By: Philip | 11-30-2017 | News
Photo credit: wideawakeinwonderland

Woe Comes to Wobegon: Garrison Keillor Groping Scandal

Welcome to Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, all the children are above average and the narrator is kind of a creeper. Yes, that's right, beloved NPR personality Garrison Keillor is the latest to be hit by sex scandal. In retrospect, it shouldn't have been that surprising. Keillor was faced with crickets from the audience when he made a statement in 1994 to the effect of how a world without sexual harassment would be a world without flirting. Perhaps he has something of a point there, but "comforting" a woman who is upset by running your hand up the back of her shirt six inches is neither comforting nor flirting in most people's world.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">&quot;A world in which there is no sexual harassment at all is a world in which there will not be any flirtation&quot; – radio humorist Garrison Keillor at <a href="">@PressClubDC</a> April 7, 1994… at 31:05 in this video: <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Howard Mortman (@HowardMortman) <a href="">November 29, 2017</a></blockquote>

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NPR has announced that it will be severing all ties to Keillor and his production company. Keillor has been a staple of Minnesota Public Radio for years and gained worldwide acclaim for his Prairie Home Companion series and its folksy, spin on Americana. NPR reports it learned of the accusations in October and has retained an outside law firm to investigate the allegations. Keillor made a statement to the Minnesota Star Tribune.

Keillor admitted to the incident where he had put his hand on a woman's back but also alleged he had been groped by numerous female fans in his time. This could certainly be true, but I never really pegged Garrison as the kind of guy to have a gaggle of drooling groupies. Prairie Home Companion is no longer hosted by Keillor, but he was a main producer on the program The Writer's Almanac. Writer's Almanac will no longer be carried by MPR and re-broadcasts of Prairie Home Companion have also been cut from the schedule. New episodes from Prairie Home Companion hosted by Chris Thile will appear under a new name.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Just today:<br><br>1. Matt Lauer Out<br>2. Garrison Keillor Out<br>3. BuzzFeed To Lay Off 100 People<br>4. ESPN To Lay Off 150 People<br>5. Donald Trump Insinuates Joe Scarborough Involved In The Death Of A Former Intern</p>&mdash; Jon Levine (@LevineJonathan) <a href="">November 29, 2017</a></blockquote>

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The allegations Keillor is facing "relate to Mr. Keillor's conduct while he was responsible for the production of A Prairie Home Companion," according to MPR. "Based on what we currently know, there are no similar allegations involving other staff."

"Garrison Keillor has been an important part of the growth and success of MPR, and all of us in the MPR community are saddened by these circumstances," Jon McTaggart, the president of MPR, said in that statement. "While we appreciate the contributions Garrison has made to MPR and to all of public radio, we believe this decision is the right thing to do and is necessary to continue to earn the trust of our audiences, employees, and supporters of our public service."

Keillor asserts that the story MPR fired him over "is more interesting and more complicated than the version MPR heard."

"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," he said. "She recoiled. I apologized."

Maybe after being groped by all those Prairie Home groupies, he assumed that the most comforting thing for women was being groped by NPR hosts. Evidently, this was not the case.

"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," Keillor claimed to the Star. Ironically, Keillor recently penned a op-ed at the Washington Post defending another serial groper, former comedian, Sen. Al Franken.

<blockquote>Franken should change his name to Newman and put the USO debacle behind him and then we’ll change frankincense to Febreze. Remove the slaveholder Washington from our maps, replacing him with Wampanoag, and replace Jefferson, who slept with Sally Hemings — consensual? I doubt it — with Powhatan, and what about the FDR Drive in New York, named for a man who was unfaithful to his wife? Let’s call it RFD and let it go at that.</blockquote>

The Post published Keillor's opinion piece the same day the NPR story broke. They updated the story noting that "The Post takes allegations of this kind seriously and is seeking more information about them."


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1 Comment/s
Anonymous No. 13060 2017-11-30 : 22:09

I don't know what's more shocking, that Garrison Keillor has touched a woman or that "Prairie Home Companion groupies" are a thing.

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