It’s a big day for people who mistake criticism for censorship: Ex-Mumford & Sons banjoist Winston Marshall has started a new career as an insufferable conservative columnist, and in a piece for Bari Weiss’ Substack, he’s all in a tizzy over Neil Young and Joe Rogan.
Marshall had previously tweeted his way out of one of the most bankable bands in the world when he supported a dishonest book by right-wing provocateur Andy Ngo. The multi-instrumentalist was especially anxious about Antifa’s violence and “radical plan to destroy democracy,” despite the fact that this loose collection of protesters is overwhelmingly non-violent according to internal FBI assessments and protest-related court documents.
But now that the Antifa boogeyman has faded from the headlines — a development that coincides with former President Trump getting booted off Twitter — Marshall finds himself reaching for the fainting couch after music legend Neil Young declined to share a platform with The Joe Rogan Experience, the episodes of which were recently described by hundreds of scientists and healthcare professionals as COVID-19 “mass-misinformation events.”
Marshall’s new editorial is called “When Artists Become the Censors,” despite the fact that no censorship has taken place. Are Rogan’s rights being infringed? No; as Marshall himself admits, “Spotify is a private company; they’re under no obligation to platform anybody.” He adds that Young’s “campaign doesn’t breach Rogan’s First Amendment rights,” but instead insists, “it is a clear stand against the cultural norm of free speech.”