Rogan, Dr. Gupta and the Narrative of “Horse Dewormer” (Perspective)

The Recent Rogan/Dr. Gupta Fallout Highlights the Faults of Today’s Media Apparatus

The debate around Ivermectin has once again been renewed by the recent appearance of chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta on Joe Rogan’s podcast. Joe Rogan has been no stranger with his skepticism of mainstream media and institutions, and has been critical of the portrayal of Ivermectin by media outlets. But the appearance of Dr. Gupta, and the following fallout, indicates a much broader, and more insidious trend of the media. It serves to epitomize why so many are distrustful of the media and why those in the media seem too stubborn to understand people’s skepticisms.

Rationalizing the “Horse Paste” Phenomenon

Joe Rogan got sick with COVID in late August, and has been open that he took Regeneron and was prescribed Ivermectin by a doctor. However, the headlines by the media crafted a different tale. All over media outlets were proclaiming that Joe Rogan was treating himself with “horse dewormer”, and a strong condemnation was given against any self-treatment with Ivermectin, leading to the FDA sending out, as Dr. Gupta puts it in the podcast, a “snarky” tweet exclaiming that people are not farm animals and should not take Ivermectin. Rogan pushed back on this, and indicated that this was a lie propagated by the media.

Even without delving into the details, the amount of misinformation running abound was extremely frustrating. I am not going to be advocating for self-treatment with Ivermectin or arguing in favor of its efficacy against COVID, but we don’t even need to argue on that front to disabuse all the misinformation.

Regardless of whether or not it is in horse paste form or a tablet, Ivermectin is Ivermectin. Strangely, people seem to think that the compound in paste form is somehow different than the one prescribed by doctors. If that were the case we wouldn’t be calling it Ivermectin for both. Apparently people are confused about what the phrase “different formulation” means. Because it is in paste form, different additives may be added (the apple flavor and the pastiness has to come from something). It also means the concentration of Ivermectin would be different to account for a horse’s body weight as well as its different anatomy and physiology compared to humans.

So the argument against horse paste usage, from an analytical standpoint, would be if any of the additives are toxic to humans or if the concentration was too high and would cause possible overdoses. Again, I am not telling people to take horse paste, but we need to make an argument using common sense; it’s the difference in formulation via additives and concentration that matters, not the notion that somehow, due to people’s own stupidity, they decided to consume tubes of horse paste and are sending themselves to the ER due to overdosing (a story which has been absolutely overblown and debunked) because people believed they consume as much horse paste as they wish to prevent COVID.

Joe Rogan’s criticisms, as well as many of ours, against the media and the institutions are easily highlighted in that clip. No, Dr. Gupta, that was not a “snarky” comment by any measure; it was an absolute distortion of the facts, and one that came from the Twitter account of one of our top federal regulatory bodies, one that is involved in the regulation of medications and treatments that millions of Americans take daily. For a government agency to stoop to the level of arguing like a typical social media influencer is downright shameful, and for many in the media to repeat such a dishonest tweet as gospel has been so disgraceful to see, but for many of us this just seems like typical mainstream media tactics.

How it Went and How It’s Presented

I’ll turn my attention to the post-podcast article that Dr. Gupta posted on CNN and will provide a breakdown of the content, and unfortunately it will be a paragraph-by paragraph breakdown. This may seem wholly unnecessary, but I think it provides insights into the thinking of those in the media, and who many of us, including me, have such disdain for these established outlets. Note that I did not watch the podcast yet, and so I am reserving judgement to only the clips I have seen and the article that Dr. Gupta posted and of his post-podcast appearance on Don Lemon’s show, so take my opinion with some skepticism (as you always should) and please correct me if there is anything I misinterpret.

After appearing on Rogan’s podcast Dr. Gupta posted an article on CNN about his experience, with the title:

Dr. Sanjay Gupta: Why Joe Rogan and I sat down and talked -- for more than 3 hours”.

Right off the bat this seemed like a strange title; anyone who has listened to Rogan’s podcast knows that it is always long-form, so it’s strange that Dr. Gupta has presented this as if it should come as a surprise.

Within the first paragraph, Dr. Gupta indicates that those who listen to him daily have “accepted the message” about vaccines and masks.

In today's highly segmented media world, most of the people who watch and listen to me every day on CNN have already received and accepted the message about the utility of vaccines, the importance of masks and how we can all work together to put an end to this pandemic.

Strange phrasing, and as someone who constantly has brain farts over finding the right words, even this wording seems weird. It doesn’t indicate any veracity to his argument, but sounds more akin to “accepting the gospel”. Why not argue that people agree with the message if it was an effective message? Dr. Gupta is CNN’s chief medical correspondent, but this presentation seems like a priest bringing the “good word” more than an appeal from an authoritative, well-credentialed doctor.

I don't think I have ever had a conversation that long with anyone. Seriously -- think about that. We sat in a windowless podcast booth with two sets of headphones and microphones, and a few feet between us. Not a single interruption. No cellphones. No distractions. No bathroom breaks.

Again, strange wording. Many of us have had many conversations with people over long periods. Even if they haven’t been in a podcast setting it seems pretty normal for people to interact and talk for many hours. It seems as if Dr. Gupta wants to seem “relatable” by finding oddness in long discussions, but instead his presentation makes him seem “unique” in his own interactions; take away the headphones and microphones and this sounds like a typical nightly dinner, and absolutely not something out of the ordinary. It’s also the idea of “no interruptions”; many guests have checked their phones, and “no distractions” is a very broad term (does smoking, drinking, or pulling up random images/videos count as distractions?). Also, bathroom breaks are absolutely allowed, and Joe has allowed several of his guests to take bathroom breaks when they asked. So why present the scenario in such a way? Well, what comes to mind when you imagine a windowless room with no distractions and bathroom breaks? To me, that stirs up images of imprisonment, and it’s hard to see any other intention given the wording.

At a time when there is a desire for shorter, crisper content -- responding to abbreviated human attention spans -- one of the most popular podcasts in the country features conversations that last exceptionally long and go particularly deep.

This seems like a contradictory statement; Rogan is one of, if not the, most popular podcast hosts out there. Dr. Gupta makes it seem that not only are people moving towards shorter forms of content, but that we should be expected to crave it more than long, drawn out podcasts. Dr. Gupta’s argument is only viable if people are not craving hours-long content, and would belittle Rogan’s prominence in the media sphere. At the same time media outlets are moving towards shorter videos and content podcast hosts are gaining in popularity, and this shift in viewers’ attention does not bode well for establishment media.

Many friends cautioned me against accepting Joe's invitation. "There is little room for reasonable conversations anymore," one person told me. "He is a brawler and doesn't play fair," another warned. In fact, when I told Joe early in the podcast that I didn't agree with his apparent views on vaccines against Covid, ivermectin and many things in between, part of me thought the MMA, former Taekwondo champion might hurtle himself across the table and throttle my neck. But, instead he smiled, and off we went.

As you’ll see later in the post, Dr. Gupta states that he has seen some of Rogan’s podcasts. Strange then, to listen to the cautionary arguments brought forth by his friends; shouldn’t Dr. Gupta be well-versed in “Roganism”, and know for himself whether or not he plays fair? Dr. Gupta also states that he doesn’t agree with his views on vaccines. I have not seen that clip, so I cannot argue about that position. However, the linked post goes to a previous CNN post where Rogan has mentioned that these vaccines work, but that if you are young and healthy you probably don’t need it. If that’s where Dr. Gupta is arguing in disagreement, I would agree with his attempt at open discourse, but Rogan just stated his opinion, and he has gotten a lot of flack for it by the media already (as indicated by CNN’s own article). The media has a strange way of presenting the common person as helpless and unthinking, and needing to following the advice of anyone influential instead of thinking for themselves. From that position, many in the media can claim themselves as the arbiters of truth from which the public can, and should, draw all of their information from and not meathead podcasters.

Lastly, at least for this paragraph, Dr. Gupta makes what appears to be a jocular comment about having his neck throttled by Rogan for his [Dr. Gupta’s] remarks. Not only is this a strange comment (there has never been an instance of this occurring, and wouldn’t you think that this would make headlines if it did?), but it comes off as quite unnerving that Dr. Gupta would assume, or at least joke, at the possibility of that occurring. But this seems to stem from a mischaracterization of Rogan, Dr. Gupta’s self-validation of his eminence, and the grand dichotomy between the two. Joe Rogan has been described solely by his martial arts background and the scenario presents him as a hard-headed stubborn man who will fight anyone that disagrees with him. In reality, this is far from the truth, but the constant allusions to fighting makes it hard to not question the intent of portraying Rogan as unequal to Dr. Gupta’s intellect.'

OK, I am embellishing here, but Joe Rogan is the one guy in the country I wanted to exchange views with in a real dialogue -- one that could potentially be among the most important conversations of this entire pandemic. After listening to his podcasts for a while now, I wanted to know: Was Joe simply a sower of doubt, a creator of chaos? Or was there something more? Was he asking questions that begged to be asked, fueled by necessary suspicion and skepticism?

And here is where my largest skepticism draws from; Dr. Gupta states that he has watched Rogan’s podcasts for a while, and yet he seems perplexed as to the inner machinations of Joe Rogan’s thoughts. Even as a peripheral viewer, it’s not hard to argue the positions that Rogan takes, and it is in fact that candidness, now afforded to him by distancing himself from the censorious nature of Youtube, that resonates so well with many viewers. Sure, Rogan is not an expert in many of the subjects that his guests are, but it’s his position as a podcast host, one where he asks pertinent, straightforward questions that many of his viewers crave, and one that so many of Rogan’s viewers feel is missing from the conversations put forth by the media.

And it’s from this position that makes me question whether or not Dr. Gupta has actually watched any of Joe Rogan’s podcasts. Why seek advice from friends for things you should already know about Rogan’s podcast style? Why seem surprised, and also victimized, by the long-form nature that is obvious with podcasting, a position that he [Dr. Gupta] himself has stated about Rogan’s podcasts? And lastly, why present Rogan as the enigma that his viewers cannot understand, when viewing a handful of his podcasts should have disabused any skepticism about Joe’s positions? Maybe there are story-driven liberties at play here, but that seems even less fitting of the nature of a chief medical correspondent for one of the nation’s top news agencies, and would no doubt serve his position more if he focused solely on his credentials and background than to use this arena for his stories.

There’s plenty more to elaborate on, such as Dr. Gupta’s argument that vaccines protect from long hauler COVID when there have, in fact, been instances of long hauler symptoms appearing in vaccinated individuals, or that natural immunity can vary by age because, unsurprisingly, immunity varies by age and therefore so will the vaccine’s effectiveness, but I won’t get too much into the weeds here and encourage people to read the piece.

Dr. Gupta ends his piece in a manner that many may find fitting for a mainstream news correspondent. Dr. Gupta says that he could not convince Joe Rogan to change his mind, and that Joe Rogan would somehow find misinformation to support his position (which Dr. Gupta supports by, of course, linking to a CNN article lamenting the dangers of “do your own research” ideology), and that as long as he changed some of Rogan’s viewer’s minds it would have all been worth it.

You’re not the Target Audience

Throughout the piece Dr. Gupta makes references to Rogan’s MMA background, that he is trained in Taekwando, and makes allusions to the idea that he is sparring with Rogan in an octagon, fitting of his imprisoned-like descriptions. It’s hard not to imagine, viewing the portrayal being put in front of us, and with Dr. Gupta’s closing remarks, that Dr. Gupta sees himself as a fighter for truth and science, battling against the meathead Rogan who constantly touts misinformation, and one who is set in his own ignorance which he projects onto his viewers. Otherwise, why not refer to Rogan as anything aside from his martial arts background, considering that he used to host Fear Factor and is well known as a comedian?

If anyone has viewed Rogan’s podcast they may not agree with the portrayal of Rogan as presented by Dr. Gupta. Many of his viewers are politically diverse, and so many may not agree with some of the points Rogan makes, but none would argue that Rogan is just some MMA jock who is always attempting to one-up his guest.

So why then present Rogan in such a manner? Because those who listen to Joe Rogan are not the intended audience of this piece. In fact, I would argue that the article benefits off the idea that its readers have never listened/watched to any of Rogan’s podcasts.

The media prides itself as being the gatekeepers of rationale, truth, and science. It operates off the idea that the viewer will not, no, should not look up information on their own (hence the castigation of “do your own research”), lest they go down a QAnon conspiracy rabbit hole from which they will not emerge from unscathed. It is the media’s job, as they view it, to spoonfeed their audience, and provide them the narrative and talking points from which viewers derive their knowledge, and thus their intelligence.

It is from this position that Dr. Gupta’s piece draws its influence; those who hardly know anything about Rogan’s podcast can easily be lead astray (you’ve already accepted Dr. Gupta’s message on COVID, why would he lead you astray here?) by the news piece alone, and may be far more likely to take the presentation at face value, instead of finding the inconsistencies that I have indicated. Granted, those are my opinions, but the article itself should denote candidness and good-faith discussion, and it’s hard to argue that that is what we are being presented with as a reader.

It’s the idea that viewers “don’t even have to think about it” that allows the castigation of Rogan, and anyone else who the media may deem as dangerous, the ability to control the narrative as they see fit. If I had no prior knowledge of Rogan, and had shown no skepticism of the media, I may have been easily persuaded to take the side of Dr. Gupta. Between the side of a meathead podcaster or a medical professional it would be expected of anyone to choose the latter.

The media expects its viewers to take a heuristic approach; go with the credentialed MD/PhD when deciding who to trust, rather than examine the ideas for yourself, do your own research, and come up with your own independently formed thoughts, even if they end up aligning with those who proclaim to be authority figures anyways. Don’t put in the work to find things for yourself (you’re not qualified to do so, remember?) just listen to what we [the media] say and fully “accept the message”.

As the saying goes, “Those who don’t watch the news are uninformed. Those who do watch the news are misinformed.” A news article is hardly itself the only picture, but when the narrative works only when the audience is left blind to the whole story there is no option to allow for independent research and thought.

Dr. Gupta’s article serves 2 purposes; it reinforced or inscribed the negative thoughts and ideas viewers may have for Rogan, while also reinforcing the notion that viewers must accept Dr. Gupta’s position. If you may not agree with Dr. Gupta or the media’s position you are not the target audience.

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Doubling Down instead of Clarifying

After Dr. Gupta’s appearance on Joe Rogan’s podcast he appeared on Don Lemon’s CNN segment. This would be a perfect time to clarify the misinformation on “horse dewormer”, Joe Rogan’s COVID stance, and to boost media credibility right? Well…

So not only did his article create more divisiveness than clarity, but appearing on his own media outlet and doubling down on his position seems absolutely reprehensible. Remember that he seemed to have taken some issues with the FDA’s tweet, and yet here he is giving credibility to that same inflammatory tweet he previously called “snarky”- I guess “strange” is an even more milquetoast approach to that tweet.

But that wasn’t the only point that was concerning. Why is it that the medical expert, CNN’s chief medical correspondent, is being led by Don Lemon on medical information? Shouldn’t Dr. Gupta be the one to take the helm and discuss Ivermectin?

And once again we have the label of “well-known as horse dewormer”. As a show of imaginary hands, how many of you readers knew about Ivermectin before COVID, let alone as a horse dewormer? If you didn’t, did you know that many deworming medications for dogs and cats contain… Gasp! Ivermectin?!

So isn’t it safer to say that Ivermectin is well-known as a pet dewormer? It’s far more likely that people own cats and dogs than they do horses, so why continue to label it as horse-dewormer? Remember that the monocle of horse dewormer had to come from somewhere, and in this case it came straight from the media. Not only was this a doubling down on a narrative, it was doubling down on a narrative that the media themselves constructed to signal to their base while denigrating those who remain critical of the media’s intentions, and in this case it’s really difficult to see how the media can be seen in a good light.

The last point I’ll make here is Dr. Gupta’s statement:

Just because it works for one thing doesn't mean it works for something else.

Here lies the faults of the media, and the largest fault of the scientific community throughout this whole pandemic, because this phrase indicates not only ignorance, but lack of inquisitive thought. Science does not start with the cautionary idea that a therapeutic for one disease certainly can’t work on another. Instead, science tests the “what if” hypotheses, asking whether this drug may work on another pathogen, and conducts rigorous testing procedures to validate the hypothesis. If it doesn’t prove to work through rigorous scientific methods, we can argue that it may not be an effective therapeutic, but that ability to disregard a drug’s effectiveness must be derived from scientific measures and not purely on speculation that itself hinders the scientific process.

Dr. Gupta contradicts himself by saying that there are clinical trials occurring with Ivermectin, so why even make such a statement? Sure, Ivermectin has not been approved for use with COVID (Don Lemon states this as well), but to say that a drug for one thing may not work on another thing while also saying that there are ongoing clinical trials just sounds like a way to obfuscate any discourse around the drug. Dr. Gupta ends by stating that the evidence isn’t there for Ivermectin use. It would have been a good way of staying on point with the message, but instead we had to go through the FDA tweet as well as the unscientific statement before indicating that there’s not enough proof (regardless of whether or not we agree with this idea).

Dr. Gupta had a way to clarify his position, and once again it’s a shame that the apparently good-willed, constructive discussion he had with Rogan on his podcast will now be overshadowed by the media’s need to feed their own narrative over the idea of having open discourse.

The Media’s Influence

Australia has been an enigmatic case study in how to deal with the pandemic. Its island nation status makes lockdowns and border closures very easy, and it has helped them to reduce incoming COVID cases. It became one of the nations that did lockdowns “correctly” and was praised accordingly. However, when the vaccines began to roll out in Australia many were hesitant to take it, with the first few months having extremely poor vaccination numbers.

There are many factors that could explain why this happened. Being an island nation may have created a false sense of security; that it would be very difficult for COVID to enter into the region so why worry about it? Also, by having such low cases residents may have found no compelling reason to get vaccinated. But the real reason, and one that we should be concerned with, is that news reports of blood clots caused many residents to not want to receive vaccines.

The logistics for vaccine roll outs in Australia are numerous; most vaccine-producing nations got first dibs on the initial vaccines. The UK was also embroiled with Brexit and finalizing its leave from the EU caused a lot of bureaucratic issues with AstraZeneca’s adenovirus vaccine. Unfortunately, the only accessible vaccine to Australians was AstraZeneca’s, and it was coming about after constant reporting of blood clots.

For months the news was filled with stories about people taking AstraZeneca’s vaccine and ending up with blood clots, and have even made many people who would be able to receive the first batch of vaccines very skeptical. Why then, would a nation that seemed to have done so well, risk their health for a vaccine that the media has portrayed as possibly having dangerous side effects?

Australia doesn’t serve as just a case study of how (possibly not) to approach a pandemic, but it serves as a case study of how influential the media’s viewpoints are to any form of discourse, and it’s one that they may never have to answer for themselves. The initial months of vaccine rollouts were inundated with nurses suffering anaphylaxis, and many political figures even insisting they would not take the vaccine because of then President Trump.

How then should the public react to such alarmist narratives brought forth by the media institutions that have insisted that they be the arbiters of truth? In this case the public reacted to the news in a fitting manner; concerns about blood clots and anaphylaxis, as reported by the media, led people to not want to take the vaccines.

The measures and ideas that the US implement are easily adopted by other nations. So what happens when the US media constantly reports Ivermectin as a horse dewormer? We hardly have to deal with parasites in the US aside from deworming livestock and pets, so it is very easy for many in the West to use such labels because the ramifications of such may not appear as severe here (granted, many people are not able to receive prescribed Ivermectin due to such labels and the same has happened to Hydroxychloroquine).

But what will happen to many poorer nations, ones where widespread use of Ivermectin has saved millions of lives over the decades, when they hear that they are taking horse dewormer, or that they hear that the FDA, one of the most influential medical bodies in the world, posted a “snarky” tweet to not take Ivermectin because you are not livestock? Would we then have to be concerned that in many nations where Ivermectin has been extremely useful, that people become will hesitant to take it because of the misinformation they heard from US media outlets?

The influence of the media is not contained within its region, and when the media reports on things with the intent to gain approval from their viewers or to castigate dissenters, it does so with the entire world in full view. What gets portrayed has a trickle down effect, and when no regard is taken to the possible ramifications of what gets reported, we may deal with widespread effects, and in this case ones that may be deadly. It’s hard to disabuse a notion that was proclaimed so strongly by the media, so when the media is not held to account for its misreporting the narrative becomes ossified and hard to correct for. The mediasphere is wide and vast, and many in the media should do well to understand this when they report on stories. Otherwise, there may be many unintended consequences downstream of their actions.

When the Lemmings go over, look for the Throwers

Even as a millennial I heard stories about lemmings committing mass suicide by throwing themselves off of cliffs. This came from the 1958 Disney Documentary “White Wilderness” where lemmings were described as having a strong compulsion to commit suicide. As many are aware by now, the whole narrative was faked, with filmmakers being responsible for throwing the lemmings off the cliff while carefully shot and edited videos detailing a scenario counter to the actual incident.

The way that videos are shown to us, and the way that articles are written are done with intent; an intent to evoke emotions of sadness and anger, an intent to call someone forward to action, or an intent to denigrate or mock those who we may disagree with ideologically.

On a superficial level Dr. Gupta’s article weaves a narrative tale, akin to David fighting the Goliath within his own domain and coming out victorious. It’s a tale that those who have “accepted the message” would agree with, even if they didn’t think too hard about the details of the story. Those who side with Dr. Gupta will easily read this and dismiss Rogan and his viewers as being wholly ignorant and stubborn to change, but to be honest many Rogan defenders may view this article as an immediate castigation of the media and should not be viewed with any credence. Unfortunately, Dr. Gupta does not help disabuse any skepticism that some of Rogan’s viewers may have.

I have made my position very clear on how I feel about establishment media, but I have not sided with Rogan because I blindly follow whatever he says, or find him to be an omniscient, sauna-loving deity bearing no wrongs (I honestly wouldn’t even say I side with him). In an attempt to portray a good-faith argument, Dr. Gupta somehow creates an even more divisive narrative, one where he is portrayed as the rational medical expert who Rogan should have agreed with instead of the attempt at open discourse that Rogan encourages in all of his podcasts. Right from the start, knowing that Dr. Gupta’s main intent was to influence Rogan, and then his viewers, to get vaccinated, leaves a bad mark for those who are already disagreeable and skeptical of the media. From this perspective it makes it difficult to see the main intent of going onto Rogan’s show as nothing more than a “poison the well” situation by entering into the conversation already with an intent to influence in mind. Regardless of how well-intended Dr. Gupta framed himself, he does himself no good by writing such an article after his appearance, and It makes me doubt his article really swayed anyone to his position that was not already there. Instead, it serves as more divisive rhetoric, and for me personally creates more skepticism.

There’s no doubt that Dr. Gupta is intelligent and extremely qualified to speak on many manners of COVID, but that makes it even more shameful that he attempts to present himself in such a light as he describes in the article. We expect candidness and transparency when it comes to medical experts, and when you come from a media perspective you should be well aware of the skepticism many in the public have that news pundits do not hold nefarious intent, so when an appearance on a podcast (one that many have said was actually very constructive) gets overshadowed by the fallout via a news article and a “doubling down” appearance on his own news station, it makes it difficult to separate the well-intentioned attempt at discourse from the “clapback” to his own ideological echo chamber.

As of now the talk in independent media has not revolved around Dr. Gupta’s appearance on Joe Rogan. Instead, they’ve highlighted how the media, in its attempt to ridicule anyone who dissents from their narrative, would rather go to great lengths to target those whose influence runs tangential to establishment media and use them to drive their talking points into.

Dr. Gupta’s appearance could have served as a fruitful endeavor to engage in good-faith discussions between ideologically differing viewpoints. Unfortunately, his article and appearance on Don Lemon negates any attempt at open discussion. I personally intend on viewing the podcast, but I also can’t argue that the fallout has made it difficult to view it in any other way but with staunch criticism and skepticism.

There Needs to be some Self-Reflection

Over the course of several years my views on the media have drastically changed. I used to watch the news daily and take whatever they stated as fact. Over time though, a lot of what I saw started to not make sense. Amplified up by the media coverage during Trump’s presidency, regardless of whether you like him or not, and continuing on into COVID many of what the media reported has made me highly critical of the intent and role that the media plays. Whether it’s Russiagate, the Wuhan Lab Theory, or Hunter Biden’s laptop, even to the minute such as local stations saying you can carry COVID on your shoes, or the rampant usage of the phrase “fact-checking” to question people’s criticisms of any topic, the mainstream media has taken a role as being the only source you can trust when it comes to news.

But time and time again the media has published falsehoods or misinformation, all with the intent to mislead its readers/viewers. It’s because of this that many people all across the political spectrum have turned away from mainstream news and moved towards independent outlets. It’s one of the main reasons why podcast hosts such as Joe Rogan draw so much viewership to their podcast; the long, open, and candid style of conversing runs antithetical to the typical styles of the news with its formal 5 minute segments that provides no room for open debate and discussion.

The legacy of mainstream media is in decline due mostly in part to its own making. In such a state you would expect them to gain some self-reflection and ask why so many in the public continue to view them with distrust. Why is it their viewership continues to decline while independent media continues to grow? But instead they continue to double down, enforcing their position and ideology as the “correct”.

I, and many people, hope that each media mistake would lead to some self reflection and understand why so many view them with such disregard, and Dr. Gupta’s appearance on Rogan’s podcast could have gone a long way to helping heal the rifts between the media and the public. That seems to have been achievable from the podcast alone (as I have stated people have indicated it was a good discussion), but those in the media couldn’t help themselves and had to overshadow any good will with the CNN article and the Don Lemon segment.

The Rogan/Gupta discourse encapsulates so much of what is wrong with our media apparatus, and unless they find the ability to take corrective action for themselves their prominence within public discourse will be over before they know it.

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