Joe Rogan, the popular podcast host on Spotify, broke his silence Sunday after rocker Neil Young accused his show of peddling misinformation about COVID-19 that led to a public rebuke and the eventual removal of his songs from the streaming service.
Rogan's video post lasted about 10 minutes. He spoke about the challenges of preparing for his shows that are unscripted and free-flowing. He defended his interviews with Dr. Peter McCullough, a cardiologist, and Dr. Robert Malone, an infectious disease specialist, that resulted in some criticism and apparently led to Young's decision to call on his songs being removed from the platform.
Rogan offered some background on his guests and argued that their opinions were worth hearing. McCullough has been widely published and Malone is considered one of the leading experts on mRNA technology, which is used in the Pfizer and Moderna jabs.
He challenged the word "misinformation" given that so much is still being learned about COVID-19. He said Spotify will begin to put a disclaimer at the beginning of these sorts of interviews, and he will also consider following them up with an expert with a different opinion.
"I’m going to do my best, in the future, to balance things out…I’m going to do my best," he said. "But my point of doing this, always, is just to create interesting conversations and ones that I hope people enjoy."
Joni Mitchell has also said that she is seeking to remove all of her music from Spotify in solidarity with Young. Mitchell, who like Young is a California-based, Canada-born songwriter who had much of her success in the 1970s, is the first prominent musician to join Young’s effort.
"I’m very sorry that they feel that way. I don’t want that," Rogan said, pointing out that he’s a Neil Young fan.
Rogan recalled the time he was younger and was scheduled to work security at a Neil Young concert in Mansfield, Massachusetts. He ended up leaving because too many fights were breaking out, and it didn't make sense for him to take a beating for the pay. When he drove off, he remembered blasting Young's "Keep on Rocking in the Free World," and never looked back.
The Associated Press contributed to this report