The Internet has all but eliminated the need for a straw man argument. After all, why concoct a fictional, easily debunkable argument to tear down? Millions of netizens are willing to provide you with a real one.
Just ask Mike Rowe. A Facebook user named “Craig P.” accused the host of Somebody’s Gotta Do It, CNN’s Dirty Jobs clone, of spreading “right-wing propaganda” though his Mike Rowe Works Foundation. Little did Craig know that he was basically handing Rowe a gift-wrapped ticket to Trending Town aboard the Viral Content Express.
Your constant harping on “work ethic” is growing tiresome. Just because someone’s poor doesn’t mean they’re lazy. The unemployed want to work! And many of those who can’t find work today, didn’t have the benefit of growing up with parents like yours. How can you expect someone with no role model to qualify for one of your scholarships or sign your silly “Sweat Pledge?” Rather than accusing people of not having a work-ethic, why not drop the right-wing propaganda and help them develop one?
Craig had jumped in the boat, and all Rowe had to do was smack him with the oar (and forward his reply straight on to The Blaze).
I’m afraid you’ve overestimated the reach of my foundation, as well as my ability to motivate people I’ve never met. For the record, I don’t believe all poor people are lazy, any more than I believe all rich people are greedy. But I can understand why so many do. Everyday on the news, liberal pundits and politicians portray the wealthy as greedy, while conservative pundits and politicians portray the poor as lazy. Democrats have become so good at denouncing greed, Republicans now defend it. And Republicans are so good at condemning laziness, Democrats are now denying it even exists. It’s a never ending dance that gets more contorted by the day.
Do you hear that? It’s the sound of a million old moms getting aroused while reading Rowe’s letter on Facebook.
I started mikeroweWORKS to talk about these issues, and shine a light on a few million good jobs that no one seems excited about. But mostly, I wanted to remind people that real opportunity still exists for those individuals who are willing to work hard, learn a skill, and make a persuasive case for themselves. Sadly, you see my efforts as “right wing propaganda.”
As you might expect, a reply to a letter from someone who puts “work ethic” in quotes was tailor-made for a the right-wing blogosphere. It doesn’t matter that Rowe’s reply was evenhanded, and decried the tactics of both Democrats and Republicans (read the whole thing here). Mike Rowe had put a “misguided liberal” in his place.
All in all, Craig P.’s letter almost seems too perfect. A more cynical man might suggest that Craig didn’t exist at all. But I’m not going to suggest that, because I know that Rowe is awesome, and he doesn’t need to use tricks and gimmicks. He was able to sell the Katsak, for Christ’s sake.
Well done, Mike.