For the second time in the past two weeks, liberal Jon Stewart defended Joe Rogan. In his latest defense of Rogan, Stewart highlighted a major news narrative that the corporate media previously got incorrect, while simply wondering who gets to decide what is misinformation.
During a recent episode of "The Problem with Jon Stewart" podcast, the former host of the "Daily Show" warned of "shifting sands" when reporting ever-changing news. Stewart rehashed how legacy media pushed the "weapons of mass destruction" narrative in the early 2000s that led up to the Iraq War. In 2005, the CIA's top weapons inspector in Iraq declared that Saddam Hussein didn't have weapons of mass destruction – which the premise was used to justify the 2003 invasion.
"In the Iraq War, I was on the side of what you would think on the mainstream is misinformation," Stewart said. "I was promoting what they would call misinformation."
"But it turned out to be right years later and the establishment media was wrong," he continued. "And not only were they wrong, in some respects, you could make the case that they enabled a war that killed hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people and never paid a price for it and never had accountability. And just having an ombudsman print a retraction to me isn't accountability."
"The New York Times, right, was a giant purveyor of misinformation, and disinformation," Stewart recalled. "I don't know if the Times was purposeful, but misinformation. And that’s as vaunted a media organization as you can find, but there was no accountability for them."
"And I think where I get nervous is in the run-up to the Iraq War and in the prosecution of the Iraq War, I was very vocal … about that. But the mainstream view, the New York Times, was, ‘They have weapons of mass destruction, they have these tubes that can only be used for nuclear war, Saddam Hussein is this, he's that.'"
Stewart notes that his beliefs weren't labeled as "misinformation" at the time and wasn't censored by Comedy Central or Viacom when he railed against the popular legacy media narrative regarding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
"So it's very easy to attack Rogan … and I'm not saying that that's not your right and that there aren't things there to talk about, but what I'm saying is let's be careful because the sands can shift," Stewart added.
Earlier this month, Stewart defended Rogan.
"Don't leave, don't abandon, don't censor, engage," Stewart advised critics of "The Joe Rogan Experience" host. He emphasized, "Someone like a Joe Rogan who is not, in my mind, an ideologue in any way," is a "person that you can engage with."
Another person who pointed out that the legacy media has been "so catastrophically wrong about so many important things" is political commentator Dave Smith.
In a recent episode of "The Joe Rogan Experience" featuring Smith, he listed all the "lies" that the mainstream media propagated in the past 20 years, including weapons of mass destruction.
"These are lies where hundreds of thousands of people have died as a result of the lies," Smith said. "So not just spreading misinformation, misinformation with catastrophic consequences where real human beings have had their lives ruined."
The libertarian podcaster also noted that the corporate media spreads misinformation about Rogan, making a reference to CNN repeatedly claiming that Rogan used "horse dewormer" to treat COVID-19.