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February 14, 2022

Jackson and Rogan: A Deep Double Standard

The King of Pop is still remarkably popular, while the King of the Podcast is under attack.

We hear a lot about “white privilege” these days, but let’s be honest: There’s also such a thing as black privilege. Affirmative action — wherein blacks are given preferential treatment in college admissions, hiring practices, and government contracting — is its most obvious manifestation. But it’s not the only one.

Imagine, for example, if there were overwhelming evidence, built up over the course of decades, that Elvis Presley was a child molester. In light of such a sickening revelation, it’s hard to imagine that his music would’ve survived. Same with Frank Sinatra. And yet the third member of that three-man pantheon of greatest American male vocalists was indeed a pedophile — and his music is everywhere.

We’re speaking, of course, about Michael Jackson, whose “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” was being blared over the P.A. system during a third-quarter timeout at yesterday’s Super Bowl. Jackson’s talent as a pure performer was unparalleled. He couldn’t read or write music, and he wasn’t an accomplished musician. Despite this, Jackson’s 350 million records sold ranks him second only to The King’s 500 million, and more than 27 million monthly listeners stream his music on Spotify.

That’s some impressive staying power for an entertainer who’s been dead nearly 13 years — and especially for one who slept with little boys.

Anyone inclined to defend Jackson need only consider this timeline of a quarter-century of sexual abuse allegations, or sit through a deeply disturbing 2019 HBO documentary that graphically detailed Jackson’s abuse of Wade Robson and James Safechuck. As National Review’s Kyle Smith writes, “Fair warning for those curious about exactly what Michael Jackson did to little boys: The two-part, four-hour documentary 'Leaving Neverland’ goes into gruesome, nauseating, nightmarish detail about the King of Pop’s depredations.”

Somehow, though, that damning documentary didn’t cause Jackson’s cancelation. In fact, Jackson’s sins are being whitewashed by a new Broadway show called “MJ,” which honors the performer’s stage and studio legacy while all but ignoring his pedophilia. As Smith writes: “Like Bill Cosby, Jackson was a generational talent who nevertheless committed heinous acts that should have led to his spending the bulk of his adult life in prison. Yet Cosby and Jackson’s legacies are heading in very different directions today.”

We suppose Jackson’s crimes could’ve been worse, though. Rather than preying sexually upon children for decades, podcaster and entertainer Joe Rogan committed the unpardonable sins of having said Ivermectin made him “feel great” after he’d gotten COVID; and having invited controversial guests onto his podcast, including a brilliant scientist, Dr. Robert Malone, who stood up to Big Pharma and raised compelling questions about the safety of the COVID vaccines; and having accurately quoted others who’d used the N-word.

Crimes such as these, according to the Left, are grounds for cancelation — and certainly for getting kicked off of Spotify. Just ask has-been hypocritical hippie rockers like Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Nils Lofgren, and Peter Frampton, who clearly have no problem sharing the Spotify platform with artists who routinely demean and disparage women, and who advocate violence against cops and Republican presidents, among others.

But back to Jackson and his seeming immunity from cancellation: Is it his blackness? His closet homosexuality? A combination of the two? We think so. These, after all, are among the Left’s most ardently protected classes. Jackson belongs to both; Bill Cosby belongs to just one; Joe Rogan belongs to neither.

Thus, Jackson got away with his sex crimes, while Cosby was eventually held accountable for his, and Rogan can’t even get away with promoting free speech.

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