Comedian and podcast host Joe Rogan has praised Fox News for having his “back” while his popular Spotify podcast has faced heavy criticism.
During Tuesday’s episode of The Joe Rogan Experience, Rogan expressed surprise that the conservative-leaning news network would offer support despite him being “so liberal.” Rogan received mostly positive coverage on Fox News when controversy erupted earlier this year over allegations he used his podcast to spread COVID-19 misinformation and after a viral video showed his repeated past use of the n-word.
“Who would’ve thought that, if you look back on the early days, what we used to think of conservative versus liberal, liberal was pro-free speech,” Rogan said during a segment featuring fellow comedian Fahim Anwar. “That’s not the case today. Today, the left has gone so f**king far left. So radical that the right are the ones that are celebrating comedians, celebrating [Dave] Chappelle.”
“They had my back through all the crazy s**t that happened with me,” he continued. “It was Fox News that f**king had my back… I’m so liberal. Like, I talk about it all the time. Like, I say I am not a conservative. I’m not conservative.”
While Rogan maintained that he was a liberal, he conceded that his being “pro-Second Amendment,” liking to “bow hunt” and being “a cage fighting commentator” may have helped him to win crossover appeal among conservatives.
Earlier this year, musicians including Neil Young and Joni Mitchell boycotted Spotify over Rogan’s podcast featuring questionable COVID-19 content. Past episodes have featured Rogan wrongly suggesting that young people do not benefit from COVID-19 vaccines, as well as guests pushing COVID-19 conspiracy theories and unproven remedies such as ivermectin.
An episode that aired in late December 2021, featuring self-proclaimed mRNA “inventor” Dr. Robert Malone speaking out against COVID-19 vaccines and promoting ivermectin, prompted a group of 270 doctors, nurses, scientists and educators to demand that Spotify establish a COVID-19 misinformation policy. Spotify added a content warning in late January.
Fox News featured sympathetic coverage of Rogan in response to the criticism. An article published on February 1 painted Rogan as “Public Enemy No. 1” in a war against “media liberals” who had unfairly labeled his views as “misinformation.”
A new controversy emerged a short time later when a video featuring Rogan repeatedly using the n-word in past episodes went viral. Fox News hosts including Greg Gutfeld and Sean Hannity defended Rogan on air, arguing that criticism of the podcast host’s language was an unfair attempt to “cancel” him, although Rogan issued an apology and asked Spotify to remove 70 past episodes.
Newsweek reached out to Fox News for comment.
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