Anti-gay hate and discrimination held a significant role in the HIV/AIDS epidemic. So did disinformation. So, why would a podcaster boost the claims of a denialist who promotes stereotypes and disinformation about LGBT communities, when there’s so much information available that could be learned from legitimate sources instead?
You’d have to ask Joe Rogan about that.
At this point, it’s hardly a surprise that clip after clip is surfacing of Rogan saying things that are horrible and harmful, as listeners go through a backlog of over a decade of podcasts from the guy who sidesteps any responsibility for his disinformation by asserting that he’s just not smart enough to know what’s real. The latest is about the HIV/AIDS crisis, and you can hear Rogan in the clip below citing Peter Duesberg, a professor of molecular biology and a cancer researcher, who decided to weigh in on the AIDS crisis and insist that HIV wasn’t the cause, blaming instead the behavior and life choices of those who contracted the virus.
(He also throws in a little aside, the only purpose of which seems to be reminding listeners that homophobes are utterly obsessed with anal sex and can’t seem to discuss LGBT issues without mentioning it — therefore it’s necessary to throw in a content warning here for language.)
Unearthed: Before signing with Spotify, Joe Rogan shared misinformation from a prominent AIDS denialist who “doesn’t believe that HIV causes AIDS,” but believes AIDS is caused by “drug use in the gay community” and “not getting enough sleep.” pic.twitter.com/mcXRKOwVHU
— PatriotTakes 🇺🇸 (@patriottakes) February 7, 2022
NPR documents how Duesberg’s theories — which, being contradictory to what mainstream scientists and experts were saying, got plenty of air time — made it to South Africa, and went viral. His brand of denialism is credited for hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths in South Africa alone.
Still, here’s Joe Rogan, laughing about how ‘controversial’ Duesberg is, repeating his unfounded claims that drug use and lack of sleep from too much partying in the gay community are the real cause of AIDS, then declaring himself “too stupid to understand” — yet apparently not unwilling to spread dangerous propaganda?
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com