Joe Rogan is not typically what one would think of when considering political power players, but his popular podcast The Joe Rogan Experience has proven to be a powerful, though inadvertent, land mine for far-right pundits hoping to broaden their celebrity.
In the last year, Rogan has managed to unwittingly take down two of the highest profile — and some would argue most dangerous — personalities associated with the alt-right.
The first was Milo Yiannopoulos. The outspoken gay conservative, who frequently refers to Donald Trump as “daddy,” made comments on a previous episode of the Joe Rogan Experience that seemed to argue an underage person could make sexually responsible decisions.
Specifically, Milo seemed to be making the case that children as young as 13 had control over their sexuality.
To be fair, Yiannopoulos was casting himself and an as yet unsubstantiated “Father Michael” in the scenario. The implication: that Milo was taken in sexually by a priest as a young boy, and he did not have any regrets.
Rogan found the statement to be a strange one at the time but did not make an issue of it. It wasn’t until an eagle-eared listener sent the video to a conservative group opposed to Yiannopoulos that it began to dismantle the firebrand’s career.
— Progressive Man???? (@WeNeededHillary) March 6, 2017
Fast forward to this week.
The controversial pundit and podcast host Alex Jones is in a custody battle with his ex-wife over the couple’s three children. Jones has tried to backtrack throughout due to some of his more controversial statements, and one of them played in court first appeared on the Joe Rogan Experience.
In it, Jones discussed the now infamous “p***y-grabbing” remarks of Trump from 2005 that became national news in the month leading up to Election Day.
Jones argued that women “throw themselves at you” when you’re a celebrity like Trump is and that such behaviors do not constitute sexual assault.
Couple this comment with the fact Jones’ defense has argued during the trial that he is only “playing a character” on InfoWars, and his brand is in danger of taking a hit, though unlikely one the size of Yiannopoulos, who lost a $250,000 book deal, his job at Breitbart, and a lucrative speaking gig at the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) conference.
Still, Jones attracts an audience that inherently believes its institutions — political, media, and otherwise — are lying to them. If they feel he is “just playing a part” and does not legitimately believe what he espouses, they are likely to group him in with the rest.
Only time will tell if that happens here, but in the meantime, it is interesting to note that Joe Rogan — a comedian, actor, and UFC fight commentator — is at the heart of these downfalls simply by giving these individuals a platform to share their agendas.
As Maher said when he had Milo on prior to the conservative’s downfall, “sunlight is the best disinfectant.”
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) April 23, 2017
Rogan appears to be doing that, though from how well he gets along with people like Jones and Milo while he’s talking to them, it is probably not his intent.
Regardless of intent, conservatives might want to think twice about accepting an invitation to the Joe Rogan Experience.
But what do you think, readers? Is Joe Rogan providing a service in interviewing these personalities or is he providing a dangerous platform for the spread of ideas? Sound off in the comments section below.