Gov. Ron DeSantis says podcast host Joe Rogan shouldn’t apologize for his past comments. The defense comes as the controversial pundit has apologized for racially insensitive comments that included him using the N-word.
“No, he shouldn’t have apologized,” the Florida Governor told Fox News. “I mean, you see what happens? The mob will come after people, and they’re targeting Rogan because he’s threatening to upset the apple cart on some of the things that they’re holding dear.”
Singer India Arie drew attention to Rogan’s prior remarks while demanding the streaming service pull her catalog of music if it continues to carry his podcast.
DeSantis’ opinion on Rogan is notably more forgiving than Rogan himself. On his Spotify podcast, Rogan, while calling distributed videos of his past remarks a “political hit job,” still publicly apologized for the past statements.
“That video had always been out there. … They’re taking all this stuff that I’ve ever said that’s wrong and smushing it all together,” Rogan said. “It’s good because it makes me address some s— that I really wish wasn’t out there.”
He also called use of the racial slur “the most regretful and shameful thing I’ve ever had to talk about publicly.”
“You should apologize if you regret something,” he said. “I do think you have to be careful not to apologize for nonsense.”
He also defended Rogan on another front putting the show host in headlines, the spread of COVID-19 misinformation.
“With COVID, he’s just bringing opposing views. He’s letting people decide,” DeSantis said. “They say he’s against [the COVID-19 vaccine]. I do not listen to his show, but then I read he specifically advocated for people with comorbidities and elderly to get vaccinated.”
DeSantis has recently come under fire for appointing a Surgeon General, Joseph Ladapo, who refused to say in Senate confirmation hearings whether vaccines were effective.
DeSantis during his 2018 campaign for Governor resisted calls to apologize after saying “the last thing we need to do is to monkey this up” in reference to electing his opponent, Andrew Gillum, a Black man.
He also quickly accepted the resignation of Secretary of State Mike Ertel after blackface photos surfaced shortly after the Governor’s election.