In an interview published a few days ago, Rolling Stone co-founder Jann Wenner spoke about Black and female musicians, and his take was decidedly not beloved, to the point that Wenner later apologized. Not many people have gone to bat for Wenner in light of all this, but now Bob Guccione, Jr., founder of Spin magazine, has decided to in a new opinion piece shared today (September 20).
The piece starts, “I have always admired and respected Jann Wenner, and still do. Yes, I know what he said in the New York Times about Black and female musicians, and that a day later he was unceremoniously dumped from the Board of Directors of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, which he co-founded. But he’s entitled to his opinion, isn’t he?”
Guccione goes on to write about how while he believes the content of what Wenner said was wrong, but that the biggest issue here is the response to it:
“It’s inaccurate — and you can’t always say someone is wrong in their opinion, but in this case he’s empirically wrong — but all he’s really guilty of is expressing that opinion in clumsy language, if we’re being generous, or stupid, insensitive language if we’re not. Mostly he’s guilty of expressing a sentiment that is not politically correct. One that’s not part of the prescribed, sanctioned set of things you can say and think in America today. And that’s what horrifies me, sickens me. That’s the greatest danger, not his indelicate way of saying that he thinks only old white rock stars can properly explain rock ‘n roll.”
He later added, “We all talk about free speech a lot these days, but it’s a sham. What the most virulent, nauseatingly sanctimonious of the free speech woke folks want is freedom for their speech. Just their speech. They do not want freedom for any dissenting speech. That they want crushed, vaporized. And they want to punish anyone who has the temerity, or stupidity, or just plain bad luck to utter something not in sync with the One True Gospel of How Everyone Must Think and Act.”