But in my dealings w/ Rogan fans online, I tend to find that the alt-righters who count themselves among his listeners only started gravitating towards him after he began interviewing their favorite alt-right figures.
Oh, I have no doubt that plenty of his listeners were alt-right before they even found his show.
But the unique thing about Rogan is that in a week worth of podcasts, he may interview a political pundit, an astrophysicist, a stand-up comedian, and an MMA fighter.
So he’s pulling in a very wide selection of listeners, and a lot of the people who are tuning in to hear the stand-up comedian or the MMA fighter might be people who never pay attention to politics at all, and those people can be very impressionable politically.
To be honest, if that weren’t the case, I’d still be really uncomfortable calling him a “gateway” to extremism. To me, that would be like calling a library a gateway to Nazism because it sells copies of Mein Keimpf.
As I said in my last comment, I think anyone who hosts an alt-right spokesperson on their platform for an interview is acting as a gateway. You’re giving that person a platform to spread their ideas. I stand by that.
I don’t think the library analogy is particularly valid. A single library has thousands of books and, though it is possible, I don’t think it’s likely that you’re going to stumble across Mein Kampf by accident. You’d likely have to go hunting for that book specifically.
Talk shows are different from that. Rogan has a new show up every weekday, and millions of listeners who are tuning in to hear the new show. It’s not the same as walking into a library that just happens to have Mein Kampf somewhere on the shelves.
but I sincerely don’t think it’s a very long leap from “interviewers shouldn’t talk to controversial people because it might influence someone in a negative way” to “libraries shouldn’t sell controversial books because they might influence someone in a negative way.”
But regardless of whether the library analogy works, I do agree with this point. Which is why I’m not advocating for Rogan to stop interviewing these people. I just think he needs to be a little more selective about who he invites on.
Alex Jones is another example, like Milo, of someone who is not being intellectually honest. I get that Rogan is friends with him, and that’s likely the only reason he was brought on, but you can’t expect to have an honest conversation with that guy.