During a recent episode of The Joe Rogan Experience, the UFC commentator and longtime comedian repeated the false claim that “left-wing” protestors in Portland, Oregon are responsible for the wildfires in the area.
“They’ve arrested left-wing people for lighting these forest fires,” Rogan said on “The Joe Rogan Experience” to his millions of listeners. “You know, air-quote, ‘activists.’ This is also something that’s not widely being reported.”
The reason that Rogan’s claim has not been “widely reported” is because it is entirely false, according to the FBI and local law enforcement. Both agencies have urged people to stop spreading claims that antifa is starting fires and to only follow “official sources of information such as emergency response websites and pages, government websites and pages, and local reputable news outlets.”
“Conspiracy theories and misinformation take valuable resources away [from] local fire and police agencies working around-the-clock to bring these fires under control,” the FBI said in a statement. “Please help our entire community by only sharing validated information from official sources.”
Joe Rogan lies to his millions of listeners that left-wing activists are starting forest fires in Oregon. This dangerous claim has been completely debunked. pic.twitter.com/qbNK9GQB9h— Alex Paterson (@AlexPattyy) September 17, 2020
This is not the first time that Rogan has spread misinformation and debunked conspiracy theories on his wildly successful podcast. Earlier this year, Rogan tried to validate an unfounded conspiracy theory based on Trump’s claims that Barack Obama broke a law during his transition out of office. Despite the theory being debunked by former National Security Adviser Susan Rice, Rogan discussed the merits of the so-called “Obamagate” on his podcast and claimed that Obama was using the FBI to spy on Trump.
Apart from peddling in conspiracy theories for over a decade on one of the most popular podcasts in existence, Rogan has also hosted conspiracy mongers such as Alex Jones, allowing them to peddle conspiracy theories to gullible listeners.
Rogan’s latest controversy has added even more pressure on Spotify, who recently signed a $100 million exclusivity deal with the comedian.
Update: Rogan has since apologized on Twitter.
I fucked 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...— Joe Rogan (@joerogan) September 18, 2020
...turned out to be true, but the other shit 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 fucking stupid mistake that won’t happen again.— Joe Rogan (@joerogan) September 18, 2020