Rebecca Watson takes on both Joe Rogan and Jon Stewart and clobbers them

It’s not just the racism, it’s the ignorance. Rebecca Watson pulls up a horrendous clip of Joe Rogan yammering on about cryptozoology — he’s claiming that a mysterious new giant primate had been discovered in Africa, called the Bondo ape. He’s quite insistent about it, to the point where when an actual primatologist calls in to say it’s not true, he screams at her, belittles her Ph.D., and scornfully references her vagina. It’s an amazing performance. He’s Gish Galloped against Phil Plait, claiming that the moon landings were faked.

And now, apparently, were supposed to accept that he’s just a guy who has interesting conversations with interesting people? Bullshit.


  1. kome says

    Similar to how Newt Gingrich has been described as a stupid person’s idea of a smart person, Joe Rogan is a weak person’s idea of a strong person. Which probably explains a lot of his appeal with the white supremacist and incel crowds.

  2. Rob Grigjanis says

    I knew Rogan was a dumbass, but that Bondo ape nonsense was vile and utterly disgusting. The depressing thing is that that’s probably what gets him the big bucks. “Toxic” doesn’t even begin…

    And fuck Jon Stewart.

  3. PaulBC says

    I don’t feel a lot of animosity towards Jon Stewart, but he’s certainly not the brilliant subversive comic people give him credit for being. He should stick to his wheelhouse. I remember when my son was a toddler and we were watching library DVDs, Jon Stewart showed up in an Elmo special. That was surprising. Probably made in the mid-90s.

  4. Walter Solomon says

    This brain dead white man (Rogan) went from calling CNN “a legit scientific source” to wanting sue them for saying he took horse dewormer. I just can’t with this guy.

    The fact that this awful man has acquired so much money, attention and influence with so little discernible talent, charm, education and intelligence leads me to believe that white men are born with an “easy button” in this country. How else can you explain Rogan’s situation?. He was a mediocre TV host, an unfunny standup comic, a bland fight commentator and now an awful, problematic radio host but here he is.

    The hits just don’t stop in the 21st Century American cultural landscape.

  5. chesapeake says

    Fuck Jon Stewart? I think that is way too harsh. He is wrong on this issue,as I’m sure he would agree if he heard Rebecca’s video- that Gish gallop he pulled on the primatologist was disgusting and infuriating. If you are familiar with Stewart from years past I suspect you would put this in context and realize anyone can make a mistake. I can only assume that Jon is unaware of Rogan’s usual behavior.

  6. Rob Grigjanis says

    chesapeake @12: I watched The Daily Show pretty much from the start. It was OK. But Stewart didn’t have to hear the ape story. Despite giving the impression he knew it, he misrepresented the Josh Zepps story; Rogan didn’t come close to admitting he was wrong even after Zepps carefully explained why he was wrong. He was an ass, and Stewart made excuses for him. Maybe Stewart, like Rogan, should do some research before he shoots his mouth off. Funny how (ex)stand-up comics so often end up defending other (ex)stand-up comics.

  7. chrislawson says


    Over the span of his career, Jon Stewart has been a force for good. That does not mean he should be immune from criticism when he backs the wrong horse. I would even argue that his reputation as an icon of liberalism makes it more important to call him out when he supports regressive crap. So yes, I am fully behind the Fuck Jon Stewart movement on this subject. I mean, really, given how pernicious Joe Rogan is, why the fuck did Jon Stewart even feel the need to offer an opinion here, let alone an uninformed opinion? Is he really so hungry for validation/attention that he couldn’t take 15 minutes to read the background before strapping on his Free Speech Warrior combat armor and jumping into the wrong fight?

  8. chrislawson says

    I would add that if Stewart made a genuine mistake and realises his error, I’m more than prepared to let it go…provided he makes a clear and unambiguous apology with explanation of why he was wrong.

  9. unclefrogy says

    I wonder how much jon stewart’s reputation owes to two facts he is a pretty clever and funny comedian with a pretty good wit is fairly honest as far as it goes and was blessed with being in the right place at the right time with an exceptional bunch of ass holes to poke at and some who were very much willing to engage with him and a time of a lot of public interest in a new kind of approach to current events. A generally nice guy but not someone who is known for his deep political and social analysis or ideas. He is no Voltaire nor Thomas Paine

  10. says

    Joe Rogan is the new Howard Stern. He’s a glorified shock jock. None of this is new. The difference is, Stern knew he was full of shit. Rogan actually believes his own bullshit. Remember when Stern descended from wires onto the stage of the MTV music awards in assless pants? Good times.

    Rogan sounds like a flerf to me. Hysterical to listen to but horrifying that a fully grown mature human being can believe this garbage. He’s like that friend in college who was so into 9-11 trutherism they got false flag tattooed on their ass. He’s your hippy friend who got way too into the Mayan Calendar.

  11. quotetheunquote says

    Apparently he managed not to shoot himself,

    “To dream, the impossible Dream….!”

  12. nomadiq says

    It’s been said that Jordan Pearson is a dumb person’s idea of what a smart person is*. I agree. I now suggest that this photo is what uncool dude-bros think a cool dude-bro looks like.

    see Ben Shapiro, Bret Weinstein and their ilk for further examples.

  13. zoobrooklyn says

    Can I ask what the end game is here? This is verging on obsession now. I used to listen to Rogan back when he was on youtube, not so much since covid started because every episode had an hour of covid nonsense at the start. I would doubt that less than 5% of his listeners took anything he says seriously (but clearly some idiots do). He’s a good interviewer and a comedian, it’s hardly a shock that some people have different senses of humor. If you don’t like him don’t listen, easy. Or carry on obsessively reporting on and moaning about short statements taken out of context from a decade ago, that’s how free speach works so up to you. You’re out of your mind if you think he’s going anywhere. It’s the same as the people in the UK getting outraged about a Jimmy Car joke, like what do they expect from him? Don’t listen you tedious insufferable bores. You have to seriously enjoy moaning to go out of your way and watch stuff you know you won’t like.

  14. says

    The endgame is to make racism and misogyny unacceptable — that assholes who peddle those ideas no longer get paid $100 million for cheap shots, and that the kind of assholes who think prejudice against the Romany people is just casual fun and games are no longer welcome in conversations.

    You know, people like you. If we’re tedious insufferable bores, what does that make you? You’re here moaning and going out of your way to criticize stuff you don’t like. Fuck off. Bye.

  15. charley says

    I watched the first episode of Stewart’s new Netflix series. He complains about the judgmental tone of culture warriors on both sides, so this take on Joe Rogan isn’t that surprising. He seems too smart to not recognize Rogan’s dishonesty, so I wonder if Jon is sincere, or is he just targeting a stressed-out audience who long for everybody to get along.

    As for Spotify, I cancelled my premium account. For now, I’ll settle for free music from that paragon of rectitude, Amazon.

  16. Rob Grigjanis says

    I think it’s worth noting that neither Stewart nor Colbert are particularly progressive. They’re great pals with, and admirers of, the Clintons and the Obamas. Don’t think I’ve seen either one criticize them, though I could be wrong about that.

  17. Susan Montgomery says

    @23 next time there’s a fire in your kitchen, try ignoring it and see where that gets you.

  18. raven says

    Can I ask what the end game is here?

    Rogan is a Plague Rat!!!

    An antivaxxer who pushes quack drugs like Ivermectin, a useless drug againt the Covid-19 virus. The stakes are high here.
    We are in the middle of a pandemic. 900,000 Americans have died so far with many millions disabled with Covid long hauler syndromes.

    The antivaxxers make up ca. 95% of the people dying of the virus right now.
    Rogan is doing his best to help kill people and keep this pandemic going, like a good little…Plague Rat.

    We can’t stop him but we can slow him down.

  19. pick says

    Thanks to Rebecca and PZ. The clip about the ape was super revealing. Rogan and his pals exhibit serious arrested development syndrome of some kind. Considering their age, immature doesn’t quite do it. Something seems to have failed to develop adequately in those that exhibit these kinds of symptoms. I think that Joe Rogan is effectively developmentally disabled.

  20. christoph says

    @ pick, # 31: Whenever you get a group of misogynists in a group like this the collective IQ goes down into the single digits.

  21. says

    Re: human development and adult behavior.

    No one is missing anything and it is ableist to suggest otherwise without a professional’s level of detail.

    What is most likely happening is we rely on some kinds of processing over others depending on how much we know about it, how we feel about it… I don’t accept some people don’t reach the formal operational stage for example, rather is the person able to interact with the subject at that level.

    Also personality differences will move variables around, but again there is no reason to think anyone isn’t developmentally incapable. That removes personal responsibility (Rogan and people challenging him) as a variable. Maybe it’s not the intent but implications that Rogan is broken adds a futility to things that is not evident.

  22. says

    There’s another HUGE problem with the whole “don’t censor, engage” trope, and I’m kinda surprised RW didn’t touch on it (though maybe she did elsewhere and didn’t have time for it in that particular talk). That is, the practical result of this principle is that, whenever someone questions your humanity or your rights, it suddenly becomes YOUR DUTY to drop whatever you’re doing and painstakingly refute all of that asshole’s assertions. And then, if someone else questions your humanity all over again one hour later, you have to drop what you’re doing AGAIN and go through the same rational refutation AGAIN. This isn’t a huge problem for relatively-well-off white guys like Stewart (and myself); but for marginalized minorities it can make daily life a living hell of constant self-justification in response to the demands of whoever sees them and doesn’t like them. “Don’t censor, engage” can very easily become “always let yourself be put on the defensive, at the expense of everything else in your life, just to ‘prove’ you’re big enough to take it (or something).”

  23. donfelipe says

    Really isn’t all that surprising that Stewart has become this both-sider who’s mindset is stuck at least twenty years ago. I don’t ever recall him being funny so I would hesitate to call him a comedian. The Daily Show was funny back in the day because he had anchors that were actually funny, that went on to become much more successful for obvious reasons. Hell, he even stole the name of his show from Wyatt Cenac, someone whom he fired.

    The Daily Show with Stewart became popular at a time where the internet media landscape was in its infancy and the major networks barely would question anything the Bush administration was doing. Democrats had less backbone than today. Shocking to vocalize that point, but the few progressive voices in government had no platform compared to Sanders or AOC today. At that point in time, it was novel and new to point out how bad the right was and talk about how weak-willed the Democrats were. Now anyone can find the political talk show they want to hear, with views that re-inforce their own.

    Obviously time have changed and Stewart is still mired in an attitude that has proven time and again to be wrong. Did engaging with Republican talking points make them better? Our current landscape is a direct effect of Stewart and others from that time’s attitude. Wilson nails it when she mentions he’s 15 years behind, but even that is generous for this guy.

  24. pick says

    @ 34 I think I’m talking about something that failed to develop for lack of nurture. Rogan’s intellect or his emotional intelligence for example. I’m a free will compatibilist which means I think it’s possible to organically lose the freedom to make choice as in Rogan’s case. It’s true that it’s enough to make you feel sorry for him, being organically crazy and all, except that he and others like him are so destructive.

  25. says

    @pick 39
    Making up new word combinations doesn’t make you right.
    1. Name the condition.
    2. Name and describe the relevant diagnostic criteria in the abstract.
    3. Provide the concrete versions of the diagnostic criteria in Rogan’s behavior.

    If you cannot do this you are using the idea developmental problems for political gain.

  26. says

    I agree that arbitrarily citing “mental illness” or “developmental problems” to explain bad behavior is arbitrary, and wrong from the standpoint of diagnosing and helping a patient. From the standpoint of dealing with someone else’s bad or destructive behavior, however, some such arbitrary armchair diagnosis may be necessary, at least for short-term decision-making when we don’t have access to better information.

  27. Steve Caldwell says

    This is from a Facebook friend and I cannot claim it. But it seems appropriate for sharing here:

    “Joe Rogan is sort of the ‘Incel Oprah.'”