CNN faces backlash over response to its coverage of Joe Rogan’s COVID-19 treatment

Comedian Joe Rogan announced last month that he had contracted COVID-19 and recovered quickly after receiving treatment including the antiparasitic drug ivermectin.

Much of the mainstream media, including CNN, attacked and ridiculed his claim — and Rogan publicly hit back by claiming the cable news network deliberately defamed him.

“Shouldn’t have said that”

Of course, CNN responded by insisting that its only offense was “bruis[ing] the ego” of the popular podcaster.

According to Fox News, that statement not only received widespread backlash from Rogan’s supporters, but the Washington Post even felt compelled to call out the network.

Much of the back-and-forth stems from an interview Rogan conducted with CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, during which the host grilled his guest over the network’s biased coverage of his own COVID-19 treatment.

Rogan repeatedly accused CNN of knowingly misrepresenting the facts about him and ivermectin, essentially claiming that he had taken a potentially dangerous version of the drug instead of a safe dosage prescribed for humans. Eventually, Gupta conceded the point and acknowledged his colleagues “shouldn’t have said that.”

“Straight-up incorrect”

Even Eric Wemple took CNN to task, albeit lightly, in his report for the Post. Included in his piece was a statement CNN provided in response to the accusations that its hosts deliberately lied about which version of the drug Rogan had taken.

“The heart of this debate has been purposely confused and ultimately lost,” CNN asserted. “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.”

Furthermore, the statement claimed that 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.”

Wemple dutifully stipulated that CNN made some “good points” in its statement, but ultimately concluded that it “sounds more like the work of an advocacy group than a journalism outfit” and that its on-air coverage of the Rogan saga was “slanted in some cases and straight-up incorrect in others.”

It appears that even some in the left-leaning media landscape are now starting to see what CNN’s critics on the right have been complaining about for years.

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