Mike Rowe, host of CNN’s Somebody’s Gotta Do It, recently responded to a photo of himself shared by the prominent Tea Party organization the Tea Party Express:
Rowe wrote a post on Facebook addressing the many people who have lambasted him since the photo was shared for being “a card-carrying Tea Party member.”
Carrie Simmons writes,
“Did you know the “Tea Party Express” was using your image and words (out of context) to “advertise?”
Yes, I’m aware of the image, and no – it was not created with my knowledge or permission. Last I checked though, it’s been shared over 160,000 times, and seen by over 20 million people. Since my posts are intended to encourage conversation, this is a good thing. On the downside, many of those who oppose The Tea Party are no longer willing to talk to me. And that’s too bad.
Jack Grande says, “Seriously Mike? The Tea Party? Adios…”
Frances Jacobs writes, “I suggest you hop aboard the Tea Party Express and ride it straight to hell.”
Debbie Porchi observes, “Mike Rowe – “Another Dirty Teabagger.”
My own mother, more curious than judgmental, just saw the image, and called to ask why there was a “choo-choo train next to my face.”
“I don’t know, Mom. I guess maybe The Tea Party agrees with what I wrote?”
“Oh well,” she said. “At least they spelled your name right!”
“For the record,” Rowe continued, “I am not now, nor have I ever been a member of The Tea Party. And the irony of this situation is precisely why I’m not much of a joiner. My original post was an honest attempt to illustrate how a simple virtue like “work ethic” can no longer be discussed without becoming instantly politicized.”
The renowned television host shared some more comments from people berating him:
Janyl Stewart writes, ‘Wow. Mike Rowe just devalued a whole generation with one quote.’
Diane Sipple says, ‘Who are Mike Rowe and The Tea Party to tell us our kids a lazy? My kids are hardworking and respectful!’
Jason Givens declares, ‘Mike – Please stop judging the work force like you are in it. Working a half a day with someone and calling it work is show biz. Want to impress the work force? Come work in our foundry for 6 months with no cameras.’
“Let me be clear – I stand by everything I said in my original post,” Rowe responded. “The lack of work ethic in America is a serious problem, and it’s getting worse everyday. But obviously, that doesn’t mean every parent is a failure, or every teacher is a hack. Nor does it mean every kid is slacker, or every person out of work is lazy. However, there’s no getting around the fact that we – the collective we – are no longer instilling the belief that mastering a skill and working hard can lead to a prosperous life. Consequently, millions of able-bodied people have concluded the system is rigged, and stopped looking for work. This is, in my opinion, is the greatest threat our country faces.”
Although labeled as a “Tea Party” organization, the Tea Party Express has supported causes traditionally favored by the Republican establishment. Its cofounder and chief strategist, Sal Russo, penned a May 2014 op-ed arguing for immigration reform.
“Congress must pass legislation that will fix our broken system,” Russo wrote. “Conservatives need to seize on immigration reform as an opportunity for growth, to reaffirm who we are and what makes our country great.”
Russo also wrote a letter to Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, in April affirming the organization’s support for Trade Promotion Authority (TPA):
The Tea Party Express is in support of your Trade Promotion Authority legislation that will foster greater economic growth and provide better opportunities for American workers. Having concrete rules for international trade negotiations will require the President to fully engage the Congress and ensure that increased trade will be a boost for our slow growing economy.
h/t: Eagle Rising
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This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth