Joe Rogan mocked for sharing and deleting fake news story on Steven Seagal joining Russian special forces

Joe Rogan has been ridiculed after sharing and swiftly deleting a spoof news story that claimed actor Steven Seagal had joined the Russian special forces amid the invasion of Ukraine. 

The controversial podcaster shared a screenshot of a fake CNN report on his Instagram and Facebook accounts that showed action star Seagal wearing a military uniform, sunglasses and holding a machine gun. 

The accompanying text on the image read: "Intelligence agencies around the world have spotted American actor Steven Seagal among Russian special forces positioned around the outskirts of Gostomel airfield near Kyiv captured by Russian airborne troops." 

Rogan didn't appear to be in on the joke, or notice that the image of Seagal was actually a still from his 2017 flick Cartels

"If I had to guess the plot of this f**ked up movie we're living through, I would say we are about 14 hours from the arrival of the aliens," Rogan captioned the post. 

Joe Rogan mocked for sharing and deleting fake news story on Steven Seagal joining Russian special forces
Photo credit: Instagram/Joe Rogan

Rogan, who has already been under fire for propagating ideas including misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines, was skewered online for his lack of fact-checking. 

"Joe Rogan, I'd laugh, but my friends are dying," one critic wrote on social media. 

"Free speech is wonderful... unless you're an idiot with a wide reach," a Twitter user wrote. "Joe Rogan has got to be more responsible.  He's in a position that so many more qualified people would kill for, and he takes that for granted." 

"Joe Rogan's sharing fake information about Steven Seagal joining Russian special forces demonstrates his biggest problems - zero critical thinking skills and no understanding of when his jokes are appropriate," said another. 

Rolling Stone shared an article about Rogan's mistake with the caption: "Media literacy is clearly not Joe Rogan's strong suit." 

Despite the news report being a hoax, Segal has long been an admirer of Russian president Vladimir Putin and, according to The Guardian, joined a pro-Kremlin political party in 2021. 

Seagal reportedly received a membership card for a group called A Just Russia - Patriots - For Truth in May last year. Seagal has been a Russian citizen since 2016. 

Rogan went on to give an update on Instagram after he deleted the post, sharing an old but actually legitimate Washington Post article from 2017 about Seagal being banned from the Ukraine as a "national security threat". 

"I deleted my earlier post about Steven Seagal being in Ukraine because it was parody, which isn't surprising, but honestly it wouldn't be surprising if it was true either," Rogan wrote. 

"He was banned from Ukraine in 2017 because he was labelled as a national security threat. I, like all of you, hope the tragic situation is resolved there quickly."