January 24, 2018

Minnesota Public Radio would like you to know that what Garrison Keillor did was a lot worse than you probably thought.

A letter from MPR president Jon McTaggart. In the main part of the letter, he responds to questions that he frames for the purpose of explaining and justifying MPR's actions. Sample:

"Did MPR overreact to a single incident of Garrison touching the back of the woman who is making the allegations?" Answer: no.

"Did MPR provide due process to Garrison or was this a rush to protect MPR in the current environment?" Answer: "MPR’s process was deliberate, diligent and included Garrison...."

"Has MPR unfairly tarnished Garrison Keillor’s reputation?" No, much of the damage Keillor did to himself by using social media to stir up outrage over how unfairly he was treated. And: "The irony is that while MPR has been careful to protect Garrison’s privacy and not hurry any decisions, others have rushed to judge and criticize MPR’s actions without knowing the facts."

38 comments:

mockturtle said...

Will the hysteria never end?

traditionalguy said...

That's about it. All women are declared OFF LIMITS to all men.

All romance and family life is a very small price to pay to protect our Goddesses.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

"Minnesota Public Radio would like you to know that what Garrison Keillor did was a lot worse than you probably thought."

I promise you I haven't thought about it at all.

So that'd be sort of like trying to divide by zero.

YoungHegelian said...

Did MPR provide due process to Garrison or was this a rush to protect MPR in the current environment?" Answer: "MPR’s process was deliberate, diligent and included Garrison...."

And all in private, so we've really got to take your word on just how wonderful & fair you guys were to GK, right?

I was never a big GK fan, but the idea that GK was a third-tier pervert & MPR knew nothing about it until the dam broke after #MeToo seems to strain credulity.

Fernandistein said...

the woman’s attorney described dozens of sexually inappropriate incidents directed at her client over a period of years.

The jokes just write themselves!

So that'd be sort of like trying to divide by zero.

Limit as NPR --> 0.

It's hard to feel sorry for Keillor, although he has a special place in my heart because one of his books was the first book that I quit reading in the middle of it.

Nonapod said...

I doubt that just hinting that Keillor's behavior was a lot worse than whatever people initially assumed will really mollify the NPR critics. In fact it just makes people more annoyed.

Bill Peschel said...

Love this line: "The irony is that while MPR has been careful to protect Garrison’s privacy and not hurry any decisions, others have rushed to judge and criticize MPR’s actions without knowing the facts."

Translation: "You're assholes for making judgments based on the single fact we choose to reveal."

Art in LA said...

I thought all the women are strong in Lake Wobegon ...

WK said...

Perhaps if you are above average you have to be dealt with.

Bob Boyd said...

"Nothing gets the taste of humiliation out of your mouth like Beebop-A-Ree-Bop Rhubarb Pie." - Garrison Keillor

Anonymous said...

Shoulda named the place Lake Ho-begone

Balfegor said...

Question: Why did MPR end public access to the online archives of A Prairie Home Companion (APHC) and The Writer’s Almanac?

Answer: Garrison Keillor owns the legal rights and trademarks to A Prairie Home Companion.


Ah-ha! I never listened to the programme so this never affected me, but one of the allegations reported in the news and bruited about in online commentary was that he had been "disappeared" with all the archives and references to Keillor scrubbed clean from their website. This makes sense of that move.

glenn said...

Wonder of wonders. The MPR guy sounds like an adult.

Kevin said...

Beloved figures aren't going down without an accounting of their misdeeds for public judgement.

What if Aziz Ansari's accuser had just said he did "horrible things"?

Quaestor said...

Will the hysteria never end?

Not while it's a valuable distraction from the brewing FBI coup d'état scandal.

The Cracker Emcee Activist said...

My introduction to Internet politics was the delightful blue-on-blue hysterics over the control of Pacifica radio back in the '90's. This kind of stuff makes me positively nostalgic!

Chuck said...

Question: How many complaints has MPR received about Garrison Keillor?
Answer: MPR has received two formal complaints, both making allegations about Garrison’s behavior in the workplace. One of the individuals is a woman who claims Garrison’s behavior was directed at her, and the other individual claims to know about some of the alleged behavior.


Two. One who claimed bad behavior and one who "claims to know about some of the alleged behavior."

I loved Prairie Home Companion notwithstanding some of Keillor's more overt politics. I went to the live broadcast of the show one time at Ravinia once, wearing my Bush-Cheney hat.

Without Keillor, the show has become unlistenable.

I always thought that there was an underlying conservatism with Keillor. Sure, he's a proud, activist member of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party; but the part of the country that he wrote about with such affection and such insight is also a part of the country that would elect a Michelle Bachmann or a Blue Dog Democrat. A real Lake Wobegon, it is safe to say, is probably a R +15 region.



Rick said...

Some of these accusations, if true, are actionable. But most seem overdone and some demonstrate unreasonable expectations. Consider this one:

______________
A friend in whom the woman confided at the time of the aff"air told MPR News that Keillor seemed to punish and reward her at work based on how they were getting along in private. The friend said the woman suffered financial and professional consequences from her relationship with Keillor.

"The minutiae of whether he had affairs — that's none of my business," said the friend, who asked that her name be withheld because publishing it could expose the subordinate's identity.

"The business that is mine is how it affected these women in their careers. With my friend, it took out a big chunk of her drive. The thing that's horrible is the impediment it became to her as she was trying to do her job and make a living."
_______________________


So this woman had a consensual affair but complains it impacted her work life? Of course it did! To think this is actionable you'd have to believe when she started the affair she didn't believe it would have an impact on her job. She claims she "suffered" financial and professional consequences but I'd argue she almost certainly gained financial and professional consequences as well. This is exactly the risk she signed up for And if not we can't design society to protect people from this level of stupidity because it restricts others freedom too significantly.

I think businesses should prohibit this sort of thing (many do) but that's for the benefit of the non-romantically involved. The person engaging in the voluntary behavior has no standing to complain.

Achilles said...

Stupid topic.

William said...

Scandals involving Garrison Keillor almost by definition lack prurient interest. I'd like to hear more about that poor girl who was made to remove her plastic shield during James Franco's filming of the orgy scene. My heart goes out to her, but I'd like to know more details before jumping to a conclusion. Perhaps if we saw the scene in question we could reach a more balanced opinion.

William said...

I believe I speak for all fathers when I say that I don't want any pervert removing my daughter's plastic shield when she filming an orgy scene, It's a slippery slope.

Obadiah said...

Good for MPR. They were trying to do the right thing, but responsible adults always lose twitter pissing contests.

tcrosse said...

That folksy, friendly, aw-shucks guy was a persona that Kiellor played on the radio. Acting !

Khesanh 0802 said...

Though I am not a big fan of MPR it is good to see them defend themselves and out Keillor for what he apparently is. They were being "MN nice" to let him off with the first story, but showed that there is steel under the "nice" if you take advantage. Keillor, of all people, should have known that.

Char Char Binks said...

How dare Keillor use social media and his white privilege to mansplain his side of things!

jrem said...

Two thoughts:

1. Part of the reason for the discharge was an allegedly racy limerick that Garrison posted on a blackboard at his bookshop. Setting aside for the moment that many limericks are racy, what does that have to do with his employment with MPR?

2. MPR most certainly is interested in acquiring rights to Garrison's copyrighted materials that he owns. MPR and Keillor participated in mediation which was apparently unsuccessful. Only after the conclusion of the unsuccessful mediation did MPR choose to go public with this information. I believe that Garrison has the upper hand in the negotiations vis-à-vis his copyrighted materials. This step taken by MPR will certainly not help MPR in negotiating a successful resolution of this issue.In other words, if I were a betting man, I would place a rather large bet on Mr. Keillor.

Darrell said...

MPR should erase the Keilor library. I doubt he has backups.

walter said...

Protecting his "privacy" while saying "it's worse than you think" is a weird line of ethics.

Richard Dillman said...

I live right in the center of Lake Wobegon. It is indeed R +15 country. However, I thought Keilor usually mocked its fictional
Inhabitants. I don’t think the real citizens of Central Minnesota were particularly enamored with Keillor.

William Chadwick said...

As much as I dislike Keillor, I felt that MPR was being rather Stalinistic with their treatment of him: not the firing so much but the attempt to make him a non-person. And that for what seemed, at the time, a minor offense. But I wouldn't be surprised if there were more to the story than was initially released. Years ago I read a biography of him, THE MAN FROM LAKE WOEBEGON, and just because it's in a book doesn't make it so. But while the book wasn't a hatchet job, there was enough negative stuff that, with some reading between the lines, I thought: "This guy is like the Ellsworth Toohey of the Midwest."

"I don’t think the real citizens of Central Minnesota were particularly enamored with Keillor." I don't know about central Minnesota, but a friend of mine--a huge Keillor fan--visited the Twin Cities to go to one of his shows in person. She made the acquaintance of some musicians who said they had worked with him on "PHC;" and these musicians claim Keillor is widely known in the Twin Cities arts community for being a jerk.

Unknown said...

"I always thought that there was an underlying conservatism with Keillor."--Chuck

Yes, conservative with a small "c", he was religious and traditional.

Kevin said...

Two. One who claimed bad behavior and one who "claims to know about some of the alleged behavior."

How many more incidents did they find once they started asking around?

That's the real question, not who'd already filed.

David said...

Good to know that they have investigated themselves and found themselves blameless. I wonder how many decades it took them to find out that he was a creep?

Jason said...

LOL now do Paula Poundstone.

TWW said...

Why is there a MPR?

Phil 3:14 said...

These were not run of the mill offenses,

They were all above average.

Danno said...

Chuck said..."I always thought that there was an underlying conservatism with Keillor. Sure, he's a proud, activist member of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party; but the part of the country that he wrote about with such affection and such insight is also a part of the country that would elect a Michelle Bachmann or a Blue Dog Democrat. A real Lake Wobegon, it is safe to say, is probably a R +15 region."

You are correct. The 6th congressional district (MN) does cover part of the Wobegon territory that is presumed by Keillor. Avon, MN is the eastern trailhead of the Lake Wobegon bike trail and is near the western edge of MN-6, which is held by Tom Emmer (R). The rest of the trail is in MN-7, which is long-held by Collin Peterson (D), one of the last Blue Dogs in the House.

Danno said...

Make the trailhead St. Joseph. But Avon is a great place to start. Middle Spunk Lake (not Creek) is on the left as you leave town.