Washington Post columnist Margaret Sullivan was slammed on Sunday for using the death of a former colleague of hers to call for censoring Joe Rogan on Spotify.
Sullivan claimed that Rogan’s statement last week about interviewing individuals that have questioned mainstream narratives about the pandemic “made her furious” because she was “spending a lot of time this week thinking about Miguel Rodriguez [later referred to as ‘Miggy’], a former colleague of mine, who died of covid last week.”
Sullivan later added:
He was overweight and asthmatic; in other words, very much at risk. And he was unvaccinated.
I don’t know for sure whether getting vaccination and booster shots would have saved Miggy’s life. And I have no idea whether he had ever listened to Joe Rogan’s podcast, or what his precise reasons were for not being vaccinated.
Sullivan said that Spotify needed to effectively recognize that it is a “publisher” so that it could “make decisions about what’s appropriate” to publish. Sullivan claimed without evidence that many of the 900,000 American deaths from COVID-19 could have been “prevented if it weren’t for the rampant misinformation that has discouraged so many from getting vaccines and taking other steps to protect themselves.”
Sullivan was widely condemned online for seemingly using her former colleague’s death to push for censoring Rogan.
Notable responses included:
- John Nolte, Breitbart: “Margaret Sullivan is a typical condescending racist who doesn’t believe black people have minds of their own and are easily manipulated.”
- Bethany Mandel, political commentator: “There were no editors on duty?”
- Dana Loesch, radio host: “Blaming your friend’s death on a podcast you admit he may not have listened to doesn’t sound like grief, it sounds like convenient exploitation.”
- Liz Wolfe, Reason: “It’s obviously incredibly disrespectful of Sullivan to trot out a colleague’s death like this, but that grossness aside…at what point do we say: People have made their choices. They’re not mindlessly manipulated by Rogan, they have access to ALL kinds of information out there.”
- Shant Mesrobian, political commentator: “Using the death of a colleague to write a completely unrelated and cynical hit piece on a media figure you don’t like is a pretty good way to understand how rotten the souls are of the people who work in failing legacy media.”
- Luke Thompson, political strategist: “A self-respecting profession would shun fellow journalists who attack the culture of tolerance necessary to sustain the First Amendment. Journalism is not such a profession.”
- Steve Krakauer, political commentator: “What a morally bankrupt column… co-opting the death of a ‘beloved’ colleague to spread pro-censorship misinformation – because if he HAD listened to Joe Rogan, he’s have been urged to get vaccinated, as Rogan has said many times for someone who is ‘overweight and asthmatic.’”
- Javier E. David, Yahoo News: “Imagine thinking this was a good way to honor a colleague. Shameful.”
- Jon Gabriel, Ricochet: “My friend died of cancer. I don’t know if he ever read Margaret Sullivan but…”
- Dan Gainor, NewsBusters: “It’s shocking that a major news outlet ran this piece of crap. Losing people we love makes us want to lash out sometimes. But this is inexcusably bad.”
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