Jon Stewart goes to bat for Joe Rogan amid Spotify uproar

Jon Stewart used his own podcast on Friday to defend podcaster Joe Rogan, who has raised vaccine hesitancy and misinformation about COVID-19. Stewart said the standards for what counts as misinformation change over time. He compared Rogan’s vaccine skepticism to his own opposition to the war in Iraq. He said, “Couldn’t I have gone down and fallen into this – if Viacom or Comedy Central had wanted to censor me – or had wanted to take me off the – look, I don’t owe me a platform. Nobody’s… But what I mean is, it’s quicksand, and I guess I care about, well, who decides?

In a previous podcast episode, the comedian called the Rogan interview controversy and remarked an “overreaction” because the podcaster’s remarks and interviews were not “terminated and hateful.” He said: ‘My point is that we all exist in this world and on this planet and there is no doubt that there is blatant misinformation that is intentional and hateful and all that other stuff, and that moderation is a credit to the platforms that run them, but this overreaction to Rogan? Instead, he called The New York Times “a giant disinformation purveyor” who had faced “no accountability” for how his stories contributed to the outbreak of the war in Iraq. Rogan has also been criticized for repeatedly using the N-word and other racial slurs. Spotify has an exclusive $100 million distribution deal with Rogan.

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