Culture Feature

Joe Rogan's COVID Stupidity Is Deadly — and Spotify Is Complicit

Rogan's enthusiasm for spreading dangerous ignorance to his podcast audience is unnacceptable in the midst of the COVID fight.

For those who've managed to avoid his sprawling online presence over the last few years — and who are old enough to remember 2006 — it may be a surprise to learn that comedian and presenter Joe Rogan has become one of the most powerful voices in the modern media landscape.

"The Fear Factor guy? Is he still making people eat bugs for money?" No he's not. But what he's doing now is at least as stupid, and far more dangerous.

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Culture Feature

What World Is Bari Weiss Even Fighting For?

Bari Weiss's resignation letter contains some truth, but it reads hollow.

Bari Weiss

Bari Weiss has unceremoniously left The New York Times after, she said in a letter to its publisher AG Sulzburger, the paper has been taken "under siege" by bullies who deemed much of her work "wrongthink."

In the letter, Weiss claimed that she represented a large swath of America that The Times failed to represent—"voices that would not otherwise appear in your pages," she wrote. "But the lessons that ought to have followed the election—lessons about the importance of understanding other Americans, the necessity of resisting tribalism, and the centrality of the free exchange of ideas to a democratic society—have not been learned," she continued.

Bari Weiss Bari WeissVanity Fair

Weiss's letter is well-written enough to be extremely convincing, which is unsurprising seeing that she's an opinion writer. On the surface, it reads like a clear-eyed defense of free speech and free press, and it's a called-for denunciation of the distracting annals of cancel culture.

In the context of her op-ed, Weiss's anger seems almost justified—reports of coworkers slandering her on Slack or criticizing her for "writing about the Jews again" seem like cause for a few HR meetings or even a resignation.

And, certainly, Twitter's cancel culture mob can step out of line, fixating on small injustices rather than facing larger problems, ganging up against relatively harmless people.

Then again, the same might be said of all people everywhere. Bari Weiss seems afraid for free speech, but perhaps she should be more afraid for human life.

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