‘Forgive me’: Mike Rowe says America needs to be reminded of what ‘real work’ looks like

Mike Rowe, of “Dirty Jobs” fame, kicked off 2023 with a guest spot on Fox News’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight” to inform Americans that we need to be reminded what “real work” looks like.

Host Tucker Carlson set up Rowe’s appearance with a look back at a previous segment on white-collar jobs in the tech industry, suggesting that they “don’t do a lot” other than “take a lot of breaks.”

(Video: Fox News)

“Mike Rowe has spent his life reporting on work and, in fact, working. He saw that segment, reached out, and said that it’s more important than ever to show the fact that a lot of Americans are doing real work,” Carlson explained, before introducing Rowe.

“When we did that segment, I thought of you banging out that script the whole time,” the Fox News host quipped. “This is the opposite of the kind of actual work that Mike Rowe has dedicated his life to telling the rest of us about.”

“You didn’t tell me you were going to do that segment,” Rowe replied. “Had I known, I would have insisted on following it up with something. Thank you for the chance to do that now.”

“Let me just say, I can’t speak really for anybody but me, but I would bet big that millions and millions of people jumped out of their chairs, screamed words we can’t repeat on your program as a result of watching what you show them,” he continued. “Look, again, it’s not about being mean. Our relationship with work, our definition of what a good job is, that’s something we can control. You are so right, portrayals of work shifts with time. I think part of the reason ‘Dirty Jobs’ has been on the air for so many years, we are the antidote to what you just showed America.”

Rowe explained that his show goes to “places where there is no meditation room — there is no five-star breakfast to start the day.”

“There is the baghouse and the asphalt plant,” he added, saying there’s “just example after example after example, 350 jobs we have done so far of people who are still doing things that look like work.

“We can talk about a ton of different things, but fundamentally, our country still needs to be reminded of what — forgive me, I’m going to say it: what real work looks like,” Rowe said.

Carlson interjected to note that the jobs Rowe covers are “actual indispensable work.”

“And it makes us angry to be reminded of that,” Rowe said in response. “We don’t like the idea that we are so reliant and so dependent on such a small and marginalized chunk of our workforce.”

Rowe went on to share that his foundation, Mike Rowe Works, has raised over $6 million in scholarships.

“We are awarded that money to over 1,500 people who are welding, steam fitting, pipe fitting, plumbing. And they’re thriving again and again,” he said. “You see that it’s still possible to achieve something that looks like prosperity if you master a skill that is in demand. A shameless plug. We are going to do it again next month.”

“We’re moving the needle in a modest way, but it starts by tapping the country on the shoulder, as you have done, and reminding them that real jobs still exist, 11 million of them are out there,” Rowe concluded. “The opportunities are everything. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.”

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