World famous podcast host and MMA commentator Joe Rogan yesterday released a YouTube clip from one of his latest podcast shows. In it he clarified his pandemic vaccine remarks. A moment where he related his personal experiences with his kids getting COVID and their cases being mild. A moment where he said it was safe to get vaccinated.
Maybe it was a mistake for Joe Rogan to trade in the visibility of YouTube for Spotify's exclusivity so quickly.
The closest thing to controversy Joe Rogan’s original statements got to was he remarked about how mild COVID tends to be for young people when they get it. It’s from there he gave his opinions about them needing to be vaccinated overall. There was no real "urging" or call to action on his part.
(For the record, a standard “Anti-Vax” person is much more unilaterally opposed to vaccines altogether.)
But that’s lost in the shuffle. Instead, Media Matters called it Joe Rogan “encouraging people” not to get the vaccine. The overall discussion in the clip focused on the politicized culture surrounding the vaccine right now. Point proven in the media rounds this story did thereafter.
Media Matters says “Spotify’s Joe Rogan” in the headline on purpose. Ever since moving to Spotify, Rogan has found himself backed in a corner. On one hand there are the outspoken employees who made a fuss about him joining the platform. Made worse by Spotify’s decision to remove up to 42 Joe Rogan Experience episodes from the site.
This isn’t the first time Media Matters has targeted Joe Rogan. A situation last September surrounding comments Rogan made about wildfires on the west coast caught their attention. Indeed Media Matters made a similar COVID “misinformation” claim back in May 2020 during a show Rogan did with Elon Musk.
Fast forward to yesterday, we had Rogan responding to the media firestorm. It was a situation amplified after Dr. Fauci himself responded to the debacle.
As pointed out by InquireMore, many outlets saw the above clip as a victory. Even though Rogan himself admitted he planned to get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine already, but that fell through amidst the company temporarily pulling it from public use.
“I’m not an anti-vax person,” apparently wasn’t clear enough for some outlets. Axios labeled Joe Rogan’s initial remarks as “anti-vax” and claimed this follow-up was him walking it back. Same for Insider and Daily Beast. New York Post called it backpedaling. Fox News labeled it a retraction.
All Rogan’s statements pertained to the need for older people to get the vaccine first, in terms of priority, over younger people. He even made it clear he supported the science that went into making them. He had to double check with his assistant to see if he drank on the original show he did with Dave Smith. Jamie said “No.” Joe Rogan responded “but that’s unusual. A lot of times we’re drinking, or we’re high, and I say stupid sh*t.”
The podcast host went as far as understanding why people like Media Matters spend their days quote mining him in the first place. They got to make a living. “Just don’t lie,” Rogan adds. Joe says he’s not a “respected” source of information even for himself. He emphasized his own routine for self-skepticism on the various issues he talks about on his show.
But that nuance is lost. Forget the fact he's done over one thousand shows, Joe Rogan is just another victim of the political headhunting.