The latest justification for censorship is the need to suppress “misinformation.” The enemies of misinformation see themselves, not as censors, but as public guardians engaged in a campaign of self-defense.
Critics of Joe Rogan have justified their efforts to pressure Spotify to drop his popular podcast by accusing him of endangering the public health by hosting guests skeptical of the Covid vaccines.
In his defense, Rogan posted a 10-minute video on Instagram, in which he addressed the subject of misinformation generally. Rogan gave three examples of contentions which were once deemed “misinformation,” but which are now either accepted as true or at least considered plausible: 1) even if you are vaccinated, you can still catch and spread Covid; 2) cloth masks don’t work; and 3) Covid came from a lab leak.
Rogan, a former stand-up comedian and ultimate fighting commentator, does not fit the classical profile of an intellectual. And one might quarrel with his descriptions of these contentions (for example, while experts have long advocated the use of masks, there has never been widespread advocacy of cloth masks in particular).
But Rogan’s basic point is valid and perceptive: yesterday’s “misinformation” may become tomorrow’s accepted truth. Indeed, Rogan may have understated his case.Continue reading