An interesting Twitter exchange appeared over the weekend after what seemed to be a triggering interview on the Joe Rogan Podcast.
Rogan had 2024 presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy on the podcast to discuss a variety of topics, but mainly focusing on Covid-19 vaccine efficacy and Big Pharma in the United States.
The Twitter frenzy began when Professor Peter Hotez re-tweeted an article from Vice, claiming that Spotify has halted all efforts to de-platform or silence Rogan for alleged “vaccine misinformation.” He agreed with Vice’s writer, claiming the podcast episode to have been “absurd” and shocking to understand that anyone would “believe this nonsense.”
Rogan was quick to respond to Hotez’s tweet, offering Hotez a $100,000 donation to the charity of his choice to come on his podcast and debate RFK.
Peter, if you claim what RFKjr is saying is “misinformation” I am offering you $100,000.00 to the charity of your choice if you’re willing to debate him on my show with no time limit. https://t.co/m0HxYek0GX
— Joe Rogan (@joerogan) June 17, 2023
Rogan responded with, “This is a non-answer. I challenged you publicly because you publicly quote tweeted and agreed with that dogshit Vice article. If you’re really serious about what you stand for, you now have a massive opportunity for a debate that will reach the largest audience a discussion like this has ever had. If you think someone else is better qualified, suggest that person.”
This is a non answer. I challenged you publicly because you publicly quote tweeted and agreed with that dogshit vice article. If you’re really serious about what you stand for, you now have a massive opportunity for a debate that will reach the largest audience a discussion… https://t.co/g1FGalC0Ym
— Joe Rogan (@joerogan) June 17, 2023
In a couple more series of back-and-forth tweets, Hotez claimed that 200,000 unvaccinated Americans perished due to “vaccine disinformation.” Rogan hit back re-asking if Hotez would be willing to debate RFK on the podcast.
“No medical professional should ever agree to do this. Never. It elevates the conspiracy guy, demeans the medical professional, and will only convince the kooks out there that RFK is right because a real doctor took the time to debate him,” writer Tom Nichols responded in the thread.
No medical professional should ever agree to do this. Never. It elevates the conspiracy guy, demeans the medical professional, and will only convince the kooks out there that RFK is right because a real doctor took the time to debate him.
Never debate a conspiracy theorist. https://t.co/k8xdSEAEiL
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) June 18, 2023
Rogan made an incredibly valid point with this next response — although he acknowledged that never debating a “conspiracy theorist” would be a “great suggestion” if he could assure that the industry he was representing wasn’t “completely captured by heartless monsters who have a history of some of the biggest criminal fines in human history because their deception has cost hundreds of thousands of people their lives.” He closes out this response with, “maybe it would be a good idea to have a fu***ng debate.”
That would be a great suggestion if you could assure that the industry you were representing wasn’t completely captured by heartless monsters who have a history of some of the biggest criminal fines in human history because their deception has cost hundreds of thousands of people… https://t.co/fVlPdwCWrq
— Joe Rogan (@joerogan) June 18, 2023
At that moment, businessman Mark Cuban chimed in, defending not only Hotez, but the “800,000 plus doctors in the country that believe vaccines save lives.” He accused Rogan of bullying Hotez into a debate as well as showing no interest in finding the “ground truth” behind vaccines. He then compared Rogan and Twitter CEO Elon Musk to the mainstream media — which is IRONIC, to say the least.
Way to talk in generalities Joe. Not saying there aren't a lot of fucked up things about pharma. That's why we created https://t.co/jYSNkP7amr. But to ignore that the same industry has saved who knows how many lives is bullshit and you know it.
It's also disrespectful to all… https://t.co/bUawoBgbH6
— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) June 18, 2023
Our Patrick Bet-David had a few words for his friend, Mr. Cuban.
A couple of thoughts he pointed out: the concept of bullying, capitalism, debates, and Cuban’s wild comparison between the mainstream media, Rogan and Musk. “Just this week MSNBC & CNN both said they won’t air Trump’s speech because they already knew in advance that he’ll tell lies. As if JB only tells the truth?
“That sounds like a dictatorship where the elite know what’s best for you & I. As if we can’t think for ourselves. A bit arrogant + pompous, don’t you think?”
Joe Trying to bully Dr Hotez?
Let me address 5 issues with your tweet:
Millions of Americans from all walks of life were bullied into taking the vaccine.
Many threatened to lose their jobs
Thousands of businesses went… https://t.co/3ELxjmaUbR
— Patrick Bet-David (@patrickbetdavid) June 19, 2023