Joe Rogan has been trending on Twitter for over 24 hours. Meaning, there’s an attempt to cancel the irreplaceable voice of Joe Rogan.
When I first looked to see why he was under attack, I came across outrage from his joke about wearing masks from an episode last week with Bill Burr. Later in the day, the outrage spread and when I searched to see the reaction, it was clear no one knew what they were supposed to be furious about. They just knew they were supposed to be. So, they were. Then, after they called for his job, called him names (all searchable keywords), and told the world to stop listening to him, they looked for what he actually did. There is confusion.
Rogan clips, from what I’ve found, have varied from the following four comments: 1) a joke that people who wear masks are “bitches;” 2) calling out the mainstream media for ignoring Joe Biden’s “cognitive decline;” 3) questioning the message of Black Live Matter; 4) and, the one that is gaining steam, a decade-old clip in which he laughed at Joey Diaz saying oral sex is a “gateway into Hollywood” for women.
I tweeted about the confusion last night and have since been getting DMs asking why I’m defending Rogan. In reality, I’m not defending him at all. Because I, like the rest of the country, have no idea what the attempt to cancel him is over. And that’s the point. Because it doesn’t matter which one or what he said. The word “Rogan” trending is more powerful on social media than anything he said in those videos.
We may never get a consensus on what the public is charging him for. Joe Rogan has already been charged as a threat. He’s a threat to the mainstream media, cancel culture, Twitter, and any other miserable voices attempting to eliminate independent thinkers.
Rogan is an influential voice who doesn’t follow orders. He doesn’t answer to an executive who operates out of fear. He doesn’t need his segments to be retweeted for views. He can’t be silenced. And that is the biggest threat to what many call “the mob.”
Rogan’s authenticity can’t be removed by the demands of Corporate America. Nor can it be bought.
Power today isn’t held by politicians, it’s held by the big tech companies. Their algorithms are smarter than we are. They were built to be bulletproof as digital media personalities rely on their reach for monetization. Big tech, the media, the loudest voices on social media, and decision-makers in the United States are all on the same team. A team that appears unbeatable. Yet, in the seven-game series, they are tied 2-2 with Rogan. He’s the opponent.
Google’s YouTube, with a 74% market share on online video platforms, can censor what it wants. We see what we have access to. Rogan not only bashed YouTube’s censorship, he’s pulling his show, with 8 million subscribers, off it for the Sweden-based Spotify. To follow that up, he endorsed Google Chrome’s competition, Brave, a privacy-focused web browser.
“They’re not looking in your underwear. They’re not checking under your fingernails,” Rogan said on the Joe Rogan Experience advocating for Brave.
Rogan isn’t alone in knowing the dangers of big tech. Anyone who knows the history of dominating companies without competition can draw that conclusion. But most media members can’t risk warning us about the dangers. They need them too much. Rogan can say it; he doesn’t need them.
As Rogan succeeds without Google (he will soon when he moves), Twitter, and the networks, the more the power shifts. In the process, it’ll create opportunities for others to follow him. Many Americans and media talents agree with Rogan on several — not all — issues. But they aren’t allowed to say it. Or they’ll be fired, scrutinized, called dumb, and even canceled.
The harder they try to bring Rogan down, the larger and stronger his massive base grows. Maybe they can’t support him online today, but they will with their downloads and video views. Public support is a mismeasurement, anyway. It’s not real. It told us Donald Trump couldn’t win an election. It’s been telling us the NBA is more popular than the NFL. It’s telling us that Americans only want to hear one side of a story. Then the real numbers come in — the ratings, the results, the votes — and it’s all proven wrong.
Rogan’s success is a result of the fear ingrained in the rest of America, which is as unhappy as it has been in 50 years. It’s left millions with only one voice that represents their thoughts. A voice, in Rogan, who caters to the common man and woman, not the elites.
The more people are silenced, forced to publicly agree, the more needed Rogan becomes.
Drew Brees was arguably the biggest win yet for the angry social media users. Rogan would be even bigger. But it’s not going to happen. Rogan agreed to a licensing deal with Spotify. He didn’t sell his show, and he’s not an employee. He also doesn’t need Spotify if they eventually can’t handle the outrage. Rogan is the brand. A brand that can’t be canceled and isn’t reliant on anyone but Joe Rogan. This is known. And it’s terrifying to the noted intimidators holding the power.