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CNN's Confusion About Joe Rogan's Popularity Says a Lot About Them

AP Photo/Gregory Payan

If you’re like me, you found it a bit odd that an institution whose entire existence is based on news, research, and pleasing an audience would dedicate an entire segment to figuring out why podcast host Joe Rogan is so popular.

CNN went from being the most trusted name in news to being the pseudo-intellectual kid in the classroom who can’t get a grip on his own biases as he tells everyone else they’re brainwashed. Few people actually watch CNN anymore and believe me, they know it. Brian Stelter complains quite often about how others are getting so much attention while he and his network seem to be scraping by off their table scraps.

(READ: CNN Host Angry Conservatives Don’t Trust the Media, But Here’s a Few Examples Why)

One such person they like to go after is Rogan, a man who can’t whisper Simlish into a microphone without 11 million people tuning in to listen to it. CNN and Rogan have had a very contentious relationship as they’re consistently attempting to tell everyone that Rogan is a threat to our safety, going so far as to lie about medications he was taking while he was sick with COVID-19, leaving Rogan wondering out loud if he needs to sue CNN.

Yet, despite CNN’s best efforts, they can’t seem to put a dent in Rogan’s popularity. As such, they brought on two experts to hopefully explain to them why Rogan is so popular. The conclusion of one of the “experts,” University of North Carolina at Greensboro research fellow Gabriel Wisnewski-Parks, is the same conclusion we’ve been screaming at those who can’t figure Rogan out for some time.

“What makes him so magnetic to his audience is his very vocal resistance to tribalism,” said Wisnewski-Parks. “This is somebody who can have on his podcast Ben Shapiro and Alex Jones, and have deep and interesting, meaningful conversations with them and then in one other breath he can have on Cornell West and Bernie Sanders and do the exact same thing.”

Another concluded that Rogan allows the audience to draw their own conclusions instead of editing everything in a way that forces one on the audience.

Let me help.

Rogan treats his audience like they’re adults. He’s there to talk with people and respects their conclusions, not at people, and berates them for disagreeing. He doesn’t demonize or “other” entire swaths of people because they have ideas that don’t look like his. Everyone is welcome at Rogan’s table, and while he enjoys debate, what he really likes is good conversation…just like most everyone else.

But we know that. The question is, why doesn’t CNN?

I’d like to tell you that they’re feigning ignorance on Rogan’s popularity for narrative reasons. Their loyal audience is likely confused and, as such, they’re playing the part of the intrepid investigator to make their viewers believe that this is some sort of phenomenon that they’re going to get to the bottom of. Like some sort of play-act, they want their viewers (and whoever else may listen) to believe that Rogan is a strange creature the likes of which have never been seen before.

But in truth, I think they’re just as confused as their audience. The constant anger and confusion from CNN’s hosts force me, at least, to come to that conclusion.

This is a clear indicator of the bubble in which they reside. Like nobles who can’t figure out why the peasants they mock, beat, and starve are rioting in the streets and breaking out the guillotines, America turning its back and cursing CNN is a result of abuse. They mocked much of America, called regular Americans terrorists, carried water for the Democrats even against all common sense, and literally stood in front of burning neighborhoods as they praised the people destroying innocent lives.

Yet the entire time, they convinced themselves that their actions were right, justified, and wholly moral. Their beliefs, so disconnected from the people’s and a far cry from reality, caused them to effectively other themselves.

The only reason anyone takes them seriously now is that they’re still considered “legacy media” despite the fact that many citizen journalists on YouTube release videos daily that garner far more traffic than actual CNN shows. Democrat politicians and left-leaning activists still consider it a news source and wish to appear on it often, mainly because they know they’ll parrot and build on whatever narrative they feed CNN, causing the network to believe it’s still a go-to place for news.

But this is CNN being high on its own supply. They believe themselves to be important.

In the end, they can’t quite understand why Rogan is popular because they can’t escape their own hubris.