Spin Founder Robert Guccione Jr Defends Jann Wenner’s 'Right To Be Wrong'

21 September 2023 | 10:05 am | Mary Varvaris

Robert Guccione Jr. argues that Wenner is entitled to his own opinion following recent controversy surrounding the Rolling Stone founder.

Robert Guccione Jr & Jann Wenner

Robert Guccione Jr & Jann Wenner (Source: YouTube)

The founder of Spin magazine, Robert Guccione Jr, has come to the defence of another founder of a magazine, Rolling Stone’s Jann Wenner, with an op-ed under the Spin masthead.

Publishing the lengthy essay, Free Speech: In Defence of Jann Wenner, Guccione Jr. argued that Wenner’s comments in a New York Times interview were harmless and “clumsy”.

Wenner recently came under fire after a recent interview with The New York Times was published. Promoting his new book, The Masters, Wenner was asked to address the seven white men who make up the interview subjects in his new book: Bruce Springsteen, Mick Jagger, Bono, Bob Dylan, Jerry Garcia, John Lennon, and Pete Townshend.

Defending the lack of diversity in The Masters, Wenner argued that Black artists and women in music “just didn’t articulate at the level” compared to the white men interviewed in his book.

“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,” Guccione Jr. declared in his Spin op-ed. “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.”

While he added that “of course Jann is factually wrong” to make the statements he did to The New York Times, Guccione Jr said that Wenner had never interviewed the likes of Sinéad O'Connor or Tori Amos or Killer Mike, so, therefore, he didn’t realise how intelligent other artists are and how enthralling their options can be on rock music, Guccione Jr believes that Wenner is entitled to his opinion.

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Guccione Jr. also writes in the subheading, “If you believe in free speech, you have to defend his right to be wrong”, forgetting that freedom of speech doesn’t equal freedom of consequences when using harmful language.

Throughout the article – which isn’t all about Wenner – Guccione Jr. attacks American liberals and cancel culture and goes on a bizarre tirade that, for some reason, includes transgender children in an argument that has nothing to do with trans people.

In her piece entitled How Not To Be An Arsehole When Doing Music History, The Music’s Liz Giuffre wrote that Wenner’s attitude of ‘telling it like it is’ or ‘just talking about merit’ reinforces inequality and stereotypes.

Giuffre wrote, “Music, and the arts in general, make life worth living. But they also still exist in value systems, which means that some people’s stories get told more often and more easily than others. If you have benefited from that before you don’t have to go away or delete all your files, but also understand we all benefit if we expand our history rather than tearing each other apart to only fight over scraps.”