Dr. Danielle Belardo slammed Joe Rogan on social media, accusing the podcast host, standup comedian and UFC commentator of spreading misinformation around health, wellness and science. Belardo, who has a large following, wrote in an April 2021 Instagram post, “I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again. Joe Rogan is Goop, marketed to men.”
Goop is the wellness and lifestyle branded founded by actress Gwyneth Paltrow in 2008 as an email newsletter. Goop has since evolved into a product line, wellness website, a magazine, a podcast and a Netflix docuseries. Paltrow and Goop have generated controversy over the years. According to a 2020 NBC News article, “Goop has been criticized for its dubious wellness claims, including its advertisement that jade and quartz ‘eggs’ can be used to maintain vaginal health.”
In her Instagram post, Belardo wrote, “I love you guys so much, and I appreciate that you trust my scientific knowledge and you send me endless videos to debunk. I can just save us all a lot of time and remind y’all that almost everything that comes out of Joe Rogan and Goop is wildly inaccurate, sometimes benign pseudoscience at best, dangerous disinformation at worst.” She added, “Public service announcement – when you see a Rogan or Goop/Paltrow video – hit the X in the top corner, and forget it ever happened 😂”
NBC News wrote about Goop and Paltrow, “The company agreed to pay $145,000 in civil penalties in a California settlement in 2018 because these claims were deemed ‘unsubstantiated.’ Other products, including an ‘energy sticker’ spray meant to ‘protect’ individuals from psychological and emotional harm, have also been deemed misleading by experts and have given the company a bad rap.” Dr. Jennifer Gunter told The Guardian, “Paltrow is able to call up any magazine in the world and get on the cover. And this is what she’s doing with her privilege. Grifting off desperate women.”
Paltrow has pushed back against the criticism, telling Mashable in 2020, “We think that that’s all clickbait and bulls***. People are able to criticize us now in opportunistic ways. It’s a cheap and easy way to try and drive traffic to these sites. I think there’s a lot happening in the media right now in terms of trying to say we give health advice – or, they use the word pseudo-scientific, which drives me crazy because pseudo-science is saying: ‘This pillow will fix your back pain.’ And we don’t do that. If we’re interested in something, we’ll get an expert opinion and do a Q&A.”
Paltrow also addressed criticism that she and Goop spread misinformation around COVID-19, telling The Hollywood Reporter, “We really are not to say at Goop that we have never made mistakes because of course we have in the past, but we’re very much in integrity and we’re careful about what we say.”
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Belardo Says Rogan Is a ‘Harm to Public Health’
Belardo wrote in her April 2, 2021, Instagram post, “Joe Rogan platforms antivaxxers, heart disease and cholesterol deniers, statin misinformation, LDL misinformation, metabolism misinformation – the list goes on. He reaches millions of people with his disinformation.” She added, “Heart disease is the number one killer and he continuously entertains guests who deny heart disease, who lie about the causes of heart disease, who encourage people to avoid guideline directed medical therapy.”
Belardo also said about Rogan, “He hosts anti vaxxers during a pandemic. He’s a harm to public health.” Dr. David Gorski, the managing editor of Science-Based Medicine Reviews and a surgical oncologist, added on Twitter, “When you’re right, you’re right, though. Joe Rogan IS basically Goop for men.”
Some Twitter users pushed back against Belardo. One wrote, “I genuinely don’t understand the hatred for Joe Rogan. I started listening to him because I thought I would hate him like everyone else, but he has really great guests on his show and they cover a huuuuggge variety of topics.” Another said, “I understand the comparison, and it’s fair too an extent. The difference I see is that Joe Rogan is willing to talk to people he disagrees with (or disagree with him), where Goop is more of an echo chamber for Gwyneth Paltrow. … I think his Reach exceeds his Grasp, I don’t blame people for their Ignorance though. I credit him for trying to be openminded to things he doesn’t understand, there’s just a lot he doesn’t understand.”
Another person agreed on Twitter, writing, “The problem is that he VERY rarely pushes back on outright lies. If you have someone on that you disagree with, you should do research into the stuff you’re going to talk about so you can actually argue your POV instead of nodding and saying “interesting”. … he gets paid like multiple millions to have a podcast! Do 2 hours of reading before you have someone on! It’s your job!”
Rogan has said he has guests on with different views and tries to learn from them and will push back and engage them in discussions and arguments about what they believe. During a podcast episode with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in 2019, Rogan said, “For me, it’s like, ‘Ooh, boy! I get to talk to guys like Ben Greenfield and Jonathan Haidt, and all these different people, and learn some stuff. And I’ve clearly learned way more from doing this podcast then I ever would have learned without it.” Greenfield is a vaccine skeptic. Rogan added during the Dorsey podcast:
I didn’t f****** plan this. So now all of the sudden there’s this signal that I’m sending out to millions and millions of people, and then people are like, ‘Well, you have a responsibility,’ and I’m like, ‘Oh, great. Well, I didn’t want that.’ … There’s certain people that I’ll have on, whether it’s Alex Jones or anyone that’s controversial, where people who get fucking mad. ‘Why are you giving this person a platform?’ OK. Hmm. I didn’t think about it that way, and I don’t think that’s what I’m doing. I think I’m talking to people, and you can listen
In September 2020, Rogan had to apologize after spreading misinformation on his podcast about wildfires in Oregon. Rogan wrote on Instagram, “I f***** up on the podcast with Douglas Murray and said that people got arrested lighting fires in Portland. That turns out to not be true. I was very irresponsible not looking into it before I repeated it. I read one story about a guy getting arrested for lighting fires that turned out to be true, but the other s*** I read about people getting arrested for lighting fires in Portland was not true. I repeated it without looking into it and it was a really f***** stupid mistake that won’t happen again. I’m sorry.”
Rogan has actually criticized Paltrow and Goop on his podcast in the past. He talked about Paltrow during a July 2017 episode of The Joe Rogan Experience with scientist Yvette d’Entremont.
Rogan said, “There’s been a couple things about her lately and her f***** nutty website. … She’s getting paid though, I’ll tell you that. There are a lot of dummies out there.” D’Entremont, who has gained a social media following as The Sci Babe, told Rogan, “She’s proof that bulls*** sells a lot better than science.”
The comparison between Rogan and Paltrow is not necessarily new, others have said similar things, and some have similarly called Rogan “Oprah for men.” In a 2020 column in The Washington Post about Paltrow’s Goop Netflix show, Monica Hesse wrote, “The show is spiritual cousins with Joe Rogan’s podcast, or Russell Brand’s — celebrity seekers, all. The concept, at least, is similar: Here is a famous person with natural intelligence but zero subject-matter expertise, having a series of conversations. Some of the guests are mainstream (Neil deGrasse Tyson for Rogan, sex-ed guru Betty Dodson for Gwyneth) and some of them are not (Alex Jones for Rogan, a psychic medium for Gwyneth).”
Belardo Is a California-Based Cardiologist Who Says She Is ‘Obsessed With Prevention & Nutrition Science
Belardo, according to her website, is a New York native who graduated from Drexel University College of Medicine. She completed a three-year internal medicine residency at Temple University Hospital and a three-year fellowship in cardiovascular disease at Lankenau Heart Institute.
According to her website, “She is dedicated to being a cardiologist that in addition to traditional medicine, focuses on lifestyle modification, and evidence based nutrition, in order to prevent heart disease.” She is now a preventative cardiologist in Newport Beach, California.
Belardo says on her website she “is the co-chair of the American Society for Preventive Cardiology Nutrition Committee, the Co-Chair of the Wellness Committee for the California Chapter of the American College of Cardiology, and a member of the American College of Cardiology Nutrition and Lifestyle Sub Committee.”
Belardo is a proponent of plant-based nutrition to prevent heart disease, according to Philly Mag. The magazine wrote in 2020, “As a physician, Belardo embraces a pro-plant holistic method of prevention without advocating against necessary medical intervention. Her podcast ‘Nutrition Rounds’ dives deeper into nutrition and health care, with episodes on hormones and plant-based diets, and the gut microbiome. On Instagram, you can find Belardo busting plant-based nutrition myths and frequenting conferences and panels all over the country, which have been put on hold since the nationwide closures.”
Belardo Is Raising Money for Research Into Pediatric Cancer by Selling Merchandise That Says ‘Joe Rogan Is Goop for Men’
Belardo is using the attention she received after her Instagram post about Rogan to raise money for charity. Instagram memer Quentin Quarantino is selling T-shirts that say “Joe Rogan Is Goop for Men” on them, with part of the proceeds going to the Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation, which, “funds cutting-edge #ChildhoodCancer research and financially assists families of kids with cancer nationwide,” according to its Instagram.
Belardo wrote on Instagram, “I never thought I would say this, but thank you Joe Rogan and Gwyneth Paltrow. Because of your persistent pseudoscience, this meme I made has exploded, and @quentin.quarantino made it into t shirts—- and proceeds are going to @bepositivefdn for pediatric leukemia!! Help us reach 10K tonight and buy this hilarious shirt!! !Drag pseudoscience but make it charitable 😂 I LOVE you guys.”
Belardo wrote on Twitter about the reaction to her meme, “I didn’t realize how many fragile Joe Rogan fans follow me on Instagram until I posted this meme I made today.”
I didn’t realize how many fragile Joe Rogan fans follow me on Instagram until I posted this meme I made today 💀 pic.twitter.com/eLbx1DVhNy
— Danielle Belardo, MD (@DBelardoMD) April 2, 2021
She added, “My comment section on IG has a lot of ‘he has Alex Jones on to discuss ALL sides of science’ and ‘you’re just one of those vaccine shill doctors who follows all the guidelines, but they are thinking outside the box’… lmaoooo.”
She said more than $6,000 has been raised for the charity so far. She tweeted, “It was so random and unplanned but so happy we can turn this into something positive.”