A man named Mike Pothoff from Muscatine, Iowa has become a viral sensation after his nephew posted a picture of him shaming panhandlers in his neighborhood on Saturday. Apparently, Pothoff offered them some unspecified "honest" work, and they refused and continued panhandling after explaining they were just passing through town. Dissatisfied with this answer, the hard-working man decided to take a day off work himself to make their lives even more difficult:
He stood beside them with a sign reading, "Offered these guys a job they said no don't give money." The photo of this brave act has been shared over 25,000 times on Facebook, and everyone is absolutely delighted by how Pothoff has exposed these guys as unwilling or unable to settle down in Muscatine and do whatever some strange man says in exchange for minimum wage earnings. The story even made it to Fox & Friends where, shockingly, contributor Laura Ingraham actually thought this guy went too far:
I don’t know if this guy[the panhandler] has mental health issues. But for the grace of God go I. I mean, about 50 yards from where I am right now, there are about 75, 80 people lined up to get in to have breakfast. Homeless people. Right in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol. I don’t know their backstories. I’m not about shaming them. I mean, I see the point, you know, we want people to get jobs. But, it might not be, in every individual circumstance, as simple as that. So, maybe I’m a softy but I’m not sure I would have done that.
Mediaite actually reached out to Pothoff to ask him how Internet fame is treating him, and he seems mostly concerned by insinuations that he was offering these guys $15 a piece for blow jobs.
Now there’s people saying really bad things about me, like I was offering them sexual shit, so now, I just want people to hear exactly what I did.
Not only that, but he goes out of his way to make sure we know he's not even interested in their weird sex stuff. He says:
Here’s my thing, I work hard for my money...The younger kid, the one guy said, ‘I’m a sex offender,’ I said, ‘That’s alright, come on down, I’ll hire ya, I’ll give you a chance,’ so he said, ‘Well, I’m also on SSI,’ so I said ‘Okay, let’s cancel that and let’s go to work.
Apparently, he also taped himself harassing a completely different panhandler on Sunday, although he hasn't yet released this explosive (sad) footage:
I said, ‘I’ll give you a job right now, cash, and I’ll let you sit down down at the car wash,’ and he said, ‘No, man, my friend is in the McDonald’s,’ his friend was panhandling in the McDonald’s...He can stand out there panhandling for eight hours, but he can’t sit down and work?
If this was an 80 year-old person or a 60 year-old person, and they couldn’t work, I totally understand...There’s people on some sites saying I offered them fifteen dollars for a blowjob,
Some might argue that Pothoff seems more obsessed with making homeless people miserable than aiding them with opportunities, but it's hard to say for sure. You'd have to corner him with lots of angry questioning about his personal life, mental health and morality before you could make an accurate poster board to follow him around with.