CNN showered its chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta with praise for daring to sit down with podcast giant Joe Rogan, but the liberal network largely ignored some of the most viral moments from the three-hour interview.
Shortly after Wednesday’s episode of “The Joe Rogan Experience” was released, Gupta appeared with CNN anchor Erin Burnett.
“Do you feel like you broke through or that he will ever embrace the vaccine?” Burnett asked.
“I don’t think so… I hate to say that, but he was very steadfast in this,” Gupta responded.
Gupta trashed Rogan, accusing him of “convincing” himself of sticking to a “particular narrative” despite the data he shared with the podcast host.
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He then attempted to rebuke Rogan’s concerns about young boys getting myocarditis following the vaccine by pointing to an Israeli study showing only 2.7 people out of 100,000 were diagnosed with heart inflammation after getting the Pfizer vaccine but that 11 people out of 100,000 received the same diagnosis following getting sick with COVID, concluding that myocarditis is a bigger risk for the unvaccinated than the vaccinated.
“When you’re trying to figure out risk, truly sitting down as a parent in this case and comparing apples to apples and saying which is the better option for my child I think that’s important,” Gupta added.
However, as Fourth Watch media critic Steve Krakauer pointed out, Rogan specifically spoke about young boys, but the study Gupta cited attempting to dismiss Rogan’s concerns relied on overall cases, not children. Gupta went on to cite the same data again the next day.
CNN appeared very selective on which exchanges it chose to highlight since another one which received over 1 million views on Twitter showed Rogan stumping Gupta over the risk for a vaccinated adult of getting terribly sick with COVID versus an unvaccinated young child amid the debate of vaccine mandates for children.
“Don’t you think that even with a breakthrough infection untreated, you’re probably more vulnerable than the average child who is not vaccinated who gets COVID?” Rogan began. “The odds of [death] happening to a young child are very, very low… Theoretically, you would be more vulnerable than a young child would be… but you’re not worried about catching it. You’re not worried about catching it because you’ve been vaccinated and you think it parts a certain amount of protection.”
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“What I’m saying to you is I think that not worry is the same feeling a lot of people have about their children. They’re not worried about their healthy children catching it for the same reason you’re not worried about catching it being vaccinated that if treated correctly, they think that the child probably has a better chance even than you do because you’re 51 years old. Is that- that seems reasonable, right?” Rogan asked. “You’re not worried of catching it because you’ve been vaccinated and you’re a healthy guy. That is the exact same feeling that people have about vaccinating their children. If they have healthy children and they know that statistically speaking, there’s so few children that have died from COVID.”
“Yeah, there are,” Gupta conceded. “It’s like 500 or so children-“
“Out of millions and millions and millions of kids,” Rogan said. “Your attitude about not being concerned because you have antibodies and you think you would get through it even if you had a breakthrough infection. That is the exact same attitude that a lot of young people have when they don’t want to get the shot because they’re worried about the consequences.”
CNN anchor Don Lemon lectured Rogan over his hesitancy to get the vaccine, which he revealed he had planned on getting earlier this year until the Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause occurred, snarkily telling the podcast host the pause was “lifted after ten days.”
Lemon later invited Gupta onto his show to defend CNN after Rogan accused of lying about him taking “horse dewormer” when he announced he had contracted the virus. Gupta admitted that his CNN colleagues should not have described his COVID treatment that way.
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“He did say something about ivermectin that I think wasn’t actually correct about CNN and lying,” Lemon began. “Ivermectin is a drug that is commonly used as a horse dewormer. So it is not a lie to say that the drug is used as a horse dewormer. I think that’s important- and it’s not approved for COVID, correct?”
“That’s right,” Gupta responded. “It is not approved for COVID and you’re right, even the FDA put out a statement saying basically reminding people- it’s a strange sort of message FDA, but said ‘You’re not a horse, you’re not a cow, stop taking this stuff’ is essentially what they said referring to ivermectin. Now, I think Joe’s point is that-
“That it’s been approved for humans but not necessarily for COVID, right?” Lemon interjected.
“That’s correct,” Gupta continued. “It’s been used for a parasitic disease- it’s called river blindness and it’s been very effective for that, but, you know, just because it works for one thing doesn’t mean it works for something else.”
CNN also published a lengthy essay written by Gupta on how he had entered the “lion’s den” despite having “friends” discouraging him to do so but wrote, “I am still glad I did it.”
The essay, predictably, did not go into detail about Rogan’s use of ivermectin and CNN’s false characterization of the treatment.
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Beyond Lemon, no one else on CNN mentioned ivermectin in the coverage of the Gupta-Rogan showdown, according to Grabien transcripts.
Meanwhile, Rogan’s viral exchange with Gupta over CNN’s coverage of him received over 5 million views on Twitter.
On Thursday, “New Day” co-host Brianna Keilar and John Berman rolled out the red carpet for Gupta.
“I’m so glad you did this because there are so many people who can listen to the sense that you make,” Keilar told Gupta.
“Sanjay, you’re a prince,” co-host John Berman grinned. “I don’t know where you get your patience. I really don’t. A remarkable display of calm and patience there.”
CNN anchor Jim Sciutto praised Gupta for appearing to have “made some progress” in converting Rogan to the pro-vaccine movement.
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Throughout the day, Rogan was labeled by CNN anchors as a “controversial podcast host,” “notable vaccine skeptic,” a “provocateur” and an “agitator.”
The network spent much of its coverage focusing on Rogan’s tongue-in-cheek advice for Gupta to “get vaccinated and then get sick” with COVID to achieve “robust immunity.” and claiming he “admitted” to Gupta that “vulnerable people” should get the vaccine.
“At This Hour” anchor Kate Bolduan knocked Rogan for falling back on the “listen to me, I have a mic and a huge podcast but don’t listen to me” persona regarding the subject of COVID.
“Why listen to the ‘Fear Factor’ guy on this specific issue more than a doctor, which continues to be a question,” Bolduan told Gupta.
While CNN painted a rosy picture as if its chief medical correspondent walked away as the victor in the combative interview, critics on social media suggested otherwise.
“CNN loves to herald itself as vital warriors against disinformation and lies, while vilifying independent voices like Joe Rogan as a plague on our discourse,” Substack journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted. “Yet here, Rogan all but forces Sanjay Gupta to admit CNN lied about him *on purpose*.”
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“In which CNN’s [pretensions] to be truth-telling are dismantled in real-time. They lied for purely political reasons,” political commentator Andrew Sullivan wrote.
“CNN lied about a medication- willfully and maliciously- because it was more fun for them to ridicule people whose doctors were trying to use whatever tools they have to help sick people during a pandemic That’s what CNN has become. It’s who they are,” radio host Buck Sexton wrote.