Joe Rogan Sparks Backlash for Pushing Antisemitic ‘Money’ Trope

The Joe Rogan Experience
The Joe Rogan Experience

Conspiracy-peddling podcaster Joe Rogan, who signed a $200 million deal with Spotify in 2020, is once again in hot water—this time for pushing the well-known antisemitic trope that Jewish people are “into money” and greedy.

Rogan, who apologized last year for his repeated use of the N-word, has a lengthy history of making bigoted and antisemitic remarks on his mega-popular podcast, which currently boasts an average of 11 million listeners. Last year, the podcaster claimed that Kyrie Irving shouldn’t have been punished for his antisemitic posts while complaining that Kanye West was being “censored” during his anti-Jewish meltdown.

He continued that ignominious tradition during a recent episode this past weekend.

Speaking with Breaking Points co-hosts Krystal Ball and Saagar Enjeti, the “Intellectual Dark Web” member appeared to come to the defense of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), who was recently removed from the Foreign Affairs Committee by Republicans over accusations that she is antisemitic.

Much of the criticism of Omar centers on her 2019 tweet condemning the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which implied American support for Israel was “all about the Benjamins,” a hip-hop reference to $100 bills. The Muslim congresswoman would later apologize for her comments, saying “antisemitism is real,” and she was “grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of antisemitic tropes.”

Rogan, however, said Omar had nothing to be sorry over. According to the longtime UFC commentator, there is nothing problematic about observing that Jewish people like money.

“She’s apologizing for talking about ‘It’s all about the Benjamins,’ which is just about money—she’s talking about money,” he stated. “That’s not an antisemitic statement, I don’t think that is. Benjamins are money.”

Rogan continued: “The idea that Jewish people aren’t into money is ridiculous. That’s like saying Italians aren’t into pizza. That’s fucking stupid.”

Noting that Omar recently reiterated her apology during an interview alongside Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who is Jewish, Rogan doubled down.

“Whether you agree with her or not, she has a bold opinion, and that opinion is not her own. There’s many people that have that opinion, and they should be represented,” he declared. “My point is, she’s sitting right next to Adam Schiff, and no one says shit.”

Ball, a former Democratic candidate turned leftist commentator, added that Omar “could have phrased” her comments in a different way “so people would have less of a freakout.” Largely defending the congresswoman’s remarks, she then pivoted to talking about U.S. policy on Israel and how it is “just like every other fucking interest in D.C.”

“Disturbing that at a time of rising anti-Jewish violence, when growing numbers of Americans believe in antisemitic conspiracy theories, @joerogan would use his immense platform to spew antisemitic tropes about Jews and money,” Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt tweeted on Thursday.

“For centuries, people have used these longstanding tropes to spread vicious lies about the Jewish people. ‘Comedian’ or not, Rogan’s comments are no joke,” he added.

Conservative Jewish columnist Ian Haworth tweeted that the podcaster’s analogy “would make sense if Jews invented money and/or Italians had been massacred because of a conspiracy that they control the world through pizza.”

He also observed that there was a “stunning lack of outrage from conservative Jewish thought leaders who will not dare criticize Joe Rogan, but if an MSNBC host said Jews are ‘into money’ would never stop screaming about it.”

Joe Rogan’s ‘I’m a Moron’ Defense Is a Cop-Out

Former Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), who is now CEO of the American Jewish Committee, said that Rogan was invoking “the same tropes that have been used to persecute Jews for centuries” and that “it’s dangerous to be so flippant in trafficking in antisemitic stereotypes.”

Comedian David Baddiel, author of Jews Don’t Count, lamented how Rogan was able to “breezily” peddle the trope on his show while “no one gives a fuck.” He also quipped that “Joe Rogan has a 200 Million dollar deal with Spotify. And yet apparently it’s Jews who are into money.”

Rep. Josh Gotterheimer (D-NJ), meanwhile, blasted Rogan’s “despicable language,” claiming that it could lead “to attacks and threats against Jewish people.” He also took issue with Ball, saying it was “infuriating” watching her “promote blatant, dangerous antisemitic tropes, including those masquerading as anti-Israel sentiments.”

Ball, when asked for comment about Gottheimer’s criticism of her, pointed The Daily Beast to a tweet she sent the congressman on Tuesday afternoon. “Is it anti-Semitic to point out you’re corrupt?” Ball wrote, alongside a screenshot of an article calling Gottheimer “the Billionaires’ Democratic Bag Man.”

According to the Anti-Defamation League, one of the “most prominent and persistent stereotypes about Jews is that they are greedy and avaricious, hoping to make themselves rich by any means.” The organization also notes that the “stereotype of Jewish greed took hold in the Middle Ages, when Jews were frequently associated with money.”

Representatives for Rogan and Spotify did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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