Last week, I came upon a social media post asking, “Who is Joe Rogan?”
Responses poured in.
It was obvious that none who replied had ever listened to the popular podcaster’s show. Still, they clearly felt informed enough to chime in.
He’s a right-wing extremist, someone wrote. He’s trying to be the next Rush Limbaugh, another insisted. He’s a guy who only says things to shock the audience, one commenter claimed.
If you’re a fan of The Joe Rogan Experience, you know all of that is untrue. He’s a pot-smoking, left-leaning Bernie supporter, in fact.
But he’s also an open-minded man who welcomes interesting guests from all walks and points of view.
And he simply lets them speak — each conversation centers on the guest, not the host.
Yet, some social media remarkers are set on describing him as something wholly removed from reality.
And to some extent, it’s no wonder — they likely formed their impressions due to outlets such as CNN.
Incredibly, we’re living in an era when not only online pedestrians bellow about things of which they’re unaware, but talking heads on TV do, as well. You’ve surely seen big news names discuss the “automatic” AR-15 rifle or what some ideological enemy said which they actually did not.
Relatedly, Joe recently found himself in the crosshairs of corporate media. They lambasted him over a guest’s theory on coronavirus conformity, along with his personal use of ivermectin — as prescribed by his doctor for COVID.
That would be, per CNN, the employment of “horse paste.”
Cable News Network host Brian Stelter joined in, describing a Joe Rogan who doesn’t exist.
“You think about major newsrooms like CNN,” Stelter said, “that have health departments and desks and operations, that work hard on verifying information on COVID-19. And then you have talk show stars like Joe Rogan, who just wing it, who make it up as they go along.”
No, you don’t.
Why would an anchorman go in front of the world to speak on something before bothering to find out about it? That remains unclear.
But Brian presented The Joe Rogan Experience as if it’s a program on which Joe delivers the news.
It is not.
“And because figures like Rogan are trusted by people that don’t trust real newsrooms, we have a…problem that’s much bigger than Spotify, much bigger than any single platform…but that is the heart of this right now.”
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) February 1, 2022
As for the potentially disheartening impact of an ill-informed anchorman waxing before the world, perhaps providentially, that world is not so immense — CNN’s ratings have been less than triumphant as of late:
CNN's Ratings Dropped an Astounding 90% After 2021 https://t.co/vyUDr3jFOq
— RedState (@RedState) January 14, 2022
On Thursday’s episode of The JRE, Joe noted as much — about legacy media in general.
As reported by The Daily Caller, he also called to a tremendous tossing-out of truth on television.
“Well, the most important thing in the world in media is ratings,” the MMA commentator observed to columnist Ben Burgis.
“And unfortunately, outrage is what sells. And if you can be upset at something, and so there’s, like, a perfect storm with me.”
It’s not going well:
“[T]hey’re trying to escape what is this undeniable demise of modern mainstream news.”
“They’re just trying to stay alive, and they’re trying to get as many views as possible,” he surmised.
The comedian offered a colorful summary of their concern:
“It’s not really that they think it’s important. It’s they don’t give a [flip] what’s important.”
Will sensationalized stories always bring bigger numbers, or will viewership progressively tune out, in favor of offerings less curated?
Either way, it appears major news networks are not so much the future as the past.
If so, what will tomorrow bring? Hopefully, more information rather than less.
For the moment, it would appear, Joe’s doing his part.
Places like CNN? Not necessarily so much.
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