I honestly agree with a lot of what you said, but I think the highlighted part of your comment is where our perspectives diverge the most.
I do see what you’re saying about impressionable listeners. Totally fair point. But in my dealings w/ Rogan fans online, I tend to find that the alt-righters who count themselves among his listeners only started gravitating towards him after he began interviewing their favorite alt-right figures. And I’ve seen them mock Rogan often enough (usually for being too agreeable w/ his more liberal guests or something along those lines) to confidently say that they only hang around because he’s willing to acknowledge them, not because he’s responsible for introducing them to the alt-right.
To be honest, if that weren’t the case, I’d still be really uncomfortable calling him a “gateway” to extremism. To me, that would be like calling a library a gateway to Nazism because it sells copies of Mein Keimpf. That comparison probably sounds like a bit of a stretch, but I sincerely don’t think it’s a very long leap from “interviewers shouldn’t talk to controversial people because it might influence someone in a negative way” to “libraries shouldn’t sell controversial books because they might influence someone in a negative way.” There’s no way I’d ever support the latter, which is why I also don’t support the former. But discouraging Rogan from interviewing right-wing figures (not just alt-righters, but regular conservatives as well) seems to be the goal of at least some of the people who have made the “gateway” accusation, and that’s something that I think needs to be factored into the discussion.
For what it’s worth, I do totally agree with you about Milo, and also about the “toxic masculinity” thing. I’m not a big fan of that term myself, but I do recognize the difference between progressives who are anti-toxic masculinity and those who are more anti-traditional masculinity. For one reason or another, Rogan just hasn’t been able to process that distinction.
Also, just wanted to say thank you to you as well for the civil dissent. I always appreciate some healthy disagreement. :)