Joe Rogan makes false claim that left-wing activists set forest fires

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  • Joe Rogan echoed false claims on the latest episode of his podcast that “left-wing” activists had been arrested for setting forest fires in Oregon.
  • The claim that “extremists” or “ANTIFA” had been arrested for arson in the area has been debunked by local law enforcement, the FBI, and Snopes.
  • “The Joe Rogan Experience” signed an exclusive deal with Spotify in May, and will become exclusively available on the platform later this year.
  • According to a Vice report, there are currently internal discussions over Spotify’s decision to host the podcast given its content that critics say is transphobic.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Podcast host Joe Rogan recently echoed a debunked claim that “left-wing” activists had been arrested for setting forest fires in Oregon on the latest episode of “The Joe Rogan Experience.”

“They’ve arrested people for lighting forest fires up there,” Rogan said on the podcast while speaking about Portland, Oregon. “They’ve arrested left-wing people for lighting these forest fires, air-quote ‘activists.’ This is also something that’s not being widely reported, you know, that people have actually been arrested for lighting fires up there.”

A clip of Rogan’s claims was posted on Twitter by user @AlexPattyy.

The claim that “ANTIFA,” “activists,” or “extremists” have been intentionally setting forest fires has repeatedly been debunked. 

“FBI Portland and local law enforcement agencies have been receiving reports that extremists are responsible for setting wildfires in Oregon. With our state and local partners, the FBI has investigated several such reports and found them to be untrue,” Special Agent in Charge Loren Cannon of the FBI said in a statement posted to Twitter by FBI Portland.

Snopes reported that rumors spread in early September 2020 that “ANTIFA” had set fires on the West Coast, particularly in Oregon. Per Snopes, much of the misinformation spreading on social media appeared to make attempts to link the wildfires to racial justice protests in Portland while local law enforcement asked people to stop spreading rumors.

Joy Krawczyk, a spokesperson for the Oregon Department of Forestry, told The New York Times that “we’re not seeing any indications of a mass politically-influenced arson campaign.”

Joe Rogan’s podcast has increasingly come under fire for his comments. Recently, he suggested on his podcast that Kardashian “b—-es” had made Caitlyn Jenner transgender while misgendering her throughout the episode. In an interview with TMZ, Jenner called him a “homophobic, transphobic a–.”

Rogan signed an exclusive deal with Spotify in May, and the podcast will become exclusively available on Spotify later this year. On Wednesday, Vice reported that Spotify was in the midst of an internal struggle after employees raised concerns about transphobic content on Rogan’s podcast. According to the Vice report, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek defended keeping Rogan’s podcast on the platform in a company all-hands meeting on Wednesday.

Joe Rogan and Spotify did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.


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