Jordan Peterson Defends Joe Rogan After Hundreds of Scientists Speak Out Against Podcaster

Jordan Peterson has defended Joe Rogan after hundreds of scientists signed an open letter accusing the podcaster of "repeatedly spread[ing] misleading and false claims."

About 270 U.S. doctors, scientists, health care professionals and professors wrote to Spotify, which hosts his podcast The Joe Rogan Experience, to share their concerns.

The letter accuses Rogan of a "concerning history of broadcasting misinformation, particularly regarding the COVID-19 pandemic."

The podcaster has been supported by Peterson, however, with the Canadian psychologist and author tweeting: "Joe Rogan: King of Misinformation. That's why so many people prefer him to CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS (which never lie or dissimulate) @JoeRogan Leave him alone @Spotify and censors everywhere."

The scientists who wrote the letter are especially concerned about a December episode of Rogan's podcast that featured Robert Malone, a virologist and immunologist who claims to have created the technology behind the COVID-19 vaccines.

The episode has been heavily criticized for promoting conspiracy theories about the virus and the vaccine.

"Dr. Malone used the JRE platform to promote numerous baseless claims, including several falsehoods about COVID-19 vaccines and an unfounded theory that societal leaders have 'hypnotized' the public. Many of these statements have already been discredited," the letter stated.

During the episode, Rogan said: "There's all these rumors that you would hear about what a hospital gets paid per COVID death and that the government gives them money and that they're incentivized."

Malone replied: "It's not rumors."

The open letter argued that "mass-misinformation events of this scale have extraordinarily dangerous ramifications."

It went on: "As scientists, we face backlash and resistance as the public grows to distrust our research and expertise. As educators and science communicators, we are tasked with repairing the public's damaged understanding of science and medicine.

"As physicians, we bear the arduous weight of a pandemic that has stretched our medical systems to their limits and only stands to be exacerbated by the anti-vaccination sentiment woven into this and other episodes of Rogan's podcast."

One of the scientists who signed the letter—Katrine Wallace, an epidemiologist at University of Illinois Chicago School of Public Health—described Rogan as "a menace to public health" in an interview with Rolling Stone.

Newsweek has contacted Rogan's representatives for comment.

This week, Rogan admitted that he "looked dumb" on his podcast while discussing COVID-19 vaccines with Australian broadcaster Josh Szeps.

Rogan claimed that a rare heart condition had been linked to vaccines, but the notion that vaccinated boys had a higher risk of myocarditis—an inflammation of the heart—than boys who caught COVID was debunked by Szeps in real time.

Joe Rogan, Jordan Peterson
Joe Rogan, Jordan Peterson Getty Images