The Rogan-Goldberg Issue and Why It Matters

The focus of freedom shouldn’t be agreement, but tolerance.

Earlier this week, WH Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that “more could be done” to fight what she reads as “misinformation.” The statement came after requests to ban podcaster Joe Rogan from Spotify, a cause that led rock legends Neil Young and Joni Mitchell to leave the platform.

Presented like that, I know, it’s not that bad. It’s just to “fight misinformation,” right? What could possibly go wrong? Well, first of all, unless we’re discussing extremely evident facts, (say, the heliocentric model) who is to say what information (and therefore, “misinformation”) is? Because that’s the tricky bit: “I don’t believe in vaccines” is not a fact, and it’s not information either: it’s an opinion. Are we OK with censoring opinions just because they contradict our own?

I don’t particularly like Joe Rogan. I don’t like his, from where I see it, unsophisticated ways. I’ve received three vaccines so far (Pfizer, Pfizer, Moderna, if you need to know) and I’m going to get more if necessary. But I’d fight to keep Rogan on Spotify, not because I praise what he has to say, but because I firmly believe that to build a freer nation, we need to learn to tolerate what we disagree with.

The same goes for legendary actress Whoopi Goldberg, who claimed the Holocaust hadn’t been about race. Calls for cancellation set the internet on fire in seconds. Now, I’m an agnostic Jew. I think Whoopi is not only insensitive, but profoundly ignorant. However, I would fight to keep her on The View as well, because if I don’t, cancel culture wins.

And I don’t want to live in a world where freedom is under threat.

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