Neil Young vs. Joe Rogan: Free Speech Wins

What do you think COVID is most trustworthy information? Is it a rock legend or one of the top podcasters in the world, This is the biggest lesson from the recent culture war battle. Please enter your email address get to decide.

Although Neil Young removed his Spotify music, you can still access his discography. He’d still have many options to reach his vast audience even if Joe Rogan was dropped from the world’s largest streaming service. We are reminded every day by the scandal du jour that radical freedom of speech is still alive and well. The scandal du jour reminds us that it doesn’t matter whether someone blocks it. It’ll still be accessible a few clicks away.

Young made the first move by telling Spotify that they would have to decide between streaming his music or hosting Rogan’s podcast. Young said Rogan spreads dangerous misinformation about COVID.

Spotify update Its rulesAbout publishing material that “promotes danger, false or deceptive information about COVID-19” and other illnesses, but has stood by its star marquee, whose contract was worth an estimated $100 million. Young quickly signed an agreement with satellite radio provider SiriusXMHis newest album will be distributed and his back collection will be curated. His music is still available via YouTube, Apple Music and on his website. Joni Mitchell quickly followed his lead.

Rogan keeps going, telling his listeners via Instagram that Rogan’s show was all about having interesting conversations and letting people make their own decisions. Rogan said that he was sorry if he had offended you. Thank you for listening to the podcast.

Young’s demand for Spotify not to boot Rogan is absurd. However, his decision to pull his songs is worthy of celebration as an assertion that he has the right not to do business in any way with anyone who offends. Cancelculture is a serious concern. But its effects are limited by how easy it is to make and distribute stuff these days.

In 1966, when Neil Young recorded his first album with Buffalo Springfield, our world was a place of great cultural abundance. In 1966, only three major TV networks existed, along with a few movie studios and AM/FM radio. Actually, gatekeepers had great power to suppress any speech they disagreed with. 

Spotify is one streaming service, but it’s just one among many. Problem is not limited choices; rather, it’s how to prioritize what you read, listen to, or watch.

We get to decide what we’re going to watch and who we’re going to trust, which is a great outcome—but one we should never take for granted.

Nick Gillespie, text and narration. Regan Taylor did the video production.

Photo credit: Ross, hamilton, Canada, CCBY2.0, via Wikimedia. Stoned59, CCBY2.0, via Wikimedia. Alterna2, CCBY2.0, via Wikimedia. Louis Grasse/PxImages/Icon Sportswire EGS/Louis Grasse/PxImages/Icon Sportswire/Newscom. Bruno Marzi / MEGA. Taidgh. Barron/ZUMA Wire. Newscom.

Music Credits: Rock n Stock’s song “Ain’t No Gambler”, via Artlist. Dan Ayalon’s track “Coal Mine Rhythm,” via Artlist.