For Discovery Channel star Mike Rowe, it was a dirty job, but somebody had to do it.
The former “Dirty Jobs” host and founder of the Mike Rowe Works Foundation launched a legal challenge to shoplifting at his local liquor store by posting a slightly redacted surveillance photo of the thief – and basically daring anyone to sue him for it.
Rowe recounted the whole incident in a Facebook post Monday, describing is visit to the liquor store where he saw a picture of a man described as a shoplifter.
When Rowe commented approvingly on the store owner’s publicly shaming a man who had been stealing his livelihood, two lawyers in the store pointed out that the owner had left himself open to a lawsuit by the miscreant.
“On what grounds?” Rowe asked. “Telling the truth in a storefront window?”
“Truth” in a lawyer’s hands is a malleable thing, Rowe learned. One of the attorneys said the man in the photo could argue that he had suffered irreparable harm to his reputation and win damages from the store owner.
Rowe was incredulous: “Are you that good a lawyer?” he asked. “Or does our country really have its head that far up its own ass?”
The lawyers assured him they were serious.
“So if I post this image on my Facebook page, and the guy in the photo comes to you and says I’ve ruined his reputation by telling the world he’s guilty of shoplifting, you’d sue me? Even if the guy is proven guilty on tape?”
“Suing celebrities is fun,” one lawyer replied. “They usually settle, just to avoid the headache.
Rowe isn’t avoiding the headache.
“After careful consideration and deliberation with [the store owner], I’ve decided to post the photo in his front window,” he wrote.
Here’s the picture:
“But upon the advice of my own attorney, I’ve concealed the identity of the no-good shoplifting scumbag in the white tee-shirt and jeans,” Rowe wrote. “I realize this defeats the purpose, but that’s what things have come to in my world.”
Is this a great country, or what?
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