Comedian Jon Stewart came to the defense of embattled podcast host Joe Rogan, calling it a “mistake” for musicians to pull their music from Spotify because they disagreed with him.
“There’s no question that there is egregious misinformation that’s purposeful and hateful, and that being moderated is a credit to the platforms that run them,” Stewart said according to Insider. “But this overreaction to Rogan, I think, is a mistake.” (RELATED: Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Supports Joe Rogan Amid Outrage Over His Podcast)
Would you take your music off of Spotify? pic.twitter.com/ltrA81DUee
— The Problem With Jon Stewart (@TheProblem) February 3, 2022
Artists such as Neil Young and Joni Mitchell have asked Spotify to remove their music due to the streaming platform’s decision not to pull Rogan’s podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience,” from their service despite spreading “fake information about vaccines.”
Their request followed an open letter sent to Spotify and signed by 270 medical professionals demanding that the streaming service crack down on “misinformation” after Rogan hosted virologist and vaccine skeptic Dr. Robert Malone on an episode of his podcast. The majority of the signatories were either not practicing medical providers, according to Fox News.
Rogan was accused of spreading misinformation last year when he announced on his podcast he had taken Ivermectin for COVID-19, a drug CNN labeled as “horse dewormer.” In October, Rogan invited CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta onto his show to discuss the matter, informing Gupta that Ivermectin had been prescribed to him by a doctor and accused CNN of “unfavorably framing” the drug as a veterinarian medicine.
“The heart of this debate has been purposely confused and ultimately lost,” CNN said in a statement to the Washington Post. “It’s never been about livestock versus human dosage of Ivermectin. The issue is that a powerful voice in the media, who by example and through his platform, sowed doubt in the proven and approved science of vaccines while promoting the use of an unproven treatment for covid-19 — a drug developed to ward off parasites in farm animals. The only thing CNN did wrong here was bruise the ego of a popular podcaster who pushed dangerous conspiracy theories and risked the lives of millions of people in doing so.” (RELATED: Ivermectin Has ‘Antiviral Effect’ Against COVID, Japanese Study Finds)
Offering up what he called a “blanket statement” for his feelings on the matter, Stewart stated in his podcast, “Don’t leave. Don’t abandon. Don’t censor. Engage.”
Stewart conceded that while engagement might not always work out “fruitfully,” he said it was much more powerful than the “I’m gonna take my ball and go home” approach, according to The Week.