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Opinion
Tyler Cowen

There Are No Heroes in the Neil Young-Spotify Saga

None of the parties in the dust-up over Joe Rogan’s podcast can claim to be defending free speech.

Not so heoric.

Not so heoric.

Photographer:  Alice Chiche /AFP/Getty Images

The debates over cancel culture are reaching new heights of absurdity. Consider the decisions of musical icons Neil Young and Joni Mitchell to remove their songs from Spotify. Critics have contended that the Joe Rogan podcast, hosted by Spotify, promotes vaccine-skeptical guests and boosts the spread of misinformation about Covid-19.

Neil Young let it be known that Spotify had to choose between him and Rogan. Not surprisingly, Spotify, which invested $100 million in a relationship with Joe Rogan in 2020, was willing to let Young go. Rogan’s podcast, after all, is the most popular podcast of all time.