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Joe Rogan Admits He's A 'F-ing Moron' — So Why Do His Millions Of Listeners Trust Him?

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Joe Rogan

Joe Rogan has backtracked on his previous comments about young people not needing the Covid-19 vaccine after receiving backlash from several White House officials.

Rogan previously told “The Joe Rogan Experience” listeners, “I think for the most part it's safe to get vaccinated. I do. I do. But if you're like 21 years old, and you say to me, 'Should I get vaccinated?' I'll go, 'No.'”

However, he faced criticism from White House communications director Kate Bedingfield, who questioned whether or not he had the credentials to make such a claim. The answer is no, he does not.

Rogan was dismissed as being “incorrect” by White House chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci — who, by the way, does have the credentials to make this claim.

Addressing the backlash, Rogan told his listeners in a recent podcast, “I'm not a doctor, I'm a f***-ing moron. I'm not a respected source of information, even for me.”

However, he then appeared to double down on the claims saying, “I just said that if you're a young, healthy person that you don't need it."

Why Joe Rogan’s vaccine comments matter.

At a crucial point in the pandemic, implying that anyone is not in need of the vaccine is deeply misguided and dangerous.

The average age of a Joe Rogan listener is 24, an age group that plays a crucial role in the pandemic.

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At least 2,374 people under the age of 30 have died of Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic last year. This age group may not be the most at-risk but they are certainly not immune.

Then, there is the risk this group poses to other ages. Americans between the ages of 20 and 40 were responsible for 70% of the spread of Covid-19 last year.

Studies show that vaccines are highly effective at limiting the spread of the virus — meaning your decision to get a vaccine is not only life-saving for you, but for others.

While estimates vary, herd immunity would require around 80-90% of the population to be immune to Covid-19.

Given that people under the age of 25 account for around 32% of the population, Rogan deterring this age group from getting the vaccine renders it much less beneficial for the rest of us science-believing folk.

Rogan shows little regard for facts in his podcasts.

Whether he thinks he should be or not, Rogan is a “respected” source of information. Rogan’s podcast has over 190 million downloads by his own assertion.

It has also accumulated over $100 million worth of investment through lucrative Spotify deals and more. That kind of money comes with power — and with power comes responsibility.

Rogan’s listeners are 70% male, a demographic that has the power and influence to end transphobia, rape culture, and casual racism, but are being actively influenced by someone who participates in all of these problems.

Rogan has set himself apart from traditional, journalistic podcast shows like those produced by the New York Times or NPR by prioritizing entertainment over fact. But, Rogan has become increasingly political with his choice of guests and topics.

Walking into this genre, without some level of regard for factual accuracy, while espousing opinions to millions for several hours a week, is reckless.

In 2019, Rogan devoted five hours of airtime to far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to spew non-factual theories one after another, less than one year after he had been ordered to pay $100,000 for claiming the fatal 2012 Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax.

Then, in 2020, Rogan made the false claim that left-wing people started forest fires in Portland, Oregon.

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Rogan’s podcast has become a vehicle for ignorance.

Rogan’s supporters are often drawn to the show's focus on libertarianism and free speech advocacy. He also has his share of left-leaning guests on the show.

He was previously joined by Bernie Sanders, who Rogan endorsed in the last election cycle. And there is an argument to say that acknowledging dissenting controversial opinions is necessary to address them.

But Rogan also provides a platform for offensive voices and allows them to rant uncontested for hours on his podcast, rarely interrupting or challenging them on their views.

He is, after all, a former UFC commentator whose job is not to debate or discuss but to sit back while an entertaining spectacle plays out in front of him. He also is, as he says, not a respected source of information. So, why then does he insist on providing so much uncorroborated information?

His content is celebrated as the musings of a free-thinker who is unafraid to challenge “wokeness” but his listeners ought to apply the same skepticism Rogan promotes to what he says.

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Alice Kelly is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York. Catch her covering all things social justice, news, and entertainment. Keep up with her Twitter for more.