I don’t know much about MMA announcer/podcaster Joe Rogan, but I do know he was viciously and purposefully maligned by many media outlets in response to his revelation early last month that he had contracted the Wuhan virus and was taking a mixture of meds including ivermectin, the latter of which he says he was prescribed by his doctor.
CNN in particular was the most aggressive of all the “news” organizations that went after Rogan, repeatedly and falsely claiming that he was “taking horse dewormer” for COVID. While ivermectin is used to treat horses, in much smaller dosages it is also prescribed for humans for various ailments, as noted by the CDC.
A month after the relentless bashing, Rogan and CNN’s chief “medical expert” Dr. Sanjay Gupta sat down for a podcast interview, where Rogan got the satisfyingly contrite Gupta to admit that CNN “shouldn’t have said” what they did over and over about Rogan “taking horse dewormer.” Sadly, Gupta went right back to CNN the day after where the smug dunking and falsehoods from anchor Don Lemon with Gupta dutifully nodding along resumed apace.
Here we are, a week out from Rogan utterly embarrassing and exposing CNN and Gupta complete with receipts, and CNN has issued a statement in response to an inquiry from Washington Post media critic Erik Wemple about Gupta’s admission that the network “shouldn’t have said” what they did about Rogan “taking horse dewormer.” The statement is absolutely deranged, so much so that even Wemple was taken aback by some of what was said and the tone of it:
The heart of this debate has been purposely confused and ultimately lost. It’s never been about livestock versus human dosage of Ivermectin. The issue is that a powerful voice in the media, who by example and through his platform, sowed doubt in the proven and approved science of vaccines while promoting the use of an unproven treatment for covid-19 — a drug developed to ward off parasites in farm animals. The only thing CNN did wrong here was bruise the ego of a popular podcaster who pushed dangerous conspiracy theories and risked the lives of millions of people in doing so.
I’m going to correct myself here — “deranged” doesn’t even come close to adequately describing how wacked, self-serving, and absolutely tone-deaf that statement actually was.
After trying to be charitable by saying that parts of the statement “makes good points,” Wemple noted he was taken aback by the tone and tenor of it:
Yet CNN’s statement sounds more like the work of an advocacy group than a journalism outfit. The “issue,” actually, begins and ends with the integrity of CNN’s content. If we take Rogan’s prescription claim at face value — and CNN hasn’t challenged it — then the network’s coverage was slanted in some cases and straight-up incorrect in others. “[I]f you’re prescribed the FDA human version [of ivermectin] then you’re not taking a horse pill,” notes [Scott] Phillips [from the Washington Poison Center in Seattle] in an email.
So in this instance, you don’t have to endorse Rogan to abhor CNN’s coverage of this topic.
Former CNN producer Steve Krakauer had this to say in response to his former employer’s doubling down:
CNN has been on a path away from truth for awhile. This statement is the nail in the coffin. They got it wrong. They got caught. And they have chosen to dig their heels in rather than seek to correct the record, for their audience and their integrity. https://t.co/611FnVYx1t pic.twitter.com/835qO9gOoM
— Steve Krakauer (@SteveKrak) October 21, 2021
And that is because CNN does not give a royal flying **** about correcting the record in the interest of the public health, informing their audience, and displaying integrity, one, because they don’t have much of an audience anymore and two, because they sure as hell don’t have any integrity.
What happened here is that CNN (along with other media outlets, as well as some on the left) spun a narrative about ivermectin that was wildly misleading, and in the process not only muddied the waters of the debate, but also trashed and smeared a man who spoke openly about being prescribed the medication. That narrative ended up getting destroyed by the very man at the center of the controversy, and CNN just can’t deal with that inconvenient fact, hence their belligerent statement (which was probably written by CNN PR flack Matt Dornic).
I leave you with some final thoughts from NBA player Jonathan Isaac, who has been a staunch opponent of coronavirus vaccine mandates. He said this earlier this week about CNN in an interview about vaccine mandates:
“If this thing is just about protecting people and protecting the public health, why does CNN have to lie about Joe Rogan taking ‘horse dewormer,’ or why does the Rolling Stone have to willfully misrepresent my position on the vaccine or COVID?” questioned Isaac. “Why do these things have to happen if it’s just about protecting people?”