Entertainment And News

Joe Rogan’s Response To His Misinformation Controversy Shows Just How Unaware He Is Of His Own Influence

Photo: YouTube
Joe Rogan

Spotify and Joe Rogan have been tip-toeing through a fiasco of misinformation allegations ever since Canadian artist Neil Young announced that he would be pulling his music from the streaming service if they didn’t do something about "The Joe Rogan Experience."

Critics say that the famous commentator’s podcast is spreading misinformation after two specific episodes were released with guests that allegedly shared inaccurate information about the COVID pandemic and vaccines.

Rogan has now addressed the controversy and attempted to explain that his podcast was never about sharing facts but, instead, about hearing different perspectives.

That's fair enough. Anyone who thought Rogan was an accurate source of information on vaccine science is severly mistaken.

But, Rogan avoiding responsibility on the basis that he was never qualified to give out COVID-19 information in the first place does demonstrate an inability to acknowledge the consequences of his actions, regardless of his intent.

Joe Rogan’s response to the controversy shows just how unaware he is of the influence he has.

Whether or not they should, people do look to Rogan for "information" and he's mistaken if he thinks his some of his followers don't take what he says as fact.

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

But Rogan doesn’t believe that he’s spreading misinformation at all.

In his video that was posted on both Instagram and under the Joe Rogan Experience podcast page on Spotify, he talked about how he believes people have a “distorted perception” of his podcasts.

He claims he featured his two recent guests, Dr. Peter McCullough and Dr. Robert Malone who are both vaccine skeptics, to hear their opinions on vaccines and the pandemic.

“Both these people are very highly credentialed, very intelligent, very accomplished people, and they have an opinion that’s different from the mainstream narrative,” he explained.

“I do not know if they’re right. I don’t know because I’m not a doctor, I’m not a scientist,” Rogan explains. "I’m just a person who sits down and talks to people and has conversations with them. Do I get things wrong? Absolutely, I get things wrong, but I try to correct them.”

RELATED: Refusing To Get The Vaccine Is Not A ‘Right’ — It’s A Privilege Few Can Afford

From these comments, it seems like Rogan also has a distorted perception of his podcast. He knows he's not always sharing facts with his listeners, but do they? 

Does he really think his podcast doesn't have the power to influence his followers regardless of whether its content contains facts?

Joe Rogan's influence is undeniable and what he does with that influence matters.

On Instagram, Rogan has 14.3 million followers, and his most recent video (talking about the controversy) has received over 5 million views in the last 15 hours.

On Twitter, he has 8.1 million followers, and his tweet (in which he links the Instagram video) has been liked over 100 thousand times in about 13 hours.

His YouTube Channel “PowerfulJRE” where he used to post videos of the podcast before going exclusive and only posting clips, has 11.8 million subscribers.

Now, it’s estimated that Rogan receives an average of 11 million viewers on each episode — which he uploads pretty frequently, nearly every other day.

He’s huge, and if "The Joe Rogan Experience" isn’t the most popular podcast of all time, it’s definitely one of them.

RELATED: Sweet Details About Joe Rogan's Relationship With Wife, Jessica Ditzel Rogan

What Rogan fails to see is confirmation bias. His podcast guests are typically conservative and right-leaning. When talking about COVID, they are typically aligned with a point of view that is against the vaccine and efforts to slow the spread of COVID.

A lot of his followers know this, so when people see that “Dr.” title in someone’s name and that person says that the COVID vaccine causes you to burst into song and dance every 45 minutes, they’re going to believe it because they want to believe it.

They were always going to believe it.

When Rogan says, “I think,” or even fails to preface his words with the clarification that it’s just his opinion, it doesn’t matter.

A lot of people “hate listen” to The Joe Rogan Experience, myself included. 

I’ve never taken a single word of it to be truthful, but it’s entertaining to laugh at him and his guests and hear what the other side is talking about, but not everyone is in the same boat.

Rogan often calls himself a “f-----g idiot,” but even that doesn’t matter either. What matters is that if someone wants to hear that the vaccine is bad for you or that COVID is a hoax, they’ll use anything in their vicinity to help them believe it’s true, and with a following in the tens of millions, that kind of power is dangerous and needs to be checked.

Which is something that Spotify announced that they would do. 

“One of the things that Spotify wants to do, that I agree with, is that at the beginning of these controversial podcasts — specifically ones about COVID — is to put a disclaimer.”

They would include that the opinions of the guests on his show have differing opinions than the consensus of scientific experts and scholars.

Hopefully, this helps with slowing down the spread of misinformation in a clear attempt by Spotify, which has been losing billions of dollars as a result of this controversy, to clear their name.

RELATED: Why We Need To Spread Facts, Not Misinformation And Fear, During The Pandemic

Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Follow him on Twitter here.

Sign up for YourTango's free newsletter!