Neil Young may have lit the match that sparked an exodus from Spotify, but Joe Rogan poured the gas himself with a now-infamous interview with Dr. Robert Malone. That episode of The Joe Rogan Experience prompted hundreds of scientists and healthcare professionals to chastise Spotify for hosting “mass-misinformation events,” and seemingly served as the immediate inspiration for Young’s decision to leave the platform. Now, the fact-checking podcast Science Vs has interviewed some of the scientists doing research that Malone cited in the interview, going back to the source to demonstrate that he “cherry picked the data” to spread misinformation to millions.
Malone has claimed to be an expert on the COVID-19 vaccines, and he did perform some of the foundational experiments in the study of mRNA technology in the late 1980s. But in more recent times he’s become a consistent source of science quackery, even getting kicked off Twitter for misrepresenting vaccine safety.
One of the best examples of this came in Malone’s comments to Rogan about myocarditis, which is inflammation of the heart muscle that is sometimes accompanied by chest pain and heart palpitations. On The Joe Rogan Experience, Malone talked about “a recent paper out of Hong Kong – comprehensive analysis [of] myocarditis in boys… saying the myocarditis was so bad after vaccination, and these are all verified post-vaccination — myocarditis was so bad that you went to the hospital.” He also ooh-poohed people who try to claim that “myocarditis is mild and they recover from it, OK. Those statements aren’t, let’s say gently, based in fact.”