Joe Rogan calls out U-turn on Ukraine coverage
Maverick podcaster Joe Rogan has called out journalists in the US who are treating Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky as a war hero since the Russian attack on the country. Previously, Ukraine was perceived in the West as a corrupt hellhole and its leader as a would-be authoritarian, so the U-turn is “confusing,” Rogan said on his show on Saturday.
“This is one of the things that is so weird is that they were very disparaging of Ukraine. They were talking about [the] massive corruption of Ukraine and how horrible it was over there. And now all of a sudden they are looking at it like they’re heroes,” he observed.
Rogan offered a collection of articles in the Western press explaining Ukraine’s corruption problems and the increasing slide towards authoritarianism under Zelensky as well as his alleged personal grift.
“We are supposed to take a hard-right turn, a veer away, a hard angle away from the narrative that was being pushed just a couple of years ago. And we are supposed to just ignore all this stuff now,” he said, describing the situation as a “fog of information distribution.”
The episode, which featured ex-CIA officer Mike Baker as a guest, was focused on the conflict in Ukraine and how it affected politics in the US. The discussion was overwhelmingly negative towards Russia, its planning for the Ukraine operation, and President Vladimir Putin personally. Baker, however, acknowledged that much of the US perception of decision making in the Kremlin was guesswork rather than hard intelligence.
The guest suggested that Ukraine’s case was a good example of how the US government has to operate “in the real world” rather than base its policies on emotions and always take the moral high ground. In the same way, Washington has ties to Riyadh and even to Moscow when it comes to negotiations with Iran on resuming the 2015 nuclear deal, Baker said.
The host commented on the American public’s obliviousness to affairs in Ukraine. He said most people “just found out recently that a comedian is running the country,” referring to Zelensky’s background as an entertainer.
Rogan lamented that the media in the US were generally fond of pushing a “narrative” rather than informing the people and thus couldn’t be trusted to tell all the facts. “Some f**kery is afoot,” was how he described the situation.