If you haven’t listened to The Joe Rogan Experience (JRE) podcast, you’ve either been living under a rock for the last four or five years, or you’ve heard of it but have actively avoided it.
Over this period, what started as Joe and his buddies shooting the shit over a couple of hours per episode about whatever interested them (MMA fighting and the comedy circuit mostly) has developed into consistently the most popular podcast in the English-speaking world.
So why do you care? This is just some juiced up dude rambling about nothing important, right?
If you want to know how knowledge is produced and consumed online in 2021, you need to understand Joe Rogan and his huge influence in shaping public opinion.
This situation has come about because of three trends (two external to JRE, and one that’s a part of it):
- Increasing mistrust in conventional news and information sources
- The flourishing of closed online communities which many people rely on to get their information (think not just QAnon, but much of Boomer Facebook)
- Joe’s own push, via more diverse guests, into the realm of politics and popular culture
As a result of these three elements, a former reality TV show host and MMA fighting commentator now has a profile and audience that gives him the ability to influence millions of people each week, many of whom fall into hard to reach demographics that tend to elude traditional political or public media campaigns. This is why serious politicians, including Bernie Sanders and Andrew Yang, and other prominent thinkers, like Brian Cox and Neil de Grasse Tyson have been guests on the show.
In other words, if you haven’t been taking Joe seriously already, you should.
This is where The Joe Rogan Rebuttal comes in.
Those of you who have listened to JRE know that Joe’s style is to chat to a show’s guest at length, sometimes for over 2 or 3 hours, but to essentially let that guest talk without significantly challenging him. This is a big part of his appeal: the show makes the listener feel that he’s being invited into a private chat between two guys (and they’re usually guys) who you might want to have a beer with. But, with the show increasingly moving into politics and current affairs, this style lends itself, at best, to groupthink and, at worst, to outright misinformation.
The Joe Rogan Rebuttal is my answer to that. Each week or so, I will aim to listen to an episode of JRE and post a timestamped rebuttal or parallel commentary to what Joe and his guest may be saying, to give his audience a fuller picture of what is being said.
This will not mean that this blog will just tear Joe and new one each week – I actually happen to enjoy the show a fair bit of the time – but, rather, to give the context that his style misses or to correct any outright misinformation that comes up, while acknowledging my limitations (and that of his guest/s) about the topic at hand.
Will this work? Will anyone actually read it?
Who knows. But it’s going to be fun. I hope you subscribe and follow along with me.