Joe Rogan offered up a response to the ongoing controversy surrounding his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, and its role in spreading Covid-19 misinformation after artists like Neil Young and Joni Mitchell took their music off Spotify in protest.
In a video shared on Instagram, Rogan attempted to cover himself from every angle. He said he wasn’t trying to “promote misinformation,” but defended his decision to book vaccine-skeptic guests like Dr. Robert Malone and Dr. Peter McCullough by touting their credentials. And while he did not note how easily debunked the various claims they made on his show were, Rogan did say he supported Spotify’s decision to put disclaimers at the beginning of such episodes and said he would try to book “more experts with differing opinions after I have the controversial ones.”
To that end, Rogan also noted that he’d booked more mainstream and respected scientists for Covid-related conversations, such as Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Dr. Michael Osterholm. “I’m interested in finding out what is correct, and also finding out how people come to these conclusions and what the facts are,” Rogan said.
At the same time, Rogan seemed like he was trying to downplay his wildly successful podcast. He referred to his interviews as “just conversations” and admitted, “Oftentimes, I have no idea what I’m going to talk about, until I sit down and talk to people. And that’s why some of my ideas are not that prepared or fleshed out, because I’m literally having them in real time. But I do my best.”
Later, though, he acknowledged the significance and influence of his platform, saying, “It’s a strange responsibility to have this many viewers and listeners; it’s very strange. And it’s nothing that I prepared for, and it’s nothing that I ever anticipated. I am going to do my best in the future to balance things out, I’m gonna do my best.”
Rogan also touched on the music-side backlash to Spotify his podcast has sparked, noting both Young and Mitchell had taken their music off the platform. “I’m very sorry that they feel that way,” Rogan said. “I most certainly don’t want that.” Rogan added he’s long been a fan of Young’s and shared a story about quitting his job as a security guard at a Massachusetts venue during a Young show.
Rogan also said he was fan of Mitchell’s, although after nine minutes of claiming he’s not trying to promote misinformation and stating he’ll do better to check his most controversial guests, the host said his favorite Joni song was “Chuck E’s In Love” — which was actually written and performed by Rickie Lee Jones.