(Headline USA) Jann Wenner, who co-founded Rolling Stone magazine and also was a co-founder of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, has been removed from the hall’s board of directors after making disparaging comments toward black and female musicians. He apologized within hours.
“Jann Wenner has been removed from the Board of Directors of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation,” the hall said Saturday, a day after Wenner’s comments were published in a New York Times interview.
Wenner created a firestorm doing publicity for his new book The Masters, which features interviews with musicians Bob Dylan, Jerry Garcia, Mick Jagger, John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, Pete Townshend and U2’s Bono—all white and male.
Notably, all of the featured performers are also woke liberals—some of them notoriously insufferable for their socialist virtue-signaling—and it excludes more conservative counterparts such as Eric Clapton and Van Morrison, both equally distinguished in the classic rock genre as those listed.
However, it was a more superficial oversight that succeeded in getting Wenner canceled by the leftist though police—ironically so, given his and his magazine’s own troubled history of being on the accusatory end of such spurious identity-politics attacks in recent year.
Asked why he didn’t interview women or black musicians, Wenner responded: “It’s not that they’re inarticulate, although, go have a deep conversation with [Jefferson Airplane’s] Grace Slick or Janis Joplin. Please, be my guest. You know, Joni [Mitchell] was not a philosopher of rock ’n’ roll. She didn’t, in my mind, meet that test,” he told the Times.
“Of black artists—you know, Stevie Wonder, genius, right?” Wenner continued sarcastically.
“I suppose when you use a word as broad as ‘masters,’ the fault is using that word,” he continued. “Maybe Marvin Gaye, or Curtis Mayfield? I mean, they just didn’t articulate at that level,” Wenner said.
Late Saturday, Wenner apologized through his publisher, Little, Brown and Company, saying: “In my interview with The New York Times I made comments that diminished the contributions, genius and impact of [b]lack and women artists and I apologize wholeheartedly for those remarks.”
He added: “I totally understand the inflammatory nature and badly chosen words and deeply apologize and accept the consequences.”
Wenner co-founded Rolling Stone in 1967 and served as its editor or editorial director until 2019. He also co-founded the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, which was launched in 1987.
In the interview, Wenner seemed to acknowledge he would face a backlash.
“Just for public relations sake, maybe I should have gone and found one black and one woman artist to include here that didn’t measure up to that same historical standard, just to avert this kind of criticism,” he said.
Last year, Rolling Stone magazine published yet another iternation of its its “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” and ranked Gaye’s “What’s Going On” No. 1, “Blue” by Mitchell at No. 3, Wonder’s “Songs in the Key of Life” at No. 4, “Purple Rain” by Prince and the Revolution at No. 8 and Lauryn Hill’s “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” at No. 10.
Rolling Stone’s niche in magazines was an outgrowth of Wenner’s outsized interests, a mixture of authoritative music and cultural coverage with tough investigative reporting.
However, it has since become a parody of its former self, with some even suggesting that the subversive counterculture magazine has been infiltrated by the CIA, with journalists being fed official government propaganda as part of its “Operation Mockingbird” effort to manipulate public opinion through media without technically violating the First Amendment.
Rolling Stone is known to have colluded with the Obama Justice Department in what amounted to one of its most humiliating moments to date—the publication of a 2014 rape hoax falsely accusing a fraternity at the University of Virginia of participating in a gang rape while also libeling an administrator at the school, who received a $3 million settlement afterward.
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press