Fugitive whistleblower and privacy advocate Edward Snowden took a dig at critics who have accused Joe Rogan of spreading Covid-19 misinformation via his vastly popular show on Spotify, arguing that the idea people would seek medical advice from the podcaster in earnest is nonsensical.
Snowden’s Friday tweet-storm included a post showing the comical logo for Rogan’s podcast, which includes a third eye in the host’s forehead. “I mean, just look at the logo,” Snowden said. “Which part of it primes in you an expectation of reliable medical advice?”
He also mocked the idea that Rogan has caused public distrust in government officials, rather than those leaders undermining their own credibility. “But sure, blame the magic, third-eye radio man for the decline of basic trust in institutions,” Snowden said. “Throw him in the volcano and we’ll have world peace by Monday.”
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Snowden argued that many of Rogan’s critics haven’t even listened to his ideas. “Nobody has stronger opinions about Joe Rogan than people who have never listened to Joe Rogan,” he said.
The whistleblower also suggested that much of the criticism isn’t genuine. “The idea that people are, like, emerging from their deep caves, eyes blinking against the harshness of a sun whose touch they have never known, on a quest to seek specific medical advice from the glory of a white-robed Rogan is, perhaps, just the slightest bit forced.”
Asked by Brazilian reporter Marcos Candido what his point is, Snowden replied, “Don’t take medical advice from anyone with a third eye.”
Rogan has been a frequent target of criticism from media outlets and public officials. Asked about his show in an MSNBC interview on Tuesday, US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy called for increased censorship by social media platforms to block Covid-19 misinformation. Some of the assertions that were labeled as misinformation earlier in the pandemic, such as the theory that the virus leaked from a lab in China, have later become topics of mainstream discussion and investigation.
This week’s attacks on Rogan also included an ultimatum to Spotify by musician Neil Young, who said the streaming service can have him or the podcaster, but not both. Spotify chose Rogan, whose show reportedly attracts an average of 11 million viewers.