JournalismLife

Mike Rowe Takes on Guilt By Association Criticism

When Mike Rowe saw criticism for his appearance on Glenn Beck’s television show, he wasted no time letting his feelings be known in an open letter to fans who were apparently out to shame him into guilt by association.

Television personality Mike Rowe delivered a stern response to “fans” who criticized him for appearing on Glenn Beck’s television show. The Dirty Jobs host appeared to promote his mikeroweWORKS Foundation, an organization that provides scholarships to students to attend accredited trade schools or apprentice programs who “exhibit high work ethic and need financial assistance.”

One viewer’s response seemed to be too much. “Shannon” posted this:

How could you associate with such a horrible and psychotic person that is Glen [sic] Beck? I wouldn’t accept a dime off that hateful, nasty racist. Very disappointed to see this post.

Rowe’s response began with, “Well, hi there, Shannon — and a pleasant good morning to you too!” and went on to take her criticism down point by point. You can read the full response at The Blaze, but here are a few pertinent lines:

“As for your personal characterization of Glenn Beck, I can only assume you have information not available to me. In my time with him, I saw nothing “horrible, psychotic, hateful, or nasty.” I smelled no burning sulphur, 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. Do we agree on everything? Of course not. Am I “disappointed” by that fact? Not at all. The real question, Shannon, is … why are you?”

“But the guts of your question – even without all the name-calling and acrimony – reveal the essence of what’s broken in our country. You want to know “how I can associate” with someone you don’t like? The short answer is, how can I not? How are we ever going to accomplish anything in this incredibly divisive time if we associate only with people that we don’t disagree with?”

Mike Rowe may be a good candidate for Congress.

There are too many people who don’t seem to know how not to be hateful these days. The whole “my way or no way” thing was cute years ago. For some reason, thanks to the notion of guilt by association, people’s loyalties can shift — or at least they claim they shift — with a single television appearance. It makes you wonder how loyal those loyalties ever were at all, doesn’t it?

But even worse, it appears that the internet has brought us the ability to instantly have our say, but for some reason, we’ve lost the ability to filter ourselves.

Things you’d never say to someone you admire face to face is somehow acceptable online. Sure, it’s always easier to be bold and self-righteous to a screen when there’s not a human being looking you in the eye.

Why, though, is it so difficult for people to imagine that there’s a human being reading the post you leave?

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 28 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.