Less than a week after appearing on Glenn Beck's television program Wednesday to promote his Mike Rowe Foundation, the Facebook page of the "Dirty Jobs" host was hit with hundreds and hundreds of comments from "fans."
Many of those comments were less than kind, questioning Rowe's sanity and slamming Beck. Some were relatively tame.
Others were downright crude.
However, there was one specific comment from a woman named Shannon K. Walsh that gave Rowe pause and inspired a very personal but public response.
That comment triggered Rowe to craft a very thoughtful reply. And his response to Ms. Walsh is also drawing heat. Less than an hour after it was posted on Facebook, the letter had been "shared" more than 1,100 times and had earned almost 5,000 "likes."
Well, hi there, Shannon - and a pleasant good morning to you too!If you want a detailed answer to your question, please take a moment to read my earlier reply to Bob Reidel, another crestfallen soul who couldn't reconcile my association with a TV host that he personally despised. As you read it (out loud, if possible, and in a public place), kindly replace the words "Bob Reidel" with "Shannon K. Walsh," and "Bill Maher" with "Glenn Beck." But prepare yourself - you might be forced to conclude that my true objective here has little to do with winning or losing your approval.As for your personal characterization of Glenn Beck, I can only assume you have information not available to me. In my time with him, I saw nothing "horrible, psychotic, hateful, or nasty." I smelled no burning sulphur, no smoldering brimstone, and saw no sign of cloven hooves.To the contrary, I found a very passionate guy who employs about 300 people, works his butt off, and puts his money where his mouth is. Do we agree on everything? Of course not. Am I "disappointed" by that fact? Not at all. The real question, Shannon, is ... why are you?
To be clear, I'm not here to tell you what to think or whom to hate. Like everyone else, you're free to pick your devils, choose your angels, and attach the horns and halos accordingly.
But the guts of your question - even without all the name-calling and acrimony - reveal the essence of what's broken in our country. You want to know "how I can associate" with someone you don't like? The short answer is, how can I not? How are we ever going to accomplish anything in this incredibly divisive time if we associate only with people that we don't disagree with?
Rowe also shared the news that after the show, Glenn Beck reached into his own pocket and made a $20,000 donation to the Mike Rowe Foundation.
To read the full text of Mike Rowe's response to Shannon K. Walsh (there were some interesting post-scripts to the note), click here.
Follow Mike Opelka on Twitter - @stuntbrain