce these rules against one its most high-profile users.

….the backlash intensifies. A boycott of civil rights groups is called for. Advertisers withdraw their advertisements. The hashtag trend. The platform’s employees threaten to walk out. The platform’s employees threaten to walk out. Days later, the chief executives is faced with the dilemma of whether to bar a famous creator (and face the fury and anger from his fans) or become a hypocriteallow dangerous behaviors to continue.

How many times has Roose accused Rogan of misinformation?

Now, it’s Spotify’s turn. After Mr. Rogan’s death, Spotify has been urged to act against Joe Rogan by its audio company. accused of promoting Covid-19 misinformation on his show, including hosting a guest who had been barred by Twitter for spreading false information about Covid-19 vaccines. This month, a group of hundreds of medical experts urged Spotify to crack down on Covid-19 misinformation, saying Mr. Rogan had a “concerning history” of promoting falsehoods about the virus.

Roose arranged methods to attack Rogan in the guise reporting

After arguing that Spotify’s exclusive rights to Rogan’s show “gives the company more responsibility for his show than others it carries,” he pivoted to the threat of music stars withdrawing their hits: “…in theory, musicians with enough firepower could force change simply by threatening to remove their albums. (As a viral tweet last week put it: “Taylor Swift could end Joe Rogan with a single tweet at Spotify.”)…”

So, how will Mr. Rogan’s backlash cycle end? It’s hard to say.

It’s clear how Roose wants it to end, given his obsession with “misinformation.” As if Rogan is purposely spreading lies (and who decides what is “misinformation” on Covid anyway?As opposed to drawing out controversial people in interviews.

The reporter was certainly casual about people he doesn’t like, even presidents, being permanently banned from online public spaces:

There is a possibility that the end result will be similar to Mr. Jones’ and Mr. Trump’s. Their outrageous behavior (and continued flagrantly violating the rule even after being called-out) led Twitter and Facebook to merge. We had no choice but to permanently close them down.

Roose doesn’t think it’s going to “simply fizzle out…given that boycotts have already begun and appear to be snowballing.” He ended with this encouragement to the ban-Rogan brigade:

Spotify may think it’s gotten past the worst of the Rogan backlash. Recent history has shown that even though it may seem like Spotify is over the worst of the Rogan backlash, this can often be just a warmup.

Roose is a longtime opponent of conservative online speech and appears to be lacking both a sense for proportionality and a sense humor. He even finds the Christian satire site Babylon Bee “misinformation.”

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