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7 Feb, 2022 17:26

Tulsi Gabbard, Russell Brand labeled as ‘right-wingers’ in Joe Rogan row

A list claiming to show a “right-wing” bias in Joe Rogan’s podcast guests is being questioned on its branding of numerous progressives as conservative
Tulsi Gabbard, Russell Brand labeled as ‘right-wingers’ in Joe Rogan row

As podcaster Joe Rogan faces numerous calls for Spotify to censor or even drop his popular ‘The Joe Rogan Experience’ podcast for allegedly spreading Covid-19 misinformation, pundits have taken to sharing a graphic purporting to prove Rogan’s “right-wing” bias, though the selection of guests labeled as “right-wing” has left many confused. 

“Joe Rogan fans often point to his fig-leaf endorsement of Bernie Sanders as proof that Rogan isn't right-wing,” pundit Matthew Sheffield tweeted in a thread critical of Rogan. Sheffield then shared a guest list splitting up various Rogan guests as left or ring-wing.

Names on the “left” list included Edward Snowden and The Young Turks founder Cenk Uygur. The “right wing” list included the names of outspoken conservatives like musician Ted Nugent and Daily Wire founder Ben Shapiro, but included also were Democratic former Hawaii governor Tulsi Gabbard, comedian Russell Brand, and UFC president Dana White, among others.  

Gabbard remains a Democrat, but has received backlash from liberal activists for her criticism of fellow party members, like Hillary Clinton. Meanwhile, Brand, who has openly expressed support for liberal causes and been labeled a “socialist” in the past, has similarly received backlash in recent years for his criticism of Clinton, as well as his views on Covid-19 restrictions, recently being among the voices offering public support for the Canadian Freedom Convoy. 

Critics questioned the inclusion of the names, as well as others, like comedian Tim Dillon and former New York Times editor Bari Weiss. 

The “left-wing” list was also brought into question, as it missed some big guests who could very well be considered left-leaning, like filmmaker Oliver Stone – who was on the podcast twice as recently as last month – as well as comedian Patton Oswalt – an outspoken Donald Trump critic – and CNN health expert Sanjay Gupta. 

“They put Tulsi and Tim Dillon as right wing too. Cathedral operatives use ‘left wing’ and ‘right wing’ to mean ‘ingroup’ and ‘outgroup’,” podcaster Michael Malice, who was included on the “right-wing” list, tweeted

Rogan himself has never aligned with any political party, criticizing both Democrats and Republicans, though he’s described himself as a “progressive.” He has, however, endorsed and voted for Libertarian and Libertarian-leaning candidates in the past, such as former Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas), and former Libertarian Party presidential nominees Gary Johnson and Jo Jorgensen.