CNN's Sanjay Gupta appears on Joe Rogan show after network repeatedly condemned influential podcast host

Media jumps on Joe Rogan coronavirus news

‘Gutfeld!’ panel reacts to the media coverage of the influential podcasted after his COVID-19 diagnosis

CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta made headlines Thursday for appearing on Joe Rogan’s podcast despite the liberal network’s lengthy history of attacking the influential media personality. 

Gupta sat down for a lengthy conversation where he was grilled on why children should be forced to take the COVID vaccine since they face minimal risk from the virus. Rogan also pressed his guest on why CNN characterized the ivermectin he took to recover from COVID as a “horse dewormer.” 

CNN’s top doctor was cordial to Rogan during the sometimes-combative interview, but the reception Rogan had previously received from CNN was far more hostile. 

Earlier this month, CNN’s weekend anchor Jim Acosta went on a rant condemning the “garbage,” “COVID disinformation” Rogan says on his podcast after he baselessly speculated that President Joe Biden received a fake booster shot for the cameras. 

“It is so pernicious,” Acosta reacted. “We can write off and say, ‘Oh, this is just some guy with a podcast’ and ‘What’s the big deal?’ and ‘he’s a comedian.’ It’s dangerous. It’s just so dangerous.”

“I wish he would just knock it off. It’s not worth it, it’s not worth the numbers, the data, the whatever the metrics that they get, podcasters. It’s just not worth it. Please stop,” Acosta pleaded to Rogan. 

CNN extensively covered Rogan’s announcement that he had tested positive for COVID, repeatedly hammering him for his past rhetoric on the vaccine. 

“No one is happy for gloating over the fact, at least not here, that Joe Rogan tested positive for COVID, OK? … But Joe Rogan has been dismissive of vaccines,” CNN anchor Don Lemon said. “You have a responsibility. You have a responsibility when you have a platform as big as Joe Rogan’s.”

After Rogan announced in September that he tested positive for COVID, CNN’s left-wing media guru Brian Stelter slammed Rogan for using various treatments amid his recovery including ivermectin, which Stelter referred to as a “horse deworming medication,” that would encourage others to try them as well. 

“That’s the upside-down world we’re in with figures like Joe Rogan,” Stelter told Anderson Cooper.

Stelter later lectured Rogan during his appearance on Lemon’s show, insisting “it’s not enough” for him to say he’s “not anti-vax” but that he must be “pro-vax.”

“You gotta come out when you have a big platform and share your experience getting vaccinated, helping your neighbors. And Joe Rogan has done the opposite,” Stelter said. “Yes, he will probably be fine, he will probably get better, but he has sent all the wrong signals to date with this kind of contrarianism where, you know, if the government says one thing, he has to do the opposite. That is the rotten core of conservative media right now.”

“OutFront” host Erin Burnett also knocked the “controversial” podcast host for using a “livestock drug.”

“New Day” co-hosts accused Rogan of “giving air to anti-vaccine narratives” in April after Rogan opined that young, healthy people shouldn’t have to get the COVID vaccine, which he later walked back. 

CNN anchor Jim Sciutto suggested that Rogan was “endangering” the health of his listeners and invited Dr. Anthony Fauci to push back against the podcast host. Analyst John Avlon said Rogan was “playing footsie” with anti-vaccine impulses.

It’s not just Rogan’s rhetoric towards COVID that upsets CNN. Lemon lashed out at the podcast star for predicting “straight White men” will be silenced amid a growing “woke” culture. 

“Acknowledging the oppression, discrimination or differences of others does not silence anyone else,” Lemon pushed back. “No matter what he has said, he has not been silenced! He has a huge megaphone with millions of loyal listeners, all of whom every single day say whatever they want… No one is stopping Joe Rogan or any other ‘straight White men’ from expressing themselves. Period.”   

Despite the network’s hosts and pundits often criticizing Rogan, it appears CNN granted Gupta its blessing to sit down with Rogan. CNN even published a lengthy essay Gupta wrote defending his appearance on the podcast. CNN has since embraced the interview on air, too, while largely downplaying or ignoring the exchange about ivermectin in which Gupta said CNN shouldn’t have mocked the drug as a “horse dewormer.”  

Fox News’ Brian Flood contributed to this report. 

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