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Deworming the Story

I’m a big podcast listener. It’s how I entertain myself while doing things. In fact, I’m listening to a podcast as I am typing this. I listen to all kinds of podcasts. Some political, some sports based, some true crime and even some comedy podcasts.

You know what I don’t do? I don’t go to podcasts for any kind of life changing or life altering decisions.

If this doesn’t make sense to you, let me take you back to last week.

On Wednesday, podcast host and comedian Joe Rogan announced on his incredibly popular podcast that he had Covid-19. Not only that, he mentioned that he took all kinds of vitamins and a drug called ivermectin. Rogan then continued to say that he was now feeling better after a few days of taking these things.

If you’re like me, you have no idea what ivermectin is. A quick google search told me what I needed to know. After scrolling through all the political bullshit, it brought me to ol’ reliable Wikipedia. Apparently it is a “medication that is used to treat parasite infestations.” It even says in humans that it is typically used to treat things like head lice and something called “river blindness.” (Which I will be doing more research into once I’m done here).

I have no idea what that is supposed to do for Covid, but also guess what? I’m not a doctor nor do I play one on TV. Someone with a more advanced degree told Joe Rogan he should take it, and he did. Did it make him better? Probably not. I think Rogan drinking a butt ton of water, vitamins and being in good shape actually made him better. Which is something I’ve written about before. If you want my opinion on that, click here:

Now, what Rogan said was interesting to the average person. I’m sure those who are even slightly intelligent took some time to look up what ivermectin is like I did, and managed to kill about 10 minutes. Then we moved on. That’s where we could’ve left it.

Then, those who hate Joe Rogan, went on a crusade. You saw those who think Rogan is some kind of right wing agitator, saying “He’s telling people to take horse dewormer!” But that is average for a Rogan podcast that says anything but what they want him to say.

If these folks were just ranting and raving about Rogan, that would be fine. But then, Rolling Stone released an article about ivermectin. According to their article, Dr. Jason McElyea said that rural hospitals in Oklahoma are being overrun by ivermectin overdoses. Obviously in reaction to Rogan’s claim that it helped him get over Covid.

Of course, the very same people who hate Rogan jumped all over this. MSNBC political commentator Rachel MAddow even retweeted the story. Not to mention all kinds of other media members.

Just one problem. Some people asked the same question I ask almost everyday, was this fact checked? Turns out, it wasn’t.

Rolling Stone had to issue a retraction of their story saying, “ One hospital has denied Dr. Jason McElyea’s claim that ivermectin overdoses are causing emergency room backlogs and delays in medical care in rural Oklahoma, and Rolling Stone has been unable to independently verify any such cases as of the time of this update.” In other words, we done goofed, and printed the story before we actually looked into it.

Those media members that promoted the story then needed to backtrack. Some even deleted their social media posts.

All we have here is a classic case of confirmation bias. Those on the left wanted Rogan’s statements to be dangerous and this Dr. McElyea knew that. So he made up this story knowing it would be printed regardless of if it was true. He just gave the media what they wanted.

But this is more of a side effect of the current media landscape. People just throw shit out there that fits a particular narrative and those in the media blindly trust it. Good journalists should go into a story looking to disprove their theory, not confirm it. That way they don’t fall into the trap that Maddow and others did with this one. Having a cynical mind will keep you safe from a lot of embarrassment.

And before I end this, just one more thing. I said it at the beginning of this blog. If you are a person that takes medical advice from a COMEDIAN and UFC announcer that has a podcast where he interviews comedians and ALEX JONES, then you have your own issues.

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