The video of Brand’s take on CNN’s take on the controversy has been racking up views in more than one format. On YouTube, the full 12-minute clip – definitely worth watching – has 1.5 million views. Not unheard of on Brand’s channel but on the high end. That full version (embedded below) also has over 35,000 views on Rumble.
The 46-year-old comedian took aim at Stelter for his recent comments about Joe Rogan’s opinion not being as well-founded as newsrooms such as CNN, contending that “not all opinions are created equal”.
“You think about major newsrooms like CNN that have health departments and desks and operations that work hard on verifying information on Covid-19,” Stelter said.
“And then you have talk show stars like Joe Rogan, who just wing it, who make it up as they go along,” he added. “And because figures like Rogan are trusted by people that don’t trust real newsrooms, we have tension, a problem that’s much bigger than Spotify, much bigger than any single platform, but that’s what is the heart of this right now.”
“CNN’s Brian Stelter said this week that because of Joe Rogan ‘winging it’ people have stopped trusting ‘real newsrooms’. Could another explanation come from the media trying to push us towards WWIII?” reads the description for Brand’s video on YouTube, posted on February 3.
Stelter’s comments came after the controversy surrounding Rogan and Spotify.
The 54-year-old UFC commentator has been mired in an ongoing controversy over misinformation, including about the Covid pandemic, that has been hosted on his show and that has led to several personalities withdrawing their support to the platform.
Hundreds of scientists, medical professionals, and celebrities have demanded that Spotify address Covid misinformation on Rogan’s controversial episodes about vaccines.
He has also been criticised for saying the N-word several times on one of his old podcasts.
Brand took on Stelter by showing a few clips of his opinion on Rogan, and then mocked him by saying that Stelter is “jealous” of Rogan’s audience.
“Well, why don’t people trust me? They trust Rogan, but I’m perfectly trustworthy! Look how loose my tie knot is!” Brand says in the video while trying to mimic Stelter’s speech.
Brand’s clip has been viewed millions of times on social media.
Other versions in other tweets have anywhere from dozens to hundreds or even thousands of views.
There are countless tweets reacting to it, including from Glenn Greenwald, who made an interesting point in his thread.
Journalist Glenn Greenwald wrote on Twitter: “Note that Brand’s video has already been watched by 1.1 million people — far bigger than Stelter’s audience and double CNN’s prime-time shows.”
Naturally, the video has also rocketed across the right-wing media and blog universe. Here is the full video, via Russell Brand on Rumble.
Many people are calling Brand’s impersonation of Stelter “hilarious” and “best thing I’ve watched recently”.
“I am not a Russell Brand fan, but… this is pretty damn funny!” wrote another person.