Hours after Spotify said in a statement that it would modify its content policies - which Joe Rogan did not violate, the company clarified - and adopt a "content advisory" for certain podcast episodes in an effort to placate the snowflakes, Joe Rogan finally broke his silence on the uproar over his podcast in a 10-minute video shared to Instagram.
In the video, a kind of frank confessional apparently shot by Rogan himself using his own phone, Rogan apologized to those he had unwittingly offended, before launching into a poignant, carefully crafted explanation that gently nudged and reminded objectors about why Rogan's show is a must-listen, and a leader in the modern-day podcast gold rush.
But first, Rogan asked listeners to ignore certain "disparaging" headlines that he said misrepresent what he's doing.
"I wanted to make this video first of all because I think there are a lot of people who have a distorted misconception about what I do maybe based on soundbites or headlines of articles that are disparaging. The podcast has been accused of spreading 'dangerous misinformation'...specifically about two episodes, one with Dr. Peter McCollough and one with Dr. Robert Malone."
Both doctors are highly credentialed, while also harboring views on SARS-CoV-2 and how to combat it that are "different" from the mainstream narrative.
"Both of these people are very highly credentialed very intelligent highly accomplished people and they have an opinion that's different from the mainstream narrative. I wanted to hear what their opinion is."
Unfortunately, there are others who are fearful of what these two doctors have to say, and believe that they are somehow personally responsible for the ongoing COVID pandemic (despite the fact that "the science" shows it's quite obvious that there's nothing humans can do to stop the pandemic, although they can take steps to limit fatalities).
This is the problem: since the start of the pandemic, public health authorities have seen their guidance proven wrong again and again, as comedian Adam Carolla put it: "what have you guys been right about?"
Rogan says something similar, claiming that practically every piece of "misinformation" has later been proven correct - everything from whether the vaccinated can still spread the virus, to whether COVID may have been created in a Wuhan laboratory, a view that once saw Zero Hedge banned from Twitter for months.
"The problem I have with the term disinformation, especially today, is that 8 months ago, many of the things that were considered 'disinformation' are now accepted as fact. For example, 8 months ago, if you said 'if you get vaccinated you can still catch COVID and you can still spread COVID, you would be removed from social media, they would ban you from certain platforms."
He continued: 8 months or a year ago, "...if you said 'I don't think cloth masks work' you would be banned from social media, now that's openly and repeatedly stated on CNN. If you said 'I think it's possible COVID may have come from a lab' you would be banned from many social media platforms - now it's on the cover of Newsweek."
Again, Rogan insisted that he isn't endorsing the views of his guests, nor proclaiming them to be somehow correct or immutable: he's simply exploring a range of viewpoints to help his audience arrive at their own conclusions, instead of being indoctrinated with viewpoints favorable to the masters of whatever corporate-owned media they consume.
"I don't know if they're right? No...I'm not a doctor, I'm not a scientist...I'm just a person who sits down with people and have conversations with them. Do I get things wrong? Absolutely...but when I get things wrong I try to correct them...because I'm interested in finding out what the truth is, and I'm interested in having conversations with people who have different opinions. I'm not interested in talking with people...who have only one perspective."
Rogan then name-checked several more mainstream COVID experts - from Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Dr. Michael Osterholm, a member of President Biden's COVID advisory board), to others - as evidence that he is truly interested in hearing a diverse range of opinions and views, not just those who parrot the government-endorsed "official" narrative.
As for the situation with Neil Young, Rogan gamely noted that he's "sure there are other things going on behind the scenes." For example, might Young be doing this to try and fetch a higher price for his lifetime music catalogue ahead of a sale (like Bob Dylan did).
But still, Rogan insisted that he has always been a huge Neil Young fan, even recounting an amusing story about a Neil Young show he attended while working concert security in his youth.
As for the "interviews" he conducts with his guests, "...they are just conversations...often times I have no idea what I'm going to talk about until I sit down...that's also the appeal of the show, it's one of the things that makes it interesting."
Toward the end of the video, Rogan said this to sum up:
"I'm not trying to promote misinformation, I'm not trying to do anything controversial, I'm just trying to have regular conversations with these people."
"My pledge to you is that I will do my best to balance out these more controversial viewpoints with other people's perspectives so that we can maybe find a better view. I don't just want to just show the contrary opinion to what the prevailing narrative is. I want to show all kinds of opinions so that we can figure out what's going on - and not just about COVID, about health, about fitness, wellness, the state of the world itself.
And finally, he even thanked "the haters" for helping to keep him sharp.
"Even thank you to the haters, it's good to have some haters because it makes you reassess what you're doing...and I think that's good, too."
Readers can watch the clip below: