Spotify's $100 million dollar man, Joe Rogan, has found himself at the wrong end of a number of controversies recently for the scientifically questionable content being put forward on his wildly popular program, "The Joe Rogan Experience." First, he hosted an anti-vax scientist who compared U.S. public health authorities promoting COVID-19 vaccination to the Nazis — comments that inspired a fierce backlash and calls for a boycott of Rogan's show.
Then came a feud with legendary artist Neil Young, who pulled his music from Spotify after an ultimatum: You can have me or Rogan's COVID-19 misinformation, but not both.
Now, Rogan's back in the crosshairs of the scientific community after an episode with the clinical psychologist and occasional right-wing pundit Jordan Peterson, which was riddled with false claims about a number of topics — most notably during extended riffs on climate change and racial identity of "Black" Americans.
Here are some of the wildest claims from a particularly wild conversation:
1) That climate change doesn't exist because there's "no such thing as climate."
For more than 30 minutes of the episode's more than four-hour run time — yes, seriously — the two men discussed the veracity of the scientific establishment's broad agreement that climate change is real and that humans are to blame.
Rogan begins by saying he's reading a book about the subject, which he says "requires a lot of thinking" to look at criticisms on "both sides" of the issue.
"The climate change one is a weird one," he says, prompting an equally articulate response from his guest.
Though it's not exactly clear, Peterson seemed to be making the point that measuring Earth's climate over time will naturally lead researchers to assess a large number of variables — and that making sense of so many variables is an impossible task. For the record, it's not exactly what real climate scientists say about the subject.
PETERSON: Well, that's because there's no such thing as climate. Right? "Climate" and "everything" are the same word, and that's what bothers me about the climate change types. It's like, this is something that bothers me about it, technically. It's like, climate is about everything. Okay. But your models aren't based on everything. Your models are based on a set number of variables. So that means you've reduced the variables, which are everything, to that set. Well how did you decide which set of variables to include in the equation, if it's about everything? That's not just a criticism, that's like, if it's about everything, your models aren't right. Because your models do not and cannot model everything.
ROGAN: What do you mean by everything?
PETERSON: That's what people who talk about the climate apocalypse claim, in some sense. We have to change everything! It's like, everything, eh? The same with the word environment. That word means so much that it doesn't mean anything. … What's the difference between the environment and everything? There's no difference.
2) Calling a light-skinned person Black is "weird" — and should only be reserved to African natives "not wearing any clothes" all day.
This side-conversation began when Rogan brought up the work of author and academic Michael Eric Dyson, who several years ago criticized Peterson as a "mean, mad white man."
In response, Peterson said it was "a lie" to call him white, insisting that he's "kind of tan" — a description he would extend to Rogan as well.
"And [Dyson] was actually not black — he was sort of brown," Peterson added. Rogan then took that idea and ran with it:
"Well, isn't that weird? The Black and white thing is so strange because the shades are... There's such a spectrum of shades of people. Unless you're talking to someone who is, like, 100% African from the darkest place where they're not wearing any clothes all day and they've developed all that melanin to protect themselves from the sun. Even the term Black is weird and when you use it for people that are literally my color, it becomes very strange.
3) Honorable mention: Jordan Peterson's tuxedo
For some unknown reason, Jordan Peterson also wore a full tuxedo to the interview — a strange choice given the host's notably laid-back style.
Watch the full episode (if you must):
Joe Rogan Experience #1208 - Jordan Peterson www.youtube.com
Gun control advocates on Wednesday sharply condemned an Illinois-based company for recently unveiling the JR-15, a long rifle inspired by the AR-15 but marketed for children.
"The marketing of children's assault rifles... can only increase the threat of gun death and injury to children."
Although it is under 2.5 pounds and 20% smaller than the standard version, the JR-15 "operates just like Mom and Dad's gun," WEE1 Tactical said in a statement. The weapon "functions like a modern sporting rifle," but its "lightweight and rugged polymer construction and ergonomics are geared towards children."
WEE1 Tactical launched the JR-15 earlier this month at an annual trade show sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which is based in Newtown, Connecticut—where a gunman with an AR-15 murdered 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.
"The callousness of the National Shooting Sports Foundation to promote a children's version of the same type of assault rifle that was used in a horrific mass shooting of 20 first graders and six educators in our shared community is just the latest proof that the organization, and the gun manufacturers it represents, will do anything in pursuit of continued profits," Po Murray, chairwoman of the Newtown Action Alliance, said Wednesday.
Other critics of the new rifle took aim at the gun-maker, which is also selling "swag" featuring cartoon skulls with baby pacifiers—one with bows and pigtails, and another with a mohawk.
As Josh Sugarmann, executive director of the Violence Policy Center (VPC), put it: "At first glance, this comes across as a grotesque joke. On second look, it's just grotesque."
"That a gun-maker has embraced imagery of dead children to promote gun ownership by youth surreally illustrates how detached this industry is from the death and injury that result from its products, especially among the young," he added.
Sugarmann authored VPC's 2016 report entitled "Start Them Young": How the Firearms Industry and Gun Lobby Are Targeting Your Children. He likened the gun lobby's efforts targeting young people to those of Big Tobacco.
The tragic frequency of shootings involving children and teenagers is well documented and unfortunately now a regular part of our daily existence. Yet few realize that the firearms industry and the organizations that represent their interests, including the National Rifle Association, have made it one of their top marketing priorities to promote the use of guns among America's children, as young as grade-school age. In doing so, the gun industry is following a trail once blazed by the tobacco industry in its efforts to entice children to smoke cigarettes.
The report concludes that "while the firearms industry and gun lobby consistently work to present this marketing effort in terms of tradition and family, the real impetus lies in profit and political power. Most tragically, the effects of this campaign are all too often measured in unnecessary death and crippling injury."
In line with such marketing tactics, WEE1 Tactical said in its statement that "the JR-15 is the first in a line of shooting platforms that will safely help adults introduce children to the shooting sports."
Kathleen Sances, president and CEO of One Aim Illinois, expressed concern about what lies ahead as adults purchase the weapon for children.
"The marketing of children's assault rifles by an Illinois company not only brings shame to our state," she said, "but can only increase the threat of gun death and injury to children here and across the nation."
Jimmy Kimmel mocks Eric Trump for going on Fox News: 'The closest he can get to a Zoom with his dad'
Jimmy Kimmel mocked Eric Trump on Wednesday night for claiming on Fox News that his father "sat there 24 hours a day" working while in the White House.
"Speaking of dumb people, Eric Trump — are you familiar with his work? — he was on Fox last night," Kimmel said during his monologue. "That's the closest he can get to a Zoom with his dad, and in some ways you really have to hand it to this family, because what they say is in no way affected by what's true."
"I agree with the 'sat there 24 hours a day' part — but you forgot to mention on the toilet pleasuring himself to Lou Dobbs," Kimmel added. "You left the key part out. Listen, Donald Trump played 87 rounds of golf on his first year on the job."
"And he's still out there, by the way, teeing off and getting ready to get back to not working," Kimmel said, before playing a clip that surfaced Wednesday morning of Trump referring to himself as the "45th and 47th president" while playing one of his golf courses. People off camera in the video could be heard responding with "I love that" and "beautiful."
"Some caddies really know how to wash balls," Kimmel said.
Watch the full monologue below.
Trump REALLY Exaggerated His Wealth, Jimmy’s Pick for Supreme Court & Doocy’s Stupid Non-Questions www.youtube.com