CNN anchor Don Lemon was on the defensive Wednesday night after podcast giant Joe Rogan accused his network of “lying” about his COVID treatment.
Rogan confronted CNN’s chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta over the network’s coverage of his bout with the virus, falsely claiming Rogan used “horse dewormer” instead of the common human form of ivermectin, something Gupta conceded his CNN colleagues should not have said.
“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.
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“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.”
Following the release of the podcast, Gupta appeared with the “Don Lemon Tonight” anchor, who offered a fierce defense of the network.
“He did say something about ivermectin that I think wasn’t actually correct about CNN and lying,” Lemon began. “Ivermectin is a drug that is commonly used as a horse dewormer. So it is not a lie to say that the drug is used a horse dewormer. I think that’s important- and it’s not approved for COVID, correct?”
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“That’s correct,” Gupta responded. “It is not approved for COVID and you’re right, even the FDA put out a statement saying basically reminding people- it’s a strange sort of message FDA, but said ‘You’re not a horse, you’re not a cow, stop taking this stuff’ is essentially what they said referring to ivermectin. Now, I think Joe’s point is that-
“That it’s been approved for humans but not necessarily for COVID, right?” Lemon interjected.
“That’s right,” Gupta continued. “It’s been used for a parasitic disease- it’s called river blindness and it’s been very effective for that, but, you know, just because it works for one thing doesn’t mean it works for something else.”
Despite insisting CNN never lied about how it characterized Rogan’s use of Ivermectin, Lemon himself used an on-air graphic last month that read, “Joe Rogan announces he has COVID, is taking horse dewormer ivermectin.”
Another graphic Lemon aired read, “Joe Rogan, controversial podcast host, says he has COVID, taking unproven de-worming drug.”
During a panel discussion, Lemon told CNN medical analyst Dr. Jonathan Reiner that Rogan “took the deworming drug ivermectin that’s been touted by fringe right-wing groups.”
Reiner went on to knock Rogan, saying the podcast host is “promoting kind of a crazy jumble sort of folk remedies and internet-prescribed drugs.”
“He’s not helping matters when he’s promoting this sort of nonsense therapeutic mix,” Reiner added.
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Substack journalist Glenn Greenwald torched Lemon and CNN, calling both of them “pathetic” and that “there is zero ambiguity they lied about Joe Rogan.”
“They told viewers he took horse dewormer: a 100% lie. He took the human version of ivermectin prescribed by his medical doctor,” Greenwald tweeted Thursday. “But as I said, lying is not frowned upon at CNN: it’s encouraged.”
“It’s true that ivermectin is not approved for treatment of COVID. That has nothing with the lie CNN told. They said Rogan took horse dewormer. He didn’t. And CNN and Don Lemon are such little people, with so little integrity, they can’t admit they lied,” Greenwald added.