President Donald Trump has spoken out with some word of advice for Joe Rogan, telling the podcaster to “stop apologizing” to the “radical left maniacs.”
Trump broke his silence on the Rogan controversy, warning that cowing to the cancel mob will only “make you look weak and frightened.”
“Joe Rogan is an interesting and popular guy, but he’s got to stop apologizing to the Fake News and Radical Left maniacs and lunatics,” Trump said.
“How many ways can you say you’re sorry?
“Joe, just go about what you do so well and don’t let them make you look weak and frightened.”
“I’m very sorry that they feel that way,” Rogan said in one apology as he responded to musicians boycotting Spotify.
“I most certainly don’t want that. I’m a Neil Young fan.
“I’ve always been a Neil Young fan.
“And definitely no hard feelings towards Joni Mitchell. I love her, too.”
Spotify CEO Daniel Ek took Rogan’s side for now but the pressure is mounting.
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Ek told his employees:
“There are no words I can say to adequately convey how deeply sorry I am for the way The Joe Rogan Experience controversy continues to impact each of you.
“Not only are some of Joe Rogan’s comments incredibly hurtful – I want to make clear that they do not represent the values of this company. I know this situation leaves many of you feeling drained, frustrated and unheard.
“I think it’s important you’re aware that we’ve had conversations with Joe and his team about some of the content in his show, including his history of using some racially insensitive language.
“Following these discussions and his own reflections, he chose to remove a number of episodes from Spotify. He also issued his own apology over the weekend.
“While I strongly condemn what Joe has said and I agree with his decision to remove past episodes from our platform, I realize some will want more. And I want to make one point very clear – I do not believe that silencing Joe is the answer.
“We should have clear lines around content and take action when they are crossed, but canceling voices is a slippery slope. Looking at the issue more broadly, it’s critical thinking and open debate that powers real and necessary progress.
“Another criticism that I continue to hear from many of you is that it’s not just about The Joe Rogan Experience on Spotify; it comes down to our direct relationship with him. In last week’s Town Hall, I outlined to you that we are not the publisher of JRE.
“But perception due to our exclusive license implies otherwise. So I’ve been wrestling with how this perception squares with our values.
“If we believe in having an open platform as a core value of the company, then we must also believe in elevating all types of creators, including those from underrepresented communities and a diversity of backgrounds.
“We’ve been doing a great deal of work in this area already but I think we can do even more. So I am committing to an incremental investment of $100 million for the licensing, development, and marketing of music (artists and songwriters) and audio content from historically marginalized groups.
“This will dramatically increase our efforts in these areas. While some might want us to pursue a different path, I believe that more speech on more issues can be highly effective in improving the status quo and enhancing the conversation altogether,” he said.