Podcasters of the World Unite

Jim Woods

Jim Woods has over 20 years of experience in the markets from working as a stockbroker, financial journalist, and money manager.

When a star player in your profession comes under attack, it behooves you to take a look at the reasons why, and to see if there is any “there,” there. I say that because if the biggest name in a given industry has come under fire for supposed wrongdoing, then you can bet that anyone in that industry will be subject to that same kind of scrutiny.

Such is the case with podcaster Joe Rogan, and his amazingly successful, entertaining, and educational podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience.” Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I am a fan of Joe Rogan. I think he is a brilliant stand-up comedian, an excellent analyst and commentator for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and he is hands-down the most accomplished podcaster in the world today. I also consider him a “Renaissance Man” in the true sense, as he has mastered a variety of different skills in multiple fields.

In fact, it’s undeniable that Joe Rogan is a huge reason why podcasts have become so popular in recent years. And admittedly, listening to Rogan’s casual, long-form conversations replete with interesting guests on all sorts of fascinating topics is in part what inspired me to create my own podcast, “Way of the Renaissance Man.”

So, what is the deal with Rogan and the controversy he’s currently mired in?

The recent hullabaloo began after a group of medical experts complained about Rogan “broadcasting misinformation, particularly regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.” The group of 270 experts penned an open letter addressed to the audio streaming service Spotify Technology S.A. (NYSE: SPOT), the streaming service that broadcasts “The Joe Rogan Experience,” condemning Rogan’s “platforming” of what they considered misinformation about the pandemic, the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines and the controversial scientists who don’t share the mainstream scientific opinion on these issues.

The controversy was exacerbated by rock legend Neil Young, as he offered up his own protest of Spotify and Rogan by threatening to pull his music off the site. “They can have Neil Young or Rogan. Not both,” said Young. Once again, in the interest of full disclosure, I am a huge Neil Young fan, and one of the best concerts I have ever attended was Young’s solo-acoustic show at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood a few years ago.

Moreover, I can totally understand Young’s stance on this issue. He is exercising his freedom of choice in the service of his ideas, and though you may not agree with those ideas, Neil Young has every right to do with his music what he chooses, including pull it from Spotify in protest.

Now, once again, I am going to admit something here to you, and say that I was actually bothered by Rogan’s focus on alternative scientific opinions when it comes to COVID-19, the vaccines and the platforming of dissenting voices. It’s not that I don’t think those voices should be heard, far from it. Instead, I think that with an issue of such crucial, life-and-death importance, such as how best to wage war on a global viral pandemic, one should make every effort to present all sides of an issue — including the mainstream side — so that individuals can make up their own minds.

Much to his credit, Rogan agreed with this sentiment, as he issued an apology to the public regarding the issue, saying, “I’m not trying to promote misinformation. I’m not trying to be controversial.” Rogan added, “I think if there’s anything that I’ve done, that I could do better is have more experts with differing opinions right after I have the controversial ones. I would most certainly be open to doing that.”

To me, that should have ended the controversy, as Rogan basically did what any rational, moral person should do in this instance, and that is recognize a possible mistake was made and pledge to correct that mistake. Or in special ops terms, Rogan took “extreme ownership” of the situation, and acted like a noble, honorable man.

Yet Rogan’s ownership of this situation wasn’t good enough for some. Instead, the smear merchants came out of their moral hovels and launched a hit campaign against the podcaster using the most grotesque canard one can hurl at a person, the accusation that Rogan is a racist.

Now, I don’t think this accusation deserves the dignity of me presenting the details of their lowly smear campaign, other than to say that it is obvious that Rogan’s use of the vilest racial epithet in American history was in the context of discussing how that racial epithet came to be so toxic, and how it is used in society today.

It’s also obvious that if someone, or some group, wants to decimate another person’s reputation, the easiest way to do so is to construct a racial straw man against them. Forget about the facts, or the context, or the details of one’s life. If you want to hurt a person, just paint them as a “racist.”

Yet the way I see it, if all you’ve got is to accuse someone of racism for discussing words and ideas openly, well, then that’s all you’ve got. And all you’ve got is pretty damn thin.

So, my advice to all of my fellow podcasters, podcast listeners, and readers of The Deep Woods is to rise up and unite in support of Joe Rogan. You may not like him, and you may not agree with his views or his choices. But to dismiss him based on the ugly accusation of racism is to be complicit in the crudest, most despicable, most anti-reason form of character assassination.


The ‘Red Pill’ of Real Estate featuring Dutch Mendenhall

What happens when you put two entrepreneurial Renaissance Men together in a recording studio?

You get a wide-ranging podcast that includes topics such as real estate investing, healthy eating habits, Chinese politics, technology, sensory deprivation tanks, capitalizing on history, gun rights, the psychology of foreclosures and a peek inside the unique RAD Diversified REIT.

Jim Woods and Dutch Mendenhall discuss real estate investing, capitalizing on history, and sensory deprivation tanks.

In this episode, I discuss all of these topics and much more with the very interesting Dutch Mendenhall, president of RAD Diversified.

You can read all about RAD Diversified and the company that Dutch built, and the investment opportunities in their unique real estate investment trust (REIT), in my new special report, “The Ultimate ‘Fixer Upper’ for Your Portfolio.”

If you want to get to know more about the man behind the RAD Diversified REIT, then this podcast is for you.


The Freedom to Offend  

“What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist.”

–Salman Rushdie

The brilliant writer knows all too well the real-world danger of anti-freedom ideologies, having famously had a bounty placed on his head by theocratic bullies for the “crime” of writing a novel. And though the Rushdie example is a disgustingly egregious instance of an attempt at censorship, any such attempts at censorship of ideas — whether those ideas are benign or controversial — is, in my view, a serious threat to freedom and human flourishing.

Wisdom about money, investing and life can be found anywhere. If you have a good quote that you’d like me to share with your fellow readers, send it to me, along with any comments, questions and suggestions you have about my newsletters, seminars or anything else. Click here to ask Jim.

In the name of the best within us,

Jim Woods

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