In a nearly 10-minute long video posted on his Instagram account on Sunday night, Rogan said, “I think there’s a lot of people that have a distorted perception of what I do, maybe based on sound bites or based on headlines of articles that are disparaging.” Defending his choice of Dr. Robert Malone and Dr. Peter McCullough, both vaccine sceptics, on the podcast, Rogan described them as “very highly credentialed, very intelligent, very accomplished people and they have an opinion that’s different from the mainstream narrative.”
“I wanted to hear what their opinion is, I had them on and because of that, those episodes in particular were labeled as being dangerous — they had dangerous misinformation,” Rogan said. Rogan added that he had a problem with the term “misinformation” because what was considered misinformation a few months ago is now accepted as fact, citing the examples of the inefficacy of cloth masks, and being infected with COVID-19 after vaccination.
The controversy began when more than 260 doctors, nurses, scientists, health professionals and academics, in a Jan. 10 open letter to Spotify, called on the streaming audio platform to “implement a misinformation policy” specifically citing “The Joe Rogan Experience” and its “concerning history of broadcasting misinformation, particularly regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.” The letter highlighted Rogan’s Dec. 31 episode in which his guest was discredited scientist Robert Malone, who promoted an upcoming antivaccine rally.
Spotify has said that they would apply labels on podcasts about COVID-19.
Neil Young removed his music from Spotify following the controversy and Joni Mitchell has also signalled her intention to do so. Rogan described himself as a “huge Neil Young fan,” saying that he worked as a security guard on one of his concerts. “No hard feelings towards Neil Young and definitely no hard feelings towards Joni Mitchell — I love her too, I love her music,” said Rogan, although he then mentioned how much he likes the 1979 song “Chuck E.’s in Love,” which sounds somewhat like Mitchell but was actually written and recorded by Rickie Lee Jones (he later corrected himself in the comments).
“I don’t know what else I can do differently other than maybe try harder to get people with differing opinions on right afterwards,” Rogan said. “I do think that’s important and do my best to make sure that I’ve researched these topics — the controversial ones in particular — and have all the pertinent facts at hand before I discuss them. Again, I’m not trying to promote misinformation. I’m not trying to be controversial. I’ve never tried to do anything with this podcast other than just talk to people and have interesting conversations.”
Rogan said that in future he would “try to balance things out” and thanked Spotify.
The video has been viewed more than 2.4 million times.