First, they tried accusing him of spreading “misinformation” about the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccinations. Then, they dredged up old footage showing him using the N-word and pretended to be offended, calling him a racist. Now, the effort to cancel comedian and podcaster Joe Rogan has entered its third phase, and it's even more ludicrous than the first two.
Now, they are bringing out one of their favorite ploys, using the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol to smear the podcaster in a desperate attempt to compel Spotify to stop hosting his podcast. In a lengthy op-ed, CNN Enterprise writer/producer John Blake laid out his case for arguing that Rogan's use of the n-word was somehow as deadly to American society as the U.S. Capitol riots. He wrote:
The podcaster Joe Rogan did not join a mob that forced lawmakers to flee for their lives. He never carried a Confederate flag inside the US Capitol rotunda. No one died trying to stop him from using the n-word.
But what Rogan and those that defend him have done since video clips of him using the n-word surfaced on social media is arguably just as dangerous as what a mob did when they stormed the US Capitol on January 6 last year.
He continued, explaining that the comedian “breached a civic norm that has held America together since World War II.”
And what is the civic norm that Rogan breached? According to the author, it was the unspoken agreement made after World War II that “[a] White person would never be able to publicly use the n-word again and not pay a price.”
Blake complained that the podcaster has not yet paid a “steep professional price” for using the word and speculated that “[i]t may even boost his career,” pointing to the controversy over country music star Morgan Wallen, who came under fire last year for dropping the n-bomb.
The author continued, claiming that the failure to cancel Rogan signifies that American society is headed into dangerous territory. “But once we allow a White public figure to repeatedly use the foulest racial epithet in the English language without experiencing any form of punishment, we become a different country,” Blake wrote. “We accept the mainstreaming of a form of political violence that's as dangerous as the January 6 attack.”
The article then hearkens back to a time when “life would never go on as normal for a White person caught using the n-word,” and when “[t]here used to be a consensus that any White person caught using the n-word or other racial slurs would pay a hefty price.”
Later in the piece, Blake argues that America is “poised to enter an era where a White person can use the n-word publicly and not only survive but thrive if they portray themselves as a victim of cancel culture,” and then urges the reader not to let the Rogan controversy “devolve into another tired discussion about cancel culture.” The author intimated that if Rogan is not canceled, “all of us – not just Black people – will pay a price. Our country won't be the same.”
This entire piece is yet another reason why I say the left-wing chattering class thinks their audience is stupid. The fact that Blake actually expects readers to believe the debate over Rogan's use of the n-word is indicative of the rise of a new wave of political violence and a society more tolerant of racism is yet more evidence showing they believe their viewership is made up of orangutans.
But Blake's arguments fall short for a variety of reasons.
For starters, his contention that white people could not use the n-word at all without fear of reprisal isn't exactly accurate. I recently wrote a piece discussing an op-ed written for the New York Times by columnist John McWhorter, in which he notes that less than a couple of decades ago, it was commonplace for white people to use the term when quoting the words of another, or discussing racism itself. If a white person read aloud from “The Adventures of Huck Finn,” and says the word, it was not considered offensive.
To put it simply, there is a distinct difference between using the word when quoting another or describing racist behavior, and actually using the threat against a person or group of people. Common sense can easily understand why the two are not the same.
Next, we have the fact that Blake, and others making the same arguments, are so obviously disingenuous that it makes one wonder if they are even trying to come off as sincere. What do you think I would find if I ran a Google search to see if this particular author wrote an op-ed complaining about the n-word when footage emerged of President Joe Biden repeatedly using the word when he was a U.S. senator? Or what about footage of pundits from “The Young Turks” uttering the slur when quoting other people?
You guessed it. I didn't find a damn thing, and there is a reason why.
Blake is not offended that Rogan used the n-word. In fact, I'd go so far as to say he does not care if non-black people say the word. He, like the rest of his leftist contemporaries, only feigns outrage when a white person whose politics don't align with his drops the n-bomb. If Rogan hosted only progressives who came on his show to bash conservatives, we can be 150 percent sure Blake would not have written this article.
The author is not a stupid person. He can clearly see the difference between how Rogan used the term and how David Duke used it. This is evident in the fact that he will not call a white person using the word racist if they are on the same political team.
Lastly, if and when Rogan benefits from this ridiculous kerfuffle, it will not be because he used the n-word. Indeed, it will be his victory over authoritarian types like Blake who sought to ruin his career that will be cause for celebration.
As I said previously, any sane person who is not looking at the world through hyper-partisan lenses can see Rogan was not using the word in a pejorative way, and the notion that Spotify should be coerced into severing ties with him is abhorrent. Moreover, the more you tell people they shouldn't watch or listen to a particular individual, the more they are going to want to do it. In light of this, it won't be a surprise if Rogan's audience grows.
The fact that CNN would publish a piece likening the Rogan matter to the Jan. 6 riot shows an embarrassing level of desperation on its part. The hard leftist authoritarian types have been trying to sink the comedian's career for years, and each time they try, he only grows stronger. They cannot win this battle and it seems to be driving them crazy. But the real question is: What will they try next?