In an era where “fake news” and “alternative facts” have interjected their way into daily conversation, it’s important to continue diligently fact-checking and stopping the spread of rumors. Rumor Flies is helping push this cause by exposing some widely-held beliefs for the frauds they are, all with painstaking fact-checking so they don’t become part of the problem.

(Editor’s note: purely coincidental this post is following Podcast Spotlight: Mulder Was Right – Conspiracy and Alternative Facts)

Though they attempt to stay out of politics, Rumor Flies does tackle some extremely present topics such as MSG allergies, rumors around Disneyland, and even aphrodisiacs. I got a chance to meet Greg who leads the fact-checking for Rumor Flies (a very important job) and discuss the origins of the podcast and where they want to go from here. Below is our full Q&A.

Discover Pods: Describe your podcast in 140-characters or less. 

Greg: Rumor Flies explores the origins and veracity of common rumors, myths, and misconceptions. We are somewhere between Snopes and Mythbusters, but with a comedic bend and far fewer qualifications.

DP: How did your podcast get started?

Greg: Our podcast started just over a year ago after co-host Ryan appeared on my old show, “Projecting” (discontinued). We were old friends in high school who hadn’t seen each other in some time after I went off to college in VA. We had a great discussion about myths surrounding GMO’s. After the show, Ryan and Josh chatted (I believe over a game of Rocket League) about how Ryan wanted to start a dedicated show that dealt with common rumors, myths, and misconception. After brainstorming a few ideas, the two childhood friends realized they’d probably make good co-hosts. They gave me a call, we met over drinks to hash out the details, and soon after we started producing the show!

DP: Why did you choose a podcast over other mediums?

Greg: That’s a great question with no simple answer. I think part of it is that podcasts have such a low barrier to entry, especially if you know how to handle audio (I used to do field mixing for film sets and Ryan and Josh are both seasoned musicians). We had all the gear we needed, I knew how podcast syndication worked, and we all just LOVE podcasts. It was a really cool opportunity to join the podcast world we enjoy so much.

DP: What’s unique about your podcast? Why do your listeners keep coming back?

Greg: Oof how to answer this without sounding pretentious…I think people enjoy our chemistry and dedication to not only proving/debunking commonly parroted “facts” (especially during a time where clickbait/”fake news” are so widely discussed), but also our hunt for the origin stories of certain myths/rumors. We love trying to find the original “perpetrator” if you will in the giant game of telephone that happens. We have found some awesome origin stories and we enjoy sharing them.

DP: What are some of the more controversial (or widely held beliefs) that you’ve helped debunk?

Greg: MSG allergies for starters, but I’d say the most “power keg” episode we did was where we specifically went after the products pushed by (and the general authority of) Dr. Oz and Alex Jones (Infowars). We tend to be VERY careful about steering clear of politics and controversies, but at the end of season 2 (with the help of our buddies over at Blurry Photos), we decided to double down and target two people we consider incredibly dishonest and irresponsible.

DP: I don’t think fact-checking has ever been more important, or in a brighter spotlight, than it is now. Do you delve into political headlines or purposely steer clear? 

Greg: As we touched on earlier, we tend to steer clear of politics as much we can. Fact is it doesn’t take much to figure out our slant (though some of our views may surprise you!) and while we understand “objectivity” is a noble dream at best, we try to keep a little distance and let our research do the talking.

DP: What’s next? Where do you want to take your podcast?

Greg: Well, one project we can’t share yet…but we are really excited about it hahaha! We also plan on expanding our video content and conducting more interviews down the line (especially during the time between seasons), we have been making appearances on Ryan’s twitch stream (Instant Three Play, they’re tons of fun). We are also seeking a sponsor to specifically fund paid transcriptions so that 1) we can have the podcast be a written resource/searchable and 2) for the hearing-impaired or people who can’t listen to the show for whatever reason.

DP: What are your favorite debunked myths so far?

Greg: Favorite debunked myths…again with the tough ones haha. Legal Myths was a ton of fun, especially how much we had to tip-toe around not giving out real legal advice! For instance: people actually *can* do a “Citizen’s Arrest,” but generally, it’s a terrible idea with all sort of liability risks. Disney always has whacky stories behind it. The Anarchist’s Cookbook probably is near the top as well. The origin stories of that “book,” it’s trajectory in the public and political world, the crazy myths and rumors behind it we all heard as kids, and the story of the author himself (who passed shortly before we released it actually)…honestly that whole episode was an absolutely wild ride.

DP: What are your favorite 5 podcasts?

Greg: Way too hard to choose haha I think each of us can give 2 answers (feel free to cut it down if you need or just pull 1 each).

Ryan: Blurry Photos, Limetown
Josh: Hardcore History, King Falls AM
Greg: Wolf 359 (Sarah and the team are brilliant), will always have a place in my heart for Bill Burr’s Monday Morning Podcast.

DP: Anything else you’d like to add?

Greg: We love podcasting and we love supporting other shows. Tweet at us, bug us anytime, and PLEASE let us know if you think we got something wrong! We are not going to double down out of an egotistical need to be right. We love reading new sources or learning from our mistakes. Also, big shout out to Dark Myths, an awesome podcast collective with so many amazing shows. They’ve treated us so well and the content is amazing. Give them some love! Also, thanks so much for having us on the blog!

DP: Where can listeners find you?

Greg: Our show is on iTunes, Stitcher, Googleplay, virtually very platform imaginable. You can find us at our website, @RumorFlies on twitter and instagram, and on facebook. We also have a youtube channel with supplemental content for the show!