Monday, June 07, 2021

What Exactly Was Incorrect About Joe Rogan's Comment On mRNA Jab Policy?

mises |  Recently, Joe Rogan, one of the largest podcast hosts in the United States (10.6 million YouTube subscribers), expressed the following opinion about the vaccination of young adults:

If you are 21 and ask me if you should get the vaccine, I would say "no". If you are a healthy person and exercise all the time, and are young and eat well, I don't think you have to worry about this.

This comment created a furor in the United States, where the government's target is vaccination of the entire adult population. For these few sentences he received a sharp reprimand from the White House and Dr. Fauci, who accused Rogan of being selfish and endangering vulnerable members of society. 

In reality, the real question is not whether Joe Rogan was right or wrong in saying what he said. Criticism of a citizen by the US government is disturbing regardless of the comments that were made. What about freedom of speech when the state criticizes an individual's speech? 

The protection of freedom of speech and of the press in the USA is among the strongest that exists. The First Amendment to the Constitution in theory offers extremely robust protection with its famous words: "Congress will not make any law curtailing freedom of speech, or of the press."

But this implies that it is not unconstitutional for the authorities to publicly judge the speech of its citizens, such as Rogan. As reported by Glenn Greenwald, this represents in practice a government control of speech. He quotes a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) commissioner who notes that:

Politicians have realized that they can silence the speech of those with different political viewpoints by public bullying.

For politically "sensitive" subjects, authorities do not accept deviations from their official story. This deleterious situation has existed since long before the pandemic. Today, it is about vaccine policy, but yesterday, about the war on terrorism, about Russiagate, about the corruption of Joe Biden, and many other topics.

 

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