Mike Rowe Calls ‘Dirty Jobs’ a ‘Love Letter’ to Hard Work and Risk-Taking

by Taylor Cunningham

Mike Rowe believes his views were unfairly represented in a recent interview. And he’d like the reporter to join his podcast to set the record straight.

Mike Rowe met with Jake Maynard of The New Republic to talk about Rowe’s Discovery Channel series Dirty Jobs. But he’s feeling disgruntled after reading the piece that followed titled Mike Rowe’s Dirtiest Job? Cozying up to Conservatives.

Rowe admitted that usually he isn’t bothered by “reporters with an ax to grind.” But this situation is unique. Because instead of just “taking a shot” at Rowe, Maynard “took a shot at the people who have signed [his] sweat pledge.”

“Like most writers who take me to task for this or that,” he wrote on Facebook. “Jake didn’t give me the opportunity to respond before going to press.”

So Mike Rowe is inviting Maynard to join his podcast, The Way I heard it.

Mike Rowe Believes ‘Dirty Jobs’ Brought Attention to Underappreciated Workers

During the interview, Jake Maynard accused Mike Rowe of glossing over important topics like unions, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and “animosity between worker and boss,” thus doing little justice to the plight of the blue-collared worker.

But Rowe disagreed. He believed that Dirty Jobs was a “light-hearted look at a few hundred jobs most people take for granted.” By showcasing the workers, he brought attention to their underappreciated jobs. And he highlighted how some workers were able to become business owners themselves.

“It was a love letter to skilled labor and hard work, as well as a love letter to risk-taking and entrepreneurship,” Rowe said. “Fact is, many of the workers we profiled on that show were business owners themselves. And many of them were very successful.”

Rowe resented that Maynard thought the people on the episodes were reduced to being grunt workers who looked “prosperous because they were covered in mud or grime or crap or something worse.” Dirty Jobs was a positive series intended to make laborers feel proud about their careers. And while he’s certain the show was “flawed” like everything on TV, Rowe believes it still lived its purpose.

“That’s what Dirty Jobs was all about,” he continued. “Reminding people that fish don’t grow on trees! That affordable electricity is a frickin’ miracle! That indoor plumbing doesn’t happen by magic! There was never a “conservative slant,” or a “liberal slant.” There was only an “American slant.” A love letter to progress, and capitalism, and freedom, and the American Dream.”

Listen to the entire original interview on Mike’s podcast here.