CNN has fun with one of Them!


Our own "cable news" in action: On September 1, prominent podcaster Joe Rogan announced that he had Covid.

He also announced what we has doing about it. "We immediately threw the kitchen sink at it," he said by way of Instagram. "All kinds of meds—monoclonal antibodies, ivermectin, Z-pack, prednisone, everything." He mentioned a few other treatments.

As many people have heard, the FDA advises against the use of ivermectin for Covid. On the other hand, ivermectin is used to treat several conditions in human patients, and some doctors continue to prescribe it for use against Covid. 

Rogan has said that he was using ivermectin as prescribed by a doctor. We know of no reason to think that isn't true.

That's the basic story on Rogan. Let's proceed to the story on CNN, as reported by the Washington Post's Eric Wemple:

How did CNN handle this particular matter? According to Wemple, CNN's assembly of jugglers and clowns fell to work putting their thumbs on the scale:

WEMPLE (10/21/21): On Sept. 1, CNN host Erin Burnett said: “Controversial podcast host Joe Rogan, who’s railed against vaccine requirements, says he has covid and took a drug intended for livestock.” She articulated similar descriptions two additional times before interviewing a doctor and noting that the drug is prescribed for people as well.

The same day, CNN host Anderson Cooper said, “One of those drugs he mentioned, ivermectin, is something more often used to deworm horses.” On that same show, CNN chief media correspondent Brian Stelter said, “When you have a horse deworming medication that’s discouraged by the government that actually causes some people in this crazy environment we’re in to actually want to try it. That’s the upside down where we’re in with figures like Joe Rogan.” Leana S. Wen—also a Post contributing columnist—later added the critical context that the drug “is used in humans for things like parasites and scabies.”

Also that day, host Don Lemon said, “The United States is now averaging 160,455 new covid-19 cases every day, including controversial podcast host Joe Rogan saying that he tested positive for covid and that he says he is taking several medications including a drug meant for deworming livestock.”

On Sept. 3, CNN political commentator Bakari Sellers said, “I think the unfortunate part about all of this is you have individuals like Joe Rogan, for example, who don’t want to take an experimental vaccine but will take horse dewormer.”

And on Sept. 4, anchor Jim Acosta played Rogan’s disclosure video and said, “In case you missed it, Rogan said ivermectin. Yes, that’s the deworming medicine made to kill parasites in farm animals and, weirdly, is being promoted by right-wing media figures and even some politicians as a covid treatment.”

CNN employs an endless array of clowns. That said, your lizard brain is going to tell you that what these "journalists" did was journalistically complete and correct—and there will never be any way to tell your lizard different.

Wemple offers a different assessment. According to Wemple, so did the sane and sober Sanjay Gupta, CNN's chief medical correspondent:

WEMPLE (continuing directly): There’s a reason for reciting these transcripts. They turn up a consistent formulation from multiple CNN voices that surely wasn’t a sober recitation of the facts. By highlighting that ivermectin is a horse dewormer, and downplaying that ivermectin has important uses for people, CNN facilitates a certain assumption among its viewers. Namely, that Rogan had been haunting the aisles of Tractor Supply.

After hearing Rogan’s concerns about how CNN cast the issue, Gupta said, “They shouldn’t have said that.”

We agree with Gupta's assessment. As a general matter, we agree with what Wemple says in that passage, though we think his condemnation of this journalistic foolishness could have been stronger and more precise.

Does it matter what these cable "journalists" said about Rogan's case? In the end, it pretty much doesn't. 

Nothing much is going to turn on the way these cable performers sifted the facts about this particular matter. That said, this is the kind of clown-car work which is now quite standard on CNN and MSNBC concerning a wide array of matters both large and small.

Thumbs are typically placed on the scale. Basic facts are routinely sifted for your viewing pleasure.

For the record, The Others can see what our corporate stars are doing when they perform in this manner. This sort of thing very strongly affects The Way We Look to Others.

CNN's stars could have explained the basic facts of this particular matter. Instead, they chose to offer serial snark aimed at one of The Others. They were working directly from script.

In all likelihood, some of those stars may not be sharp enough to know the difference between the actual facts and their more pleasing snark. For some of these players, there's a tendency to fudge the facts in a pleasing direction every time they open their mouths.

Wemple did an excellent job reporting the basic facts. We recall being struck, in real time, by the way this bullroar was going on.

That said, Wemple ends his report as shown below. We're puzzled by the way he describes this famous "cable news" channel:

WEMPLE: CNN’s statement sounds more like the work of an advocacy group than a journalism outfit. The “issue,” actually, begins and ends with the integrity of CNN’s content. If we take Rogan’s prescription claim at face value—and CNN hasn’t challenged it—then the network’s coverage was slanted in some cases and straight-up incorrect in others...

So in this instance, you don’t have to endorse Rogan to abhor CNN’s coverage of this topic. Here’s a network, after all, that prides itself on impeccable factual hygiene, a place where there’s no conceptual hair too fine to split, no political statement too sprawling to flyspeck. It’s tough living by your own standards. If CNN wants to describe ivermectin in a way that doesn’t slime the people who take it, the Guardian provides a fine template: “a drug used against parasites in humans and livestock.”

Say what? Is CNN "a network that prides itself on impeccable factual hygiene?" Is CNN "a place where there’s no conceptual hair too fine to split, no political statement too sprawling to flyspeck?" 

CNN maintains no such journalistic standards. In seeming to make such peculiar claims, Wemple has gone even farther afield than CNN's silly-bills did.

The FDA advises against the use of ivermectin for Covid. On the other hand, ivermectin is used to treat several conditions in human patients, and some doctors continue to prescribe it for use against Covid.

It isn't hard to state such facts, but CNN ceased to be in "the fact business" during the anti-Trump years. As with MSNBC, CNN has long since gone into the snark-and-attitude business. 

Its employees dispense pleasing meds to us blue tribe viewers, hastening defeat as they do. Everyone can see them doing this. This behavior helps explain The Way We Look to Everyone Else.

Your lizard will never let this assessment stand. Are you in control of your lizard today, or does your lizard own you?

Everything doesn't have to be snark. Just try telling that to your lizard!


  1. tldr, we've heard the story. What can we say here, dear Bob? Without being extremely rude, that is.

    Tsk. Okay. The kindest possible thing would be this: CNN and all the rest of your shitty liberal media could really do use some deworming. And a whole bunch of elephant-strength laxative...

    1. "liberal media"

      THAT'S the humor the Establishment is paying you for.
      You're funnier when you're not lazy.

  2. Bob, I admire your analytical mind, but sometimes you go over the top. Rogan said he did monoclonal antibodies as well as ivermectin treatments.

    Doesn't this set off your B.S. detector?

    I can't read the man's mind, but he seems to be playing the rubes for ratings.

    Mentioning "ivermectin" is red meat for some i.e his audience.

    1. You are correct.

      Bob's point (I believe) is that CNN is using "Horse de-wormer" as red meat for *their* audience.

      It's no surprise TDH often seems so morose these days since this idiocy is general across all media.

    2. The only problem with this interpretation is that "horse de-wormer" is exactly what is being taken by the vast majority of those using Ivermectin.

      Why is Somerby never morose about the stupidity of people who would try to treat covid using horse dewormer? That seems far sadder than anything going on at CNN.

    3. Spreading false medical information on a virus that kills is a bridge too far. The man should be fired and his advertisers shunned.


    1. You do realize that was a joke? And since it comes from the right, there is no similarity to what CNN reported and it isn't actually funny.

    2. Thanks for posting the link to this tweet, Cecelia. It demonstrate how in-step Somerby is with the attack on CNN being mobilized today on the right. Somerby didn't have a spontaneous reaction to CNN's coverage and decide to talk about it. He is piling on in the right's attack du jour on CNN and other mainstream media, because they reported something true about Joe Rogan.

    3. According to your sterling anonymouse logic, Erik Wemple and CNN’s Dr. Gupta are closet right-wingers too.

    4. Anonymouse 6:46pm, I do indeed realize it is a humorous meme.

      I don’t think that you do.

  4. Joe Rogan, for those who confuse "too stupid to know when he's being lied to" with being "open-minded."

  5. Same as it ever was: when Bob goes to the name calling lizard thing, he is in hissy fit mode, not really worth reading.

  6. That ivermectin is sometimes used to treat parasites in humans doesn't mean that CNN is wrong when it says anti-vaxxers are using the type of ivermectin used to deworm horses. They are. They are using it to the point that Feed Stores cannot keep it in stock and there is little available to treat horses with. There are pleas being made by vets to leave the ivermectin for the horses and stop treating people with it. That a version is prescribed by doctors for human use, doesn't make it any more appropriate as a treatment for covid. It does nothing to treat covid. It is just as stupid to use the human version as the animal version because neither are effective against covid.

    Somerby makes a big deal about this, as if CNN's reporting were factually untrue -- it is only untrue about Rogan, who got a doctor to write him a prescription instead of visiting a feed store, and I would call that a half untruth, since the point is so inconsequential as to be meaningless. CNN's claim is very true of the many anti-vaxxers who are self-prescribing the version used on animals, and causing complications that reach both poison control centers and emergency rooms.

    But the ivermectin issue is a small part of the problem with anti-vaxxers trying to dictate their own treatment to physicians when they are hospitalized with covid. They demand a variety of treatments that have nothing to do with covid but are used to treat other conditions. Those treatments are not effective either. Some families of covid victims are suing hospitals when physicians refuse to give them ineffective, alternative treatments. They are interfering with doctors, nurses and respiratory technicians in their efforts to treat patients and generally creating mayhem, demanding physician time to deal with their nonsense and placing stress on hospital workers. This shouldn't be happening and is harming their family members as well as other patients in ICUs.

    There is also an opportunity cost to these alternative treatments. While people are messing around with them, they are not getting the treatment they may need to survive in the face of time critical response. So demanding such treatment is worse than just having them be ineffective, if they prevent something else that could have helped.

    Rogan is foolish, whether he used the animal version or the human version of ivermectin. It is like treating a heart attack with athelete's foot medicine. Somerby shouldn't be quibbling because CNN didn't distinguish between TWO ineffective versions of ivermectin. CNN did a public service every single time it mentioned that people shouldn't be using the stuff.

    1. Bob's point is that we should pity these gullible Right-wing fools.
      Ridiculing them because they self-contradict themselves three times in a two-minute conversation is cruel.
      Best we smile at them, nod our heads in agreement, and ignore everything they say.

    2. More precisely it's that it will be more and more difficult to win elections without them therefore the ridicule is politically self-defeating. Which, ironically, is gullible and foolish. Have a good weekend!

    3. It is the left-leaning Independents and the Democrat non-voters who present the opportunities for liberals to win elections. It is not and never will be the conservatives or even the moderate Republicans. They tend to say things like: "I've never voted for a Democrat and I never will." regardless of issues.

      So who does Somerby think he is fooling?

    4. Biden's executive order making the ingestion of Draino illegal is a better strategy.

    5. Great. So he has it wrong and you have it made. Just get the constituents you mentioned, who watch you ridicule others as fools, to join you.

    6. Don't ridicule them. Ignore them.

  7. "some doctors continue to prescribe it for use against Covid"

    This doesn't mean that ivermectin is an FDA approved treatment for covid. It means that doctors are using it "off label" to treat things it was never designed to treat. It means it has not been studied to treat covid, or it was studied and found to be ineffective. Doctors sometimes do this, but that doesn't mean that ivermectin is an effective treatment for covid, nor does it mean that it is OK for doctors to take such risks.

    There are anti-vaxxer and anti-mask doctors, unfortunately, because being a doctor apparently doesn't protect someone from extreme politics. Some are being fired and some are losing their licenses, but in a red state or another sympathetic environment, they may continue to work. A true-believer who is a doctor may "prescribe" ivermectin to someone for political reasons.

    Until Biden mandated masks, there were nurses and office staff and other health care workers who were not wearing masks (or were wearing them improperly, under their chins or noses). Health care workers and even doctors have died of covid, just like their patients. With the mandate, that situation may be improving, but there is nothing magical about being a doctor and the fact that a doctor would prescribe ivermectin looks more like malpractice than an endorsement of alternative treatment by the medical profession. However, it seem to matter a lot to Somerby, who repeats it several times, as if it made Rogan's actions OK and CNN's report more inaccurate.

    Somerby is being a dangerously foolish person by pretending that Rogan did anything medically appropriate that required a correction by CNN. And once again, Somerby is defending one of the right wing's foot soldiers and repeating conservative memes, as if the centrist media or left is wrong to try to tell people the truth about ivermectin.

    1. The FDA hasn’t approved Ivermectin for treating COVID-19, so it’s okay for CNN to imply to its audience that Rogan was using a medicine that is solely for animals?

      Okay, so Rogan used a drug not supported by the FDA for treatment of COVID-19. CNN couldn’t keep it to that fact?

      No, they could not because Rogan is someone they hate, and so it was more fun to clown around with the “story”.

      Rogan also has twice the audience per show than any CNN program. (No, I’m not a podcast listener.)

      Wemple- ““By highlighting that ivermectin is a horse dewormer, and downplaying that ivermectin has important uses for people, CNN facilitates a certain assumption among its viewers. Namely, that Rogan had been haunting the aisles of Tractor Supply.

      After hearing Rogan’s concerns about how CNN cast the issue, Gupta said, “They shouldn’t have said that.”

    2. It is just as bad to use a medication not approved for a specific problem as it is to use a medication for animals.

      MOST people using Ivermectin are using the horse version because very few doctors are stupid enough to prescribe the parasite treatment for covid.

      Rogan is an asshole and has been ever since the Man Show, which was majorly misogynistic. He doesn't deserve any kind of defense on this one, since he is circumventing medicine with ANY use of Ivermectin, horse or human version.

      Way too many people are actually haunting the aisles of Feed Stores and Tractor Supplys. Rogan probably doesn't even shop for his own groceries so no one thinks he personally went anywhere to buy anything. But he certainly did some doctor-shopping to find one who would prescribe a dangerous off-label use for Ivermectin. He will be fortunate if he doesn't die. How CNN "cast the issue" is the least of his concerns.

    3. CNN should still relay all the facts, even if you think it’s their job to cast a story in a particular light.

      For example: Rogan has COVID-19 and is taking the drug Ivermectin, along with other treatments.

      Ivermectin is a medication more often used in veterinary medicine. It has uses for humans, but the FDA has not approved it for treatment of COVID-19.

      However, Rogan’s physician prescribed this controversial approach.

      THEN CNN could continue by discussing the risks involved.

    4. @Cecelia "However, Rogan’s physician prescribed this controversial approach."

      Sorry, but we don't see how this prescription would amount to a controversy. In the world of sane humyn beings anyway.

      All we know is that this Rogan guy was prescribed a certain medication by his doctor.

      Unless one is an MD who's also observing and treating Mr Rogan, there's simply not enough information to talk about any controversies. The whole thing is just pure brainless dembottery.

    5. Mao, it’s controversial in that the FDA has not endorsed ivermectin as a treatment for the fluhan.

    6. Again, we are not MDs and we don't have patient's medical records in front of us. We don't know any details, the reasons, the doses prescribed. Under the circumstances, neither we nor CNN dembots are in a position to judge the reasonableness of the treatment. There's simply no basis for a controversy.

      In any case, presumably the Rogan guy is quite rich, and therefore, presumably, his doctor is a far better medical professional than any FDA pencil-pusher.

    7. Just like Trump's doctor? Rogan's doctor is a moron if he is prescribing Ivermectin. Rich people don't get the best treatment if they insist on telling their doctors how to treat them, or engage in "doctor-shopping" until they find one who will go along with what Q-Anon recommends to treat covid.

    8. Cecelia, stop calling covid-19 "fluhan". It is racist. Take that shit over to one of your conservative websites.

    9. Mao,
      Rich people make smart choices might be the funniest thing you've ever posted on TDH.
      Between this and the "liberal media" crack, you are on quite a roll.
      Keep up the good work.

    10. "Just like Trump's doctor?"

      Precisely, dear dembot.

      ...and please allow us, on behalf of Mr Rogan, to sincerely apologize for not asking for your reputed medical opinion.

  8. "Everything doesn't have to be snark."

    But is everything actually snark? There are more anti-vaxxers using the horse dewormer version of Ivermectin than there are using the physician-prescribed version, because few doctors want to prescribe it for treating covid, whereas anyone can walk into a feed store and buy the horse version.

    Somerby's defense seems to be that anti-vaxxers aren't as stupid as they are being portrayed, and that is a losing proposition every time. Rogan among them.

  9. Here is the measure of Somerby's efforts to increase distrust of news media among liberals:

    "Voters say they generally trust ABC news, and CNN the most and distrust Fox News Channel the most among mainstream news outlets, according to a new Hill-HarrisX poll.

    Forty-five percent of registered voters in the Oct. 18-19 survey said they generally trust ABC News while 44 percent said they trust CNN.

    Forty percent of respondents said they distrust Fox News followed by CNN and MSNBC, at 35 percent each.

    Voters were most unsure about One America News Network and Newsmax, with 48 percent and 46 percent, respectively, saying they distrust the conservative networks.

    Seventy-one percent of Democrats said they generally trust CNN while 70 percent said the same of ABC and 64 percent said they trust the New York Times.

    54 percent of Republicans said they trust Fox News.

    The Hill-HarrisX poll was conducted online among 1,095 registered voters between Oct. 18 and 19. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.96 percentage points. "

    Somerby might try to convince liberals that there is a difference between taking Ivermectin in the form of horse dewormer and taking it as a parasite medication to fight covid, but viewers of CNN are not confused by Somerby's subterfuge. Both uses of Ivermectin are batshit crazy, as correctly reported by CNN. And yes, there are crazy doctors who will go along with the Trump/Q-Anon death cult.

  10. The vitriol against Biden has been increasing, but Somerby thinks it is the left that needs to be more civil to the right? In what universe?

    From Nate Cohn, NY Times: “During the 2020 presidential campaign, one of Biden’s political superpowers was his sheer inoffensiveness, the way he often managed to embody — even to those who didn’t like him — the innocuous grandfather, the bumbling uncle, the leader who could make America calm, steady, even boring again after four years of Donald Trump.“

    “But it’s clear that after nine months in office, Biden — or at least what he represents — is increasingly becoming an object of hatred to many Trump supporters. The vitriol partly reflects Trump’s own repeated baseless claims that Biden is a usurper, depriving him of his rightful claim to the presidency, and partly stems from Biden actions that Republicans deplore, from his spending plans to his immigration policies.”

  11. Here is the problem with The Big Lie (from Rawstory and Tim Snyder):

    "Historically speaking, what we know about a 'big lie' is that because of its very scale, it's not about truth or not truth; it's about living in a kind of alternative reality," Snyder added. "What we're looking at is people who believe in or pretend to believe in this Big Lie, actually carrying out our elections. And the problem with this, or one of them, is that since these people have already claimed that the other side cheated, that basically legitimizes their cheating. In other words, if you talk about the Big Lie now, you're basically promising to cheat the next time around, and that's very concerning."

    He concluded by saying that this is a clear and present danger, not merely a theoretical one.

    "The scenario for 2024 for most influential people around Donald Trump, which unfortunately means one of the political parties, is precisely to be installed without winning the election," Snyder said. "I don't think it's something that could happen. I think it's something that's under way, and the question is, can we accept this reality in time to take the measures we need to take to prevent it?"

    Somerby is blathering about CNN's snark while Trump supporters are replacing non-partisan election officials nationwide, so that they can swing the election to Trump in 2024. Such people believe the next election is owed them because the last one was "stolen". The alternate reality created by Fox News is far more dangerous than anything CNN says about Joe Rogan and horse dewormer.

    And Somerby is part of the plot because he works hard every day to convince liberals that CNN and MSNBC cannot be trusted, when they are the only ones sounding the alarm on the right's ongoing attempts to take over our government without the support of the American people (the majority of voters). If we are to remain a democracy, such efforts need to be opposed. Somerby is trying to keep liberals from recognizing what is happening and doing something about it.

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