Logan and Kennedy talking. Screenshot by Spotify/Joe Rogan Experience
On Thursday, the nation’s biggest podcaster, Joe Rogan, moderated a three-hour conversation with anti-vaccine celebrity-turned-presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. layer celebrated. The conversation was an orgy about unchecked vaccine misinformation, conspiracy theories about 5G technology and Wi-Fi, and of course, Logan once again praising ivermectin, an ineffective bogus coronavirus cure. The conversation picked up a bit of a tone as RFK started the campaign by downplaying anti-vaccine activism. But the episode also sees Spotify, the platform that allegedly paid over $200 million to host Logan’s show, deal with his relentless torrent of medical misinformation in all but the most pale and superficial way. It shows decisively that you have completely given up on things.
The show begins with Logan ranting about how his views on Kennedy have changed, and agreeing with Kennedy’s stance on vaccines during the pandemic, as he considered him a “peripheral conspiracy theorist”. He said it was up to him.
“I thought, ‘Is it possible that this person is telling the truth?'” Logan asked rhetorically.
What followed was a detailed survey of Kennedy’s most dangerously wrong views, a list far too extensive to outline completely, all of which Logan accepted uncritically and often literally. I opened my mouth in awe. (There was also a casual digression near the end in which Kennedy, who believes that both his uncle JFK and his father had been assassinated by the CIA, suggested that he himself might become a target of the organization. It said it was taking “precautionary measures” against the CIA, but it’s unclear what.)
It contained a myriad of issues that had already been debunked. For example, at one point Kennedy falsely suggested that vaccines would cause autism, which was repeatedly and thoroughly disproved, and Logan intervened supportively.
President Kennedy also brought up one of his favorite topics, a phrase he often uses, that vaccines contain a dangerous form of mercury. As usual, he confused ethylmercury, which is not considered harmful to human health, with methylmercury, which is considered dangerous even in small amounts. (In this example, Kennedy acknowledged that there are two different types of mercury, but there is no substantial difference between them, and laboratory tests showed that ethylmercury remained in the brains of monkeys, suggesting a difference.) In fact, methylmercury is much more commonly present in the environment, such as when eating fish and shellfish, but ethylmercury is primarily used in some pediatric vaccines. It is found in thimerosal, a preservative that is widely used.. However, thimerosal was removed from most pediatric vaccines by 2001, causing autism and other adverse health effects anyway. Kennedy suspects that aluminum (used as an adjuvant in vaccines and countless other food, cosmetic and medical products) or some other method he has never been able to pinpoint precisely. argued that vaccines could still somehow cause autism.
“Vaccines contain many other toxic substances that may be the cause,” he said.
Kennedy also promoted his now infamous article, “Lethal Immunity,” published around the same time. rolling stone He also noted that the article was eventually retracted by Salon after the publication first had to make a humiliating and extensive revision. Kennedy claimed to Logan that the article was retracted under “pressure from the pharmaceutical industry,” a completely unsubstantiated statement, and Logan, of course, did not seek proof.
Taking a break from claiming fake vaccines, the gang also had a lengthy discussion about the dangers of Wi-Fi. The anti-vaccine group Children’s Health Defense, founded and chaired by President Kennedy, has made many false claims about electromagnetic, wireless and 5G technology over the years. Kennedy suggested that “Wi-Fi radiation” may be causing autism, food allergies, asthma, eczema, and other chronic diseases, but Logan displayed unusually basic critical thinking. , suggested that the possibility was “unlikely”.
“I think it degrades the mitochondria and opens the blood-brain barrier,” Kennedy said confidently.
Logan paused and turned to producer Jamie. Jamie works as a researcher on the show by doing a lot of research on Google. “Have you seen anything about it online?” he asked. After a short wait at Google, Logan paused again.
“Oh my gosh, we finally have to do away with Wi-Fi,” he said.
(To be clear, however, concerns about the potential health effects of wireless technology have been raised by activists, researchers, and journalists, and in 2022 ProPublica announced that the FCC would allow “virtually any It has repeatedly sided with the telecom industry in denying the possibility of health effects.” This sort of thing is an ideal breeding ground for conspiracy theories: collaboration and transparency between state and corporate power. Lack of sexuality not only makes ordinary people suspicious, but it’s a game-ready for people like Kennedy.)
They also agreed that big pharmaceutical companies are deliberately hiding data about ivermectin’s effectiveness against the novel coronavirus. (Ivermectin is very effective in treating river blindness, a devastating parasitic disease. Kennedy claimed that ivermectin “won the Nobel Prize”, but that’s not how things work.) Two scientists involved in discovering its use were awarded the prize.)
“They had to discredit ivermectin,” declared Kennedy. “There is a federal Emergency Use Authorization Act that states that an emergency use authorization for a vaccine cannot be issued if there is an existing drug approved for that purpose that has been shown to be effective against a covered disease. That’s why we had to destroy ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine.” This is clearly bullshit, a claim made by Conspiracy 101, but again thoroughly and easily proved to be false. exposed. Kennedy also claimed that the ivermectin study was “designed to fail,” which is also incredibly untrue.
If this looks familiar, it’s because we’ve been here before. In January 2022, Spotify came under withering criticism for not checking Mr. Logan’s vaccine lies, prompting both Neil Young and Joni Mitchell to remove the track from the platform in protest. Logan eventually apologized half-heartedly on Instagram, saying, “I’m not trying to spread misinformation, I’m not trying to be controversial. I don’t do anything on this podcast other than talking to people.” I never tried.”
Following the public backlash, Spotify ultimately banned “content promoting dangerously false or dangerously deceptive medical information that could cause offline harm or pose a direct threat to public health.” announced internal platform regulations, including regulations for Among other things, the company said the new coronavirus was a “hoax,” promoted “bleach products” as cures and cures for diseases, and “provided that a vaccine approved by local health authorities would cause deaths.” Advertise or imply that it is designed to
In response to Motherboard’s request for comment, a Spotify spokesperson released the following statement: We have long-standing policies that help us protect our content, and we take multiple steps to ensure that your content is protected.” Usage on Spotify is subject to our policies. (In a separate email, the same spokeswoman said, “Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have violated our dangerously false or dangerously deceptive medical information policy within our platform rules, resulting in 20,000 We’ve removed more than one podcast episode,” he added.
A Spotify spokesperson suggested in a brief phone call with Motherboard that the coronavirus vaccine was ineffective, hurting, hurting, and killing many people during Logan and Kennedy’s conversations. It was this last rule that Logan and Kennedy claimed not to have broken because they had. They didn’t say it was “designed” to do so. Instead, they spent much of their time ruminating on how young people suddenly collapse and die in sports stadiums and elsewhere, which has been debunked but remains the popular “sudden death”. Death’ was a clear nod to the conspiracy theory.
President Kennedy said the vaccine increases the chance of dying from any cause by 21%, before claiming that the vaccine also increases the risk of cardiac arrest. (A large Australian study published last month found no association between COVID-19 vaccination and cardiac arrest. that is This is associated with a slightly increased risk of cardiomyopathy in some populations, and this fact has been persistently criticized by those who do not trust vaccines to suggest that young people should not be vaccinated. has been used for )
The spokesperson also said Spotify may take “episode-level” actions against shows, such as limiting the discoverability of shows, in some cases, adding that the company has taken “episode-level actions.” We will not discuss the measures,” he added.
There’s no evidence that this particular episode is getting harder to find. Instead, it simply adds the same “Learn more about COVID-19” banner that appears in many of Logan’s episodes. The banner shows links to his COVID podcasts from places like: Guardian, BBC, Johns Hopkins University. And it’s worth noting that even if Spotify takes steps like limiting discoverability, it’s essentially pointless for certain Logan episodes. After all, just like many people do every day, when users search for Joe Rogan, his podcast appears, and subscribers see it in their feeds.
Finally, Kennedy also used this episode to convey some grudges, notably as a physician, internationally recognized expert in virology and immunology, and co-developer of the rotavirus vaccine. Slandered Dr. Paul Offitt. Mr. Kennedy described Mr. Offitt as a pharmaceutical industry insider and suspected that Mr. Offitt failed to mention any of the safety studies done on the vaccine when they once spoke on the phone. (There are quite a few of them. The American Academy of Pediatrics has compiled some of the biggest here.)
In response, Offitt told Motherboard, “I’m not RFK Jr.’s problem. His problem is the science that has consistently shown him wrong.”