“Dirty Jobs” host Mike Rowe had some choice words Tuesday night in response to a question he got accusing him of harboring “white nationalist” sympathies.
Rowe posted a question submitted to him on his Facebook page that accused the TV host’s advocacy for the skilled trades of amounting to anti-intellectualism, and therefore racism.
A man named Chuck Adkins asked, “One of the tenants of white nationalism is that college educated people are academic elitests. Comment? No? I’m not surprised. You never take a political stand because you don’t want to alienate anybody. Its bad for business. I get it. But there is a current of anti intellectualism in this country – promoted by Republicans. Those people love you, and they think your initiative is their initiative. Meanwhile, the rest of the world is kickin our ass academically.”
Rowe, a popular jovial TV personality, went off in a long, brutal response.
“Since we’re being candid, allow me to say how much I dislike your post. Everything about it annoys me – your smug and snarky tone, your appalling grammar, your complete lack of evidence to support your claims, and of course, the overarching logical fallacy that informs your entire position,” Rowe wrote. “What really bugs me though, is the fact that you’re not entirely wrong. It’s true; I haven’t shared any political opinions this week, in part anyway, because doing so might very well be ‘bad for business.’”
“What can I say? I work for half-a-dozen different companies, none of whom pay me to share my political opinions. I run a non-partisan foundation, I’m about to launch a new show on Facebook, and I’m very aware that celebrities pay a price for opening their big fat gobs. Gilbert Gottfried, Kathy Griffin, Colin Kaepernick, Milo Yiannopoulos…even that guy from Google who just got himself fired for mouthing off. There’s no getting around it – the first amendment does not guarantee the freedom to speak without consequences. And really, that’s fine by me,” he continued.
“So no – I’m not going to share my personal feelings about Charlottesville, President Trump, or the current effort to remove thousands of statues of long dead soldiers from the public square. Not just because it’s ‘bad for business,’ but because it’s annoying. I can’t think of a single celebrity whose political opinion I value, and I’m not going to assume the country feels any differently about mine,” Rowe wrote. “So, rather than blow myself up, or chime in with all the obvious observations about the cowardly scum in the pointy hats, I’m going to talk instead about my belief that comments like yours pose a far greater threat to the future of our country than the existence of a memorial to Thomas Jefferson, or a monument to George Washington. Ready?”
Then Rowe started in on Adkins’ insinuations.
“You say that White Nationalists believe that everyone who goes to college is an ‘academic elite.’ You then say that Republicans promote ‘anti-intellectualism.’ You offer no proof to support either claim, but it really doesn’t matter – your statements successfully connect two radically different organizations by alleging a shared belief,” Rowe said. “Thus, White Nationalists and The Republican Party suddenly have something in common – a contempt for higher education. Then, you make it personal. You say that Republicans “love” me because they believe that my initiative and ‘their’ initiative are one and the same. But of course, ‘their’ initiative is now the same initiative as White Nationalists.”
He continued “Very clever. Without offering a shred of evidence, you’ve implied that Republicans who support mikeroweWORKS do so because they believe I share their disdain for all things ‘intellectual.’ And poof – just like that, Republicans, White Nationalists, and mikeroweWORKS are suddenly conflated, and the next thing you know, I’m off on a press tour to disavow rumors of my troubling association with the Nazis!”
“Far-fetched? Far from it,” Rowe continued. “That’s how logical fallacies work. A flaw in reasoning or a mistaken belief undermines the logic of a conclusion, often leading to real-world consequences. And right now, logical fallacies are not limited to the warped beliefs of morons with tiki torches, and other morons calling for ‘more dead cops.’ Logical fallacies are everywhere.”
Not near done, Rowe wrote, “As I type this, a Democrat on CNN is making an argument that says, ‘because Thomas Jefferson owned slaves, those Republicans now opposed to tearing down his memorial are ‘pro-slavery,’ and therefore aligned with the modern day KKK.’ That’s a logical fallacy.
“Over on Fox, a Republican is arguing that ‘any Democrat who has not yet condemned the Senator from Missouri for publicly wishing that Donald Trump be assassinated, is guilty of wishing for the exact same thing.’ That’s a logical fallacy.
“Yesterday, on The Science Channel, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, a noted astronomer, tweeted that the ability of scientists to accurately predict the solar eclipse, was proof that predictions of global warming were also accurate. That’s a logical fallacy.”
Then Rowe turned the tables on his accuser, continuing, “Want to hear another one? Imagine something like this, unfolding over on MSNBC.