Jones, considered by the Southern Poverty Law Center an "extremist" who is "almost certainly the most prolific conspiracy theorist" in present-day America, was recently a guest on Rogan's podcast. During the three-hour discussion, which also included conservative-leaning comedian Tim Dillon, Jones took issue with COVID-19 vaccines. Jones' history of pushing dangerous anti-vaxxer conspiracies, of course, is well-documented; he was also a guest on Rogan's show prior to the latter's lucrative Spotify deal.
In an extended statement shared to Instagram on Wednesday, Rogan explained that—while he himself is "NOT anti-vaccine"—he believes this podcast episode "and the subjects [Jones] exposed" highlight why he chose to have him as a podcast guest.
"Now, I'm NOT anti vaccine, and if a safe and effective [COVID-19] vaccine is created I'll take it and encourage others to take it," Rogan said when sharing a Bill Gates clip. "But I wanted to put this video up to validate what he said."
It's worth mentioning here that Jones has previously distributed perilous conspiracy theories about Bill Gates wanting to "sterilize and destroy the third world through vaccinations."
In a separate IG post, Rogan shot down a conspiracy theory that was brought on by an episode upload issue. Following "some cache issues," the episode was re-uploaded with the same date, causing some listeners to mistakenly assume that Spotify had removed the episode.
"Didn't quite work out perfect, which led to my phone getting hit up by people thinking it was removed," Rogan said. "It works for me now, but some folks are still having trouble seeing it. They're working on it."
And while Spotify hasn't publicly shared a stance on the Alex Jones episode, Jane Lytvynenko of BuzzFeed News reported on Wednesday that the booking was defended in an internal email from the company's chief legal officer and head of global affairs, Horacio Gutierrez.
"We are not going to ban specific individuals from being guests on other people's shows, as the episode/show complies with our content policies," Gutierrez, who did not name Jones directly, said in an email about the episode in question.