TL;DR: Comedian Joe Rogan drew heavy criticism from his listeners and viewers over a recent interview with Twitter, Square, and Cash App’s head Jack Dorsey. The otherwise fearless host, arguably of the most popular show of its kind, appeared to serve up soft questions of Dorsey, allowing him to control much of the conversation rather than respond to claims of selective censorship. Still others found the pair’s discussion of bitcoin and Dorsey’s Cash App to be less than forthcoming, as it seemed to critics more of a commercial rather than fully disclosing terms of sponsoring Rogan’s podcast. Normally highly rated, that episode of The Joe Rogan Experience has been downvoted 61,000 times compared to only 9,000 upvotes on YouTube — a ratio so bad, it compelled Rogan to apologize on his latest episode.
Joe Rogan Apologizes to Listeners and Viewers
Rogan was clearly shook by reaction to his interview with Jack Dorsey, head of Twitter, Cash App, and Square. Acknowledging “poor prior planning on my part” and that he “fucked up,” Rogan apologized during the first segment of Joe Rogan Experience #1238 – Brian Redban. Redban is a former show sidekick who often returns for appearances to allow Rogan a bit of freestyle on general topics in lieu of a featured guest.
For much of the apology, Rogan attempted to give context. He praised Dorsey for openness to even discussing criticism of Twitter, and reviewed what he believed were the interview’s positives. It was “encouraging,” Rogan explained, that someone in Dorsey’s position claimed access to such platforms was “a right.”
The comedian has long flirted with what are considered in the US to be more right-leaning politics, from firearms to political correctness. He’s come under fire from left-leaning groups who accused him of hiding an agenda, something Rogan has denied multiple times. Instead he believes himself to be mostly “on the left,” with a smattering of right-wing views. Rogan believes it was his right-ish viewers and listeners who took greatest offense at the Dorsey episode, as they believe they’ve been hit hardest by Twitter policies on speech. The apology episode clip has a slightly more positive upvote ratio as of publication, but didn’t seem to slow the controversy if the comment section is any indication.
Alex Jones Claims Rogan Has Contract for $300,000 per Month with Cash App
“That’s another thing Alex Jones brought up today,” Rogan admitted in another clip from the apology episode, when an off-camera co-host, Jamie, mentioned Dorsey was a busy guy, operating multiple companies besides Twitter. “He sponsors the podcast through the Cash App, which he also runs. That’s one hundred percent true,” Rogan admitted. He then frowned and insisted, “I think we talked about it on the podcast, talked about the Cash App being a sponsor, and how its helped Justin Wren’s fight for the forgotten charity. So, Alex Jones erroneously said that I didn’t mention it, but we did mention it. It’s worth mentioning.”
Jones posted shortly after the Dorsey episode, with the headline, “WORLD SHOCKED BY JOE ROGAN’S & JACK DORSEY’S BETRAYAL OF AMERICA: Find out how Rogan became another talking head of the establishment.” Jones was unnerved and then turned rabid, accusing Rogan of being disloyal and “dark.” Jones insisted Rogan has been co-opted by powerful forces, and at least partial evidence comes in the form of a Cash App sponsorship. Jones said “word” was Rogan receives $300,000 a month from Dorsey’s company, describing Rogan as “on the payroll.”
CoinSpice found the Joe Rogan Experience Podcast Sponsors & Promo Codes page to have been updated 4 February 2019, and it includes a reference to Cash App. Terms of the deal are not disclosed, and readers could be led to believe the arrangement is as much philanthropic as it is commercial in nature. “Download the Cash App and enter the referral code JOEROGAN to receive $5 for FREE,” the note urges. “The Cash App will also donate $5 to Justin Wren’s Fight for the Forgotten charity and give $5 towards the medical bills for the son of UFC fighter Ray Borg.”
Whatever its true nature, one thing most listeners and viewers seemed to agree upon is that an opportunity was lost during the episode. In the case of Cash App, enthusiasts have wondered aloud why Rogan didn’t delve into the software’s purpose. It only allows for buying and selling of BTC (which Rogan asked about; Dorsey has no interest at present in other crypto), and it does not act as “cash” at all — it cannot send and receive in the manner some users might have wanted, dealing with merchants and so forth, and it doesn’t allow for private key management (particularly topical with recent exchange scandals). Rogan did explain Dorsey agreed to return for another interview, and this time would bring along a team member better informed. Viewers and listeners are also hoping Rogan will do some basic homework as well before that show.
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