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Why did Joe Rogan refuse to have Donald Trump on his podcast?

The controversial host of The Joe Rogan Experience has drawn the line at one guest: the former President of the United States.

Joe Rogan refused to have Donald Trump on his podcast
Cindy OrdGetty Images

Podcaster Joe Rogan has claimed that he refused the opportunity to have former President Donald Trump on his show multiple times, explaining: “I don’t want to help him.”

The Joe Rogan Experience is one of the most widely listened to podcasts in the world and Rogan sold exclusive rights to Spotify in a $200 million deal. The podcast attracts millions of listeners every week and it famed for Rogan’s willingness to speak to and hear from people with marginalised or unconventional viewpoints.

That being said, it seems Trump was a step too far even for him. Speaking on Lex Fridman’s podcast earlier this week, Rogan said: “I’ve had the opportunity to have him on my show more than once. I’ve said no every time.”

Why did Joe Rogan refuse to have Trump on his show?

Often Rogan’s guests, and the show in general, have shared a demographic with the former President’s supporters and the host himself has been the centre of controversy in recent months. He has been criticised for amplifying dangerous covid-19 conspiracy misinformation, used a racial slur on the podcast, and has admitted to having a “love-hate relationship with conspiracies.”

Despite Rogan’s broad ‘free-speech’ agenda, he told Fridman that he would not be willing to have Trump on the podcast and that he views the “polarizing figure” as “an existential threat to democracy itself.”

“I’m not a Trump supporter in any way, shape or form. I’ve had the opportunity to have him on my show more than once, I’ve said no every time, I don’t want to help him, I’m not interested in helping him,” Rogan said.

In the course of their conversation, Fridman asked Rogan why he was comfortable with inviting other controversial public figures, such as Kanye West, onto his show, but not Trump.

“Kanye’s an artist,” Rogan explained. “Kanye doing well or not doing well doesn’t change the course of our country.”

Former Trump ally hits out at Rogan

Donald Trump has not responded publically to Rogan’s comments but one of his key allies has criticised the podcaster on his own show. Far-right commentator and former Trump ally Steve Bannon laid into Rogan during a segment of his podcast-cum-livestream show The War Room.

“You’ve got Joe Rogan over there trash talkin’ Trump, ‘I don’t want to give Trump any platform’ – no offence, he doesn’t need your platform. He doesn’t need your low-information voters, okay? Trump deals with high-information people,” Bannon said.

“Your audience couldn’t handle War Room,” he claimed, “couldn’t follow it, start talking, um, inverted yield curve, your eyes would cross.”


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