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Mike Explains Why He Penned Viral Open Letter to Beck Critics

The BlazeMike-on-Glenn-Beck
Erica Ritz

Over the weekend, Mike Rowe of “Dirty Jobs” received criticism on social media for his recent appearance on The Glenn Beck Program.

Not one to stand idly by, Rowe wrote a straightforward response to one critic in particular, saying that while he was with Beck: “I smelled no burning sulphur [sic], no smoldering brimstone, and saw no sign of cloven hooves. To the contrary, I found a very passionate guy who employs about 300 people, works his butt off, and puts his money where his mouth is.”

Rowe called in to Beck’s radio program Monday to speak more on the topic, saying that he’s been on the road for the past several weeks to promote the mikeroweWORKS Foundation. Though he appeared on Beck’s television program last Wednesday, he admitted it was a few days after that that he logged on to Facebook and saw the response.

“Sunday morning I wake up, and there’s just – I mean, thousands of comments,” Rowe remarked. “Many very kind and – I don’t know if you knew this Glenn – there are people out there who just don’t like you a lot…”

Rowe added with a laugh: “You apparently are some kind of lightning rod, I can’t put my finger on it, but you apparently have annoyed dozens of people.”

But Rowe said it’s hardly unusual to receive criticism after appearing with a politically oriented figure. “If I do a show on the left, my buddies on the right melt down,” he said. “And if I do a show on the right, my pals on the left just faint.”

But what was unique, he said, was the caliber of Beck’s fans. He said he received 35,000 new friends on Facebook after posting the defense of Beck, and thousands of comments supporting the post.

“Your fans were just very, very cool,” Rowe said, adding that it allowed him once again to “have the conversation” about being able to speak with those you don’t always agree with.

“So if there’s a moral to the story, I guess it’s just ‘never shut up,’” Rowe concluded.

“Amen,” Beck added.

The two also spoke more about the mikeroweWORKS Foundation, which gives work ethic-based scholarships to students for trade schools.

“Look, it’s a free country obviously and if you can afford a thing, you ought to have the right to have it,” Rowe said, referring to traditional universities. “But at some point, you’ve got to look around and, with respect to four-year degrees … we have about 3 million, 3 and a half million jobs that are currently available, a tiny percentage of which require a 4-year degree. And so we’re caught in this crazy feedback loop of lending money we don’t have, to kids who can’t pay it back, to train them for jobs that no longer exist. It strikes me that there’s an element of craziness to that.”

Rowe said that while traditional scholarships are important, “who’s rewarding work ethic?”

And though it’s a relatively new endeavor, he added, they’re already receiving some push-back.

“The idea of challenging kids today upsets a lot of people,” Rowe said. “I’ve already heard from guidance counselors who are saying, ‘Look, why can’t you just give them the money?’ This is $15,000-$20,000. We’re training people really for a year or two in a skilled trade. And they’re saying, ‘Why do they have to write the 500-word essay? Why do they have to make the video? Why do they have to sign the S.W.E.A.T. pledge…?’”

“People don’t like it,” Rowe said easily. “But look, if you don’t like it, this pile of free money [is] just probably not for you.”

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  • Cabover_Country

    I heard that today on the GB podcast. I commend your efforts in this endeavor & wish you all the best!

    Hell, I’m seriously thinking of trying for one of your scholarships!!!

  • Bob Spann

    Dear Mike,
    I have always liked you as a person and the help you do is enormous. Ignore the crazy feminazis out there they just are jealous of your success. Glenn Beck is a good person also who tells it like it is. I feel the country is going to hell in a handbasket and we need new young leaders to take the helm. Good luck Mike and Glen in the future.

    • Lily_ZzTop

      Uh…it’s not just “feminazis” who may have squawked about GB, misogynist much?? I hate comments like that, it’s so redneck/inbred/I screw my sister-ignorant. You can knock that off now. I’m sure Mike Rowe had comments coming in from both men and women. But look, the important thing is was Mike Rowe is doing, which is I think is fantastic. I may be staunchly on the left, but MR didn’t go out with a political message, he had an educational one. The fact that GB provided him a platform from which to say it I think is great, and I appreciate him doing so. I’m never going to burn my brain cells down by watching Glenn Beck pontificate on his own views, but I would be happy to give him some moments of my time to listen to a positive show guest with a great message like Mike. So I’ll agree that anyone who reacted negatively to Mike going on the air with GB need to calm down. he wasn’t there to discuss politics, and for all we know, he may be right -leaning, and if so, that’s his own business and prerogative. He went to discuss his foundation that has wonderful, empowering goals for America’s youth, and that’s what was important. Mike, I absolutely love what you are doing, and I congratulate you for being proactive and taking steps to provide a basis for America’s youth and future to gain valuable, wonderful skills! Keep up the wonderful work!! We wish there were more like you!

  • stephanie holt

    i agree with mike. only about 20% of the students will get a degree that is usable. I have always thought the schools need to work with the different trades people to have actual classes in the schools so the high school students who are not ready for college get a skill to work to earn a good living and find pride in what they do.

  • Frank Tobee

    More evidence that when you cozy up to bigots like Glenn Beck — now being sued for his naked, unsubstantiated (and no doubt, ratings-boosting) hate-mongering in the aftermath of the Boston attack — you sully yourself and your cause.


    • Frank Tobee

      So Mike, did your sociopathic, hate-mongering buddy and benefactor ever make good on his vile, deceitful “ultimatum”? This is burning sulfur my friend. And you “can’t put your finger” on why is anathema to decent people everywhere?


  • http://www.dachia.com Dachia

    Mike and friends, just wanted to let you know that you are still getting mileage out of that appearance. I stumbled upon it today and immediately liked you on facebook and found you here. I love your message. Maybe we’ll share a stage one day.
    Best wishes,


  • Janice Berry

    Rowe’s site never discloses the fact that his program is only open to high school seniors until near the bottom of the site. What a shame all those people with KIDS TO FEED aren’t getting that help!