Joe Rogan isn’t a journalist, but he knows a Fake News story when he sees one.
It helps that the latest journalistic gaffe targeted the Spotify superstar personally.
Last week we learned Rogan, 54, had contracted COVID-19. He made the diagnosis public, but within days he was sharing his negative test results for all to see.
Rogan took a flurry of medications, including Z-Pak, prednisolone and ivermectin. Media outlets sprang into action, saying Rogan had taken a “horse dewormer” medication, ivermectin, against the conventional medical wisdom.
The podcaster brought up the matter on his popular podcast, outraged at how many news outlets misinterpreted what he said.
“Bro, do I have to sue CNN? … They’re making s*** up. They keep saying I’m taking horse dewormer. I literally got [ivermectin] from a doctor. It’s an American company. They won the Nobel Prize in 2015 for use in human beings and CNN is saying I’m taking horse dewormer. They must know that’s a lie.”
Dr. Drew Pinsky isn’t sold on ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment. Government bodies do not recommend it for that purpose, either, although a person’s doctor has the ultimate say on the matter. The World Health Organization said in March that ivermectin should be reserved for medical trials related to COVID-19.
No one should self-medicate themselves with any treatment, of course.
Either way, ignoring ivermectin’s full range of benefits (including animal applications) by dubbing it a “horse dewormer” is not giving consumers the full story on the medication.
Rogan singled out CNN again during his rant.
“CNN was saying that I’m a distributor of misinformation,” he said.
Did journalists rouse a sleeping giant?
Rogan, for better and possibly worse, is one of the most influential voices in pop culture. His show bounces from weed benefits one week to discussing global pandemics the next. “The Joe Rogan Experience” lets experts weigh in on many subjects, sometimes probing topics the media doesn’t want them to probe.
He even says what millions of Americans think about our current Commander in Chief. Joe Biden isn’t mentally fit to lead the nation.
All of the above put a progressive target on Rogan’s back, even though he’s the furthest thing from a rock-ribbed conservative. He leans to the Left, if at all, but his willingness to debate any topic with anyone plants him firmly on the Right side of free speech.
It’s partly why the media misinterpreted his COVID-19 treatment for all to see. “Comedians” similarly attacked Rogan, who bounced back from the illness and now feels fine.
So what happens next?
Will Rogan move on to other subjects? That’s likely given his intellectual curiosity. He rarely focuses on one subject for long, but he does return to some that match his interests. Think pot, MMA fighting and psychedelics.
The media may still rue the day it picked this particular fight with Rogan.
Many conservatives, and a smattering of honest liberals like Glenn Greenwald and Matt Taibbi, have spent months hammering the press for its extreme bias. When an independent-minded soul sees a Ben Shapiro or Glenn Beck deconstructing said bias they may dismiss it due to their conservative bona fides.
Rogan lacks that kind of labeling.
He’s a podcaster, first and foremost, not a member of the Left or Right. So when he says something, and means it, chances are audiences will trust him over a performer with a pre-existing set of beliefs.
That’s not to besmirch Shapiro or Beck, both of whom accurately detail journalism’s tragic decline. It’s just how a select group of Americans view them.
Rogan could have a seismic impact on the culture if he takes up arms against Fake News, a scourge on our nation. Imagine how many people would realize the depth of media bias if Rogan began calling it out on a regular basis?
He could start here:
We’ve got to talk about the Rolling Stone invermectin article. Turns out the story about rural hospitals so flooded with ODs that they couldn’t treat other patients was made up, entirely invented.
A lot of people took the bait, and I’ve got the screenshots.⤵️
— Drew Holden (@DrewHolden360) September 5, 2021
It’s doubtful Rogan will carry through on his threat to sue CNN. Such a suit would be difficult to win, take an enormous amount of time and cost him a pretty penny.
He might be far more effective, though, turning part of his popular podcast over to debunking the next Fake News item. Chances are reporters will give him plenty of material.