Glenn interviewed Mike Rowe on radio about the upcoming special tomorrow night at 8pm only on TheBlaze called Building America, presented by Caterpillar. Mike chronicles the major engineering and infrastructure feats that began rapidly rising in the 1800’s that eventually formed the foundation America currently operates on. As with many of the Mike Rowe conversations, the use of his Facebook page to respond to people’s criticism was a topic of conversation. Watch his interesting, truthful responses and hear his opinion on the America who built the Empire State Building versus the America of today below. Also, don’t miss the preview for Building America!
GLENN: I have to tell you, one of my favorite Facebook pages is Mike Rowe’s Facebook page. And it’s really becoming something — it’s almost becoming ritualistic now, where you just kind of gather kids around and you’re like, hey, somebody is going to be really rude to Mike and Mike is going to answer them in just the most polite way and yet eviscerate them. There was one that came out last week that Jim Green posted a series of inflammatory points about Republicans with a lot of, you know, caps locked words about the — you know, about how bad Christians were and how bad, you know, Republicans were. And then he used a series of exclamation points after each. How could anyone on earth vote Republican? A reptile has more decency than Republicans in Congress, blah blah blah blah blah. I just want to read just a little bit of Mike Rowe’s responses. “Jim, greetings from somewhere over Colorado. It appears you’re still trying to sell your books on my Facebook page. Personally I haven’t read them and based on your marketing strategy, I suspect I’m probably not alone. Since part of your approach seems to involve me, I thought perhaps I might offer you some unsolicited marketing advice. One, consider starting each blurb off with a friendly salutation. In my experience, a little cordiality goes a long way especially when you’re trying to persuade someone to give you money. Two, think about addressing your audience as something other than racist reptiles and toads.”
PAT: What? That’s revolutionary.
GLENN: “Three, reconsider your commitment to caps and exclamation points. These are excellent choices when warning people of a fire, volcanic eruption or an Ebola outbreak. But I’m afraid your use in the context of a book sale implies a level of urgency that may exist only in your mind.” He goes on. He is brilliant. And I am — I’m proud to call him a friend of the program. Mike Rowe, welcome to the program.
ROWE: Hello, Glenn. I’m just so loving the image like a family gathered around the laptop in much the way they might have done in the 1930s. And actually —
GLENN: It’s like —
ROWE: A Facebook page.
GLENN: Going to Facebook and to the Mike Rowe Facebook page is like — like in the 1800s gathering around a Mark Twain novel or a — or an Edgar Allan Poe. You’re like, here come the murderers in Rue Morgue. Here comes —
ROWE: Look, here’s the really humbling and ugly reality about how all this unfolds. That post you were reading, I wrote at about 37,000 feet, somewhere over Colorado. And I really laughed because I think the last time I was with you, I read an ad called — you know, that old ad for Jordan.
GLENN: Yeah, yeah.
ROWE: Somewhere out of Laramie.
ROWE: And it made me laugh and I’m just scrolling through my Facebook page. And honestly, I think you and I are both fairly unoffendable at this point in our lives. You’ve heard about everything you can hear. But what really struck me is as offensive about the guy really wasn’t his world view. It was his marketing strategy. I just — I just couldn’t — why would you hit me with such an inflammatory blurb eight times in a row? It’s sort of the opposite of persuasive. And just as I was pondering that, the captain walked out and give me a plastic set of wings, you know, like I was an 8-year-old, which just made me laugh hysterically. So I’m sitting there sipping a cocktail, holding my plastic wings looking at this lunatic on my Facebook page, and that’s how the response happens. You can’t — you don’t think about it. You just happen to be on a plane one day holding a set of plastic wings.
ROWE: Addressing a marketeer. And that’s the life we live.
GLENN: I want to talk to you about a couple things. First of all, how’s the show on CNN doing?
ROWE: Apparently we’re still on. There’s a certain ambiguity in the news business to tell people to please tune in Wednesdays at 9:00. We’re in a world of riots, Ebola, and endless calamity, so the word pre-emption has become sort of a routine thing in my world now. The show is doing very well when you can find it. Wednesday —
GLENN: You sound happy.
ROWE: Where it actually appears, it’s a crap shoot.
STU: Let me fill in the Mike Rowe details that he’s not telling you. CNN’s “Someone Gotta Do It” works up big ratings. TV ratings, CNN Mike Rowe, launched clobbers Rachel — I’m losing the headline. Mike Rowe’s CNN premiere provides best original series Premier in x-amount of time. The show is huge, Mike.
PAT: And it’s been re-upped, right, for another year?
ROWE: Yeah, they did pick it up. Very nice.
GLENN: May I just — your marketing strategy is a little confusing.
PAT: You might want to lead with that.
GLENN: You might want to use an exclamation point.
PAT: It’s been re-upped! Wednesdays at 9:00.
ROWE: After that intro I’m scared to say anything about it. What network it is —
GLENN: You don’t need to call yourself a reptile or toad here.
ROWE: My marketing strategy goes like this. Go ahead, find it, I dare you.
GLENN: All right. There’s also something else that you have helped us with. “Building America,” tonight, this is a — this is a project sponsored by Caterpillar and Mike is— is doing the voice-over work for it and actually appears on camera. Is that your house? Is that like a studio in your house or something?
ROWE: That’s actually a guy that has a modest little studio down the street from me, so I just walked down and sat by a brick wall and told some stories. But this really goes back to — I think maybe the very first conversation you and I had when we met a couple years ago. And we were just kind of bemoaning the state of history. And by the state of history, I just mean the current enthusiasm for the wonder of it and for me, part of what’s missing in the TV landscape is just a series of very simple shows that reminds people of the Herculean, if I can use the term, the Herculean tasks and the undertakings that the people who built this country faced. How they overcame them. You’re not going to hear anything new in terms of, oh, gees, I didn’t know there was a Golden Gate Bridge or Brooklyn bridge or the railroads. These are, you know, topics we all kind of probably remember from 8th and 9th grade but maybe we don’t remember and maybe we’ve forgotten some key things and the people who were responsible for literally connecting the country in every single way that matters from an infrastructure standpoint. So when you guys said you were going to really approach that topic in a straightforward way, I talked to my buddies at Caterpillar and they said, look, we love it, too, obviously. We’ve got a hand in the infrastructure. So long story short, I said for God’s sake, send me a script and I’ll read it and I did and I think you’re airing it —
GLENN: Tomorrow night at 8:00. And we won’t be pre-empting for —
PAT: Any coverage.
GLENN: Any coverage.
ROWE: You spoil me.
GLENN: “Building America,” Thursday at 8:00 p.m. That’s tomorrow night with Mike Rowe only on TheBlaze TV. You know, when you hear the stories of — when you hear the stories of, for instance, the Empire State Building and how this thing was built in 11 months and how the steel —
PAT: Unthinkable now, right?
GLENN: It was poured in Pittsburgh. And it was still warm as the riveters were sitting on it trying in the rivets. It was still warm. It was moving that fast. That never would be done now. Never be done.
ROWE: Just the business of driving in a rivet is a thing that I bet 99% of the country doesn’t really understand. We know what the words mean. We know driving in a — and most of us can visualize a rivet. But the rivets that held the bridge together, that held the Empire State Building together, these things weighed 20, 30 pounds apiece in some cases and just the business of moving them around and hammering them in. It’s just — it’s epic. It’s — that’s a word — that’s thrown around all the time but it truly is epic.
GLENN: I can’t get over the fact that these guys were throwing these rivets to each other.
GLENN: I would be so afraid I would fall. OSHA would never let you do this.
Listen, I mean, you simply couldn’t have done the things that were done. Look, there was a pricee to pay, no doubt. Building, the transcontinental railroads was a bloodbath. The Brooklyn bridge was tough. You know, but the idea of construction under water.
GLENN: Oh, yeah.
ROWE: It was kind of primitive. Caissons, getting the bends. When we didn’t know even when decompression sickness was or nitrogen narcosis or anything like that. It was a brave new world. And I think we’re just disconnected from it today in a way that we probably shouldn’t be.
GLENN: So here’s — I want to see if you think this is good news or bad news. There’s a story out today from La Figaro newspaper in France that says —
ROWE: Bad news.
GLENN: That says that — I think you’re going to change your opinion. That says that the French Jihadists who are now writing letters to their parents from Syria who have joined ISIS are now saying they want to come home and I’ve got to just read a couple of these. One French Jihadist wrote to his parents, I’m fed up, mom and dad. My iPod doesn’t work here anymore. I have to come back. So as we’re talking about the rivets, as we’re talking about hard work, and I think the same thing is happening with Ferguson. It’s not yet, but I think the minute it starts to get cold, Jihadists, revolutionaries, pretty much everybody is like, you know what, it’s cold.
ROWE: Nobody told me it was going to be cold. Where is my fleece.
PAT: I’m going home.
ROWE: You know what? You should turn your satirical cannons toward — I don’t know if your audience remembers. You will, Allan Sherman I think wrote, “Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh.”
GLENN: Yeah, yeah.
ROWE: You should write the Jihadist —
GLENN: That sounds totally politically correct. Totally safe. Non-boycottable.
ROWE: I don’t see what could possibly go wrong.
PAT: Mike, we understand that you’re still getting — are you still getting flack from the one voice-over thing you did for the WalMart commercial where they announced a quarter of a trillion-dollar initiative to bring back manufacturing to America? Are you still getting flack for that?
ROWE: Yeah, it pops up once in a while. In fact, it did yesterday. I had another rant on a plane that I put up yesterday. But a kid from Solon wrote an article just, you know, the usual stuff. Very upset that — you know, I’m a hypocrite.
PAT: That you would do such a thing.
ROWE: That and the other and WalMart is bad for this, that, and the other. Of course it’s still out there. It has nothing to do — you know, people are looking for things to pivot off of in order to come back and make whatever point ultimately they need to make. This thing was so convoluted, I mean, it’s actually worth looking at just because it’s a study in dubious rhetoric. But I had done an AMA, which is an Ask Me Anything, on Reddit, which is a big website that people go to and they’ll ask you anything over the course of an hour. And this writer really took offense to the fact that of the 4,500 questions I was asked, I only answered about 60, which is you know, like one a minute. But one of the ones I didn’t answer was a question that said, would you work a shift at a WalMart on a Black Friday. And so he wrote about 700 words, maybe a thousand, based on the fact that my failure to answer that question was indicative of my deep-steeded tacit disdain for the everyday worker and my quiet nefarious association with my evil overlords in corporate America.
GLENN: Well, I will tell you this. And I think — it’s what I heard and I think all of America heard. You’ll notice he still did not answer the question. He still has not answered that.
PAT: Still won’t. Still won’t.
GLENN: And it’s really what America wants to know. Will Mike Rowe work at a WalMart on Black Friday.
ROWE: The short answer is my plans for Black Friday included a list of activities that precluded me from leaving my apartment. So no —
GLENN: So wait a minute, you’re telling me you wouldn’t work at WalMart and you wouldn’t fight over panties at Victoria’s Secret?
ROWE: I wouldn’t want to be in involved in the selling of undergarments on Black Friday in any establishment for really any amount of recompense.
GLENN: When you see what happens on Black Friday, what the hell have we turned into, Mike?
ROWE: That’s it, right? The pursuit of happiness has become the pursuit of spending and our relationship with debt really is about as disconnected as our relationship from the people who built the icons we were talking about a couple of minutes ago. We just don’t know our butt from a hot rock. And it reality is — it’s an extraordinary thing to see that level of excitement matriculate in a grown-up over the prospect of saving 40 or 50% on some shiny toy that is doomed and destined to malfunction within two years of its purchase and occupy valuable space in the garage which is attached to the home which is too large and is probably too difficult to afford anyway. And so around and around we go. We buy stuff because it fills a hole somewhere.
GLENN: Talking to Mike Rowe, one last question. I believe my grandfather was, you know, World War II, greatest American generation. I think he would have wanted to beat 70% of this population to death with a shovel. How about your grandfather?
ROWE: If the shovel was made in the USA, my guess is he would not only have used it to subdue the masses. He would have helped dig their necessary —
GLENN: Bury the wealth. And then deep so you know, they wouldn’t be dug up by dogs. He was respectful.
ROWE: It is a heck of a thing to watch what happens, you know. I mean, there’s nothing new to say about consumerism, but it is alarming the way the events get stacked up, you know, from Black Friday to Cyber Monday and whatever the weekend in between is and. It really doesn’t seem to stop.
GLENN: Check out the latest on Mike Rowe at ProfoundlyDisconnected.com. His Facebook page is the best. He’s on CNN tonight, assuming that there’s not a rainstorm or a rain shower or a sprinkle someplace.
GLENN: And for sure he will be on TheBlaze tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m. “Building America,” new series sponsored by Caterpillar, tomorrow night 8:00 p.m. only on TheBlaze TV. Mike, thanks a lot. Appreciate it, man.
ROWE: Hey, all kidding aside, watching building America with your kids is probably a better snapshot than you’re gonna get in most schools right now of what mattered and what happened in terms of our infrastructure. It’s a good thing and I’m glad you guys did it.
GLENN: Thank you very much, Mike. Appreciate your help. God bless.