(CelebrityAccess) – Joe Rogan is the most popular podcaster in the world. I’ll repeat – 54-year-old father, martial artist, former Fear Factor host, comedian, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) authority, “dude” man, mushroom-lover, and blowhard is the biggest podcaster in the world and becoming more polarizing by the minute.
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when most were trying to keep their heads above water, Joe Rogan signed a $100M deal with audio-streaming goliath, Spotify. Business Insider acquired leaked data, as reported by The Independent, that Rogan’s podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, accounted for 4.5% of all shows heard during its September 2020 debut month. Spotify has since announced that it is the most heard podcast of 2021. Celebrities have lined-up to be guests with the likes of Mike Tyson, Matthew “all right, all right, all right” McConaughey, disgraced Tour de Francer Lance Armstrong and Ye (fka Kanye Kardashian … err … West), among others.
To his benefit, Rogan allows each guest an opportunity to speak and state their case without interruption or being combative. That isn’t an easy task as vaccination wars, race wars, corruption, Trump haters and Trump Thumpers, and the American media swirl around us. But therein lies the problem.
On December 31, Rogan interviewed virologist, Dr. Robert Malone. Malone who was banned from Twitter for spreading vaccine falsehoods, likened American society to that of Hitler’s Germany, compared vaccinations with “mass psychosis” and stated pandemic policies are reminiscent of the Holocaust. YouTube removed the podcast video, but Spotify did not. Educated listeners research received information such as this on their own and tend to draw their own conclusions. Yet, Malone’s comments most likely reached millions of listeners. Some who may take that information and perpetuate it.
Prior to, Rogan himself contracted COVID-19 and caused controversy by using the non-FDA approved medication ivermectin to treat it. Of course, he did. A deworming drug used to treat horses and livestock would be anyone’s first choice. Rogan has stated that vaccine passports and ID cards was America moving towards “dictatorship” and that young, healthy adults “don’t need the vaccination”. To his credit, once the controversy reached a pitch Rogan could no longer ignore, he gave this disclaimer.
“I’m not a doctor. I’m a f–ing moron and I’m a cage fighting commentator who’s a dirty stand-up comedian. We just told you I’m drunk most of the time and I do testosterone and I smoke a lot of weed. But I’m not a respected source of information even for me!”
Due to the popularity of the podcast and the information given, a group of 270 doctors, people from academia, and scientists have now put pressure on Spotify to address the “predatory medical misinformation”. In an open letter to Spotify, first reported by Rolling Stone (which you can read below),
the group states, “The episode has been criticized for promoting baseless conspiracy theories and the (podcast) has a concerning history of broadcasting misinformation, particularly regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Joe Rogan has repeatedly spread misleading and false claims on his podcast, provoking distrust in science and medicine. He has discouraged vaccination in young people and children, incorrectly claimed that mRNA vaccines are “gene therapy,” promoted off-label use of ivermectin to treat COVID-19 (contrary to FDA warnings), and spread a number of unsubstantiated conspiracy theories.”
Further adding, “This is not only a scientific or medical concern; it is a sociological issue of devastating proportions and Spotify is responsible for allowing this activity to thrive on its platform.”
Spotify had previously released a statement to Verge saying it prohibits and will remove content that promotes false, deceptive, or misleading content about the pandemic that may cause harm and/or pose a threat to public health. Currently, Spotify does not have an official “misinformation policy” in place.
The decision Spotify has yet to make seems black and white. Decision 1 – money OR Decision 2 – backing up their own word. If I were a gambling woman, I’d put my bets on Decision 1.
Spotify has yet to address the open letter as of press time.