Topic: Media Research Center
If podcaster Joe Rogan is not an actual right-winger, he's definitely right-wing-adjacent -- which is good enough for the Media Research Center. Last year, after Rogan moved his "massively popular" show to Spotify, the MRC's Alexander Hall highlighted criticism of him for the right-wing guests he has had, including Alex Jones, Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes and an anti-transgender author. But Hall also touted how Rogan interviewd more mainstream right-wingers like Ben Shapiro and Jordan Peterson. In Jnauary, Christian Toto gushed over Rogan's "refreshing take on Big Tech censorship," which basically came down to being opposed to banning Donald Trump from social media for his legacy of incitement. And in March, P.J. Gladnick defended Rogan from accusations of being a right-wing host -- hey, Bernie Sanders was once a guest!
So when Rogan started peddling misinformation about the coronavirus vaccine, the MRC rushed to his defense over this "hot take." Kayla Sargent wrote in an April 28 post:
Intellectual Dark Web member and podcast host Joe Rogan, once again, appears to have angered the left with recent comments on the COVID-19 vaccine in his podcast,The Joe Rogan Experience.
Some on the left, however, seemed to not only be displeased with Rogan’s COVID-19 commentary, but also with the fact that Spotify has not taken action in response to the episode. Spotify holds an exclusive contract with Rogan.
During the podcast, Rogan said: “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.’” He continued: “If you're a healthy person, and you're exercising all the time, and you're young, and you’re eating well, like, I don't think you need to worry about this.”
Of course, the left panicked over the fact that Rogan dared to question the vaccine in any capacity.
Sargent went on to cite Dr. Anthony Fauci -- who is definitely not part of "the left" -- criticizing Rogan's advice.But Fauci wasn't alone: a group of doctors denounced Rogan's misinformation, pointing out that "Rogan demonstrates that he lacks a simple, fundamental understanding about how infectious diseases — including Covid-19 — spread," adding that "While scientists and doctors are generally more trusted, competing messages like Rogan's can be confusing and affect people's behaviors with regard to their health."
The MRC has yet to mention that Rogan later tried to clarify his misinformation, denying that he's an anti-vaxxer but still (falsely) insisting that young, health ypeople don't need the vaccine.