Jon Stewart went to bat for Joe Rogan as the podcast giant is being accused of peddling COVID “misinformation.”
On Thursday’s installment of his AppleTV+ program “The Problem With Jon Stewart,” Stewart began by acknowledging he’s “guilty of a bias” since he “knows” Rogan and by default would “grant more understanding and nuance to people you know.”
He then referenced the “weapons of mass destruction” reports in the media in the lead-up to the Iraq War.
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“The New York Times, right, was a giant purveyor of misinformation, and disinformation. I don’t know if the Times was purposeful, but misinformation,” Stewart said. “And that’s as vaunted a media organization as you can find, but there was no accountability for them.”
“And I think where I get nervous is in the run-up to the Iraq War and in the prosecution of the Iraq War, I was very vocal … about that. But the mainstream view, the New York Times, was, ‘They have weapons of mass destruction, they have these tubes that can only be used for nuclear war, Saddam Hussein is this, he’s that,'” Stewart said, saying he wasn’t censored by Viacom, Comedy Central’s parent company.
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The former “Daily Show” host pointed out neither he nor anyone else is “owed” a platform so it didn’t amount to a First Amendment issue, but warned “these are shifting sands.”
“I think I get concerned with who gets to decide what … In the Iraq War, I was on the side of what you would think on the mainstream is misinformation. I was promoting what they would call misinformation,” Stewart said. “But it turned out to be right years later and the establishment media was wrong. And not only were they wrong, in some respects, you could make the case that they enabled a war that killed hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people and never paid a price for it and never had accountability. And just having an ombudsman print a retraction to me isn’t accountability.”
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“So it’s very easy to attack Rogan … and I’m not saying that that’s not your right and that there aren’t things there to talk about, but what I’m saying is let’s be careful because the sands can shift,” Stewart added.