In a time where traditional media are biased and unhinged and men’s magazines embrace feminism, The New York Times discovered that men are seeking their news elsewhere.
And millions have found it in former The Fear Factor host, mixed martial arts commentator, comedian, and now podcaster whose popular interviews have replaced the role of television news for many Americans.
“The right has always insisted that the elite left controls the culture. But Rogan’s popularity shows that perhaps that’s no longer true,” Bari Weiss wrote in her opinion piece for The Times. In the article “Joe Rogan Is the New Mainstream Media,” she observed how in a time where the mainstream media flounders, Rogan’s eponymous podcast has become a worldwide phenomenon. Weiss concluded that Rogan acts as a mirror to modern America at a time “when so many publications are broken glass, capable of reflecting only a shard.”
Rogan recently signed a 100M+ deal to broadcast exclusively with Spotify, according to The Wall Street Journal, a testament to his massive sway in the world of podcasting and modern entertainment in general.
Weiss summarized just how-liberal dominated media are alienating common men, while Rogan inspires them:
“While GQ puts Pharrell gowned in a yellow sleeping bag on the cover of its ‘new masculinity’ issue (introduced by the editor explaining that the men’s magazine ‘isn’t really trying to be exclusively for or about men at all’), Joe Rogan swings kettlebells and bow-hunts elk.”
One liberal Times reporter took issue with this observation. Taylor Lorenz responded that men seeking a masculine alternative to enforced feminism infecting culture “is also just a complete misreading of why Rogan is popular vs mainstream men’s mag.” She added that “It completely ignores shifts in distribution platforms, changing consumption habits, business models influencers, tries to paint it as some culture war. It’s dishonest.”
Rogan’s ability to speak openly about controversial topics which news sources must either handle with sterile, clinical delicacy or ignore entirely is a key part of his appeal, Weiss attributed. She addressed how on one hand Rogan is in favor of people choosing to identify as whatever gender they like, but he also challenges the idea that biological men should be able to compete with biological women in sports.
Weiss also did not shy away from addressing how the media have lost America’s trust:
“Think of Tara Reade. Anyone with eyes could see that her accusation against Joe Biden was treated differently by the press than the accusations against Brett Kavanaugh. Reade’s claim was largely ignored for more than two weeks. Julie Swetnick’s accusation of gang rape was printed the day it was made. You can rely on Rogan to talk about that double standard.”
Weiss observed that Rogan can afford to choose what he talks about and how he talks about it because he is a free individual, not an organization.
“When you have something that can’t get canceled, you can be free,” Rogan said in the interview.
Weiss observed that, “The ability to be free of censorship is perhaps the thing Rogan prizes most — and he’s very concerned about censorship, especially inside the tech companies that control the most powerful forms of mass communication the world has ever seen.”
Weiss suggested that “YouTube is a private company and thus not bound by the First Amendment; legally, it can decide what it wants to put on its site and what it doesn’t.” The same article also acknowledged Rogan’s response that “What Twitter is and what YouTube is are way bigger than a social media company. There is a real good argument that they should be like public utilities,” Rogan commented.