Mike Rowe Eviscerates Newspaper Writer

…who made the mistake of using Mike’s picture to illustrate an article on “BAD” jobs.

A sample below, but DO read the WHOLE thing.


From: Mike Rowe
Re: Your Headline, My Face.

Hi Steve,
Mike Rowe here, Dirty Jobs. Thanks to the necromancers over at Google, I’ve been alerted to your most recent Question of the Day: “Are Bad Jobs Good for the Economy and the People Who Work Them?” Immediately under your headline I noticed a photo of me, taken on the Mackinac Bridge while filming a segment on Dirty Jobs.

Given the juxtaposition of my face with your headline, a reasonable person might conclude that a “Dirty Job” and “Bad Job” are one and the same. This sentiment is not only inconsistent with my own view of hard work, it’s completely at odds with the Dirty Jobs Code of Conduct, a collection of life lessons painstakingly compiled from the men and women I’ve met on Dirty Jobs.

SK – The Muskegon Chronicle and Mlive just finished the second segment in a months-long series of articles about jobs in the Muskegon area. In the most recent segment, we wrote about low-paying jobs, and the “shadow” economy of people who hack out a living by mowing lawns, scrounging odd jobs, and anything else that comes their way.

MR – I read it. Nowhere does the writer congratulate anyone for their resourcefulness or self-reliance. Instead, you wrote that “desperate times call for desperate measures,” a clear infraction of the Hyperbole Restriction. According to the DJCC, desperation means selling a kidney to ransom your wife and kids.

Desperation is not a $10 an hour construction job with no benefits, as you suggest. That’s just work.

SK – Not all, but some, employers of low-wage workers give their employees opportunity to advance, we wrote.

MR – I have never seen a job that didn’t come with the opportunity for advancement. Union, non-union, high pay, low pay, part-time, full-time, freelance or salaried.

Any worker who consistently shows up an hour early and stays late will quickly become indispensable on any job site. That’s still a great truth in the wide world of work.

Unfortunately, you didn’t mention that. Instead, you implied that a worker’s only hope of advancement lies with the employer, another screaming inconsistency with the Personal Responsibility Clause.

SK – People working odd jobs or doing day labor for money under the table sometimes do so because it’s the only option they have, we wrote.

MR – Agreed. But nowhere do you suggest that having one option is better than having no option. Certainly, these people are struggling, but they have not given up. They have not become wards of the state. They are looking for and in many cases finding a way to get by in a brutal economy. Certainly not ideal, but the Glass-Half Empty Restriction and the Context Clause of the DJCC both prohibit my endorsement of all “one-sided comparisons that fail to illustrate how things could always be much, much worse.”

SK – Some people might take an optimistic view of these jobs.

MR – Of course.

Some people still see hard work as something to be respected in all its forms.

The point is, fewer people share that view than ever before. The majority of people in your poll voted “no” to every question. They believe that whole categories of jobs are “bad” for the worker and “bad” for society at large. That’s a clear infraction of the Work Is Not the Enemy Clause of the DJCC, and a radical departure of the attitude I encountered in my previous visits to the great state of Michigan.

6 Responses to “Mike Rowe Eviscerates Newspaper Writer”

  1. Fausta says:

    I think i’m in love!

  2. JeffS says:

    And well done, indeed!

  3. leelu says:

    I’m getting “Server not found” (Firefox) and “This web page is not available” (Chrome) on the link above.

  4. tree hugging sister says:


    Weird. I use Chrome and just went right to it.

  5. JeffS says:

    Works for me on Safari. Sounds like you are having DNS issues, leelu. Wait a while, and then try again.

  6. leelu says:

    Dunno what’s going on, but I found it in Google Cache.

    Mr. Rowe is my hero!

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