DUELING OPINION | The Joe Rogan Experience gives journalism a bad reputation 

     “The Joe Rogan Experience” is a classic example of why it has become extremely important to educate yourself on media ethics and responsibility. 

     I know that the repetition of the COVID-19 pandemic being a cause for debate has been overhandled recently, but Rogan, like every other person producing online content, has some sort of influence over the individuals who view his work. 

     Rogan currently holds the top spot on Spotify in the Podcast category, yet he laments his craft as the most popular podcast in the world. 

     Being the “most popular” in any category of social media completely enhances how much more likely listeners and readers will take the shared information to heart. Rogan, however, has not learned this. 

     Last December, in the midst of infection peaks in cities like New York, Los Angeles and Denver, Rogan brought on two very controversial guests: doctors Peter McCollough and Robert Malone. Both guests have been proposing COVID-19 misinformation since the beginning of the pandemic in pair with their heightened credentials. 

     In the first show with Dr. McCollough, he rips into the COVID-19 pandemic, calling it “planned” and stating how those who have already had the deadly virus and recovered have “permanent immunity.”  

     He was also adamant on the idea that the vaccines are fully experimental, killing more than thousands of people. These claims were made without any explanation, with no evidence to back them up. 

     Malone’s appearance is a bit less escalated when it comes to information on COVID-19, but he still makes false assumptions on many topics, including the insinuation, along with Rogan, that Sweden’s lack of full-scale lockdowns has been more effective than the United States’ COVID-19 plan. 

     These guest appearances have reached the top 100 in viewership of nearly two thousand JRE podcast episodes. 

     Now, COVID-19 misinformation is not a new thing. Many people put out false claims without any backing to their ideals, so it’s not like McCollough and Malone dropped this gigantic bomb with what they were attempting to get across. 

     But “The Joe Rogan Experience” is, as mentioned above, the top podcast in the world and is still growing. Having literacy in knowing what someone is going to say on an international scale is extremely important, and it seems as though Rogan does not do anything about it.  

     Rogan knows that his hour-long piece of media is popular everywhere. People even get their news from it daily. It just seems like Rogan spits out opinions from people who claim to be more knowledgeable on a topic than they actually are, and he has no intention of discrediting them as long as they fit an agenda. 

     From a personal standpoint, I am a massive football fan, and I watch the Green Bay Packers play every single week. So, when my quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, faked being vaccinated after telling his teammates he was, I was hoping his reasoning would be classy and unproblematic. 

     However, on an episode of the Pat McAfee show, Rodgers ripped into the Packers’ front office, saying he told staff and teammates he was “immunized,” while telling everyone Rogan put him on “horse medicine” for COVID-19 recovery instead of receiving the vaccine. That completely ruined my image of him. 

     Rogan drifted into sports, and Rodgers, a nationwide idol, just told almost a million people that horse medicine works in the fight against COVID-19 and getting the vaccine was not important to him; that is extremely irresponsible of them both. 

     Therefore, in my opinion, having the knowledge of a person’s standpoints, and knowing that the media that you are producing is going to reach millions of people, is so important. Rogan’s failure to do so lowers my opinion of him and his show. 

     As a journalist myself, I have an obligation to tell the truth. But Rogan, apparently, does not. An image of self-righteousness prevents Rogan from podcast-cancelling backlash.