Joe Rogan and the Weird New Definition of ‘Right-Winger’

Beyond the right/left dichotomy.Matthew Sheffield tweeted that Joe Rogan, controversial podcaster was his claim in a Sunday tweet. “overwhelmingly” favors “right-wingers”as their guests. Rogan has been at the center of multiple outrage cycles recently (even the White House has been weighing in), with many progressives—including musicians like Neil Young—attempting to get the audio platform Spotify to cancel his contract. This has all been about Rogan’s proclamation that he is some right-wing nutso.

Rogan and his supporters insist that he’s simply open-minded and likes to talk to people from across the political spectrum—and a quick glance at some of his repeat guests would certainly suggest this.

Rogan’s liberal actress Amy Schumer was on the show four times while Roseanne Barr (Trump-loving) has only been on it three times. Kevin Smith (Liberal director) has been on the show (four times) and Ted Nugent (three). Podcaster Dan Savage and Sex Advice columnist Dan Savage are both guests on the podcast. The Young Turks, whistleblower and civil liberties advocate Edward Snowden, and former U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D–Hawaii) have all been on Rogan’s show. Conservative commentators, entertainers, such as Candace Owens and Ben Shapiro have all been on Rogan’s show.

Rogan’s guests aren’t necessarily political. Bridget Phetasy, a politically-independent YouTuber has appeared on Rogan four times. Rogan enjoys having guests from both the atheists and skeptic community. Neuroscientist, podcaster, and author Sam Harris—best known for his writings on atheism and debates with religious believers—has been on eight times. Steven Pinker, psychologist and author (famous in books such as How the Mind WorksAndThe Blank Slate() was on twice. SkepticsMichael Shermer was the founder of magazine. He has attended six occasions.

In the chart made by Sheffield—who describes himself as “post-conservative” in his Twitter bio—all of the people listed in the above paragraph are coded as “right-wing.” Russell Brand is an English actor who campaigned against austerity and produced a documentary about the war against drugs. Gabbard is also a Democratic presidential candidate. Elon Musk also has a similar story. describes himselfA “registered independent & politically moderate.” And so are all the Rogan guests associated with what was briefly termed the Intellectual Dark Web—folks like journalist Bari Weiss (on twice), biology professor Bret Weinstein (on seven times), Canadian author and professor Jordan Peterson (on seven times), and evolutionary biologist Heather Heying (on twice)—regardless of whether they personally consider themselves liberal or libertarian-leaning.

While I do not mean to disparage Sheffield, the tweet he sent was widely shared. It is a good example of how Rogan, the listeners or many other conversations these days, has awkwardly been incorporated into an argument of left/right that does not fit his podcaster.

As a writer Kat Rosenfield points outMany of the guests on the “right-wing list” explicitly support liberal policies and have voted Dem in at least four previous presidential elections. Other right-wing guests tend to be libertarian or support mixed policies and cultural attitudes that are associated with both the left and the right.

The whole thing makes no sense—except as an exercise in labeling anyone out of step with progressive orthodoxy in AnywayRight-winger. Sheffield calls all the left-leaning centrists and right-leaning people as right-wingers. There are someIt is an aspect of mainstream Democratic and progressive politics. Many of these quirks relate to free speech. This is what a lot of the mainstream modern left opposes.

The past seems to have seen more acceptance of ideology diversity and policy differences among parties and political groups. But—alas—these days, many Democrats/progressives or Republicans/conservatives who refuse to march in lockstep with these groups’ thought leaders get cast as traitors. It’s nuts.

The Rogan guest list is more than just a sign of the increasing political labeling. It also showcases—as Rosenfield puts it—”the total breakdown of left/right as a meaningful political binary.”

We have Republicans today calling for policies in economics and regulation that are considered to be too far left for the left only a few years ago. There are liberals that reject any liberal value, including freedom of religion and free speech.

Many independents don’t like either mainline political parties. There are now more people who identify themselves as independents than those who have been members of the Democratic Party and/or the GOP.

Sheffield is wrong to believe that the Rogan guest list does not reveal something important. This shows just how inept the language left-right is to discuss politics or cultural leanings for 2022.


Both sides must be allowed to use the principles of free speech.From opposing political perspectives, two newsletters address censorship, “ideological surveillance,” and book bans. They also discuss measures that limit school instruction, such as this horrible proposal from Florida.

“I have never in my adult life seen anything like the censorship fever that is breaking out across America,” writes David French in “​​Our Nation Cannot Censor Its Way Back to Cultural Health”:

We cannot control American animosity and prevent social peace or unity from occurring. However, we can violate the social contract, disturb the foundation logic of our republic and deny American students and citizens the freedom to exchange ideas. [Frederick]Douglass predicted that ‘thrones and dominions, principalities and power, founded in injustice, wrong,’ would tremble when faced with righteous challenges.

Jill Filipovic, author of “Snitch Nation,” laments the fact that she has “adjusted startlingly quickly not only to pervasive monitoring and the loss of privacy but also to the justifications for the punishment that results from that surveillance.”

Filipovic says, “We can distinguish between the necessity to control those in positions with significant power as well the baser urge punish those who are bad or even dangerous ideas, or people who do things we disapprove that don’t cause actual damage.”

Police who complain about body and dash cam rules, for instance, can suck an egg — when the state hands you a gun and gives you the authority to use it, you take on a higher level of responsibility and there is a significant public interest in making sure that you are not breaking the laws that you and your friends and colleagues are charged with enforcing. But punishing people whose ideas are wrong but not immediately physically dangerous — even if the people disseminating those ideas have some cultural influence or educational authority — leads us down a dangerous path. It’s the people in power that decide what ideas are worthy of punishment. When it is progressives from a college of liberal arts, I am more inclined to accept their conclusion. If it is conservatives who are on the Texas school boards, then I disagree. This is why it’s important to keep a series of consistent principles in speech and surveillance. They transcend (most) speech’s contents.


Covid-19 is “free”. TestsThe following is a list of upcoming events. The Wall Street Journal:

The preschool where my daughter is four years old requires Covid testing every week. We were told not to worry about the cost—the tests are free. My family was tested recently at a tent set up outside of a gas station. A sign on the tent stated that “free Covid testing” was offered.

Although I did not pay for the tests, they were still expensive. I am billed for the cost through my insurance. My insurance company sent me a routine letter stating what they paid for: $1140 per month for my daughter’s weekly PCR testing. It’s about $285 for a test which is roughly 20 times as expensive as an at home rapid test.


IRS reverses course on its plan to utilize facial recognition software.The January issue of There are reasons reported that the IRS was requiring users of many of its online services to register with facial recognition company In a statement, Chuck Rettig, IRS Commissioner said that the IRS values taxpayer privacy and security and had heard about some of the issues raised. It has now announced it is going to “transition away form using third-party services for facial recognition in order to authenticate individuals creating new online accounts”, and that “quickly developed and brought online an additional authentication process that doesn’t require facial recognition.”

Canadians are becoming increasingly aggressive towards the US Ottawa protestors. Reports state that police in Canada are trying to stop protesters from parking 500 trucks at the core of the city to get fuel and food in an intensified effort to end the eleven-day-old demonstration against Covid-19 vaccine mandates. The Wall Street Journal. The new measures include the arrest of all protesters and their support who are trying to bring fuel and food into main demonstration zone. The Prime Minister Justin Trudeau posted this tweet Monday

A judge ordered that protestors stop honking their cars for 10 days on Monday. Judge Hugh McLean declared, “Tooting my horn does not express any great thought or feeling I know of.” These are the responses of truckers:


• A new study shows a correlation between vitamin D levels and COVID-19 severity and death rates. Michael Edelstein of Israel’s Bar-Ilan University, co-author of the study, said that a patient’s past history of vitamin D deficiencies is predictive of poorer COVID-19 clinical course and mortality.

• Oregon drug decriminalization is off to a successful start:

• Dangerous no-knock warrants and thwarted Second Amendment rights collide in the Minneapolis police killing of Amir Locke, notes Eugene Robinson at The Washington Post. (Read more on the unjustified killings.

• A good thread from the founder of Wikipedia:

• Techdirt: “The EARN IT Act is significantly more dangerous than FOSTA.”

• Facebook parent company Meta says European Union data rules may render it “unable to offer a number of our most significant products and services, including Facebook and Instagram, in Europe.”

• A proposed law in Kentucky would micromanage the teaching of history and ban teachers from discussing current events in classrooms without offering a full range of views on those events.

• Against Great Britain’s porn laws: