Joe Rogan on Wildfire Rumors: 'I'm Very Upset With Myself'

Podcast host apologizes for spreading misinformation about fires out West
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2020 7:31 AM CDT
Joe Rogan Sorry for Spreading Wildfire Rumor 'Madness'
This April 10, 2013, photo shows Joe Rogan from the series "Joe Rogan Questions Everything" at Silver Screen Studios in New York.   (AP Photo/Starpix, Andrew Toth)

Comedian Joe Rogan moved his popular eponymous podcast to Spotify at the beginning of the month, and he got things moving last week by making an accusation regarding wildfires near Portland, Ore. "There is a madness going on there," Rogan said during Thursday's podcast, per CNN Business. "You want to talk about madness of crowds. That exemplifies that right now." He noted that officials had arrested "left-wing people" for setting the blazes, adding: "You know, air quote, activists, and this is something that's also not widely being reported." The next day, CNN's Brianna Keilar explained why that is. "It's not being widely reported, because it's not true," the CNN anchor said. Per Vanity Fair, local law enforcement and other agencies in Oregon have pushed back on the conspiracy theory, and even the FBI released a statement refuting claims that "extremists" had set the fires.

"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 agency noted. Rogan apparently got wind of his mistake, and on Friday, the outspoken comedian "uncharacteristically" apologized, per Forbes. "I'm sorry if I duped you," Rogan told fans on Instagram, retracting his remarks and explaining he'd mixed up a couple of stories. "There is nothing I can do about it now. It's out there, but it's definitely a mistake." He also said he'll remember this before making provocative comments in the future. "It feels very irresponsible of me," he said. "I don't take it lightly. I'm very upset with myself ... Sorry." (That's not the only recent controversy Rogan has found himself embroiled in.)

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