Rogan’s “The Joe Rogan Experience” is one of the most popular podcasts ever, dating back to 2009 and continuing to put out content, including his 1,538th episode with British author Douglas Murray.
That episode now lies at the heart of controversy, as Rogan shared accusations of arson involved in the Portland, Oregon wildfires, misleading his millions of listeners into believing that arsonists had been arrested.
This incident comes amid a milieu of news involving Rogan’s return to podcasting with a new studio and his exclusivity contract with Spotify.
In this instance, Rogan confidently made claims that had already been widely debunked. People appear to be dissatisfied that someone with millions of listeners, who just signed a deal for over $100 million, publicized misinformation.
It appears that those critics are not alone in their discomfort, as Rogan himself is formally apologizing for the snafu and affirming that it was wrong, shouldn’t have happened, and won’t happen again.
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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 that 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. I’m sorry.
In an apology posted to Instagram, Rogan explains, from his own perspective, what he did poorly. Upon reading something online, he repeated it on the podcast without adequately fact-checking. As he explains this course of action: “I was very irresponsible not looking into it before I repeated it … I repeated it without looking into it and it was a really f**king stupid mistake that won’t happen again. I’m sorry.”
Overall, Rogan’s apology seems to check all the boxes to satisfy his detractors. He identified precisely how he messed up, didn’t make excuses or shift blame, and vowed to be more vigilant moving forward.
Regardless of the specifics at hand, this is an interesting moment simply considering accountability for public figures to be responsible on their platforms and to admit fault when they’ve been irresponsible.