After Rogan announced last month that he had tested positive for the virus and listed ivermectin as one of the treatments he was taking, nearly the entire CNN lineup ran the narrative that he had taken "horse dewormer" and a "livestock drug."
Rogan grilled CNN's chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta over his network's coverage of ivermectin during a tense exchange on "The Joe Rogan Experience," forcing Gupta to admit his colleagues shouldn't have said what they said.
However, CNN did not concede any wrongdoing in a statement to Washington Post media critic Erik Wemple.
"The heart of this debate has been purposely confused and ultimately lost," CNN told Wemple on Thursday. "It’s never been about livestock versus human dosage of Ivermectin. The issue is that a powerful voice in the media, who by example and through his platform, sowed doubt in the proven and approved science of vaccines while promoting the use of an unproven treatment for covid-19 — a drug developed to ward off parasites in farm animals."
"The only thing CNN did wrong here was bruise the ego of a popular podcaster who pushed dangerous conspiracy theories and risked the lives of millions of people in doing so," the network added.
Wemple appeared shocked by the statement, which he acknowledged made "some good points" but added it "sounds more like the work of an advocacy group than a journalism outfit."
Notably, the statement did not acknowledge Gutpa's stunning admission.
During the three-hour interview, Rogan took Gupta to task over how his network portrayed the medicine he took that was prescribed by a doctor.
"Does it bother you that the network you work for out and out lied, just outright lied about me taking horse dewormer?" Rogan grilled Gupta.
"They shouldn't have said that," Gupta admitted.
"Why did they do that?" Rogan asked.
"I don't know," Gupta responded.
"You didn't ask? You're the medical guy over there!" Rogan exclaimed.
"I didn't ask," Gupta said. "I should've asked before coming on this podcast."
CNN faced intense backlash on social media and Gupta was also criticized for attempting to spin his disastrous interview with Rogan.
Rogan offered kind words to Gupta following the sit-down, writing on Instagram, "The reality is that disagreement was a very small part of what was overall a very enjoyable conversation. Sanjay is a really nice person and I like him a lot. After our time together I consider him a friend."