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Thomas Knapp: The Remedy to be Applied in Neil Young v. Joe Rogan

“They can have Neil Young or [Joe] Rogan. Not Both.” Thus the ultimatum from legendary musician Young, over his concerns with what he deems  “misinformation” on the subject of COVID-19 vaccines, to streaming service Spotify.

Spotify, unsurprisingly, chose Rogan. It invested an estimated $100 million in bringing the Joe Rogan Experience podcast exclusively to its platform, and that investment is likely paying off in a big way. His talk show is currently more popular, by far, than Neil Young’s music (although the latter is probably enjoying a bump on other platforms and in other formats, and songs have a much longer shelf life than talk shows focusing on current events).

Still, it’s sad that this kind of thing is happening.

Other artists are joining Young’s exodus from Spotify. Fewer choices for listeners is bad for artists and bad for platforms.

It seems to me that we have a much better answer for situations like this than “they can have me or they can have him, not both.”

“If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education,” Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis wrote in 1927, “the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.”

Rogan is implementing the “more speech” prescription by promising “balance” between dissident and establishment views on the podcast.

Rogan and his guests — many of whom who seem well-qualified to discuss COVID-19 and vaccines even if (maybe because!) their opinions run counter to, say, Anthony Fauci’s — are already voices in the wilderness compared to the might of an establishment narrative that runs 24/7 in official government statements and on most news media.

Given that the toll of government policies largely based on that establishment narrative comes to nearly 900,000 COVID-19-related deaths in the United States so far, it’s hard to argue that Rogan owes  “balance” to those working to silence, rather than refute, skeptics. But still, good on him for channeling Brandeis.

There’s a way for Rogan and Young to both be “the better man” here. Rogan should invite Young to appear on the podcast, and Young should accept. Not to have it out over COVID-19. Just to make nice, shoot the breeze about everything, and maybe smoke some cannabis together. Good times.

Right now, Rogan is “the better man.” I wish Neil Young hadn’t taken that particular route, but this southern man still needs him around, anyhow.

Thomas L. Knapp (Twitter: @thomaslknapp) is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism ( He lives and works in north central Florida.


  1. Robert Milnes Robert Milnes February 4, 2022

    Shame on you, Tom.
    The Brandeis remedy is not in place here. Young is not enforcing silence on Rogan.
    Further, perhaps deliberately spreading covid disinformation should be criminalized.
    Maybe if that had been done from the get go, that 900,000 number would be lower. And right wing nuts like Trump and Rand Paul would be locked up, not emboldened.
    Maybe you, too.

  2. Andy Andy February 4, 2022

    “Robert Milnes
    February 4, 2022 at 03:11
    Shame on you, Tom.
    The Brandeis remedy is not in place here. Young is not enforcing silence on Rogan.
    Further, perhaps deliberately spreading covid disinformation should be criminalized.”

    What Neil Young tried to do to Joe Rogan is dirty. You of all people should know about being silenced, because you got banned from this site for several years.

    Who says that Joe Rogan is spreading misinformation? This is your opinion. How about a debate between Joe Rogan and Neil Young?

  3. Robert Milnes Robert Milnes February 4, 2022

    FYI, IPR readers,
    I am still reeling from Tom Knapp’s statements years ago in IPR comments that he preferred paulie to me, back when paulie made that choice of him or me at IPR.
    So where is paulie now? I say it has been all but proven that he was/is a spy/saboteur in IPR. And part of it is pro Trump anti vax misinformation/disinformation.
    True, paulie was productive. A genius actually. But that was part of his deception. He became Indispensable. Thanks paulie this, thanks paulie that. What would we do without paulie?- hand wringing
    I could almost see everyone’s thumbs going down on Bob Milnes and his “crackpot” (said by Prof. Phillies more than once) PLAS stuff, with Tom’s choice.
    Where is Charles Jay, too? BTW.
    Young has no obligation to engage Rogan, smoke some weed or a peace pipe or debate.
    Rogan has an obligation to speak without misinformation or disinformation.
    I hope a complete boycott of Spotify results.
    I hope spreading misinformation/disinformation is criminalized.
    Having an opinion is different from spreading misinformation/disinformation.
    I am sick and tired of seeing doctors and nurses crying and quitting because of the unnecessariness of it.
    And I am far from the only one.

  4. SocraticGadfly SocraticGadfly February 4, 2022

    Andy, why is what Young AND OTHERS, not just musicians but podcasters/interviewers like Rogan, “dirty”?

    And, Knapp, pray tell, what is the expertise of these others, and who are their names? I’m not a Dem, not a twosider on this issue, and I’ve called out Fauci for gain of function and his initial Platonic noble lie on masks, and other things. But, if you’re going to call, say, Great Barrington people “experts,” I’ll slam you.

  5. Andy Andy February 4, 2022

    I think it is dirty to try to shut down speech because you disagree with somebody.

  6. Nathan Norman Nathan Norman February 4, 2022

    Milnes, you are self-deluded and full of shit.

    Paulie has TDS and is pro-vaxx. He is NOT a genius either.

    Think about it. Has anyone ever agreed with your views other than trolls pretending to for lulz?

  7. SocraticGadfly SocraticGadfly February 4, 2022

    Andy, I simply disagree. Oh, and the marketplace of ideas, as far as scientific credibility, has about as much as capitalists’ actual markets and the “invisible hand,” which Adam Smith based on Enlightenment Deism’s “wind up the universe like a clock” god — an idea thoroughly disproven by quantum mechanics in the world of physics, and two world wars, the Holocaust etc. in the world of human relations.

  8. Nathan Norman Nathan Norman February 4, 2022

    And your god Socrates was a pederast.

  9. SocraticGadfly SocraticGadfly February 4, 2022

    Nathan Norman, being apropos of nothing, with that mal mot instead of bon mot.

    First, if one will, by the “age of consent” (to the degree there was one in classical Athens), people like Alcibiades were adults. They were by at least some US states laws of today.

    Second, just because I riff on the idea of Socrates as a gadfly doesn’t mean I like everything about him anyway.

    So, either try again or don’t, but, you failed.

  10. Andy Andy February 4, 2022

    Nathan Norman
    February 4, 2022 at 15:42
    Milnes, you are self-deluded and full of shit.

    Paulie has TDS and is pro-vaxx.”

    What is TDS? How do you know that he is pro-vaccine?

  11. Nathan Norman Nathan Norman February 4, 2022

    “What is TDS?”

    Trump Derangement Syndrome

    “How do you know that he is pro-vaccine?”

    Based on his comments either here or at BAN.

  12. Robert Milnes Robert Milnes February 5, 2022

    Golly Gee. You sure know paulie well from his comments.
    Almost like you are channeling him, or reading his mind, or Vulcan mind meld or something.

  13. Ed Johnson Ed Johnson February 5, 2022

    So who is Rogan getting spotify in trouble for interviewing? And keep in mind he didn’t even say whether he agreed with them, all he did was interview them as well as other experts from the establishment side everyone has already heard:

    Dr. Malone, the father of mRNA vaccines, or Dr. McCullough, a board certified licensed practicing cardiologist who has published over 700 peer reviewed research papers and practiced medicine for 30 years? Robert Malone is a physician and biochemist. His early work focused on mRNA technology, of which he was a pioneer, pharmaceuticals, and drug repurposing research.

    McCullough was vice chief of internal medicine at Baylor University Medical Center. McCullough was a cardiovascular fellow at William Beaumont Hospital in the Detroit metropolitan area until 1997. He then worked successively at the Henry Ford Heart and Vascular Institute in Detroit until 2000, served as section chief of cardiology of the University of Missouri–Kansas City School of Medicine, and returned to William Beaumont Hospital where he worked from 2002 to 2010. He spent the next four years as chief academic and scientific officer of the St. John Providence Health System, Detroit, before joining the Baylor University Medical Center in 2014. McCullough is a founder and current president of the Cardio Renal Society of America and co-editor-in-chief of the society’s journal, Cardiorenal Medicine and editor of the journal Reviews in Cardiovascular Medicine.

    Of course, people who “follow the science” would want to ban these doctors and scientists from even being interviewed. Never mind that actually following the science means always questioning what you think you know and entertaining challenges to prevailing opinions. But who needs the scientific method when you can call for following the court scientists with blind faith instead like it was medieval church dogma, and silencing the heretics to boot?

  14. Ed Johnson Ed Johnson February 5, 2022

    Instead of follow the science, maybe your slogan should be follow the pied pipers, or let the singing sirens steer your course, or perhaps – go ahead and eat that lotus.

    Following the science doesn’t mean following dogma, which is the opposite of the scientific method. Actually following science means constantly questioning what you think you know and engaging the logic of opposing theories and arguments.

    For other people, who might actually follow and read a link, here’s one that at least presents both establishment and counterweight perspectives from different scientific vaccine experts, from an establishment news source:

  15. Ed Johnson Ed Johnson February 5, 2022

    “Oh, and the marketplace of ideas, as far as scientific credibility, has about as much as capitalists’ actual markets and the “invisible hand,” which Adam Smith based on Enlightenment Deism’s “wind up the universe like a clock” god — an idea thoroughly disproven by quantum mechanics in the world of physics, and two world wars, the Holocaust etc. in the world of human relations.”

    That needs some explaining, to say the least. How have markets and the marketplace of ideas, or even Deism, had their credibility damaged by quantum mechanics, world wars or the holocaust?

  16. SocraticGadfly SocraticGadfly February 6, 2022

    Ed, that’s simple. Quantum mechanics, showing the universe has a base-level uncertainty and graininess, undercuts the allegedly scientific chair legs of Enlightenment Deism. The irrationalism, even anti-rationalism of modern wars, the Holocaust, etc., undercuts the philosophical legs. And, since Smith’s invisible hand, allegedly rational markets, etc., was built on that mindset, it’s undercut as part of the greater undercutting.


    As for Malone? He’s trying to have his cake and eat it too. He’s butthurt he’s not recognized as “The Inventor” of mRNA vaxxes, and SO butthurt he’s gone antivaxxer to attack them.

    Oh, Ed? He’s wrong, FYI. Or, per Wolfgang Pauli, Not.Even.Wrong.

  17. Jared Jared February 6, 2022


    Newtonian physics was not wholesale abandoned with the discovery of quantum indeterminacy. It’s not only adequate, but far more practical, to describe phenomena at the macro level using classical mechanics as opposed to quantum mechanics. Smith’s Invisible Hand applies at the macro level, not at the level of individual decision-making. And while Laplace’s demon has been effectively refuted and Einstein’s Spinozan deterministic pandeism is undermined by “God playing dice with the world” at the subatomic level according to the standard model interpretation of QM, teleonomy and the idea of the self-organizing system have become a lot more respectable in philosophy of science since the field isn’t as dogmatically reductionist, philosophically allergic to spotting purpose in nature, and opposed to final causation as it once was.

  18. SocraticGadfly SocraticGadfly February 10, 2022

    Jared, erm, OK, then chaos theory would partially support me anyway. Smith’s still wrong, in that way (and per you arguing for not being dogmatically reductionist, wasn’t that was Smith was???), and definitely still wrong in the social sciences and humanities way. Two world wars and the Holocaust still show that humans ain’t rational and ain’t enlightened. More to today’s time, behavioral psych and behavioral economics indicate the same.

    Oh, self-organizing systems still aren’t agents. And, final causation was wrong with Aristotle and wrong today. And, teleonomy in a “weak” sense that most modern biologists and philosophers of biology (there’s not really so much a thing as general “philosophy of science today) would accept isn’t the same as teleology.

    Note Ernst Mayr, for example, saying there is “no evidence whatsoever for a “goal-seeking” of evolutionary lines.”

    In your phrase, you appear to be trying to fuse the two, though.

    Or, to get back to physics? Not.Even.Wrong, per Pauli.

    Anyway, what you said about QM may be true in a sense, but? Even it isn’t true, at bottom line, re my analogy. The “wind up the universe” god didn’t distinguish between subatomic and macro issue. It was simply “wind up the universe.”

    Nice try.

  19. dL dL February 10, 2022

    And, since Smith’s invisible hand, allegedly rational markets,

    SG, allegedly you’ve read The Theory of Moral Sentiments and The Wealth of Nations. But I don’t think so. The term “invisible hand” appears in both volumes exactly once. In TTMS, empathy, not reason, was the foundation of moral sentiment. In TWoN, self-interested social organization would lead to labor specialization, which is unequivocally true. However, later in the same book, Smith lamented that outcome, writing that a specialized division of labor would result in humans “becoming as stupid and ignorant as it is possible for a human creature to become.” Marx in part, derived his alienation of labor from Adam Smith.

    In terms of this Enlightenment Deism business, Smith was from The Scottish tradition, which was its own separate version of the enlightenment. As you should know, from such a tradition emerged David Hume. Long before Quantum Mechanics or Chaos Theory, Hume eviscerated reason, cause and effect, essentially the entire paradigm of Newtonian Mechanics. It was left to Kant to try to save it all by repositioning reason and casualty as mental constructs to make sense of the world. Philosophy 101.

    Lastly, the “marketplace of ideas” is the toleration of free speech on the grounds that truth or the best ideas will eventually win it. I dunno. For the longest time, it seems TMoI often rewards the worst. I never really bought that. My principle is that free speech is tolerated on the grounds that people want to speak, along with a categorical rejections of any Ministry of Truth authority.

    What this all has to do with Rogan and Neil Young, I don’t have a clue. I can guess, though, that somewhere Tipper Gore and the PMRC are smiling.

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