CNN attacked famed podcast host Joe Rogan in a statement on Thursday after Rogan called out the network recently for falsely claiming that he consumed horse dewormer.
The Washington Post noted the following examples of when CNN falsely claimed or suggested that Rogan consumed horse dewormer:
- CNN host Erin Burnett on 09/01: “Controversial podcast host Joe Rogan, who’s railed against vaccine requirements, says he has COVID and took a drug intended for livestock.”
- CNN host Anderson Cooper on 09/01: “One of those drugs he mentioned, ivermectin, is something more often used to deworm horses.”
- CNN reporter Brian Stelter on 09/01: “When you have a horse deworming medication that’s discouraged by the government that actually causes some people in this crazy environment we’re in to actually want to try it. That’s the upside down where we’re in with figures like Joe Rogan.”
- CNN host Don Lemon on 09/01: “The United States is now averaging 160,455 new COVID-19 cases every day, including controversial podcast host Joe Rogan saying that he tested positive for COVID and that he says he is taking several medications including a drug meant for deworming livestock.”
- CNN commentator Bakari Sellers on 09/03: “I think the unfortunate part about all of this is you have individuals like Joe Rogan, for example, who don’t want to take an experimental vaccine but will take horse dewormer.”
- CNN anchor Jim Acosta on 09/04: “In case you missed it, Rogan said ivermectin. Yes, that’s the deworming medicine made to kill parasites in farm animals and, weirdly, is being promoted by right-wing media figures and even some politicians as a COVID treatment.”
Rogan slammed the network during an interview late last week with CNN medical expert Sanjay Gupta, saying, “They’re lying at your network about people taking human drugs vs drugs for veterinary–”
“Calling it a horse dewormer is not a flattering thing,” Gupta responded. “I get that.”
“It’s a lie. It’s a lie on a news network,” Rogan responded. “And it’s a lie, that’s a willing, that’s a lie that they’re conscious of; this is not a mistake.”
“Yeah,” Gupta acknowledged.
CNN was pressed by The Washington Post about the false statements that it made about Rogan, to which the network responded:
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.
Washington Post media critic Erik Wemple said that CNN’s statement sounded “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,” Wemple added. “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.”
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