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“Just asking questions, never learning a single thing”

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This is an excellent piece on the particular kind of plausible-deniability “Just Asking Questions” mode of conspiracy theorizing Joe Rogan and people like him have used to put others (and, in some cases, themselves) at risk:

Joe Rogan has made a very lucrative career in comedy and podcasting out of surfacing irrational cultural suspicions: that the moon landings might not have been real, that the World Trade Center’s Building 7 might have been downed by a controlled demolition, that woke liberals in the media and the tech industry might be conspiring to stifle the speech of the worst-faith pundits of our time. In recent months, he has used his wildly popular interview show, The Joe Rogan Experience, to surface illiterate observations on how otherwise healthy young people might not need to take the COVID-19 vaccines, and how vaccine passports and mandates might be bringing the United States “closer to dictatorship.”

Rogan might have a problem now.

Given everything he’s said, and given the millions of listeners he’s said it to, there’s a whiff of inevitability to be found in Rogan’s admission on Wednesday that he contracted COVID-19 after performing a bunch of stand-up shows in Florida last month—last month being one of the literal worst times to perform comedy shows in Florida since there was a Florida

We’ll pause here to note that Rogan getting the DeSantis Variant is another sign of how lazy the writers have gotten.

Rogan, who has no problem sharing almost everything else he thinks and does, hasn’t said all year whether he’s been vaccinated, and in the video sharing his positive COVID result, he didn’t mention ever getting the jab. Instead, there was nothing but the same familiar frustration to be found in his explanation that one of the medicines he took to combat his infection was ivermectin, the horse dewormer that has gained credence in certain circles as a COVID-19 treatment explicitly because every credible medical authority that it has absolutely no value as a COVID-19 treatment. (Ivermectin also has other, non–horse-deworming applications, but many of the people who are using it as a back-door COVID treatment are seeking out the agricultural version of the drug.) Rogan said he also took monoclonal antibodies and other treatments that one generally would not need if one had been taking vaccination seriously.

The fact that the medical establishment is broadly united in its position that there’s no evidence ivermectin works to treat COVID is exactly why so many of the most gullible people in America believe it does work to treat COVID. And it’s largely because of people like Rogan that these people continue to think the best way to own the libs is to endanger their own health by taking bullshit remedies while scoffing at the real ones. To be fair, Rogan is not on the same place on the COVID-vaccine-misinformation spectrum as many avowed skeptics are. He has acknowledged that people who are vulnerable should get vaccinated, and he’s said that he does think, “for the most part, it’s safe to get vaccinated.” The wiggle room of “for the most part” is where Rogan makes his money.

“The wiggle room of “for the most part” is where Rogan makes his money” is beautifully put.

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