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Daniel Ek: Too Early to Know if Joe Rogan Controversy Will Impact Spotify

Ek spoke to employees, some of whom reportedly pressed him on why the company continues to allow Rogan to host shows that indulge in anti-vaccine/mandate rhetoric. 

Ryan Hedrick

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Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

The controversy at Spotify involving Joe Rogan disseminating alleged COVID misinformation was addressed this week by CEO Daniel Ek

Ek hosted a town hall event where he spoke to employees, some of whom reportedly pressed Ek on why the company continues to allow Rogan to host shows that indulge in anti-vaccine/mandate rhetoric. 

“If we want even a shot at achieving our bold ambitions, it will mean having content on Spotify that many of us may not be proud to be associated with,” he said. “Not anything goes, but there will be opinions, ideas, and beliefs that we disagree with strongly and even makes us angry or sad.”

Ek also addressed investors. He said the company saw a double-digit increase in the number of monthly active users that listened to a podcast during Q4 compared to the prior quarter.

This week, Spotify also revealed that it was going to start placing advisory labels on podcasts that contained content related to the pandemic. Ek shouldered the blame for not acting on this type of thing, sooner. 

“We should have done it earlier, and that’s on me,” he said. “We don’t change our policies based on one creator nor do we change it based on any media cycle,” Ek said. “And while Joe has a massive audience, he’s actually the No. 1 podcast in more than 90 markets, he also has to abide by those policies.”

Elk said as far as the Rogan-COVID misinformation controversy that has ensnared the company, it’s too early to tell whether this past week’s event will have an impact on subscribers.  

“It’s too early to know what the impact will be,” Ek said. “Usually, when we’ve had controversies in the past, those are measured in months and not days.”

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Rachel Maddow Releasing New Podcast Series

Rachel Maddow Presents: Ultra is the all-but-forgotten true story of good, old-fashioned American extremism getting supercharged by proximity to power.”

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A new podcast is coming soon from MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.

Deadline reports Rachel Maddow Presents: Ultra will premiere two episodes on October 10th, with new episodes being released every Monday. In a teaser of the podcast, Maddow explains the series is “an American story.”

MSNBC described the series as a podcast featured on “sitting members of Congress aiding and abetting a plot to overthrow the government. Insurrectionists criminally charged with plotting to end American democracy for good. Justice Department prosecutors under crushing political pressure. Rachel Maddow Presents: Ultra is the all-but-forgotten true story of good, old-fashioned American extremism getting supercharged by proximity to power. When extremist elected officials get caught plotting against America with the violent ultra right, this is the story of the lengths they will go to… to cover their tracks.”

Under a new contract with NBCUniversal that saw Maddow scale back her nightly MSNBC program to Mondays only, she’s developing new projects like podcasts and documentaries. Alex Wagner now hosts the 9:00 PM ET primetime hour on MSNBC Tuesday to Friday.

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Keith Olbermann: American Journalism ‘Re-Invented’ During Trump Presidency

“The overwriting principle used to be: get a scoop, get in the paper or on the air as soon as possible because that’s your job, and that’s your only actual value to society as well.”

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During his Countdown with Keith Olbermann podcast Friday, the former cable news host slammed a recent opinion from Politico’s John Harris that Americans need more journalists like Maggie Haberman, among others.

Olbermann has been critical of Haberman’s decision to withhold important facts in relation to the former President Donald Trump and save them for her upcoming book rather than report them in The New York Times.

“What Harris does not understand is American ‘journalism’ did re-invent itself,” Olbermann said. “The overwriting principle used to be: get a scoop, get in the paper or on the air as soon as possible because that’s your job, and that’s your only actual value to society as well. It is also — and I speak as somebody who broke a lot of sports news including the Wayne Gretzky trade and Michael Jordan’s first dalliance with a comeback — it is the joy of doing the journalism. You have the story, and nobody else does!”

He continued by saying Harris and Haberman believe the point of American journalism is not to inform the public but rather how much money you can make in the process.

Haberman’s book “Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America” is expected to hit bookshelves on Tuesday, October 4th.

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Andrew Cuomo Launches Action Committee, Podcast

Cuomo is joining his brother Chris in the news media world as the politician launches a political action committee and a podcast.

Eduardo Razo

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Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is joining his brother Chris in the news media world as the politician is launching a political action committee and a podcast. 

“I am starting a political action committee to elect the right people to office,” Cuomo said (h/t CNN). “We do not need more panderers. We need producers. We need people committed to fight for change and who get results.”

The video also featured familiar criticism of social media, which he has often blamed for fueling the backlash the led to his resignation, which effectively halted state lawmakers’ plans to impeach and remove him from office.

“It’s a Twitter mob, but the mob has power and many politicians and press are afraid to challenge it lest the mob turn on them,” Cuomo added. 

Cuomo’s podcast intends to dive into what he believes is the truth and how the platform will differ from what is already out there. 

“This forum will be different. My intention is to speak the full truth, unvarnished, from the inside out, frank and candid,” Cuomo said. 

“As a person who’s been in the room many times for many years and knows these people and knows their games, and as a person who actually did the job.”

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