Dana White Sage Steele Screen grab: ‘The Sage Steele Show’

On Wednesday, Bill Maher’s Club Random Studios announced a slew of new podcasts, including The Sage Steele Show.

And it didn’t take much time for the former ESPN anchor to make headlines, as a clip of Steele mistaking her first guest, UFC president Dana White, for his UFC colleague and fellow bald man, Joe Rogan, proceeded to go viral.

In the widely circulated clip, Steele asks White, “What’s Joe Rogan’s dream?”

“What’s Joe Rogan’s dream?” a confused White regurgitated back.

“Joe Rogan, Dana White — what’s Dana White’s dream?” Steele asked, attempting to recover.

“Did you just think I was Joe Rogan?” White asked.

“I totally did,” Steele admitted.

“She just called me f***ing Joe Rogan. You thought I was f***ing Joe Rogan?” White responded. “I was bald before Joe was ever bald. I just did a two-hour f***ing podcast. I flew here from Vegas, and she thought she was interviewing Joe Rogan.”

How embarrassing! Surely, a website called Awful Announcing should cover this. After all, in terms of awful announcing, it doesn’t get much more awful than mistaking your very famous guest for somebody else.

But while Steele’s apparent gaffe received no shortage of attention elsewhere — just Google “Sage Steele podcast,” and dozens of articles about the mistake will pop up — something seems amiss. The podcast wasn’t live. Why wouldn’t Steele just have her production team edit it out? And why would Steele make multiple social media posts drawing further attention to what, on the surface, was an embarrassing error?



In her own words, the former SportsCenter host was apparently attempting to appear authentic.

“lol! I coulda had them edit it out but I don’t take myself that seriously… gotta own it!” she wrote.

That may very well be the case, but it also seems awfully convenient that the debut episode of Steele’s new podcast proceeded to go viral. It’s also worth noting that besides the host forgetting who she was interviewing, the big selling point for the episode seems to be a discussion between White and Steele regarding their shared hatred of the media.

I’m not saying Steele and White were pulling a fast one on the media. For all we know, it was a genuine mistake, and Steele is actually just embracing her flaws.

But if they were trying to get one over on the media — and happened to draw extra attention to the podcast while doing so — there would certainly be multiple motivations for them to do so.

[Dana White on X]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.