“Dangerous Misinformation”

Joe Rogan on the events of the past week. It’s ten minutes worth listening to, if you have been following the fracas:

I don’t know if <his controversial guests> are right. I’m not a doctor. I sit down with people and talk with them…because I’m interested in talking with people with different opinions…I’m interested in finding out how people come to their opinions, and what the facts are”.

As Rogan points out around the five minute mark, his interviews are completely unplanned. Unlike taped TV appearances where the conversation is edited to a fine sheen, or live ones that are scripted, or the Teri Gross’s interviews that are simultaneously scripted and sound like they’re done off the cuff, Rogan just gets on mic and starts talking.

Which sounds like an awful lot of fun to me. One of the few bits of advice I ever got from Larry King (via a column he wrote in 1986, not in person) was “never prepare for interviews”. You always want to approach an interview with the same level of information as your audience has – which is usually virtually nothing. Ask questions. Have a conversation. Learn the subject along with your audience. It’s advice I took to heart; I never really prepare for interviews, and rely on being mentally on the ball enough to ask the right questions to make it a worthwhile interview.

I have yet to listen to my first full Rogan podcast (this kerfuffle has gotten me looking at committing 2-3 hours to listen to one of his interviews), but it’s one of the things that I think I’ll enjoy about Rogan.

So I’m not sure if this slopover from the “no-prep” style Rogan has, or if the standup comic in him is trolling his critics, but near the end of the clip above, he points out that he’s always been a Joni Mitchell fan; “Chuck E’s in Love is a great song”, he notes.

Which could be a flub, sure. Or it could refer back to a great running gag from the ’80s, where people thought the Rickie Lee Jones song was Joni Mitchell, which would be a pretty epic troll.

Either one would be pretty awesome.

And yes, I’ll cop to it – the controversy has finally gotten me to take the plunge and listen to Rogan. About 20% of the subjects actually interest me (don’t care about MMA fighters or diet gurus or most standup comics), but I’ve decided to commit the…

…checks the app…

Four freaking hours to listen to his interview with Jordan Peterson, for starters.

19 thoughts on ““Dangerous Misinformation”

  1. Four freaking hours to listen

    God bless… long videos is yet another old-young line of demarcation. I can’t do it. Too much time. I don’t know how they get anything done?

  2. Where would the left be without their cutesy, childish catch phrases: trickle down, war for oil, Bush lied people died, inseReKksHunn, “climate” deniers, science deniers, and….



    Hateful, dangerous children to be sure, but children none the less.

  3. Rogan interviews are good because he is more interested in letting the person that he interviews tell a story than in fitting them into some bucket. I watched him interview an astronaut and a layman would learn more about human spaceflight from that interview than he would learn from watching a dozen PBS documentaries.

  4. I’m going to repeat something I have commented about before, namely that truth is rare, and most of what we call “information” is very context dependent. If I say the moon is a quarter of a million miles from earth, Most people would accept it, but it is not true. The actual distance from the earth to the moon is closer to 240,000 miles, and that number changes, when you get down to the value of a hundred miles or so, in a matter of seconds. It also depends on what distance you are measuring. From the center of the earth to the center of the moon? The shortest distance between the surfaces of the earth and moon? Yet no one would accuse me of peddling disinformation if I said the moon was a quarter million miles from the earth.
    Most definitions of disinformation require that the person who is conveying the misinformation have an intent to deceive. They know that they are supplying misinformation.
    But this is very difficult to prove to a certainty. A lot of people, from the dreaded used car salesman to your favorite politician, believe that whatever they can convince you is true, is actually true. Joe Biden seems to believe this, for example.

  5. I would think an interviewer’s job is not necessarily to ‘believe’ what your source is telling you, but to toss it into the big bucket of other facts you’re holding up to the light and see if it is consistent with everything else. And that’s what seems to be missing, at least from my perspective, from Rogan’s process.

  6. You are wrong, Emery. The interviewer is a story teller. He is not an inquisitor. This is a trivial truth, you describe a sermon, a focus on a central truth (” toss it into the big bucket of other facts you’re holding up to the light and see if it is consistent with everything else”). Consistency is not a product of truth, it is a product of power.

  7. Pingback: In The Mailbox: 01.31.22 : The Other McCain

  8. Joe Rogan is entertainment, and not news. He operates in the same space as Tucker Carlson or an infomercial — what they do is not journalism. Whatever it is they’re saying should be taken with a huge amount of salt and should be labeled that way. Hiring a researcher and doing some homework ahead of interviews would do wonders for the show.

  9. Hiring a researcher and doing some homework ahead of interviews would do wonders for the show.

    So, get to it, rat. I think your research and homework show would be wildly popular. Toss in a few skiing and investment tips, and you’ve got a hit. Probably upgrade that luxury lake front home, if that was possible.

  10. “You are wildly successful. Millions of people love your product but I don’t. Plainly, you are doing things wrong. You should do things my way instead.”

  11. It’s not as if the American Taliban was banning books from schools… Unless it’s a book that hurts someone’s feelings.

  12. They are all entertainers, Emery.
    It’s a question of degree, not of kind.
    Read Chuck Todd’s wikipedia entry. He is a glorified TV sportscaster or weatherman.

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