We have some extremely unfortunate news for people who like to get their profoundly misguided views directly from the sources: Spotify appears to have woken up from its bender, rubbed its bleary eyes, taken one look at the back catalogue of episodes of The Joe Rogan Experience, and said, “Wait a minute—that’s what we bought? Hoo boy, time to lay off the mezcal.”
Just a few months after the audio streaming service paid a reported $100 million for the exclusive rights to Rogan’s wildly popular podcast, the archived contents of the show have officially migrated to Spotify, and as EW reports, fans immediately noticed some glaring omissions in the historical record. Specifically, Rogan’s interviews with alt-right goons like Gavin McInnes, Milo Yiannopoulos, and Alex Jones have been scrubbed from the list of episodes available, though perhaps the last of those was simply due to Jones’ voice being indistinguishable from a bag of gravel being dragged across a copy of The Bell Curve.
The Joe Rogan Experience, for those unfamiliar, is sort of like the GOOP of podcasts, in that it has a habit of giving voice—and thereby tacitly granting the veneer of respectability—to snake-oil salesman and con men, though in this case the snake oil being sold is the sort of juvenile “how come there’s no white pride month?” intellectualism that comes from seventh graders who spent a little too much time with their racist grandparent. Rogan had previously said his entire back catalogue would remain available, though he may have simply failed to read some fine print which (we’re just speculating here) said that Spotify would ban the same personalities that have been banned from every other remotely credible social-media site for promoting racial hatred and conspiracy garbage.
To be fair, it’s possible there’s another reason for the missing episodes. After all, it seems unlikely that Rogan’s interviews with Nick Kroll and Tommy Chong—both of which have also disappeared—were pulled for promoting hatred, unless we’ve really been misreading Big Mouth and jokes about weed all this time. But those are outliers in what seems like a pretty straightforward scrubbing of racism and fraud from the archives. There’s certainly an argument to be made that by pulling these episodes, Spotify is whitewashing Rogan’s own history, a way of removing the guilt-by-association tag from the shiny new jewel in their podcasting empire; but then we remembered that McInnes mostly just promotes violence against people he doesn’t like with all the subtle wit of Jeff Dunham after being heavily sedated, and figured, hey, one less sentient confederate monument to have to pull down, right?