Keillor, sexual harassment and the things Democrats don’t understand

Garrison Keillor’s announcement today that he’s been “fired” by American Public Media isn’t as surprising as it might have been, had he not penned a particularly virulent Washington Post op-ed today in response to sexual misconduct allegations against Sen. Al Franken.

The rambling column presented a case for excusing sexual misconduct on the basis that there are worse forms of it.

The greatest absurdity of our time is You Know Whom, which goes without saying but I will anyway. What his election showed is that a considerable number of people, in order to demonstrate their frustration with the world as it is, are willing to drive their car, with their children in the back seat, over a cliff, smash the radiator, bust an axle and walk away feeling good about themselves.

No other president in modern times has been held in contempt by a preponderance of people from the moment he said, “So help me, God.” The playboy blather, the smirk of privilege, the stunning contempt for factual truth — how can the country come together when the president has nothing in common with 98 percent of the rest of us?

And then there is Sen. Al Franken. He did USO tours overseas when he was in the comedy biz. He did it from deep in his heart, out of patriotism, and the show he did was broad comedy of a sort that goes back to the Middle Ages. Shakespeare used those jokes now and then, and so did Bob Hope and Joey Heatherton when they entertained the troops.

If you thought that Al stood outdoors at bases in Iraq and Afghanistan and told stories about small-town life in the Midwest, you were wrong. On the flight home, in a spirit of low comedy, Al ogled Miss Tweeden and pretended to grab her and a picture was taken. Eleven years later, a talk show host in LA, she goes public, and there is talk of resignation. This is pure absurdity, and the atrocity it leads to is a code of public deadliness. No kidding.

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.

Tone deaf, much?

Keillor’s column had the faint aroma of someone who knew what was coming. The APM Board of Trustees authorized the coup de grâce several weeks ago, before the column was written.

“I think the country is in the grip of a mania —- the whole Franken business is an absurdity —-and I wish someone [would] resist it, but I expect MPR to look out for itself, and meanwhile I feel awfully lucky to have hung on for so long,” he said in an email to MPR’s news boss this afternoon.

Keillor is an ardent DFLer who — as I wrote in 2010 — made it hard for journalists at MPR News because of his politics. People, actively encouraged to do so, connected everything MPR with Keillor and if Keillor was holding DFL pep rallies and campaigning against Michele Bachmann, then so must the rest of MPR, including the newsroom, reality be damned. Perception is reality.

Politics is one thing, sexual harassment is another and now we’re stained, too, just as CBS, PBS, and the NBC Today show is.

And Democrats.

Democrats might have had a moral high ground in their effort to keep Roy Moore out of the Senate and they tried mightily — as Keillor did in his Washington Post column — to distinguish between the allegations of rape and sexual abuse against Republicans like Moore and those against Democrats not named Harvey Weinstein.

But it’s hard to fight perception, and now even with Roy Moore being, you know, Roy Moore, Democrats have left Republicans with an effective message: “You’re a fine one to talk.”

“I just ran my hand up her back” is a poor response.

Ask Nate Silver, who tweeted this today:

There will still be arguments from Democrats of course, that this misconduct or that misconduct is nowhere near the same as Roy Moore’s or Donald Trump’s, as if anyone is claiming it is.

Politics is a dirty game and Republicans memorized the Lee Atwater playbook and execute it better than Democrats do consistently. They’re better at messaging. They’re better at framing issues. And they’re better at creating the reality they want voters to live in. Even without the likes of Weinstein, Franken, Keillor, and Conyers, Democrats were outgunned trying to hold the high ground in a political gang war.

Here’s what the Democratic Party and the people who speak for it can’t bring themselves to understand: Women are tired of this; they’re tired of all of it. If politicians don’t understand what’s wrong with the daily harassment that women face, they’re not going to give a break to politicians or their party on the basis of “it could always be worse.”

  • jon

    I thought I remembered him retiring already… at least once… maybe two or three times… And the quotes around “fired” above make me wonder how many more times that is going to happen before we stop hearing about him.

    Anyhow, yes there is a difference… all situations are different and we should be able to judge them as such…

    However, we need to get past the politics.

    Al Franken is not a saint because he is a democrat.
    Roy Moore is not the a demon because he is a republican.

    Does that mean that Al Franken is not capable of being a saint? no, that’s up to the catholic church to decide.
    Does that mean that Roy Moore is not capable of being a demon? Again, no, a quick look at his parentage would confirm if he was in fact the spawn of satan… (I’m not calling for him to release his birth certificate, but if anyone has any evidence that it lists the father as “lucifer” ….)

    But the R or D after their names doesn’t define who they are… shouldn’t define who they are.

    We right now have the GOP controlling both chambers of congress and the white house… and they are struggling to running roughshod over the country enforcing their policies… there are some mild policy agenda’s they’ve managed to push, mostly because they have the presidency and the president doesn’t care about destroying 200+ years of tradition in how to govern… but they still struggle to get stuff pushed through… because the GOP is not a singular unified good or evil… a collection of fallible people doesn’t make them infallible… (usually the opposite… makes them more fallible… though organization of that group matters…)

    That being said, what franken is accused of is different from what Moore is accused of… different people different places, different actions… the fact that we can’t trust people to discern that on their own any more beyond just seeing the D and R after the name… that’s sad.

    • “fired” was the word Keillor used, not MPR, which severed business ties with him.

      We’re not going to get past the politics of it when the whole issue is the effect on the politics.

      Sexual harassment as an issue is not political. How it plays in the political landscape IS very much political.

  • Gary F

    That’s funny.

  • Robert Moffitt

    When we try to look at this type of misbehavior in partisan terms, everyone loses. The Democrats have no moral high ground here. They didn’t before members of their own ranks were accused, and they don’t now. The same can be said of the Republicans. Mostly, this is a male (M) problem, not a Democrat (D) or Republican (R) problem.

    • The behavior is itself not political. How politicians react to it most definitely is. You have to separate the issue from the weaponization of it because that’s what the GOP gets. The Democrats don’t. That’s why they’ve become so good at losing elections.

      • Robert Moffitt

        I’m less interested in the tactics of political parties than our willingness as voters to fall for this BS, again, again, and again.

        • I have to deal in reality when assessing political landscapes, Bob. Not how I wish the electorate was.

  • RBHolb

    Same here, but then again, I’m not one who assumes that anyone is biased.

  • crystals

    Democrats already lost the high ground thanks to John Conyers, and for 20 years before that with all the other yet-to-be-named folks on both sides of the aisle whose behavior has cost us (the taxpayers) $17 million in secret settlements. No one gets to claim moral superiority here, but it’s also not too late for someone – from any party – to actually come up with an actual plan to do something about it. Get the female staffers on the Hill, past and present, together with some chart paper and a budget. No legislators allowed. They’ll come up with something.

    • ec99

      Never mind Conyers. You can go back to Adam Clayton Powell at least.

      • Adam Clayton Powell , Wilber Mills and the far past has no impact on the political realities of today.

        • ec99

          The point is, the loss of high ground was dated to Conyers, when it occurred long before that. It’s called historical perspective.

          • The high ground refers to the current election cycle, specifically, the Alabama Senate election.

          • ec99

            crystals adds “and 20 years before that.” Which takes it out of this cycle.

          • crystals

            The nitpicking and need to BE RIGHT is exhausting. Can we focus on the actual issues instead, please? We have plenty of those to deal with.
            – Women everywhere

          • The post is about winning/not winning elections and standing for something. But, sure, I can do yet another sexual harassment is bad post.

          • crystals

            You see my response wasn’t to you, right? It was to the person who was trying to nitpick me when I think my point was actually pretty clear, and then they decided to keep on nitpicking you while quoting me. I’ve got no beef with you, and am grateful you care about this issue and write about it often in all sorts of ways.

          • Received. Thx.

  • blackfargo

    Probably because you agreed with much of their narrative.

  • That was an NPR story. it was on the MPR website yesterday and was a piece yesterday on Morning Edition. People still wonder why women don’t come forward. It’s mind boggling, really.

  • Before we go down this very predictable rabbit hole, a warning: Everyone use specific examples and not AM talk show/bumper sticker stuff.

    • >>Everyone use specific examples and not AM talk show/bumper sticker stuff.<<

      I use that line to shut down trolls all the time.

      • I mean, geez, we’ve all heard and seen it and know exactly what the usual back and forth will be an d I’m getting too old to keep reading stuff that is mind numbingly predictable and boring and would appreciate a more analytical approach to the complaint or defense.

  • Jeff C.

    I was talking with the president of a college years ago who commented that he never hugs a student unless (s)he hugs him first on the stage during graduation and he never looks below a female student’s chin when they are talking. Some men know how to behave in a way that will allow them to never be accused of treating someone in a inappropriate way. Some men don’t. Some men would know that you shouldn’t put their hand on the back of a woman, even if there will be a layer of cloth between his hand and her back. Some men don’t. I’m willing to bet that Garrison is much more likely to have other women say that he did things that made them feel uncomfortable than the college president is. I hope more men will start to act like the college president.

  • Ed Randa

    It’s sure starting to feel like we are in hysteria territory. Keillor mentions he’d have a hundred bucks if he got a buck every time a woman touched his behind.

    I can think of several times I’ve been ‘harassed’ by women as such myself.

    I am entirely sure that behavior by men is on the whole much worse than women, but it definitely goes both ways. I envision that beyond “Women are tired of this; they’re tired of all of it.”, the unintended consequence will be that men eventually get tired of walking on pins and needles and start realizing that they too have been subjected to such behavior at the hands of women, and start calling them out as well.

    That leaves us in a much worse place than we might expect. We will have less harassment, sure, but also will have everyone (men and women) scared for every statement or action they have ever taken in poor judgement because we’ve entered into this brave new ‘zero-tolerance’ world (zero-tolerance = zero judgement, the consequence for Keillor and Franken should not equal that of Moore or Trump). That does not sound like a recipe for happiness.

    • I guess that’s true if you grab women’s butts as a matter of routine and normal behavior, or rub your hands up their backs etc. I can see where someone like that would panic-stricken about how to function in today’s world.

      At the same time, though, there apparently a lot of men who — possibly handed down from their own fathers — have figured out how to relate in the workplace without needing any of that. So maybe they can chime in on some helpful tips for you.

      • Ed Randa

        Mighty defensive response there, with the presumption I’m a butt grabber and all. I must have hit a nerve!

        EDIT: Not a theoretical question, but an actual event not too long ago: I had a female coworker come into my office and put her hands on my neck and shoulders massage style. I wasn’t comfortable with it, said, “hey, what gives?” She stopped, I moved on.

        What should her consequence be?

        • Her consequence should be whatever your company’s policy says. Why didn’t you report it? Or tell her it made you uncomfortable?

          Your initial question seemed to suggest you feared the confusion of a new order. I just assumed you were relaying your own confusing, not a hypothetical one on the part of others. If you’re not a butt grabber, it sounds to me like you’ll be just fine.

          • Deb Schroeder

            It it worth people losing their job over. That is the question everyone must answer. It is not as simple as all would have you believe.

          • Ed Randa

            ^Precisely. Each situation should be considered on its own merits, and the reaction should vary accordingly, but we are veering further from that daily it seems.

          • Ed Randa

            Um, I did tell her it made me uncomfortable (re-read my post).

            I didn’t report it precisely because I feared that in today’s environment my company’s policy would cause damage to the woman incommensurate with her infraction. The behavior didn’t continue (as it appears Keillor’s didn’t), and as such I don’t think that level of harassment warranted serious damage to her continued opportunities at my employer.

            The point here is that we are ignoring that sexual harassment has infinite shades of grey, but we are moving ever close to a single zero-tolerance penalty: get ’em out!

            Keillor’s back-‘rubbing’ (Keillor claims touching) is different than Franken’s butt-grabbing, is different than Moore’s assault of a minor. Yet the suggested penalty is the same for all three: they are unsuitable for employment in their positions.

          • // hat sexual harassment has infinite shades of grey,

            But it doesn’t. You experienced it and you recognized it .

          • Ed Randa

            If you honestly feel that there aren’t shades of grey, you are making a false equivalence no better than Trump made between protesters and white supremacists. Keillor’s back rub is just as bad as Louis C.K.’s actions? I mean, c’mon. That is patently absurd.

          • Steve Hellerstedt

            As I read what Ed is saying, there are degrees of infraction. Winking at a homely girl is one thing, squeezing the shoulder of a co-worker is another, grabbing the buttocks of a co-worker is yet another. All are, to a degree, sexual harassment, but only the grabbing of the buttocks seems worth confronting.

          • Sure, but they’re all infractions and Ed said it made him feel uncomfortable. There’s a mechanism for counseling in the workplace to prevent that sort of thing.

          • Steve Hellerstedt

            Actually, I agree more than disagree with you on this. A couple of questions come to mind, though – Was Keillor given sexual harassment orientation in the recent past by MPR? Was it even their responsibility to do so? Were their prior records of complaints? How were they dealt with?

            My place of work has had a sexual harassment policy in place for more or less three decades now, and after the initial fear wore off (we never be able to talk to another woman again ever!) it slowly dawned on me that all they’re really asking of me is to treat women with the same level of respect and professionalism I’d want my daughter/mother/wife/girlfriend/etc. to be treated with. Easy peasy, actually.

            I have seen people fired for violating the sexual harassment policy, but that’s happened after a complaint was filed, the employee was given a sit down talking to, and then subsequently repeated the offensive behavior. I’m big on confronting an offender (assuming the offense wasn’t too great) and giving them a chance to correct their behavior. Otherwise it feels a bit like sandbagging someone.

          • // Was Keillor given sexual harassment orientation in the recent past by MPR?

            The short answer is “I don’t know.” The long answer is about 15 years ago every employee had to take an online course on sexual harassment and sign off on it. I don’t know if Keillor had to or not.

            //Were their prior records of complaints? How were they dealt with?

            Against Keillor? I don’t know and we’re never going to know that. There’s no way the company is ever going to reveal personal information like that about employees.

            // and giving them a chance to correct their behavior. Otherwise it feels a bit like sandbagging someone.

            Well, I think we have to recognize that all of us are coming at this mostly from a position of ignorance with regard to whether it was merited or not.

            I think you have to ask yourself, does it make sense for APM/MPR to essentially get rid of its cash cow and assume all the incredible headaches of dealing with affiliates and the cost of restarting a rebranded show from scratch whose value with a new host mostly was its brand, and whether eliminating the Pretty Good Goods catalog (this company was built on $1 Powdermilk Biscuits posters) and the $$$ that entails and losing all the services of, perhaps, Minnesota’s most well known icon… . and do it all on a whim over a trifle touch sounds like something a corporation would do?

            I don’t see how the answer could possibly be anything but “no, it’s not.”

          • Paul Drake

            “The long answer is about 15 years ago every employee had to take an online course on sexual harassment and sign off on it.”

            Online training 15 years ago??? Seriously????

            A large MN company I worked for had annual online training, with quizzes, plus presentations by HR at department meetings. Managers took an additional online course, plus HR talks at management only meetings, plus live training every 2 or 3 years.

          • I don’t know what management and supervisors have for training. It’s obviously been made clear periodically about sexual harassment and how to report it. That’s been reinforced from the highest levels in the last few months.

          • Paul Drake

            “It’s obviously been made clear periodically about sexual harassment and how to report it. ”

            Nice cop out…

            Training is not just learning how to report harassment. Reviewing what constitutes harassment, sexual or otherwise, along with what rights employees have are in some ways more important than filing paperwork. Some victims may not realize they were being harassed because they don’t know it’s not just touching.

          • Steve Hellerstedt

            Normally, no. Of course you’d keep the cash cow. But these aren’t normal times – just today Matt Lauer, a producer on the Supergirl show, and Keillor were dismissed because of alleged sexual transgressions. They’re falling like ten pins, and, taken with some of the other sexual harassment stories of the past couple of months, you do have to wonder if these corporations haven’t recently developed a hair trigger in these cases. Maybe the headaches of dealing with, and defending, an essentially retired icon accused of sexual transgressions outweighs those of restarts and dealing with disaffected affiliates.

            I don’t know what the answer is, but mostly because I don’t know enough specifics to reach an answer. If, say, for instance, someone like Al Franken was grabbing women’s butts while having his picture taken with them and he worked where I work he would have been fired. But he also would have been warned that the behavior was reported, he was now on the company’s radar, maybe would be given the opportunity to apologize to the person he assaulted, and given a short leash. If it happened a second time he would have been fired.

            Maybe these men have to go through this to bring the rest of us up to speed, but there seems to be pieces missing. Due process seems to have been abandoned – although, I hasten to add, I don’t know the full details, so the investigations may have been thorough, the cases against these men strong and airtight, and their troubles fully justified.

          • // Due process seems to have been abandoned

            I see no evidence of that. There are things we don’t know and in the absence of that we fill the vacuum with our own perceptions, but they don’t mean anything.

          • Steve Hellerstedt

            True. But there’s no evidence refuting that line of speculation, either. Keillor’s statement, the only detailed account of the interaction with the accuser, sounds benign enough. Hand on a woman’s bare back, hand inadvertently moved up the shirt, Keillor apologized and his apology was accepted, and then this. It’s confusing. I’m assuming there’s more to it than that, but that’s all we have to deal with now.

          • Two women reported this. Not one. And then there’s all this other stuff I mentioned before out there and people can add it up for themselves and try to decide what to make of it. As usual, almost all of the people saying “hey this is no big deal” are men. Well except for the woman who sent me some hate mail today.

            Keillor is controlling the message right now. MPR is will to let him, as far as I can tell. Nobody ever said he was stupid.

          • Steve Hellerstedt

            Keillor is filling the vacuum and putting his spin on the story. That’s understandable.

            And yeah, depending on what actually happened, this is a big deal. I get that we need to create a safe environment for the violated to report instances of abuse, but that doesn’t mean we should throw the concept of due process overboard. And I also get that a corporation isn’t the government, so they aren’t directly responsible for safeguarding their employees constitutional rights, but barring MPR or someone fleshing out the details I’ll continue to withhold judgment on this. I’m sure it’s entirely possible MPR’s actions were justifiable, but the only visible harm I’ve seen so far is the damage done to Keillor’s reputation and his loss of revenue. If he’s guilty, fine. The proper course was taken.

          • A business can decide who and under what condition it contracts for services rendered. The due process is dictated by the terms of the contract between them. Keillor isn’t an employee so I’m not sure what the due process is you think he’s being denied.

            There’s no indication the process hasn’t been thorough, documented, and within the legal structure of the business arrangement.

          • Steve Hellerstedt

            ‘Concerned’ he’s being denied, not ‘think.’ It’s an important (to me) distinction. I’m not a contract lawyer so I can’t speak with any authority on this at all, but I would assume those contract terms stipulate special conditions for a unilateral decision to terminate the contract. With that said, I’m sure MPR lawyers are competent and trust that they’re on firm legal grounds here. But again – I don’t know, and I tend to be suspicious about these things. And – well, for God’s sake – it’s been almost 24 hours already! Why don’t we have all the answers? (j/k – the internet has spoiled my sense of patience completely)

            Another concern is the body blow these allegations do to the accused’s reputation. I realize it’s not MPR’s job to protect a transgressing associate or employee – you screw up and you’re on your own – but until MPR fleshes out their reasons for the termination I’ll continue to cling to my skepticism.

          • We’re never going to know unless people go to City Pages or somewhere and tell their story.

            On matters of personnel information, my and everyone else’s company position is it’s private and none of our business.

            Whatever hits they take for maintaining confidentiality they seem willing to take.

          • Steve Hellerstedt

            I appreciate the opportunity to discuss this with you, Bob. You’ve given me a chance to flesh out my thoughts on this, and that’s a good and somewhat rare thing on the internet. Thanks for your time and attention.

          • We’re all sorting through it in the same manner, so, likewise, sir .

            We do this all the time here so stop by more often. We have our share of transient knuckleheads but the overwhelming number of people are here to have intelligent give and take.

            Seems to me you’d fit in fine.

          • wintercircus

            You say that most the complaints with respects to this piece have come from men, and just one “hate mail” from a woman, how convenient. Can you back that up? What is the evidence that the majority of people taking issue with your reporting are men, their profile photo? This article doesn’t seem like MPR is allowing Keillor to control the message, you don’t know about previous complaints, don’t know about sexual harassment or sensitivity training, it sounds like attempting to stack the deck. Until there are more details release I don’t see disrespectful treatment detailed in the complaint and I think we are all just hoping MPR can be more forthcoming. I do think we are smart enough to navigate the differences between pedophelia and accidental hand placement, if that’s the whole story?

          • That all was pretty much addressed in the piece. What’s your specific question?

          • wintercircus

            Q. How do you classify complaints as coming from men or women on an online discussion? Why do you classify the one letter from a woman as “hate mail”? Are the diversity statistics at MPR made public anywhere? Do you yourself think there is a lack of diversity at MPR? What actions would get a “hey don’t do that anymore to anyone” at MPR and which get a complete severing of all ties?

            Anything in my comments with a question mark after it is a question, some may be broad questions and some more specific. I’m not a professional writer or reporter but if you can’t or don’t want to answer I won’t send you “hate mail”.

          • I Don’t understand the diversity question relevance but I’ve written extensively in favor of the need for more diversity.

            There’s not an opposing point of view for that at MPR.

            I Don’t know of employee data being posted online but calk the company .

            What actions would get a Don’t do that anymore? Inappropriate comments or actions that might make someone uncomfortable. Tweeting. Swearing on air. I Don’t have a list of that’s what you’re asking. Other infractions are fireable on the spot, I imagine.

            Why do I describe a woman’s email as hate mail? She swore at me.

            I class if complaints as coming from men or women based on whether they come from men or women. I can see email addresses which makes it easier to determine.

          • Jack

            Your last paragraph describes exactly how I’ve seen it at other companies. Once someone tells the offender to stop, any additional action is considered harassment.

          • joseph guse

            wait. you’re suggesting that someone should be reported to management for a possibly innocent gesture of kindness or flirtation who immediately ceased the action when asked? that doesn’t strike you as extreme?

          • Laurie K.

            Not at all. “Flirting” or putting your hands on someone you have no business touching is crossing a professional barrier that should NOT be crossed. I am not saying that a person needs to be immediately fired, but they most certainly should be reported to HR.

          • In my company we are required to report any possible harassment. If a person is made to feel “uncomfortable” by a situation, they’re encouraged to come forth, yes. HR’s job is to investigate and have a discussion about what is and is not acceptable in the workplace and presumably after that discussion, everyone goes along and does their job professionally and appropriately.

            This isn’t hard.

          • Kellpa07

            “Required to report possible harassment. ” What happens if the victim doesn’t report it? Many are reluctant, for many reasons.

            Not harassing is easy, that is correct. Running a company that must fairly deal with a very wide range of human failings is not.

          • joseph guse

            no not hard. just insane. you actually think its good corporate policy to involve HR, conduct an investigation and hold discussions over the kind of exchange described by Ed Randa where someone was told to stop doing something that can hardly be described as injurious and they immediately did stop to the satisfaction of the person who felt “uncomfortable” for about 0.8 seconds.

            I completely agree that when there is a power differential between the two people involved, that raises the stakes, but Ed Randa used the term “co-worker” – a peer. Should we all close our office doors and construct walls our cubicles, so that nobody will be made to feel uncomfortable by eye-contact? Should we communicate only in writing to make sure that tone of voice is never misconstrued? I think we can give people a little more credit for sticking up for themselves and resolving the issue on their own – using, you know, social skills and ask HR to get involved when the offensive behavior is recurring.

          • What you’re describing — and I think, exaggerating — is called managing. Walk down to your HR department and ask them a hypothetical question about what would happen in the situation that Ed described and get back to us if it matches what you think would happen.

          • Jack

            Having done HR years ago, I was involved with the investigation of a number of sexual harassment claims. We made it clear to all parties that retaliation was against the law and would not be tolerated. And by all parties, it included the owners of the private company.

            I no longer work in HR so do not know what the current laws are – my experience is decades old.

            As a manager, I am required by my current company to report any harassment that I encounter. Failure to report will result in my termination.

        • Deb Schroeder

          Yeah, what should YOU do? Now you get it.

        • Bridget L.

          That’s what women do every single day. It’s the people who don’t stop, or come back another time and try because they didn’t take you serious, or jump back with their hands up saying, geez aren’t you a little touchy, like your reaction was the wrong one. She would have had consequences had you said something, otherwise now she gets to go around continuing massaging others and making them feel uncomfortable. She will continue this behavior until someone says something. Just like everyone else we have been hearing about.

          • Ed Randa

            I did say something to her, and it did stop. I did not say something to HR, even though yes, that behavior may (or may not) be continued with other people.

            If I believed the response would have been rational, fact-based, and relative to the minor level of the ‘offence’, I very well may have reported it. But in our zero-tolerance world, I did not.

            …which may in itself be another negative side-effect of all this.

          • // But in our zero-tolerance world, I did not.

            The climate is right, the time is right, for YOU to go down to your HR department and sit down with someone there and talk hypotheticals. Sounds like it would be beneficial to your company.

      • WmK

        ‘I guess that’s true if you grab women’s butts as a matter of routine and normal behavior, or rub your hands up their backs etc.’
        To clarify – is this meant to suggest that Keillor has had multiple complaints against him? I’m still trying to wrap my head around the idea that one event which MPR still describes as an ‘allegation’ drove this nuclear response.
        Please note – if I’m reading too much into your comment I apologise – it just feels like there’s something I’m not getting in all this.

        • wintercircus

          I am also interested in the response here

          • There are two people who have reported Keillor.

            But my comment has nothing to do with Keillor. It’s responding to the complaint of men who can’t understand how they’re supposed to relate to people in the workplace in the new era of enlightenment of sexual harassment.

          • Nick Danger

            Wonderful. It’s a new era. But these are old complaints. So, what we have is a situation in which old complaints are pulled up to judge people in the new era. Now that’s a fine how-do-you-do. My response to this new era is to cancel my NPR membership, and wait for NPR/MPR to simply dry up and blow away. Because a new era of witch hunts in which you “new men” are pulling up 20 Year-old stuff is better without NPR/MPR to whine away in. They’ll probably be cancelling this old blog of yours, Bob. Tighten the belt, doncha know.

          • You’re canceling your NPR membership? Or do you mean MPR.

            I don’t have anything to do with the membership department and it’s none of my business what people do with their money. I support whatever choice they make.

            Yeah, they might cancel the blog. That’s a hazard of the business and no journalist adjusts their editorial approach in fear of that.

            You do what you have to do. I get two weeks severance for every year of service, I’ve been here 26 years, I’ve put a ton of money away from generous company benefits and I’m eligible to collect Social Security and, soon, Medicare.

            I’ll be fine.

            Thank you for your past support.

    • RBHolb

      “I can think of several times I’ve been ‘harassed’ by women as such myself.” If it was offensive, you should have said something.

      “[T]he unintended consequence will be that men eventually get tired of walking on pins and needles and start realizing that they too have been subjected to such behavior at the hands of women, and start calling them out as well.” Oh, please. What you call “walking on pins and needles” I call “being mindful of boundaries.” I am not “scared” that everything I do/may have done constitutes harassment. I do not think it is an undue burden on my conversation to be mindful of when I might bring up “naughty” topics. I do not think it is unfair that I take some efforts to avoid acting in a way that might be creepy (e.g. taking some care so it doesn’t seem like I’m following a woman who is walking alone). It’s a burden, in the sense that it is one more thing I have to think about. It is not an undue burden, because it is only right to treat people with some respect, and to try not to make them uncomfortable for no reason. .

      • Bridget L.

        I want to triple like this statement please.

      • Ed Randa

        I did say something. I did not march down to HR and insist on removal from their position. My short term discomfort was not worth hindering their career.

        • Your company needs to do a better job of explaining the role of HR and what happens when another employee’s behavior makes you uncomfortable. It doesn’t — and likely wouldn’t — result in firing or removal. Something more like, “hey don’t do that anymore to anyone.”

          This isn’t hard.

          • Lindsey

            That’s not the experience women have had with HR.

          • Describe please. Be specific.

          • Lindsey

            Not me, since I have never been in this situation at work, but there are far too many stories of women who report coworkers to HR and get fired because they are a liability.

          • Joseph

            HR exists to protect the company, not the employees. I’ve had that drilled into me by my parents. (I’ve never had a bad HR experience, but they and their friends have…. 😛 )

          • Jerry

            It seems like HR tries to make problems go away, not solve them.

          • Jeff

            As I heard a woman interviewed on the radio say she didn’t want to go to HR since their first interest is not her but the company. I was always under that impression too. Maybe there’s many good-intentioned HRs out there but the bottom line is that they’re duty is the the organization and not getting sued. Also, lots of places don’t have HR.

          • That’s right. But let’s be clear here. Sexual harassment is a violation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. and what the HR department does to protect the company is protect the cmpany from being in a position to be found guilty of a violation of federal law.

            So this isn’t necessarily an employee v. cmpany interests. They are mutual interests.

          • Laurie K.

            Yes, but there is this:

            I don’t know if the standard has changed or not but when I worked in private practice very few attorneys were willing to take on sexual harrassment claims on behalf of victims.

          • No doubt. I imagine fighting these things would be expensive for a company and — just from the news of the last 24 hours — it sounds like companies are getting it.

          • Jerry

            I think it has made a real difference in companies that are very public, but it might take a long time to affect a change in companies that are less in the public eye.

          • Yeah, probably. Let’s start now rather than later, though.

          • Jerry

            No argument there

          • I’m thinking that culture’s changing too. Unquestionably there are enlightened organizations and neanderthals still running a lot of other companies. What we’re seeing in the last few months is enough women saying “that’s enough” . They do so at incredible risk. In the meantime, keep all the text messages and memos and document it all because there’s something companies fear a lot more , in many cases, than an employee with a complaint.

          • Jerry
          • Veronica

            Well, that assumes the HR felt like they had to follow any laws. Some places (*cough* churches *cough*) feel entitled and empowered to do whatever they want without fear of consequences.

          • wintercircus

            If it likely wouldn’t result in firing, and yet this article seems to be about that, I guess I’m getting lost in the weeds here. Can MPR be more specific about what actions would get a “hey don’t do that anymore to anyone” and which get a complete severing of all ties? Sexual harassment and sexual assault are a violation of our basic rights, all people should be able to navigate the world without threat of sexual violation. I hope I see it in my lifetime. Do we also want people to be destroyed because it’s too expensive for their company to figure out if the crime fits the punishment? Do we feel we can navigate the grey areas of life’s issues anymore, or is that too difficult and expensive? Speaking of tone def, having an article written and moderated by a white male about the subject of sexual assault and harassment by white males seems a little tone deaf to me. Are the employee diversity statistics at MPR public? Please provide data.

          • Ask a specific question and I’ll try to give you a specific answer.

            I don’t speak for MPR. You’ll have to call the corporate side for that. I can tell you what our employee handbook says, however. What would you like to know specifically?

      • Lindsey

        I take issue with statement: “If it was offensive, you should have said something.”
        Would you say that to a woman?

        • RBHolb

          Yes. Why wouldn’t I?

          • Lindsey

            You would tell a woman who has been sexually harassed or assaulted that she needs to report this to HR/the police?

          • RBHolb

            Yes. Once again, why would I not do this?

            Sexual assault is a crime of particular evil. Yes, it should be reported. Sexual harassment is also wrong, even if the specific conduct is not criminal. Report it.

            I understand the concerns about retaliation. That is also against the law. Report that, too. The bar against retaliating for making a report should be a part of sexual harassment training (I think it is, in most workplaces).

          • Also, at my company, if you see sexual harassment and don’t report it, that’s actionable.

          • Lindsey

            I think that you might be living in a world that is different than mine. Sexual harassment/assault is illegal, yet, women who report it are treated as, at best, ghosts and at worst as prostitutes.

          • RBHolb

            I have heard that, and I don’t mean to discount it. Using that as a reason to tell someone they shouldn’t report harassment or assault is handing the harasser or assailant another clear victory (“I’m going to do what I want to you, and there’s nothing you can do about it!”).

          • Lindsey

            I would never tell someone to report it, since I know the pitfalls. That’s not to say that I would not want them to report it, but it is their career and their body and not mine.

          • RBHolb

            To update Edmund Burke, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing.”

            I wouldn’t badger anyone into doing anything they wold be uncomfortable doing, but I would advise them to report. Harassers or rapists don’t always stop after one incident. If they perceive they are getting away with something, why would they ever stop?

          • Lindsey

            They won’t stop. But I would advise you to choose your words very carefully. The way you said, in text, “if it was offensive you should have said something,” makes it seem as if either you don’t think it was offensive or that it is now his fault if this woman continues to act inappropriately at work. It is not Ed’s responsibility to police the woman’s actions, and while it would be good to make sure this behavior stopped, Ed can ultimately only be responsible for Ed.

          • // It is not Ed’s responsibility to police the woman’s actions

            It depends. According to a memo my company sent out last week, it’s illegal not to report harassment witnessed. I don’t know if that’s true or if it just applies to managers or whatever… but that was the message. Failing to report is a personal liability.

          • RBHolb

            Thank you for your counsel.

          • I asked you for specific a little while ago and you said “it didn’t happen to me… but I’ve heard….” so do you know the pitfalls or have you heard of pitfalls. And have you talked to anyone in HR yet about this?

          • Lindsey

            It has not happened to me or at my company, as far as I know. My friend reported sexual harassment to her HR rep and she got fired. Of course, they say it is not because of her reporting that and since she works in at will employment and doesn’t have a union, there’s not much else she can do. It’s now an HR said/she said story and that’s that. This does not happen 100% of the time or not maybe even 50%, but every person knows someone who had that happen to them or something else negative and that steers many women and men from reporting these situations. Just see Ed’s thread that started above as well.

          • What company was that?

    • sleeperd

      You analysis is spot on…. but there is a bright side to this orgy of accusations.
      No one will ever again be lectured to by the apostles of political correctness, i..e., Hollywood and the MSM, on any subject to which the Left aspires to shove down everyone’s throats.
      They have succeeded in corrupting everything from the language (“sexual assault”) to science (“Globull Warming”).

      Those days are over.

      • Rob

        Are you sure you’re on the right blog?

        • sleeperd

          You point is well taken…. and I assure you, I am positive I am not on the “right” blog…. but I may persist until I am escorted out the door…. which Mr. Collins seems to be holding open…

    • Bridget L.

      Why be scared? Like RBHolb said, be respectful. And if you don’t know what respectful looks like, than you will be scared for the rest of your life of saying or doing something inappropriate. Golden Rule anyone?

    • Rob

      I ain’t scared.

  • sleeperd

    When liberal democrats are irretrievably and absolutely caught doing something for which they cannot lie their way out of, their go-to strategy is to immediately claim “everybody (especially repubs..) does it..”. So the MSM mantra is now that this is just not a democrat problem… blah, blah…

    Well, guess what…. YES IT IS… to the great delight of the average white male in this country who for years have had to listen to and endure lectures from Hollywood male lib hypocrites…. to the endless parade of pontificating liberal democrat male phonies as they commiserate with their leftist femi-nazi fellow travelers deriding and denigrating those awful unwashed male masses populating the heartland of our country.

    How gratifying to watch the putrescent corrupt PC structure they have built come tumbling down around them… as they bleat out their insufferable “apologies” (for getting caught)… and grovel for forgiveness… hoping to save their hypocritical careers.

    To paraphrase… the chicks, indeed, have come home to roost.

    • >>had to listen to and endure lectures from Hollywood male lib hypocrites to the endless parade of pontificating liberal democrat male phonies as they commiserate with their leftist femi-nazi fellow travelers deriding and denigrating those awful unwashed male masses populating the heartland of our country.<<

      Needs more CAPS LOCK.

      • Bridget L.

        What do you think this person watches, maybe reads, 24/7? I do love the word putrescent, makes me think of the Princess Bride.

        • sleeperd

          I gave you an earlier response alluding to the poison drinking contest in that wonderful movie but alas… it was REMOVED.
          Either Mr. Collins found it offensive… or he has never seen the movie.
          O well….

    • RBHolb

      “How gratifying to watch the putrescent corrupt PC structure they have built come tumbling down around them…” Right; what could be better than watching careers ended and reputations ruined?

      “To paraphrase… the chicks, indeed, have come home to roost.” Try reading that again, and see if there is any reason why it might not be appropriate to say that, especially in this discussion

  • Guest

    Sexual harassment as an issue is not political. How it plays in the political landscape IS very much political. = = = THAT is the best recap of a messy situation I’ve heard in a long time.

    Kudos for cutting to the heart of the problem in one sentence.

  • sleeperd

    Here’s the better question…. what do you think of Matt Lauer’s interview with O’Reilly regarding sexual harassment…??

    Matt Lauer haranguing Bill O’Reilly re sexual harassment…. 9/17/2017

    • Take this conversation to the matt Lauer post, plz. And thank you.

  • IowaEagle2

    Everyone in a senior position has got to be thinking, at least in some small part, “gosh, maybe having a woman on the team is risky.”

    Now, sure, you can say that is ridiculous. As long as no one harasses her, everything is cool. But is it? How much would you want to risk on that?

    Best just stay safe and avoid any gender, race or political position that might cause a problem.

    Is that where we are headed?

    • I can’t imagine anyone in a senior position thinking that. And if they are, they’re probably men, right? Maybe having women in the senior position would be one way of providing clarity and perspective.

      Maybe the first thing they’d tell the fellas is: don’t sexually harass anybody.

      why is this so difficult ? Who raised you fellas? did they not teach you how to treat women with respect in the workplace?

      • IowaEagle2

        Maybe the first thing they’d tell the fellas is: don’t sexually harass anybody.

        Worked wonders at MPR.

        • It does actually. It works very well. We are all encouraged to report sexual harassment. Like I said before, I don’t know what the environment is like at Prairie Home Productions is. Keillor isn’t an employee of MPR. I don’t know if MPR provided human resources functions to Prairie Home Productions.

          And I get that you’re trying to take a shot at MPR, but at MPR, even if you’re name is Garrison Keillor, we don’t want to be associated with the type of behavior even if it comes at tremendous cost.

          Why you’d view that environment as a bad thing, however, might explain why so many workplaces are decidedly different.

          BTW, I haven’t heard from you here in years. Where’ve you been? Hope things are going well.

          • IowaEagle2

            I wasn’t taking a shot at MPR as much as the Pollyannish approach of: ya just gotta tell ’em not to do it.

            I am sure PBS, NBC and the NYT all had clear policies and training in place.

            But let’s not let virtue signaling (which is nothing less than vanity) shout down the message…. This mania is going to both help and hurt women.

          • RBHolb

            No one in their right mind thinks that training or policy is going to end sexual harassment. It will, however, make more people aware of what conduct is inappropriate. It will give managers some guidance on what to be aware of. Most importantly, it will (or should) let victims know that they have a right to come forward, and that their complaints will be taken seriously. It can also tell harassers that retaliation is not acceptable.

          • IowaEagle2

            I am doing well, Bob.

    • Jerry

      Ugh, the Pence defense.

    • >>Is that where we are headed?<<

      Or just, you know, don't harass anyone?

    • lusophone

      or…”gosh, maybe having a man on the team is risky”

    • Jerry

      Punish women because men can’t control themselves?

    • To echo Frank, I am very grateful to have had, throughout my 40+ year broadcasting career, many strong women as co-workers. As a manager, I would encourage that presence. As a manager, I would actively discourage the kind of frat-boy misogyny and sexism, and all of the accompanying ignorance that encourages that, which seems to prevail in American society and its business culture.

      • Robert Moffitt

        PS. Hire this man, broadcasting folk. You won’t be sorry. Looking forward to the day when Noodleman, Bob and I can swap stories at the coffee shop after retirement. Like a few years from now.

        • * blush *

          Thank you, JPB.

          P.S. I actually am job hunting.

    • Rob

      Gods, let’s hope not. Smart and courageous men in leadership know that one of the best ways to show they’re smart is by actively recruiting and hiring more women, not fewer.


  • Jerry

    Kiellor may be a Democrat, but it’s been a long time since he has been liberal.

  • Jack Ungerleider

    When someone asked me to describe the American political system today I called it a “Plutocracy”. We all know that much of the control of our system is in the hands of moneyed interests. In this environment there are two distinct classes involved, the donor class and the political class. The donor class provides the money, the political class provides the candidates/office holders. Our two parties have become the “Law and Order” party and the “Social Justice” party. This represents how the the moneyed interests and the captive politicians view the role of government towards the “unwashed masses” who are responsible for voting in the politicians. The “Law and Order” party sees the solution to issues of the poor as being solved via the Criminal Justice system and building of more jail cells. The “Social Justice” party views the solution to such problems as being solved by providing services that “lift the poor” out of poverty via entitlements/grants/earned income tax credits. Who gets elected depends on which story is told better and what the mood of the “rabble” is on Election Day.

    • Rob

      I’d say your take is generally correct; with T.Rump, we’ve moved from plutocracy to kakistocracy. We can only hope that a return to plutocracy happens sooner rather than later.

      • Jack Ungerleider

        What I would say is that the main difference between the political class and the donor class is that the political class has learned how to be less direct about the desired ends, usually viewed as a transfer of wealth up or down the class ladder. The problem is that one party allowed itself to be hijacked by a member of the donor class in 2016 and that candidate won. That said there is reason that other countries, usually parliamentary democracies, will turn to “technocrats”, usually people we would think of as career civil servants, when their governments “blow up” due to problems in the party politics. As with anything else there is a skill to running a government. When you put in people without that skill the government doesn’t work very well. So if you have an issue where a divided country can’t decide who it wants to lead, those left to make the decision often turn at least temporarily to a “professional” who can keep the “ship of state” going while the country comes to a conclusion about what to do next. The United States had such an occurrence in 1824. This is the famous election that was sent to the House of Representatives. They turned to someone who was arguably one of America’s first “professional” politicians, John Quincy Adams. Adams had served every President before him in some capacity (though only for a few months of Jefferson’s first term). Mostly as an ambassador. During the Jefferson administration he served as a Senator and eventually succeeded James Monroe as Secretary of State when Monroe became President. Unfortunately we didn’t have that option in 2016 to turn to a more trusted professional politician instead of one of the two principle candidates.

  • ********************* please read ******************************

    Folks, you probably know that I’ve been moderating for a long time and I know how to do it. So do us a both a favor and don’t try to sneak the talking points and “shots” and ‘fightin’ words’ in the middle of comments that are disguised to look like the thoughtful and intelligent discussions that we all would rather have. Because I’m too good at spotting them and they’re going to be deleted. I’m seeing every comment within seconds of it being posted and it’s not going to sneak by me.

    So don’t do that, OK? Add value. Be intelligent. Act like an adult. Consider everyone else here a friend even if they have a different point of view. And if what you’re writing sounds like AM talk radio, just delete and do something else.

    • Jerry

      Although I am sometimes guilty, I feel like this should be pinned at the top of every comment section.

    • Guest

      Which is WHY comments here are useful. Few have time to wade thru rants that don’t inform.

  • Sal Fusco

    I read Mr Keillor’s account, and I am a bit disappointed that the alleged victim apparently stated that she forgave him. Was there a reason for this apparent dishonesty?

    • Can you provide his quote?

      • Sal Fusco

        I can.

        “In an email to the Star Tribune
        on Wednesday, Keillor said, “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.”

        • Sal Fusco
          • Well that’s his version. Whether or not that’s the version that an independent person(s) heard is unknown to me.

          • Sal Fusco

            I would assume this email could be recovered and published. Emails are forever.

          • I’m sure the company has the email but I’m referring to the description of the incident. We have his description. Whether that’s the same description recited by other parties, and whether that’s the description that the independent review presented is unknown to us.

          • WmK

            Assuming it can be found, I don’t see how they could be compelled to publish it, and publication is unlikely if it backs up Keillor or in some way identifies the accuser, particularly as Keillor has openly stated he’s not going to bother fighting the issue.

            (Clearly that will all change if this leads to legal action on the part of law enforcement or the accuser.)

        • KTFoley

          Consider the power differential and what would have happened to her employment/advancement prospects if she had not given him a graceful way out.

          Trust me when I say that it’s exhausting to have to do this calculation in the moment, every time, and often the math comes out to “just let it go; it’s not worth it to stand up for yourself”.

  • Lindsey

    I question why there is this immediate severing with Garrison Keillor, unless what he says happened is very wrong, in which case MPR should say so.

    Otherwise, at any company, this would be at worst worthy of a sensitivity training session.

    • What about this statement is confusing for you? If your position is that it’s not that big of a deal, well, then give that post up there another read.

      Last month, MPR was notified of the allegations which relate to Mr. Keillor’s conduct while he was responsible for the production of A Prairie Home Companion (APHC). MPR President Jon McTaggart immediately informed the MPR Board Chair, and a special Board committee was appointed to provide oversight and ongoing counsel. In addition, MPR retained an outside law firm to conduct an independent investigation of the allegations. Based on what we currently know, there are no similar allegations involving other staff. The attorney leading the independent investigation has been conducting interviews and reviewing documents, and the investigation is still ongoing. We encourage anyone with additional information to call our confidential hotline 1-877-767-7781.

      MPR takes these allegations seriously and we are committed to maintaining a safe, respectful and supportive work environment for all employees and everyone associated with MPR. We want a workplace where anyone who experiences unwanted behavior feels comfortable in reporting concerns to MPR. Discrimination, harassment, retaliation or other inappropriate behaviors will not be tolerated

      • Lindsey

        The part that is confusing is the other part of the statement, where they immediately severed all ties with him and will change the name of the show. If these allegations are so bad that that is necessary, then, it should be criminal and not internal.

        • // that that is necessary,

          It’s necessary because MPR/APM doesn’t own A Prairie Home Companion and the name. Keillor does. So the act of severing the relationship severs MPR’s use of the name and product.

          Another way to look at it is if MPR/APM is taking this action and the obvious financial hit with the very cash cow that made its growth possible, it must be bad.

          Whether that rises to a criminal level isn’t for MPR to decide.

          • Lindsey

            I also question why it took MPR a month to do this.

          • refereemn77

            It took a month because they investigated first. Which I suspect any reputable organization would do.

          • Lindsey

            Yet, the investigation is ongoing. So either wait or suspend immediately.

          • Veronica

            My guess is that, since the affiliations between MPR and Keillor involved things like Intellectual properties, it took a lot of legal legwork to sort it all out.

        • Sal Fusco

          …on the positive side, they are not throwing his books into a bonfire. Not to my knowledge anyway.

  • Sal Fusco

    I hope people start realizing that it is a bad idea to do/say anything in the workplace that is not related to the tasks required by the workplace.

    • So you don’t think there’s an area between unwanted touching and nose to the grindstone that everyone can agree is acceptable? Or is this hyperbole?

      • Sal Fusco

        For something to be declared acceptable by everybody would require a referendum with a 100% vote, and then assuming people are truthful about their responses. I would stipulate that the workplace is no place for such activity, not to mention the loss of productivity involved.

    • Men (and women) should ask themselves “Is this something that would make my mom or dad proud of me?” 😉

      • Sal Fusco

        There are all kinds of moms and dads. I would just play it safe.

        • Yeah, I thought of that. If a mom or dad is proud of misogyny, locker room talk, grabbing p*****, etc., there are some other family issues that need to be dealt with. 😉

  • Brett Michael Rader

    “I just ran a little hand up her back”.

    That isn’t what he said. He said he accidentally touched her back, which is a huge difference. I don’t know if MPR has evidence to the contrary, but you need to correct your mischaracterization of his defense. It’s shameful.

    • Laurie K.

      I think what Garrison Keillor actually said is much worse than saying he put his hand up her back. His quote “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.” Your hand accidently went up a woman’s back six inches?

      • Brett Michael Rader

        Are you saying we shouldn’t have any physical contact with each other at work? I don’t understand what he did wrong IF his account is true. Are you saying that he could not have moved it 6 inches without realizing he was doing something wrong? please explain.

        • Laurie K.

          You should realize before the person you are touching recoils that your hand is touching bare skin. And yes, as a matter of fact, I do believe there should not be physical contact with my co-workers while at work.

          • Brett Michael Rader

            On your first point, I wouldn’t be able to react that quickly. On your second, that rule or norm doesn’t exists anywhere I have ever worked, and especially show business.

          • Brett Michael Rader

            I want to address the “no physical contact” rule. Many people need physical human contact (I’m not talking about sexual). Back patting, hugging, hand shaking, etc are all part of our culture. You will make the workplace an even colder place by outlawing this.

          • Laurie K.

            That’s what personal relationships are for. Physical contact is not appropriate in the work place.

          • Brett Michael Rader

            Well, it is the norm almost everywhere, so you would have to reverse that. I disagree with you, although I am not someone that needs it. I know people that do.

          • Laurie K.

            I have no idea what types of places you have worked, but I assure you, I have never worked in a place where any physical contact other than a business like handshake, is the norm.

          • Lindsey

            I have worked in many situations where hugs and pats on the back were acceptable as part of the culture. Some people weren’t huggers and rejected them and that was fine too.

          • Laurie K.

            You should not have to be put into a position where you have to tell someone that you would prefer not to be hugged though.

          • Lindsey

            Physical contact is not automatically inappropriate. There are many situations where it is appropriate, depending on the workplace.

          • Laurie K.

            We will have to agree to disagree. There is nothing appropriate about me having to tell someone that I prefer not to be hugged or touched, no matter what I do for a living.

          • Brett Michael Rader

            It is certainly accepted in show business. I have worked in many different places, and plenty of people hug. Not strangers, but friends certainly do all the time. That is my experience.

          • Jerry

            Considering what has increasingly come out about show business, locally and nationally, maybe putting some limits in might be a good idea.

          • Brett Michael Rader

            Clearly some things need to change.

        • crystals

          I think acceptable physical contact at work would include things like handshakes and putting your hand on someone else’s shoulder.

          Moving your hand six inches up someone’s bare back? Nope. In no world is that ever okay, which he apparently realized he because he apologized for it shortly after the fact.

          • Brett Michael Rader

            According to his account, touching the bare back was accidental. That is why he apologized (according to him). Should a man not even touch a clothed back? Personally, I wouldn’t, but it happens in show business all of the time.

          • crystals

            I could possibly buy the initial contact was accidental. But then moving your hand six inches up someone’s bare back? Absolutely not. That is not accidental, nor is it acceptable. The end.

          • Brett Michael Rader

            How do you know its not accidental? Have you ever been distracted while you are talking to someone?

          • crystals

            No, I have never been distracted enough at work, while talking to someone AT WORK, that I have touched their bare body and then moved my hand up their shirt. Nope.

          • Brett Michael Rader

            His work involves socializing, so its a bit different than just “being at work”. IF, and that is a big if, what he is saying is true, I can’t imagine someone should be fired for that.

            Also, I get distracted really easily. I never touch people that aren’t family, so this wouldn’t happen to me, but if I did I wouldn’t realize it. Not only that, there is often alcohol involved at many of the events that they are at.

          • crystals

            You keep saying that you would never get distracted, don’t need to touch at work, etc. so this would NEVER happen to you but are defending him relentlessly. Why?

          • Brett Michael Rader

            I don’t touch only out of preference. I know people that do that are good people.

            I’m only defending him IF his account is true. I don’t know that it is, and as far as I know there is no other account right now.

            If society overreacts on sexual harassment so much that it damages innocent people, there will be a backlash. That will not help the cause.

          • crystals

            I hope the good people you know who DO touch make damn sure that when they do, it is will the permission and consent of the other person. Because if they don’t? Then no, they’re not good people.

            You’re defending him AS IF his account is true. There is a difference. What about defending women and other victims of sexual harassment and assault AS IF their account were true instead? Try that.

          • // and as far as I know there is no other account right now.

            well, there is. There’s an independent firm that was hired to interview and evaluate and report and it reported. We just don’t know about it. But there’s another account,.

            // society overreacts on sexual harassment

            I guess it depends on overreacting. The one thing we’re seeing, Keillor being the exception and we haven’t heard from matt Lauer yet, is people being accused acknowledging responsibility. So to my knowledge, nobody of the many people embroiled — oh, also other than Roy Moore — in sexual misconduct allegations has been an innocent person.

            But there’s the thing. Women have been asking us men to take this seriously for more than a generation and only within the last , what, two months has it gotten ANY attention and for many people, the reaction is, “Whoa… slow down here.”

          • // His work involves socializing, so its a bit different than just “being at work”

            Are you talking Keillor? It was at work.

          • Brett Michael Rader

            Right, but there work, pleasure,and socialization are necessarily blurred in show business.

          • crystals

            Necessarily blurred? Says who?

          • Brett Michael Rader

            In show business, there are functions were they are required to socialize as part of their job. Additionally, alcohol is part of that.

          • crystals

            No, it isn’t. The culture that certain men in charge have created might make it seem like alcohol is part of their job or that “pleasure” and “socialization” are part of their work. No, they are not. You need to reject this idea in your head that somehow these are acceptable expectations for *any* workplace. They are not.

          • Brett Michael Rader


      • Jerry

        Who comforts someone by touching them on the lower back?

        • Brett Michael Rader

          It was the lower back? I hadn’t heard that until now. How low? How do you know this?

          • Jerry

            How else would you run your hand 6 inches up an open shirt? He obviously wasn’t patting her on the shoulder or upper back.

          • Brett Michael Rader

            Hmm. just measured from the top of my back 6″ down. Not nearly the lower back.

          • Jerry

            He didnt say he ran his hand down her shirt.

          • Measure six inches from any location in your back that wouldn’t interfere with bra straps. Where do you end up at?

          • Brett Michael Rader

            you have got assumptions. that’s it.

          • I doubt the independent review went off assumptions.

            when you smelled the air in the Twin Cities the other day, did you know what it was?

          • Brett Michael Rader

            You are moving the goalpost. I said the conclusion that he touched the her lower back is based on assumptions. And I know you didn’t claim that, but you jumped to the defense of the statement.

          • Also this quote from Keillor is getting ignored.

            “I have to respect the privacy of the two employees who made the allegations,.”

          • Brett Michael Rader

            Interesting. Well, if there is more information, that could change things of course.

          • Well…. let’s say it was the middle back. Now go up six inches. What are you gonna hit?

            No, there’s no good look here no matter where you measure the six inches from.

          • Brett Michael Rader

            Right, so let’s characterize it in the worst way possible. I’m sure that will turn out well. It always does. At some point, don’t the facts just become the facts?

          • // characterize it in the worst way possible.

            An independent investigation did that. You get that, right?

    • //He said he accidentally touched her back, which is a huge difference.

      You left part of it out.

      “…and my hand went up it about six inches.”

      that’s up her back.

      • Brett Michael Rader

        That’s true, but it’s still different than your characterization. Don’t you think accidentally touching someone is different than touching someone on purpose? Feel free to call his story out as false, but you are still mischaracterizing his defense.

        BTW, I would say your standards for journalism should be a bit higher than mine.

        • No, I’m not . His response was he touched her under her open shirt on her back back and ran his hand up six inches and she recoiled.

          My characterization his he ran his hand up his back. Go find a willing woman and do the same thing and then ask her if you touched her back or ran his hand up her back. Then report back here.

          • crystals

            NOT IT.

          • ??

          • crystals

            (In response to your suggestion he find someone to test the move out on and see how it goes.)

          • I suggested he find a WILLING person — a spouse for example. I didn’t recommend he head over to Alary’s.

          • Brett Michael Rader

            So, you are saying his defense is that it was ok to purposely touch her bare back? That is the only conclusion I can draw from what you write.

          • Brett Michael Rader

            BTW, its an informal fallacy to bring me into the equation.

            You are now mischaracterizing what i am saying. Keiller clearly claims that the touching of the bare skin AND the movement was accidental. You should say that instead of “I just ran a little hand up her back” IF you are interested at getting to the truth. OTOH, if you are interested in appealing to emotion, please proceed.

          • He thinks it was no big deal. She thinks it was a big deal. He acknowledged that she recoiled.

            Yeah, it sounds like a big deal. Logic, not emotion,says so.

            But like I said, go try an experiment with a woman who’s willing to try. Don’t tell her what you’re up to… then report back what she thinks.

          • Brett Michael Rader

            Why do you refuse to acknowledge the fact that he claims it was accidental and that would make a difference? I find that troubling and strange. Ever ridden the subway? I’ve touched all kinds of body parts there.

          • Have you? and have you run your hand six inches up the body parts you touched? Look, clearly he thinks it’s accidental and clearly an independent investigator and a corporation that stands to lose a lot of money by cutting him loose has found it to be sexual harassment and cut him loose.

            She recoiled. He admits that. He was, from the sound of it… consoling her …. he touched her bare back under her blouse and then ran his hand six inches up…. when you’re consoling, I’m pretty sure you do that slowly.

            Knowing what’s coming… he writes an op-ed for the Washington Post in which he dismisses the present focus on sexual harassment.

            Weigh it all and see whether “he says it’s an accident, so case closed” is a really a logical conclusion.

            Because it’s not.

  • Veronica

    I’m sure I’m in denial to a certain extent when it comes to Franken, but Keillor, Moore, Lauer…all of them, the whole long list—all of them were known predators and protected by their managers.

    I want all harassers to get what they deserve. But with regards to the Franken allegations—so far, the same level of corroboration, the patterns—just aren’t there the way they are with Spacey, Piven, Tamboor, Louis C.K. And the most serious set of allegations—the woman involved didn’t want to push the issue any further.

    I’m glad Garrison Keillor is being exposed as the dirtbag a lot of us suspected he was this whole time. Good riddance.

    • Sal Fusco

      ..what was your suspicion based on?

      • Veronica

        Um, well, Sal….
        You must be a guy. Women go through our entire lives having to suss out the dirt bags out of self-preservation.

        • Brett Michael Rader

          But why did you suspect Keillor?

        • Sal Fusco

          Please don’t prejudge my gender. Thank you.

          • Veronica

            No, I’m serious. That’s a dumb question and given your new profile, I’m done with you and Brett.

            Keillor always came across to me as a smug creep. End of discussion.

          • Sal Fusco

            “End of discussion”

            I agree.

    • Brett Michael Rader

      Keillor is not a known predator. There are no other accusations that are as of yet public.

  • Sal Fusco

    I sure do. However, it beats being fired and/or sued.

  • Jerry

    Q: But how do you *know* he is a witch?
    A: He looks like one!

  • refereemn77

    Except that Angela Lansbury is a supporter of the Democratic Party and of the British Labour Party.

  • Sal Fusco

    Since Senator Franken keeps getting mentioned, can someone explain to me why the woman in the fair photo is smiling? I fail to see the connection between alleged sexual assault and feelings of happiness.

    “A woman says Sen. Al Franken inappropriately touched her in 2010,
    telling CNN that he grabbed her buttocks while taking a photo at the
    Minnesota State Fair.”

    Disclaimer: I am no psychology major nor have I ever experienced sexual assault.

    • refereemn77

      Maybe it’s just a nervous, let’s hurry this up, kind of smile.

    • A conversation best posted on the Franken posts but do we know the picture was taken before or after he allegedly grabbed her?

      Anyway, Franken says the answer to that doesn’t matter. It only matters how she felt.

      • Lindsey

        Women are taught to smile at an early age instead of saying something makes them uncomfortable, as well.

  • JMR

    Interestingly enough, an older male coworker came by my office to chat today. He jokingly touched my hand at some point in the conversation, which I didn’t feel was inappropriate given our friendly demeanor together, but it led to a really great discussion about sexual harassment in the workplace. Basically, just be good to one another.

  • Blasko

    Fair points. I do bristle at the idea of all Democrats being painted with a broad brush, but I realize that can happen to Republicans, too. We Democrats – particularly men – do have some learning ahead of us, and we have since defending candidate and President Clinton. Hopefully, we will learn. I hope Republicans, who have their own blind spots on this issue, will join us in learning, too. No reason to have respect and decency be a partisan issue.

    • We’re referring to the politics of it all. Of course it’s illogical to say Democrats are all the same because a half dozen well known ones are mired in sexual misconduct scandals of various degrees.

      The point is the political strategy of that; not even whether it makes sense that it is the political strategy of an opposition that is skilled in that painting with the broad brush and I think the reality has to be acknowledged that this is the last thing Democrats needed.

      Respect and decency is NOT a partisan issue. Of course it’s not.

      But winning an election by messaging that is … is the Lee Atwater playbook and the only way to counter it is an aggressive and vigorous — dirty if need be — defense…. and what Nate Silver is pointing out, is Keillor, Franken, Conyers, Weinstein has given the Republicans a weaponry. And they are REALLY good at making allegations against Roy Moore in a hailstorm of distraction, especially in a state like Alabama.

      There’s certainly an argument about whether that’s right or not but it’s not about being right. It’s about winning an election. Being right has nothing to do with winning elections.

      • Blasko

        Sure. Small tangent here: I’m a Democrat – and mostly a proud one. But I don’t want to win elections, or arguments, because we’re “not currently as bad/unethical as” (insert right-wing politician here). Yes, Moore will win by covering himself under “what-aboutism.” Even the right-wing agenda can keep making gains that way. But the impact of that technique is going to wear off when the economy inevitably stalls, and I’d prefer that Democrats keep working on making the case for why they’re the best choice for governing … and not the least-bad option.

  • krdunnam

    “Keillor is an ardent DFLer …”
    The Urban Dictionary wasn’t much help here.

    • the Democratic party in Minnesota is known as the Democratic Farmer Labor Party… or DFL.

      • krdunnam

        <– Michigander

  • Travis Schlegel

    I am just flabbergasted that we are falling for such an obvious and odious right wing hit job. I also fond it incredibly offensive and disingenuous that some people are actually equating some possibly inappropriate touching and consensual horseplay with child rape. Inexcusable. Believe the woman? Sure, but don’t lose your objectivity. Believing the woman without question is what they did with Carolyn Bryant Donham.

    • // I am just flabbergasted that we are falling for such an obvious and odious right wing hit job.

      You’re saying the two people who brought a complaint against Keillor were right wingers intent on destroying him?

  • Paul Drake

    Methinks that Mike Pence’s policy of not being alone with women isn’t as crazy as it may have appeared.

  • AL287

    I think it is time to go back 20 years and read about another politician caught by his past indiscretions and a threat from the media to expose him ( It isn’t Bill Clinton.).

  • Sal Fusco

    Yeah, I need to see the alleged email that Keillor states that he sent to the accuser, and the alleged response to it, especially if it was another email, i.e. in writing. I don’t know neither the accuser nor the accused, so hard evidence is critical for me.
    If she replied back in writing saying that she forgave him, the events that followed make little sense to me, in terms of motive. Was there malice involved? Some personal vendetta?

    “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.”

    • You’re not going to see any of that. You’re not going to be told anything unless it comes from Keillor because there’s just no way on earth that MPR/APM is going to release personal details. And, for the record, the firewall between the company and the news department prevents us from knowing too.

      The only way you’ll know anything more than you do is if the women come forward and tell their story publicly.

      But, seriously, why would any woman do that in this climate?

      • Sal Fusco

        I don’t see why they would not. People come forward to testify against organized crime figures and other far more serious offenders where stakes are much higher. But, to your point, if they don’t want to make public the full investigation, I don’t really see the reason for any vague statements. They could just say “GK no longer works for us, if you have any questions please contact our legal department.”

  • The dating ritual must have changed since I was a younger person. Does it start now by touching people, kissing them against their will, grabbing their buttocks and rubbing co-workers backs?

    Cuz, I gotta tell ya, that’s wayyyy different than inviting someone out to a movie, shaking hands after a dinner afterward and trying to come up witht he couratge to risk rejection by saying “can I see you again?”

    • WmK

      ‘shaking hands after a dinner afterward’
      Well, it hasn’t quite changed to the point of surprise non-consensual buttock-grabbing as an initial courtship activity, but it does sound like it’s changed at least a little. 😉

  • Mitch Berg

    Not sure what passes for “talking points” and “Fighting Words”, but I’ll do my best to avoid ’em.

    For starters: I’ve loved Prairie Home Companion since the first time I heard it. While Keillor’s politics were…not ones I share, I (like a lot of conservatives) can put politics aside for good art and entertainment. Which, if you grew up small-town and Scandinavian, Keillor was.

    But I also remember his reputation as a boss in the eighties – let’s just say in an industry (radio in general) where people are dysfunctional, socially “unorthodox” and frequently lack conventional social skills (present company excepted, but I know you know what I mean, Bob), and where success breeds rock-star-like entitlement, Keillor was a standout. Not in a good way.

    We don’t know all the details – but remembering Keillor in his heyday, nothing would really surprise me.

    But Bob?

    “People…connected everything MPR with Keillor and if Keillor was holding DFL pep rallies and campaigning against Michele Bachmann, then so must the rest of MPR, including the newsroom, reality be damned. Perception is reality.”

    A fair point.

    Keri Miller is a much bigger achilles heel for MPR than Keillor *should* have been.

    • Your stuff is always welcome here, Mitch.

  • Paul Drake

    Has anybody calculated the median age of the perpetrators being exposed? Not saying younger men are completely innocent, but it seems like most of the men are over 50.

    • Brett Michael Rader

      That is usually who has the power.

  • Nick Danger

    What a pathetic piece of trash, Bob. Keillor’s column was an excellent piece of writing. You should take notes. Your writing could stand a little pepping up. And if, as you say, women are tired of “this”, just what is “this”? And what women are these mysterious tired women? Now that this mysterious tired woman has destroyed what is left of Keillor, which you seem very satisfied about, just who is she, and specifically what happened? If it’s what Keillor said, he’s been destroyed for nothing, but I guess that’s good by you.

    • Keillor is a tremendous talent and outstanding writer. Not aware that there’s a debate about that.

    • RBHolb

      “If it’s what Keillor said, he’s been destroyed for nothing . . .”

      And if it isn’t what he said? MPR has been silent on the details of what went on, so all we know is what “The Old Scout” said he did.

      Is it beyond belief that he could be engaged in some self-serving behavior here?

  • Re: media kingpins. Like Charlie Rose. Acknowledged wrongdoing.

    Louie CK? Acknowledged wrongdoing.

    Harvey Weinstein? Acknowledged wrong doing.

    AL Franken? Acknowledged inappropriate behavior.

    What’s your specific complaint again?

    • Nick Danger

      And what does that mean? What crap, Bob. Each case is different. Accusations, made anonymously, are ********.

      • The accusations weren’t made anonymously. And watch your language here.

  • Nick Danger

    I see many comments that you have made, Bob, about the firewall between news and something, I’m not sure what. What I do see, and what I have contributed to, is a groundswell of people who are unwilling to support NPR/MPR with this kind of thing that you did to Keillor. You are probably thinking “we’ll shake this groundswell off our back like a loon shakes off a spring storm” or some such Minnesotaism. May not be as simple as all that. Lots of people who think that a bad thing has been done, and the person to whom it was done has initials GK. But I’m sure you’ll be fine without my little contribution.

    • I didn’t do anything to Keillor and I’m not thinking about anything other than doing my job commenting on stories in the news and sitting at home answering questions and moderating comments so people can be aware that someone is listening to what they have to say.

      • Nick Danger

        And I thank you for your civil comments. There is injustice going on, Bob. As a person who was at one point in my career falsely accused, I wait to see what is brought out to bolster this pathetic case against Keillor. I suppose time will tell.

        • Duck Baker

          How do you know the case against him is pathetic? Because he says so?

  • Eric

    His article was not tone deaf. It was counter-tone. He was saying the tone is wrong. That is, of course, an irrelevant distraction for the conduct that had occurred, which is one of many faults with this post.

    Lastly, if you are going to fire someone because the accidentally inappropriately touched a woman, be prepared to fire 90% of your male staff. Accidents happen, and sometimes the other person won’t think it was an accident.

    • He wasn’t fired. He wasn’t an employee and unless you work here, you should acknowledge you make your assertion from a position of ignorance with regard to characterizing my colleagues. Maybe your company, however.

      • If you scan the media headlines, you will see that term fire or fired used in almost every one of them except the MPR News site, where the Tim Nelson story is headlined as “MPR drops Keillor over inappropriate conduct”. In a strictly constrained use of the term “fired”, it is correct to say that Keillor didn’t work at MPR, but in casual public usage of the term it’s pretty darned clear that it means a severance of business relations. GK used the term in that way, and that’s what showed up in everyone else’s headlines. Example of usage: “New York Times Fires David Boies’ Law Firm Over ‘Reprehensible’ Work For Weinstein” – Huffpost headline.

        • You can’t fire someone that isn’t an employee. Same wording as was used when PBS cut ties with Charlie Rose.

          The reason headlines used firing is because that’s the term Keillor used and to use it implies that Keillor was an employee. The fact that he wasn’t is significant when you look at the decisions like losing the Pretty Good Goods catalog, changing the name of the show, wiping out all online content.

          Journalistically, it would be really stupid to suggest one thing in a headline, and then have to unwind it in the copy.

  • refereemn77

    Agreed! After I replied to you, I saw an article about Dame Lansbury and her comments. It seems she believes her comments were taken out of context, however…

    • Almost every article I saw included the comments she claimed people didn’t read. Every one.

  • // unsupported by evidence

    The answer is “no” obviously. An allegation should trigger an investigation to see if it is supported by evidence and then there should be a process that continues or ends accordingly.

    But keep in mind, because we don’t know the evidence doesn’t provide any clarity on the quesiton of whether there is any, of course.

    In terms of believing or not believing women, I believe Al Franken has provided guidance for people on the question as he sees it.

    I also believe the default setting in our society for generations is not only to not believe women, but to respond to allegations with a virulent shaming designed to prevent anyone from coming forward.

    I think that is mostly on men, yes. And I think they’re plenty scared right now about a change in the culture of that.

    As I look at the last few months of “all this sexual harassment stuff”, I put a lot of stock into this fact: Almost all of the accused eventually copped to the behavior.

  • Management isn’t sending that message via the Keillor decision because management had sent that message multiple times already.

    Now, if the company says to us “see? we weren’t kidding”, I guess I’m OK with that. There shouldn’t be any tolerance of sexual harassment.

    It was Keillor, not MPR — actually APMG — that announced all of this. I’m not fully convinced that the management would’ve revealed anything about why it was ending its relationship with Keillor and changing the name of the show if Keillor hadn’t revealed it.

    MPR/APMG has an unparalleled ability to lower the cone of silence on matters of confidentiality.

    You’re spot on with your assessment of the role of politics in whether people believe or don’t believe something, as we’ve seen with Roy Moore on the GOP side and with Nancy Pelosi on Meet the Press last week.

  • It actually IS easier because it’s close to MPR so I have some insight to how the cmpany works that I’m only too happy to share. I haven’t held back anything and I’ve identified what I don’t know. I’m not the public relations arm of MPR/APMG . I’m providing perspective on a news story that just happens to involve MPR.

    But thank you for your kind comment because 24 hours of being called an a-hole can wear on a guy.

  • I think people have to look at the big picture and ask “what does MPR get out of this” vs “what does it cost MPR”.

    I’m open to a logical argument that says a company — a very prudently run company — that has always cherished the possibilities that financial resources provide would get a short-term bump that more than makes up for the financial threat to the very institution itself.

    But I sure haven’t heard or seen one yet.

  • I have to be honest, I am filled with discomfort about chasing this story from here on in because it will inevitably involve people we work with. There may be embarrassing details, people could be “outed” against their wishes and long standing friendships could be destroyed, weakening the entire operation.

    Having said that, I have no information that says that will happen; I’m merely describing the ethical challenges of being an MPR reporter right now on this story.

    The journalistic part of this is easy: Tell the story regardless of who gets destroyed because that’s the way it goes. But there’s also the question of remaining a decent person while also carrying out your ethical duties.

    I do not have answer, nor do the people who think the world is back and white and everything is a conspiracy in the absence of facts.

    the world is gray.

    • Nick Danger

      It’s time to out her. I hope someone will. Because the process is one-sided and simply destructive to Keillor. She, whoever she is, has extracted her revenge on him for whatever ******* claim or event in the distant past that occurred. Now, we need her name. Why don’t you provide it, Bob? It’s the fair and right thing to do.

      It’s really funny to see you say “remain a decent person”, while you and MPR use anonymous claims from vindictive persons who make false claims to destroy Keillor. Why is that “being a decent person”? It is not decent. You are taking sides, and destroying Keillor for your own reasons. And the use of “ethical” is absolutely out of bounds. You are not being ethical. You are aiding and abetting a vindictive anonymous person. That is very NOT ethical.

      • / Why don’t you provide it, Bob?

        I don’t know her name. I know the same details that everyone else has heard/read.

        You know who knows her name? The company, Keillor, the women, the investigating firm that looked into the allegations. They’re the only ones.

        The company, like many companies, encourages people to come forward when they experience sexual harassment or assault under the promise of protection of retaliation and also people, well, like you.

        None of the parties involve owe you anything.

        In the absence of information, you’ve substituted your own version of reality and you’re asking the rest of us to live in a world misinformation.

        No, thank you.

  • martinbrock

    Nothing reported thus far amounts to misconduct at all IMO. MPR has its own opinion and may “fire” any employee for any reason or no reason, but I’m more interested in the future of PHC. Reportedly, MPR won’t run old episodes with Keillor. Because Keillor owns the rights? He may offer the old episodes otherwise? He may reboot PHC with a new cast?

    • // MPR has its own opinion and may “fire” any employee for any reason or no reason,

      The SAG-AFTRA agreement, which covers the newsroom, has “just cause”

      • martinbrock

        O.K. My contract with my employer is “at will”. I may also fire my employer at will, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

        Again, I’m more interested in the following questions.

        May Keillor offer previous episodes of PHC, prior to Chris Thile, through another medium? Immediately?

        May Keillor continue to produce PHC with a new cast, and/or any members of the current cast choosing to continue, and distribute the program without APM?

        These are legal questions with answers less ambiguous than the boundaries of “misconduct”.

        • // May Keillor offer previous episodes of PHC, prior to Chris Thile, through another medium? Immediately?

          I don’t know

          //May Keillor continue to produce PHC with a new cast, and/or any members of the current cast choosing to continue, and distribute the program without APM?

          I don’t know. I’ve already speculated previously. I believe the production team and cast is “owned” by APMG. I don’t have any clue what their employment or union contracts are.

  • That’s the now completely ignored element in the original post. The possibility that Keillor was using his column to basically lasth out as his own predicament, and that Franken was a surrogate for himself. The Post believes , obviously, that the possibility makes the column a potentially dishonest one.

  • Just in case you think everyone is in mourning.


    • Sal Fusco

      “But it helps to reflect what this city, this state, this country really are. Not Lake Wobegon. But a place where the economic disparities between blacks and whites are some of the worst in the country. A place where a Somali woman had her face smashed with a glass of beer at an Applebee’s because her assailant wanted her to speak English”

      This article reminded me of what Fareed Zakaria reminds me on a weekly basis: If I had the financial means to make it happen, there are probably 40 (forty) other countries I would (much) rather live in. In fact, it doesn’t feel like I live in a country at all, but rather slave away my life on a soulless, violent, corporate plantation.

    • martinbrock

      Why would anyone think so? By her own account, McInerny adds nothing to a discussion of this case. Economic disparities between blacks and whites in Minnesota are irrelevant.

  • Sal Fusco

    Since the conservatives/Republicans in this country are not really seen as champions of equality (and rightfully so, in terms of their long-standing record on race, reproductive rights, equal pay, etc.), I wonder if some liberals/Democrats view their stated opposition to such politics as some sort of license to project their sexual needs on unwilling female counterparts. I doubt this will sell with millennials and generations that follow them.

    Also, it may help for some of us to understand these situations of sexual abuse (I will leave the more innocuous phrase “misconduct” to HR departments) in terms of how our reaction would have been had the victim been our mother, sister, daughter, wife, niece, or girlfriend.

    • martinbrock

      If Garrison Keillor placed his hand on the bare back of my mother, sister, daughter, wife, niece, or girlfriend and removed it when she signaled displeasure, I wouldn’t think twice about it. Since no other sexual abuse is reported, I don’t know what else I’m supposed to think. I have no idea what generations to come will think.

      If Al Franken stroked the backside of my mother, sister, daughter, wife, niece, or girlfriend as she cozied up to him for a photo op, I wouldn’t think twice about it either. I might laugh at her for being a Franken groupie. Maybe you’re more sensitive about these things.

      • Sal Fusco

        “If Al Franken stroked the backside of my mother, sister, daughter, wife,
        niece, or girlfriend as she cozied up to him for a photo op, I wouldn’t
        think twice about it either. I might laugh at her for being a Franken
        groupie. Maybe you’re more sensitive about these things.”

        …or maybe I don’t adjudicate comfort and discomfort for the women in my life? Perhaps I am not a resident of Alabama or Afghanistan?

        • martinbrock

          Maybe you don’t distinguish discomfort, intended or otherwise, regardless of severity, from abuse anymore than you distinguish residents of Alabama and Afghanistan from each other.