Today’s MOZEN: Integrity Is Never Out of Style
As a longtime journalist, but not a Constitutional scholar, I would like to share with you my working interpretation of the 1st Amendment, a.k.a. The Right to Free Speech, particularly as it relates to the current Spotify imbroglio involving Joe Rogan, Neil Young, and now Joni Mitchell.
As you may know, Neil Young, a legendary performer who’s prime was in the 1970’s, challenged the music streaming source Spotify to either remove his music catalogue or Joe Rogan’s program, Spotify’s #1 internationally rated show with millions of listeners.
It seems that Mr. Young took exception to Mr. Rogan’s continued anti-vax, anti-science rhetoric that forms the foundation for his program, especially lately.
Spotify agreed to Young’s request and removed his music instead of Rogan’s program, again citing their so-called protection of the 1st Amendment. (I’m sure that it had nothing to due with the multi-million $ contract Rogan recently signed with them). Joni Mitchell, recently honored by the Kennedy Center for her music soon followed Young in support and had her music removed as well.
First, and foremost, I am a HUGE supporter of the 1st Amendment. I have been personally attacked for my use of it. But I will not back down.
However, even with that said, there ARE LIMITS to it!
You cannot make public statements that are knowingly, willfully false that may cause harm to others. IN OTHER WORDS, you can’t yell FIRE in a crowded theater, causing a stampede, when you KNOW there is no fire!
Now, as this relates to Rogan, Young, Spotify, et al: Rogan may be able to defend himself by saying he believes in that anti-vax/anti-science nonsense. However, Spotify CANNOT! They have an editorial board that is responsible for weeding out those who claim fire when there is none. And, this, obviously is just such a case.
So, no, they cannot claim Freedom of Speech!
But, then again, this seems to be a trend — a dearth of ethics, morals, and scruples through virtually every aspect of our society. There are those who totally miss the point by mocking what they see as a lack of relevance to Mr. Young and Ms. Mitchell — like that should make a difference.
Well, shame on those who do — because INTEGRITY never goes out of style.