Monday, May 16, 2022

Joe Rogan Responds To Spotify Boycotts & Accusations Of Misinformation

Joe Rogan has responded to the accusations of misinformation directed at his podcast after two music legends boycotted Spotify in protest.

Last week, Canadian music artist and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Neil Young told Spotify that they could either remove his music or the Joe Rogan Experience (JRE) podcast, which Young accused of presenting misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Shortly thereafter, Young’s longtime friend and fellow R&R Hall of Famer Joni Mitchell stood in solidarity with him and also decided to remove her music from Spotify.

The brunt of the criticism came after a pair of controversial medical experts appeared on the podcast. This resulted in over 200 individuals submitting an open letter to Spotify requesting for the streaming service to take action against Rogan’s podcast for allegedly spreading misinformation.

UFC President Dana White and Women’s Bantamweight Champion Julianna Peña are among the notable list of individuals who have come to Rogan’s defense against the wave of criticism. In White’s case, he claimed that Rogan was uncancelable; and Peña, who was a recent guess on JRE, did not understand what all the fuss was about for merely exchanging thoughts and opinions.

Joe Rogan Responds To Misinformation Accusations

Sunday, Rogan himself would address the backlash he is facing in a post to his Facebook page. Rogan’s impetus for releasing the video was to help straighten out the “distorted perception” of his podcast that may have been influenced by cherry-picked soundbites or “disparaging” headlines and articles about him.

“The podcast has been accused of spreading ‘dangerous misinformation,’ specifically two episodes—a little bit about some other ones but specifically about two—one with Dr. Peter McCullough and one with Dr. Malone,” Rogan began. “Dr. Peter McCullough is a cardiologist, and he is the most published physician in his field in history. Dr. Robert Malone owns nine patents on the creation of mRNA vaccine technology and is at least partially responsible for the creation of the technology that led to mRNA vaccines.

“Both these people are very highly credentialed, very intelligent, very accomplished people, and they have an opinion that’s different from the mainstream narrative. I wanted to hear what their opinion is. I had them on and because of that, those episodes in particular were labeled as being dangerous. They had ‘dangerous misinformation’ in them.

Joe Rogan
Joe Rogan, Credit: Getty Images

“The problem I have with the term ‘misinformation,’ especially today, is that many of the things that we thought of as misinformation just a short while ago are now accepted as fact. Like for instance, eight months ago if you said if you get vaccinated, you could still catch COVID and you could still spread COVID, you would be removed from social media. They would ban you from certain platforms. Now, that’s accepted as fact. If you said, ‘I don’t think cloth masks work,’ you would be banned from social media. Now, that’s openly and repeatedly stated on CNN. If you said, ‘I think it’s possible that COVID-19 came from a lab,’ you would be banned from many social media platforms. Now, that’s on the cover of Newsweek.

“All of those theories that at one point in time were banned were openly discussed by those two men that I had on my podcast that have been accused of dangerous misinformation. I do not know if they’re right. I don’t know because I’m not a doctor. I’m not a scientist. I’m just a person that sits down and talks to people and has conversations with them.”

Rogan cited multiple examples of medical professionals he’s had on as guests who offer a differing view from Malone and McCullough, such as Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Dr. Peter Hotez, and even Dr. Michael Osterholm, who has served on President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 panel.

Rogan also stated that he agrees with the recent disclaimer Spotify has added to Rogan’s podcast episodes that feature viewpoints that stray from the consensus regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. The disclaimer encourages listeners to speak with their physicians to learn more about COVID-19 and what treatment is best for them and issues a general warning regarding the content in the episodes.

Rogan went on to state that he does not claim to be infallible, but he is willing to correct himself when wrong and will continue having open conversations in pursuit of truth and a stronger understanding of the topics discussed.

“Do I get things wrong? Absolutely I get things wrong,” Rogan continued. “But I try to correct them. Whenever I get something wrong, I try to correct it because I’m interested in telling the truth. I’m interested in finding out what the truth is. And I’m interested in having interesting conversations with people that have differing opinions. I’m not interested in only talking to people that have one perspective.”

Joni Mitchell (left) & Neil Young (right) circa 1976

Rogan also expressed sadness at the Spotify boycott by Young and Mitchell, both of whom Rogan says he’s a big fan of. At the end of the video, Rogan even shared a story of working as a security guard at the age of 19 during a Neil Young concert, where he quit because of the chaos that ensued and drove back home singing along to Young’s classic “Rockin’ in the Free World.”

Moving forward, Rogan is open to ideas on how to improve his process as a podcast host, with one possibility being to have guests who have differing opinions on back-to-back episodes.

Rogan closed out the post thanking Spotify for their support and reflecting on how much his podcast has grown beyond his wildest expectations to the point where such massive controversies could even derive from it.

You can view Rogan’s full response below. (h/t Mindful Motivation)

What do you make of Joe Rogan’s response to the backlash against him and his podcast after the Spotify boycotts?

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