John Oliver will be back on your TV with Last Week Tonight‘s Season 9 premiere that airs on February 20. It’s been a long wait for those of us who appreciate the show’s particular brand of satirical humor, and the writers surely have no shortage of material upon which to give their takes. Speaking of “takes,” Oliver straight-up described his response (while speaking with USA Today) to the Joe Rogan/Spotify mess as a “punchy hot take,” and that demands a certain respect of the self awareness at hand.
Because obviously, you and I can joke about giving a hot take while tweeting a hot take, but we don’t have the same twinkle in our eye and the “mongrel” (his word) permutation of a British accent going on while doing so. And after seemingly everyone else on topical TV has weighed in on Rogan’s habit of casually dropping misinformation to his millions of viewers (as part of his reported $200 million contract), people would like to know what Oliver thinks as his hiatus comes to an end, so here’s what he told USA Today:
“It feels like they’re reckoning with the line between what a platform and a publisher is. Previously, (Spotify was) a platform. But when you employ (Rogan) and you make his show for him, that line between publishing and platform gets blurry, so now you’re accountable in a very different way than you were before.
“Secondly, it’s clearly not just (about) Rogan. There is a much broader problem of people confidently passing on (malarkey) whether they know it’s (malarkey) or not, and whether they intend to misinform or they actually misinform, at some point it doesn’t really matter, right? The consequence is the same. There’s a punchy hot take for you.”
Fair enough, and Oliver makes a fine point about how people often talk without thinking (or simply claiming to “do my own research” without doing any research at all) and don’t really care that they are spread erroneous information to others. And that’s kind-of the vibe that Rogan emitted during his initial apology after Spotify put a “content advisory” on his podcast episodes. At the time, he described his podcast as something that “started off is just f*cking around with my friends.” And all he wanted to do is “just talk to people and have interesting conversations.” Somewhere along the way, though, Rogan stacked up millions upon millions of listeners, and that, of course begs for accountability with what what he’s describing as simply having fun with friends. If it’s really all about fun, maybe stop talking about Covid altogether.
(Via USA Today)