Joe Rogan and Spotify Defend Podcast Episode Featuring Dangerous Conspiracy-Peddler Alex Jones

Trace William Cowen

Joe Rogan has defended his decision to again give a platform to far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

Jones, considered by the Southern Poverty Law Center an "extremist" who is "almost certainly the most prolific conspiracy theorist" in present-day America, was recently a guest on Rogan's podcast. During the three-hour discussion, which also included conservative-leaning comedian Tim Dillon, Jones took issue with COVID-19 vaccines. Jones' history of pushing dangerous anti-vaxxer conspiracies, of course, is well-documented; he was also a guest on Rogan's show prior to the latter's lucrative Spotify deal.

In an extended statement shared to Instagram on Wednesday, Rogan explained that—while he himself is "NOT anti-vaccine"—he believes this podcast episode "and the subjects [Jones] exposed" highlight why he chose to have him as a podcast guest.

"Now, I'm NOT anti vaccine, and if a safe and effective [COVID-19] vaccine is created I'll take it and encourage others to take it," Rogan said when sharing a Bill Gates clip. "But I wanted to put this video up to validate what he said."

It's worth mentioning here that Jones has previously distributed perilous conspiracy theories about Bill Gates wanting to "sterilize and destroy the third world through vaccinations."

And while Spotify hasn't publicly shared a stance on the Alex Jones episode, Jane Lytvynenko of BuzzFeed News reported on Wednesday that the booking was defended in an internal email from the company's chief legal officer and head of global affairs, Horacio Gutierrez.

"We are not going to ban specific individuals from being guests on other people's shows, as the episode/show complies with our content policies," Gutierrez, who did not name Jones directly, said in an email about the episode in question.

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