Is this the making of a bromance?
Comedian and “failsafe” podcaster Joe Rogan has hailed Elon Musk as a “superhero” advocate for free speech after the Tesla boss took over Twitter for $44 billion on Monday. Rogan praised the billionaire during a Tuesday episode of The Joe Rogan Experience with guest Jessica Kirson.
“Oh s–t, oh s–t, Elon Musk just bought Twitter,” gushed the former “Fear Factor” host, who has drawn backlash over his alleged anti-vaccination comments, among other controversies. “We have a superhero in the movie star cut. Like in a movie, and there was a guy who was like a hero in the movie who happens to be a billionaire who s–t wildly.
He added, “He builds his own rockets and digs under the city with electric cars and then buys Twitter.”
The comedian, who has had Musk on his show a whopping three times, was reacting to news that Twitter’s board of directors had accepted the entrepreneur’s massive offer to buy and privatize the company.
The 50-year-old SpaceX visionary, who will pay $54.20 a share for the company, has long said he wants to take over Twitter to restore the platform’s status as a bastion of free speech.
“Freedom of expression is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital marketplace where matters important to the future of humanity are debated,” Musk said in a statement.
The power play, however, divided Twitter users with right-wing figures who heaped praise on the perceived crusader of free speech. Meanwhile, left-leaning celebs who clung to beads threatened to leave the platform amid fears regime change would turn it into a hotbed of hate – although as of Wednesday morning most “Twitter quitter” accounts were still active.
Rogan found the acquisition “f – – king amazing” and added that the purchase was “vital” to a “functioning democracy”.
“We found out a few things about Twitter, and one of them [the] What they’re doing is shadow ban,” the Ultimate Fighting Championship commentator claimed, explaining that he believes the social media giant is deleting accounts for saying things “that he disagrees with.”
In fact, prominent conservative figures from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to political commentator Tucker Carlson have seen huge spikes in Twitter followers since Musk took over. Right-wing watchdogs doubt whether the phenomenon is due to the fact that the company released them from digital house arrest.
“[The Takeover] It’s going to change everything,” coaxed Rogan, who wondered “how quickly it’s going to happen in front of Donald Trump’s back.” However, the outspoken former US president insisted he won’t return to Twitter even if the ban against him is lifted, instead pledging to stick with his own “much better” Truth Social app, which launched in February and recently both hitting Twitter and TikTok in the Apple Store.
The buyout is perhaps particularly affecting for Rogan, who has been the target of an ongoing cancellation campaign that features a New Year’s Eve “JRE” episode with suspected anti-vaccinationist Dr. Robert Malone began. In it, Malone compared the current US health climate to Germany in the 1920s and 1930s when the Nazis came to power.
In response, A-list musicians from Joni Mitchell to Neil Young pulled their music from Spotify in a bid to get the platform to remove Rogan’s podcast juggernaut. Meanwhile, the Rogan watchdogs made headlines that same month after sharing clips of the comedian uttering the N-word numerous times on his podcast over the years.
Spotify has never endorsed the demolition campaigns, although it has ripped out over 100 episodes of the “Joe Rogan Experience,” some of which have starred well-known conservatives, far-right pundits or conspiracy theorists, including Proud Boys founders Gavin McInnes, Michael Malice and Alex Jones and Milo Yiannopoulos.
“Maybe Elon will buy TikTok next,” Rogan quipped during the recent podcast.