CNN rewrote a headline after taking heat for an analysis piece that compared podcast host Joe Rogan’s use of the “n-word” to the January 6 riot on Capitol Hill and the Rwandan genocide.
Rogan has been under fire for several weeks, first because critics accused him of promoting “COVID-19 misinformation,” and then because 12-year-old video surfaced of the “Joe Rogan Experience” host using the “n-word” on his podcast.
And while plenty of left-leaning pundits and Democratic politicians attacked Rogan over his comments, CNN took things up a notch when the outlet published an analysis piece, written by John Blake and titled: “Joe Rogan’s use of the n-word is another January 6 moment.”
This is deadass a real thing CNN published. pic.twitter.com/CV35R69Ach
— Noam Blum (@neontaster) February 13, 2022
The article went on to compare Rogan’s statements to the January 6 riot on Capitol Hill — and the Rwandan genocide — arguing that “Rogan breached a civic norm that has held America together since World War II. It’s an unspoken agreement that we would never return to the kind of country we used to be. That agreement revolved around this simple rule: A White person would never be able to publicly use the n-word again and not pay a price. Rogan has so far paid no steep professional price for using a racial slur that’s been called the ‘nuclear bomb of racial epithets.’”
“But once we allow a White public figure to repeatedly use the foulest racial epithet in the English language without experiencing any form of punishment, we become a different country,” Blake argued, adding, “We accept the mainstreaming of a form of political violence that’s as dangerous as the January 6 attack.”
But as CNN took a barrage of backlash over the comparison, the headline was quietly edited to read: “Why shrugging off Joe Rogan’s use of the n-word is so dangerous.”
— Libs of Tik Tok (@libsoftiktok) February 13, 2022
CNN changes headline comparing Joe Rogan's use of N-word to Jan. 6 https://t.co/v4V03t6Bbp
— Fox News (@FoxNews) February 13, 2022
Joe Concha, Fox News contributor and media/political columnist at The Hill, called CNN’s original headline the “craptastic headline of the month,” arguing on Sunday morning’s broadcast of “Fox & Friends” that attacks like that were unlikely to damage Rogan in the least.
“They tried to crush Rush Limbaugh, they tried to crush Howard Stern when Howard Stern was Howard Stern and both became bigger as a result of the FCC getting involved or the media trying to take them down,” Concha continued, saying that Rogan was effectively “unstoppable” because even if Spotify did decide to drop him, Rumble was waiting to pick him up with a similar offer.
“Keep going with the headlines. You’re only helping him and no one is buying it,” he concluded. “CNN gets 500,000 viewers a day, maybe on average. And Joe Rogan’s averaging 11 million per day. I think that’s 20 times the audience or so. That’s all you need to know about the medium and where it’s going.”
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