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Brazil’s Bolsonaro tweets support for podcaster Rogan

Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro tweeted his support for embattled American podcast host Joe Rogan.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has regularly downplayed the danger of the coronavirus and promoted the use of treatments that doctors say do not work against Covid
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has regularly downplayed the danger of the coronavirus and promoted the use of treatments that doctors say do not work against Covid - Copyright AFP NOEL CELIS
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has regularly downplayed the danger of the coronavirus and promoted the use of treatments that doctors say do not work against Covid - Copyright AFP NOEL CELIS

Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro tweeted his support for embattled American podcast host Joe Rogan, whose spreading of disinformation about Covid-19 has caused a firestorm of controversy on streaming service Spotify.

The leader known as the “Tropical Trump,” who has himself been accused of spreading disinformation on the pandemic, waded into the Rogan row with a rare English-language post on Twitter Wednesday.

“I’m not sure what @joerogan thinks about me or about my government, but it doesn’t matter. If freedom of speech means anything, it means that people should be free to say what they think, no matter if they agree or disagree with us,” Bolsonaro wrote.

“Stand your ground! Hugs from Brazil.”

Rogan is at the center of an entertainment-world storm after several music superstars, including Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, ditched Spotify over its handling of Rogan’s controversial statements on Covid-19 vaccines.

Rogan, an ex-martial arts champ turned hugely popular talk show host, has discouraged Covid-19 vaccination in young people and promoted the off-label use of the anti-parasitic drug ivermectin to treat the disease.

Facing a spreading backlash, Spotify announced Sunday it would start guiding podcast listeners toward factual information on the pandemic.

But it has not cut ties with Rogan, whose show, “The Joe Rogan Experience,” has been broadcast exclusively on the platform since 2020, under a deal worth an estimated $100 million.

The podcast draws 11 million listeners per episode on average.

Bolsonaro has himself questioned Covid-19 vaccines, joking they could “turn you into an alligator,” and touted treatments such as anti-malarial drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine despite research showing they are ineffective against the disease.

AFP
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With 2,400 staff representing 100 different nationalities, AFP covers the world as a leading global news agency. AFP provides fast, comprehensive and verified coverage of the issues affecting our daily lives.

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