Andrew Yang, who has an even worse record of accomplishment in politics than Beto O’Rourke (It is possible. Beto has at least gone the distance on a race), can add Twitter failure to the list of his accomplishments on Wikipedia. With one adventurous tweet, he has made everyone mad at him. The 280-character mistake needs some backstory to understand its full glory.
Joe Rogan has been under attack lately. It began with a coordinated social media campaign directed at him to be removed from Spotify because he was accused of spreading COVID misinformation by interviewing some of the most credentialed health professionals in their fields. The CEO of Spotify came out and stated while putting a disclaimer on some of his podcast episodes.
Incredibly, the White House then came out and said that they felt that more could be done. Let us forget for a moment that the government is putting pressure on a private company to censor information contrary to the ever-moving goalposts of official COVID proclamations. Rogan issued an apology, and it seemed that the whole thing would blow over.
When it became apparent that the COVID attacks were not going to silence Rogan, on cue, a highly produced mash-up of Rogan using language that is currently verboten for people to say in polite society dropped onto the social scene, Rogan issued another apology, but this attack had legs.
Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock, a large man who can raise one eyebrow and get paid for it, withdrew his support publicly from Rogan. It is unclear what The Rock’s support gets you, but the entire internet erupted in people taking sides for some reason. The ensuing Twitter war conveniently pulled focus from the Freedom Convoys popping up worldwide, and all sorts of people began weighing in.
Our friend Andrew Yang came in, saying he did not think Joe Rogan was a racist because he worked with many African American people. A better argument would have been that there are thousands and thousands of hours of recordings of Joe Rogan being a comedian saying crazy things. It does not appear to me he has any ill intent toward any race, taking everything in context, but I digress. Mr. Yang’s former liberal base destroyed him on Twitter (he is now an independent), both for his awkward argument and for supporting Rogan in general. He quickly deleted the tweet, doing nothing to quell the mob and losing the people who support Rogan. There was a downside to wading into the fray and exiting just as quickly. Mr. Yang will not be doing that again anytime soon.
Comedians are canaries in the coal mine. You do not have to like Mr. Rogan or what he said, but sometimes free speech means people get offended. Mr. Yang learned that you get heat no matter what side you pick. Instead of trying to read the tea leaves, you might choose the side you believe in.