Politics - News Analysis
Jen Psaki Versus Joe Rogan: Psaki Wins… By Completely Ignoring Rogan’s Ridiculous and Dangerous Advice
We will admit right up top. We love Joe Rogan and that’s an issue we grapple with all the time because we absolutely should not. Quite the dilemma.
For those who don’t know, Rogan is a comedian first – and maybe the best one going right now, at least for those of us sick enough to watch his specials (It takes a certain type, we appear to be sufficiently sick). He also does one of, if not “the,” biggest podcasts in the country. He will quite literally talk to just about anyone. He will talk to people like Bernie Sanders, to the famed theoretical physicist, Nobel laureate, and Knight of the Realm, Sir Roger Penrose, all the way to UFO conspirators, he will talk to anyone. But he’s also had past issues with trans-phobia, flirted with MAGAs (only to turn away), and allows his conspiracy bent to drag a little into vaccines.
Somehow we still love him.
But as we said, he’s had some issues with the COVID vaccine, saying that if one is younger, healthier, eats right, exercises, he saw no reason why one would need the vaccine. Of course, like all anti-vaxxers, he left out any consideration of this younger, healthier, etc. person passing the virus on to the neighbor, the person at Wendy’s, or whomever.
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He is big enough that the press actually asked Jen Psaki, yes – that Jen Psaki, about Rogan’s comments. Mediaite sets the dynamic up well:
In a surreal sign of the times, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki found herself being asked to weigh in on the medical advice that podcaster Joe Rogan gave to his listeners.
And then to the transcript:
Q Jen, how concerned is the White House about vaccine misinformation, given what happened with Joe Rogan this week? And can you talk about what you’re doing to counteract that?
Psaki actually did what we would have done if we were as smart as Jen Psaki, which we’re not. So she answered by utterly ignoring the Joe Rogan component because all that would do is divide the issue further. Damn, she’s smart:
MS. PSAKI: Well, I would say that our approach is to provide and flood the zone with accurate information. Obviously, that includes combating misinformation when it comes across.
Boom. She wasn’t done:
But that’s one of the reasons that we have invested — we’re in the process of investing $3 billion across the country in public campaigns. That includes empowering and funding programs at the local level, but it also includes paid media. It includes work that we’re doing through social media channels as well, so that we can be the deliverers of information and accurate information to the communities across the country.
She actually moved on to even more. The transcript is linked up above.
As one post-script. As soon as Rogan realized that his comments were big enough that the White House Press Secretary (for god’s sake) had to address them, he immediately backed off, which is quite typical Rogan. Maybe we love him because he’s one of the huge superstars who’s willing to reconsider his thoughts and message. When confronted about it, Rogan responded: “I’m not a doctor, I’m a fucking moron!”
That is true. It is also part of the reason that we love Rogan and hate ourselves for it.
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