A Letter From the Editors

Spotify, Stop This “Menace to Public Health”

Once a national treasure and the adored poster child of Cal Bears football, Aaron Rodgers has fallen from grace. No, not because of the Packers’ spectacular dumpster fire of a divisional matchup against the 49ers (though that was graceless in it of itself), but rather his submission to the “Joe Rogan Experience‘’ podcast and its empire of lies, stupidity and fragility. 

Joe Rogan and his chart-topping podcast have been the endless perpetrators of exactly the type of grievance politics and, most recently, COVID-19 misinformation, leading this country down the wrong path.

While his frequent anti-LGBTQ comments and other write-offs of efforts to genuinely make society a more inclusive place are unhealthy on their own, his touting of anti-vax sentiments and “alternative” COVID-19 treatments have proved in recent months to be much more costly, adding fuel to the fire of cases, deaths and economic despair. 

Rogan’s use of his podcast and platform to promote, among other things, the use of Ivermectin as a COVID-19 treatment, fictitious claims regarding hospitals reporting fake COVID-19 deaths and untrue statements on vaccine efficacy is literal and figurative poison being fed to his estimated 11 million listeners, Rodgers being one of them. 

Additionally, his interviews with COVID-19 “experts,” including the infamous and Twitter-banned Dr. Robert Malone, to peddle and prop up his campaign of misinformation has exacerbated the impact of his unfound medical advice. 

Spotify, the exclusive streaming platform of the “Joe Rogan Experience,” has failed to sufficiently react. 

Already, on Jan. 10, a group of 27 professionals from the medical community signed an open letter to the music and podcast streaming platform asking that they combat the future spread of Rogan’s and others’ misleading content related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Artist Neil Young made a similar demand, removing his music from Spotify in protest after they refused to follow through with deleting episodes of Rogan’s show containing false COVID-19 information. 

Rogan and his allies, including Rodgers, have reacted by blaming “cancel culture” and the “woke mob” for opposing their “views” on vaccines and COVID-19 treatments. It’s surprisingly similar to responses after Rogan’s aforementioned anti-LGBTQ comments and other controversies. 

You would think that the “facts don’t care about your feelings” crowd would back up their claims about science and medical treatment with data, but instead, it’s all grievance and self-victimization, adding to their martyrdom among the broader anti-vax, anti-science and anti-establishment crowd. 

As the exclusive streaming platform for the “Joe Rogan Experience” and steward of media access for its 165 million global users, Spotify must stand on the side of science and public health, and remove all COVID-19 misinformation, including episodes of Rogan’s tainted podcast. 

With a pandemic that has killed 875 thousand Americans and 5.63 million worldwide continuing to rage, the dissemination of properly-vetted resources and accurate information on the virus is the planet’s best tool to slow seemingly ceaseless death and rejuvenate a flailing global economy. 

In the words of epidemiologist Katrine Wallace, Spotify, stop this “menace to public health.”