I’ve been a longtime fan of Sam Harris, and I started watching Rogan’s podcast on Youtube when he had Harris on as a guest. Shortly after that, I watched Harris being interviewed by people like Dave Rubin and Ben Shapiro, and from there I watched Rogan’s interviews with both Rubin and Shapiro.
So, in that sense, I have to agree with Charlie Silva: Rogan definitely could have been a gateway to the alt-right to me, if I was younger and more impressionable, if my political views were not already fully formed.
You mentioned in your reply to Silva that you believe this gateway only applies to people who are already on the path to being inducted into the alt-right. I don’t think I agree with that. As I just said, young viewers/listeners whose political views are still malleable, who because of our shitty education system do not have the skills to identify poor reasoning and faulty logic? These are the kinds of people I worry are being recruited by the alt-right through Rogan. I suppose they don’t even have to be young — critical thinking skills do not necessarily improve with age.
The question is, has Rogan done anything wrong? And I’m not sure that he has.
I agree with that a healthy and honest dialogue is needed, and Rogan provides that. It’s refreshing how open he is to talking with people he doesn’t agree with. Actually talking, not just yelling back and forth.
And, perhaps most importantly, I do think Rogan strives to be intellectually honest. Which is what I respect the most about him, and the only reason I keep watching.
But he’s not perfect. And there are some issues where, liberal or not, his views do align with the alt-right. The whole toxic masculinity conversation comes to mind. Rogan completely buys into the alt-right narrative that the phrase “toxic masculinity” is an attack on all masculinity. It drives me up the wall every time I hear him discuss that topic.
This comment was long and rambling. The TL;DR of it is that anyone who uses their platform to interview members of the alt-right can be accused of being a gateway to the alt-right. That’s not necessarily a bad thing — it’s just the price you pay for opening up a bipartisan dialogue.
That said, there are members of the alt-right who are worth talking to and those who aren’t, and intellectual honesty should be the criteria for determining who is and isn’t worthy. (Someone like Milo Yiannopoulos would be instantly disqualified.)