The following statement was transcribed from a podcast statement posted by Joe Rogan on Spotify on Sunday night, January 30th. The video is the first public response by Rogan following Neil Young’s decision to remove his entire catalog from Spotify, citing COVID-19 misinformation on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast.
I wanted to make a video addressing some of the controversy that’s been going on over the past few days. And first of all to say thank you to everyone that sent love and support. I truly, truly appreciate it, and it’s been very nice to hear from you.
I wanted to make this video first of all because I think there’s a lot of people who have a distorted perception of what I do, maybe based on soundbites or based on headlines of articles that are disparaging. The podcast has been accused of spreading ‘dangerous misinformation,’ specifically about two episodes. A little bit about some other ones, but specifically about two: one with Dr. Peter McCullough, and one with Dr. Robert Malone.
Dr. Peter McCullough is a cardiologist and he is the most published physician in his field, in history. Dr. Robert Malone owns 9 patents on the creation of mRNA vaccine technology, and is at least partially responsible for the creation of the technology that led to mRNA vaccines.
Both these people are very highly credentialed, very intelligent, very accomplished people, and they have an opinion that is different from the mainstream narrative. I wanted to hear what their opinion is. I had them on, and because of that, those episodes in particular — those episodes were labelled as being ‘dangerous’ — they had ‘dangerous misinformation’ in them.
The problem I have with the term misinformation, especially today, is that many of the things that we thought of as misinformation just a short while ago are now accepted as fact. Like for instance, eight months ago if you said, ‘if you get vaccinated you can still catch COVID, and you can still spread COVID,’ you’d be removed from social media. They would ban you from certain platforms. Now, that’s accepted as fact.
If you said, ‘I don’t think cloth masks work,’ you would be banned from social media. Now, that’s openly stated and repeated on CNN.
If you said, ‘I think it’s possible that COVID-19 came from a lab,’ you’d be banned from many social media platforms. Now, that’s on the cover of Newsweek.
All of those theories, that at one point in time were banned, were openly discussed by those two men that I had on my podcast, that have been accused of ‘dangerous misinformation’. I do not know if they’re right. I don’t know, because I’m not a doctor and I’m not a scientist. I’m just a person that talks to people and sits down and has conversations with them.
Do I get things wrong? Absolutely I get things wrong. But I try to correct them. Whenever I get something wrong, I try to correct it, because I’m interested in telling the truth and I’m interested in finding what the truth is. And I’m interested in having interesting conversations with people that have differing opinions.
I’m not interested in only talking to people that have one perspective. That’s one of the reasons why I had Sanjay Gupta on, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who I respect very much and I really enjoyed our conversation together. He has a different opinion than those men do.
I had Dr. Michael Osterholm on at the very beginning of the pandemic. He is on President Biden’s COVID-19 advisory board. I had Dr. Peter Hotez on, who is a vaccine expert. I’m interested in finding out what is correct, and also finding out how people come to these conclusions, and what the facts are.
Now, because of this controversy — and I’m sure there’s a lot of other things going on behind the scenes with these controversies — Neil Young has removed his music from the platform of Spotify. And Joni Mitchell, and apparently some other people want to as well.
I’m very sorry that they feel that way. I most certainly don’t want that. I’m a Neil Young fan, I’ve always been a Neil Young fan. I’ll tell you a story at the end of this about that.
One of the things that Spotify wants to do that I agree with, is that at the beginning of these controversial podcasts, specifically the ones about COVID, is to put a disclaimer. And say that you should speak with your physician, and these people and the opinions that they express are contrary to the opinions of the consensus of experts, which I think is very important.
Sure, have that on there. I’m very happy with that. Also, I think if there’s anything that I’ve done that I could do better, is have more experts with differing opinions right after I have the controversial ones. I would most certainly be open to doing that. And I’d like to talk to some people that have differing opinions on the podcast in the future. We’ll see.
I do all the scheduling myself, and I don’t always get it right. These podcasts are strange because they’re just conversations. And oftentimes I have no idea what I’m gonna 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, and they’re just conversations, and I think that’s also the appeal of the show. It’s one of the things that makes it interesting.
So I want to thank Spotify for being so supporting during this time. And I’m very sorry this is happening to them, and they’re taking so much heat from it. And so now, the Neil Young story.
First of all, I’m not mad at Neil Young, I’m a huge Neil Young fan. I’ve always been a Neil Young fan. When I was 19, I was a security guard at a place called Great Woods in Mansfield, Massachusetts. It’s an outdoor concert amphitheater, and Neil Young was playing there.
And it was the last day I worked there. I quit during the Neil Young concert. The job was kind of crazy, because a lot of times fights broke out and stuff, and I think I probably got $15 an hour. And I was not about to get beat up for $15 an hour.
So I would bring a hoodie with me whenever I worked. So in case the s—t hit the fan, and it got too crazy, I would just put my hoodie on and leave, and cover up my security outfit — my security shirt. So, one day during a Neil Young concert — the amphitheater, the way it’s set up is there’s a covered area outside that has seats, and then there’s a lawn area behind it. And the lawn area, during the Neil Young concert, they got a little rowdy. It was cold out and they started bonfires.
So they had these raging fires on the lawn and we were supposed to put these fires out and stop them. So we tried for a little while, but then brawls started breaking out, and it started getting crazy. And I was like, ‘f—k this,’ so I put my hoodie on, I zipped it up, and I left. And I drove home. And as I was driving home, I was singing, ‘keep on rockin’ in the free world!’
That was my last day on the job. I don’t think I even collected my last check.
So no hard feelings towards Neil Young. And definitely no hard feelings towards Joni Mitchell. I love her too, I love her music. ‘Chuck E’s in Love’ is a great song.
I don’t know what else I can do differently, other than maybe try harder to get people with differing opinions right afterwards. I do think that that’s important. And do my best to make sure that I’ve researched these topics, the controversial ones in particular, and have all the pertinent facts at hand before I discuss them.
Again I’m not trying to promote misinformation. I’m not trying to be controversial. I’ve never tried to do anything with this podcast other than just talk to people, and have interesting conversations. I didn’t plan it, I can’t believe it’s as successful as it is. It was never really an idea that I had.
The podcast started out as just f—king around with my friends and having fun and talking. And then when it became popular, other people wanted to come on and I was like, ‘oh, it’d be cool to talk to that person,’ ‘oh, he’s interesting,’ ‘oh, she’s got a cool book out’ — and boom, it’s become what it is today, which is some out of control juggernaut that I barely have control of.
So, my pledge to you is that I will do my best to balance out these more controversial viewpoints with other people’s perspectives so we can maybe find a better point of view. I don’t want to just show the contrary opinion to what the narrative is. I want to show all kinds of opinions, so we can all figure out what’s going on. And not just about COVID, about everything. About health, about fitness, wellness, the state of the world itself.
It’s a strange responsibility to have this many viewers and listeners. It’s very strange, and it’s nothing I’ve prepared for and it’s nothing that I ever anticipated. I’m gonna do my best in the future to balance things out. I’m gonna do my best. But my point in doing this is always just to create interesting conversations and ones that I hope people enjoy.
So if I pissed you off, I’m sorry, and if you enjoy the podcast, thank you.
Thank you very much, thank you to Spotify, thank you all the supporters, and even thank you to the haters. Because it’s good to have some haters. It makes you reassess what you’re doing and put things into perspective, and I think that’s good too.
Alright, much love to you all. Thank you to everyone, and I’m gonna do my best.