Garrison Keiler Gets the Ax From Minn. Public Radio

Garrison Keiler and his radio program have been terminated from Minnesota's Public Radio station today after an allegation was made he inappropriately touched a woman's back. He gives this account of what happened: [More...]

I put my hand on a woman's bare back. I meant to pat her back after she told me about her unhappiness and her shirt was open and my hand went up it about six inches. She recoiled. I apologized. I sent her an email of apology later and she replied that she had forgiven me and not to think about it. We were friends. We continued to be friendly right up until her lawyer called. Anyone who ever was around my show can tell you that I was the least physically affection person in the building. Actors hug, musicians hug, people were embracing every Saturday night left and right, and I stood off in the corner like a stone statue. If I had a dollar for every woman who asked to take a selfie with me and who slipped an arm around me and let it drift down below the beltline, I'd have at least a hundred dollars. So this is poetic irony of a high order. But I'm just fine. I had a good long run and am grateful for it and for everything else."

He also apologized to “all the poets whose work I won’t be reading on the radio and sorry for the people who will lose work on account of this.”

< Matt Lauer Fired Over Sexual Harassment Allegation | Matt Lauer Apologizes >
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    Asymetrical (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by FlJoe on Tue Dec 05, 2017 at 09:01:34 AM EST
    Item 1
    MSNBC has cut its ties with comedian and contributor Sam Seder after an old tweet showed he had joked about film director Roman Polanski raped his daughter.

    Item 2

    The Republican National Committee will transfer funds to the Alabama Republican Party following President Donald Trump's endorsement Monday of GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore in that state's special election next week, according to a senior RNC official.
    The official added, "The RNC is the political arm of the president and we support the President."

    We face a  near future where we have Roy Moore on the way in and Franken on the way out. We can't afford to many "moral" victories like this.

    The MSNBC/Sam Seder thing is (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by Anne on Tue Dec 05, 2017 at 09:15:58 AM EST
    ridiculous.  This is the same station whose parent, NBC, passed on Ronan Farrow's Harvey Weinstein reporting - what? Not important enough?  But now they want to make an example of Seder, whose tweet, by the way, was a sarcastic reference to the fact that money and power and "talent" go a long way to getting people out of trouble.  Which is true.

    The RNC decision to start spending money on the Roy Moore campaign infuriates me.  I guess they figure that if Donald Trump is explicitly endorsing him, it has no choice?  Whatever the sick and twisted rationale, I have no idea why anyone would choose to align themselves with the Republican party.

    I think it was you who commented about the destruction of long-standing institutions, so this latest bit of insanity has me reeling:

    The Trump administration is considering a set of proposals developed by Blackwater founder Erik Prince and a retired CIA officer -- with assistance from Oliver North, a key figure in the Iran-Contra scandal -- to provide CIA Director Mike Pompeo and the White House with a global, private spy network that would circumvent official U.S. intelligence agencies, according to several current and former U.S. intelligence officials and others familiar with the proposals. The sources say the plans have been pitched to the White House as a means of countering "deep state" enemies in the intelligence community seeking to undermine Trump's presidency.

    The creation of such a program raises the possibility that the effort would be used to create an intelligence apparatus to justify the Trump administration's political agenda.

    "Pompeo can't trust the CIA bureaucracy, so we need to create this thing that reports just directly to him," said a former senior U.S. intelligence official with firsthand knowledge of the proposals, in describing White House discussions. "It is a direct-action arm, totally off the books," this person said, meaning the intelligence collected would not be shared with the rest of the CIA or the larger intelligence community. "The whole point is this is supposed to report to the president and Pompeo directly."

    Oliver North, who appears frequently on Trump's favorite TV network, Fox News, was enlisted to help sell the effort to the administration. He was the "ideological leader" brought in to lend credibility, said the former senior intelligence official.

    Are you motherfking kidding me?  Hello, Supreme Leader: Goodbye, democracy as we knew it.


    The (none / 0) (#44)
    by FlJoe on Tue Dec 05, 2017 at 09:38:38 AM EST
    new super group! Prince,North and Pompeo with their debut album, "Democracy Dies in Darkness"

    Revolutions eat their young. (1.00 / 2) (#28)
    by thomas rogan on Fri Dec 01, 2017 at 06:59:26 PM EST
    Hyperreligious types like Clarence Thomas or Mike Pence go rogue once in a while if at all.  Non-religious entertainment types don't have that sort of moral control.  A lot more Democrats are going to be hit by this sort of scandal than Republicans.  
    Does something that at most would be a misdemenor (if reported and proven in court) mean that a career should immediately end?  Is there such a thing as a statute of limitations?  Should entertainers be held to a higher standard than politicians?
    Revolutions eat their young.

    "Non-religious entertainment (5.00 / 4) (#29)
    by MKS on Fri Dec 01, 2017 at 08:30:46 PM EST
    types don't have that sort of moral control,"  you write.

    Nonsense.  Religious types have more moral control?   What absolute nonsense.  Can you really ignore all the many, many horrible offenses by religious types?

    Take just the current offenses being discussed. The allegations of child molestation are against the person most overtly religious.

    More Democrats than Republicans will be affected, you write. That smug attitude is ridiculous.   Such holier-than-thou self-righteousness is repulsive--because it usually covers a multitude of sins.      


    And the idea (5.00 / 3) (#32)
    by MKS on Fri Dec 01, 2017 at 08:51:54 PM EST
    which is implicit in your comment, that it takes self control, and a self control that only religious people have, to not assault others, is also rubbish.

    You have to (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Dec 02, 2017 at 08:36:48 PM EST
    be kidding? Clarence Thomas has gone rogue more than once. There were more women willing to come forward and he was even accosting a Tubman Scholar in 1999 10 years after being on the court.

    Mike Pence is a perv who can't go anywhere without his wife/mother because apparently he can't keep control himself around women.


    Moreover, (none / 0) (#30)
    by MKS on Fri Dec 01, 2017 at 08:34:30 PM EST
    the abuse of women, regardless of who is getting caught, needs to stop.  Period.

    The idea that some type of truce should be called is terrible.  So, sell-out women, so conservative men can rest easier?

    No more boys-will-boys abuse of power....that is the answer.  Not some type of threat that more Democrats will get caught than Republicans....


    Go rogue? (none / 0) (#33)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Dec 02, 2017 at 10:18:13 AM EST
    If Mike Pence has so much self-control (none / 0) (#34)
    by jondee on Sat Dec 02, 2017 at 11:21:06 AM EST
    why does he feel the need to publicly reassure "mother" (at home knitting by the hearth) that he never allows himself to be alone with another woman?

    Every Democrat asking Conyers to resign (none / 0) (#35)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Dec 02, 2017 at 01:09:24 PM EST
    But Republicans still pulling for Moore. Zero accountability in the hyperreligious/going rogue party.

    How quickly we forget (none / 0) (#43)
    by CST on Tue Dec 05, 2017 at 09:27:56 AM EST
    This whole reckoning started in 2002.

    Is that hyper-religious enough for you?

    I read he will continue w/Writer's Almanac. (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Wed Nov 29, 2017 at 04:59:45 PM EST

    this is a tough one (none / 0) (#2)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Nov 29, 2017 at 05:16:35 PM EST
    maybe even worse than Franken.  for me.

    not that "me" is all that relevent

    Same. (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Nov 29, 2017 at 05:55:46 PM EST
    I bet I've spent less than 5 mins watching Lauer in my lifetime.

    I've listened to dozens and dozens of PHCs.


    Sounds like an accident (none / 0) (#4)
    by MKS on Wed Nov 29, 2017 at 06:30:21 PM EST
    And only one accusation.....

    That's pretty harsh.....


    Not to me. Keillor's explanation sounds (none / 0) (#9)
    by Peter G on Thu Nov 30, 2017 at 11:39:27 AM EST
    totally b/s.  "I went to console/encourage her with a friendly pat on the back only to discover to my surprise that her blouse had come unbuttoned in the back, leaving her back exposed. Next thing I knew my hand was six inches into [what? where?]. And not only didn't I do anything intentional, lots of people reach out to grope other people. Women have done it to me dozens of times." What is the relevance of the second part of that comment, even if credible, which addresses intentional and unconsented sexual touching, to the first part, which purports to describe and explain an unintentional and non-sexual touching? His statement is the worst defense I've ever read (outside of one of my clients' supposedly exculpatory confessions to the police.)

    Maybe so (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by MKS on Fri Dec 01, 2017 at 08:41:07 PM EST
    I did have trouble following the syntax of the statement.   I did cruise through it and took from the account that it was just a hand slipping.

    Going back for a closer look, the second sentence that Peter mentions is curious.  But worse still, is Keillor said he apologized profusely later.  Accidents like that don't create that kind of guilt or need for an elaborate apology.  Everyone just wants to get past true accidents, not re-live them through elaborate apologies...


    It's the lack of agency that's making (none / 0) (#10)
    by Anne on Thu Nov 30, 2017 at 11:51:51 AM EST
    it not ring true: things just "happen," hands get from Point A to Point B with no awareness by the brain.  "Somehow" the blouse came unbuttoned?  He didn't think he should let her know that?

    That and a tone of "Seriously?  I'm 75 years old and I have to explain this crap?" that seems to accompany his comments.

    I don't know if you ever listen to any of the drug commercials, but my favorite parts are when the narrator says, "some cancers have happened."  They just happen - there's no connection between the drug and the cancer.

    I guess they say it that way because saying, "taking this medication could give you cancer" probably isn't a good selling point.


    People do things without awareness (none / 0) (#13)
    by jondee on Thu Nov 30, 2017 at 01:45:18 PM EST
    all the time; even in situations in which the importance of awareness is paramount, like driving in traffic..

    Unintended miscues and miscommunications in interpersonal encounters between complicated humans aren't uncommon even between people who've known each other for decades, particularly "in the moment."


    Agreed, Peter, that explanation (none / 0) (#11)
    by Towanda on Thu Nov 30, 2017 at 01:14:46 PM EST
    actualiy had me laughing -- if sad, as this Midwesterner has had a lot of good laughs, over the years, at Keillor's take on our culture.

    As a lifelong Northeasterner (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Peter G on Thu Nov 30, 2017 at 01:26:47 PM EST
    I got sick and tired of Keillor's schtick many years ago. Now, even with the new host, whenever I hear the PHC theme song come on (our radio is tuned to NPR more often than not) I reach for the tuner to change stations.

    I'm absolutely sure his faithful (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by oculus on Fri Dec 01, 2017 at 12:34:18 AM EST
    listeners are originally from the Midwest.

    `quaint and folksy' (none / 0) (#14)
    by linea on Thu Nov 30, 2017 at 08:32:00 PM EST
    isn't anything i would listen to.


    On Tuesday, The Washington Post published an opinion column by Keillor in which he defended Sen. Al Franken, accused of forcibly kissing a radio host and groping another woman during a photo, against calls for his resignation.

    What you outsiders don't get (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Towanda on Fri Dec 01, 2017 at 11:46:06 AM EST
    is that it's not "quaint and folksy" to us.

    I was marrid into a family of warring Lutherans, Missouri vs. Wisconsin synods, witnessing at each other at the dinner table. And, yes, they were loyal to car brands and dealers, based on their synods.  i also have seen the church baement tables full of casseroles and Jellos and other dishes tompass.

    It was not the culture of my family of origin, and like Keillor, I found it amusing . . . but I came to understand why others found it reassuring, at a time when they also coped with enormous challenges and change. And did so by, as Keillor did, laughing at themselves.

    Reassuring. Not quaint. Not folksy. Those are dismissive terms, but not surprising from you. . . .

    Of course, wer're too polite, too Midwestern nice, to tell you what we say about you.  


    Amidst all his visonary experiences (5.00 / 3) (#19)
    by jondee on Fri Dec 01, 2017 at 12:10:02 PM EST
    I bet Martin Luther never saw anything in a church basement as otherworldly and psychedelic as a lime-green Waldorf salad with little marshmallows and shredded carrots.

    I'm Midwestern (none / 0) (#17)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Dec 01, 2017 at 11:51:21 AM EST
    And I'm actually not

    Honestly (none / 0) (#18)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Dec 01, 2017 at 11:55:18 AM EST
    It's only the rules here that "prevent me"

    Sometimes. (none / 0) (#21)
    by oculus on Fri Dec 01, 2017 at 01:42:32 PM EST
    Lerned me a new word today "synod." (none / 0) (#20)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Dec 01, 2017 at 01:05:56 PM EST
    Bitter, clinging to guns, religion, (none / 0) (#22)
    by oculus on Fri Dec 01, 2017 at 01:46:24 PM EST
    and multi-colored jello.

    And it's all true re the warring Lutherans. Although those wars pale when the subject changes to Catholics or Mormans.


    Do you also discuss (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Towanda on Fri Dec 01, 2017 at 02:42:56 PM EST

    Question (none / 0) (#25)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Dec 01, 2017 at 03:39:58 PM EST
    If the Angel was Moroni why aren't they Morons

    Well, the correct (none / 0) (#26)
    by MKS on Fri Dec 01, 2017 at 03:45:46 PM EST
    conjugation would be "Moronis."   Mormon was his dad.  Son toots the horn; Mormon writes the book.

    Heh, that's a new one (none / 0) (#27)
    by MKS on Fri Dec 01, 2017 at 03:48:33 PM EST
    Glad to note that I have good company ... (none / 0) (#39)
    by Erehwon on Mon Dec 04, 2017 at 05:58:56 AM EST
    the only times when I have changed stations asap have been with PHC as soon as the theme music started!

    from the woman that paints this whole incident in a different light...

    Yes, if it is as he tells it (none / 0) (#6)
    by ruffian on Wed Nov 29, 2017 at 09:49:25 PM EST
    then it does sound innocent. I'd like to hear how she describes it. Sounds like they are getting outside investigators in, so that is good.

    Additionally, I wonder if severing ties (none / 0) (#7)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Nov 29, 2017 at 11:19:53 PM EST
    with Keillor will save MPR a bunch of money that they would otherwise owe him.

    Like I'd imagine they had to pay him some sort of a licensing fee or something to continue to produce PHC (even though Keillor was no longer part of the show).


    Axe the guy (none / 0) (#8)
    by MKS on Thu Nov 30, 2017 at 10:43:27 AM EST
    on the pretext of bad behavior to save money?

    Nah, corporate interests, even liberal ones, would never do that.


    How happy is Franken (none / 0) (#23)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Dec 01, 2017 at 02:03:54 PM EST
    b/c of Lauer and Keillor.

    Ohno...... (none / 0) (#37)
    by desertswine on Sun Dec 03, 2017 at 10:09:13 PM EST
    in my opinion (none / 0) (#38)
    by linea on Sun Dec 03, 2017 at 11:06:29 PM EST
    it is very tramatic for adult men to come forward and talk about being abused as young boys, to point out their abusers, or even simply recognize the abuse to themselves. i believe many `sports coaches' and `mentors to boys' are continuing to abuse boys and young men into the next generation and are going unpunished because there isn't an emotional support system for adult men who were abused as young boys. i feel the strictures of american society expects a stoicism from boys and men that is heartbreaking. in my opinion.

    The opera's announcement followed a report in the New York Post that Levine was accused in a police report of molesting young man beginning when the man was 15 years old and that the sexual abuse continued for years.

    New York's Metropolitan Opera suspended (none / 0) (#40)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Dec 04, 2017 at 10:45:58 AM EST
    New York's Metropolitan Opera suspended its longtime conductor, James Levine, 74, after three men came forward with accusations he sexually abused them decades ago, when they were teenagers.