A fellow instructor and friend posted this note in the wake of the latest Alex Jones judicial smack down:
I already have people telling me that Jones needs to appeal as his free speech rights are being violated. I try to explain the 1st Amendment to them but they come back at me as a liberal, socialist. left wing, college professor indoctrinating my students in WOKE, CRT and Cancel Culture.
In case you missed it, Jones lost a suit in Connecticut the other day, the result of which was a nearly $1 billion judgment against him. The root of the suit was his claims that the Sandy Hook massacre was a false-flag operation and that the parents of the kids were all liars. Strangely enough, the parents of murdered children didn’t take too kindly to his bullpucky and thus sued.
My colleague’s understanding of the First Amendment is right on the money: You can say whatever you want without governmental intrusion, but that doesn’t mean you will escape all repercussions when it turns out you’re wrong (or a no-talent ass-hat who causes significant damage to other people).
I doubt the people on the other end of his calm, rational explanation of the First Amendment will take this response any better, even though I think I’m maybe one of those things they listed above (college professor, on a good day). Still, here’s a throwback to another point in time where the misunderstanding of how the First Amendment works led people to freak out.
Another brief reminder of how “freedom of speech” actually works: Joe Rogan edition
In trying to boil down the “Joe Rogan Experience” over the past week or so, this is the best I’ve got:
2022 Joe Rogan: Nobody can piss off the world more than I can with my weird take on COVID.
Pre-2022 Joe Rogan: Yeah… Hold my beer…
Podcaster Joe Rogan and his $100 million sugar daddy, Spotify, spent the last couple weeks understanding that free speech isn’t always consequence-free speech. Rogan most recently got into hot water when it turned out he needed to apologize for dropping more than a few “n-words” into his podcasts over the past 12 years:
New York, NY (CNN)Joe Rogan issued an apology on Instagram Saturday after a compilation of the podcaster frequently using the n-word on his podcast spread widely on social media.
Rogan used the word more than 20 times in the clips from different podcast episodes, which he said were compiled over a span of 12 years. In his apology, Rogan said it’s the “most regretful and shameful thing” he has ever had to address publicly.
“I know that to most people, there’s no context where a White person is ever allowed to say that, never mind publicly on a podcast, and I agree with that,” he said. “Now, I haven’t said it in years,” Rogan added.
Rogan also addressed a video of him comparing a Black neighborhood to a Planet of the Apes movie. “I certainly would never want to offend someone for entertainment with something as stupid as racism,” he said.
If Rogan’s goal in this situation was to distract from his unfounded medical claims regarding COVID, he succeeded in the best-worst possible way. Prior to this mix-tape of racism, Rogan was spouting unscientific nonsense about the coronavirus, and medical professionals called for Spotify to do something about this: