MPR gets the Kimmel treatment

Sexual harassment isn’t usually a joking matter but late-night comedian Jimmy Kimmel gave it a shot last evening, what with the allegations against NBC Today host Matt Lauer and A Prairie Home Companion host Garrison Keillor erupting on the same day.

“Can you imagine getting fired by Minnesota Public Radio? It’s like having your library card revoked.”

  • Hilarious!

    /Not really…

    • Jerry

      I think the ability to find a lot of late night humor funny is dependent on viewers being really tired.

  • Greg W

    Mentions tote bag—that was the last space! I have Stupid Public Radio Joke BINGO!

    I know Tote Bag should be the equivalent of a Free Space, but work with me here. I worked as hard on my response as Kimmel’s team did with those jokes.

    • Public Radio Dad Joke.

      • Greg W

        As a diversion from the last few days, maybe a Public Radio Dad Joke Bingo Card (similar to the State Fair one) should be created.

  • calwatch

    To complete the analogy, your library card has been revoked and the books you’ve donated over the years, written by other people, have been burned, since APM/MPR has chosen to erase the contributions of those that worked with Keillor on APHC and the Writer’s Almanac.

    • It’s kind of important that people know what they’re talking about on this point.

      Keillor holds the property A Prairie Home Companion, Writer’s Almanac, Pretty Good Books etc. MPR licensed that property, as I understand the deal he worked out — a tad contentiously — with Bill Kling in the ’90s.

      So APM/MPR doesn’t have the APC content on its site because it no longer has a legal right to have it there.

      That’s Keillor’s call.

      My guess is if we were to end a business relationship with NPR and the Associated Press that allowed licensed content on our site, all of that would have to come off too.

      • >>My guess is if we were to end a business relationship with NPR and the Associated Press that allowed licensed content on our site, all of that would have to come off too.<<

        And then there was only NewsCut and UpDraft…

      • calwatch

        The press release does a terrible job of explaining that point and MPR should facilitate Keillor hosting this valuable cultural resource elsewhere, if they no longer wish to be associated with Keillor.

        • RBHolb

          “MPR should facilitate Keillor hosting this valuable cultural resource elsewhere, if they no longer wish to be associated with Keillor.”

          Why? Or, more accurately, why on earth?

          If they don’t want to be associated with him any longer, doesn’t that preclude helping him host his stuff anywhere?

          • calwatch

            Because from a purely cultural perspective, this is valuable stuff. Decades of culture, just lost in the ether. Many media folks were outraged when the Ricketts bought out the city centric -ist sites and, because staff at one location unionized, shut them down AND deleted the content. Now in this case they owned the servers, but the contributors and journalists had to scramble to save their material. Teachers who used The Writer’s Almanac as a source for poetry, or to lead them to discover other works, now no longer can do so. Netflix won’t stop streaming Kevin Spacey on House of Cards, and movie studios are not recalling Roman Polanski movies to be incinerated. They may not promote the material or advertise it, but it is still there for the public to watch should they wish.

          • Netflix removes content when their rights expires every month.

          • Jerry

            Again, it seems like they have no right to distribute it. Once the IP lawyers get through with the issue I’m sure it will be available somewhere.

        • Jerry

          That is something for the contract and IP lawyers to work out

      • Jerry

        I think people have a real hard time understating the differences and relationships between NPR, MPR, APM, and the individual show creators.

        • Well I can try:

          NPR is a network and content producer. It doesn’t own any stations. It doesn’t have any supervisory authoritiy over any stations. It creates content. Period. Stations pay it for content.

          MPR is Minnesota Public Radio now the regional arm of APM. It owns stations. It produces content for broadcast on MPR stations. It runs MPR News, The Current, Classical Minnesota Public Radio, and — I think — Classical 24 (although that may be under the APM umbrella)

          APM is the umbrella of all the various properties :Minnesota Public Radio, Marketplace, APM Reports, podcasts, Southern California Public Radio, APM Distribution. and at one time: Southern Florida Public Radio. At one time it also owned Minnesota Monthly Magazine, and the Minnesota News Network.

          It produces content like NPR, to sell to other stations. Things like Splendid Table, Hilarious Thanks for Asking, Marketplace shows.

          It also distributes content from providers like PHC Productions. BBC in America, CBC As It Happens.

          It also buys and sells satellite and studio time in support of public radio nationwide.

          Previously APM (and previously MPR when some of those productions were under the MPR name) the company paid (carriage fees) to distributors to distribute it via satellite etc. Now it keeps the fees.

          This is an organizational structure. From a legal and tax structure. MPR and APM are the same thing.

          Prairie Home Productions – Owns the trademarks and content, the Pretty Good Goods catalog. Owned by Garrison Keillor. In various deals over the years, revenue and functions were shared with APM (PHP’s IT infrastructure is MPR’s IT department’s for example). I have no idea if human resources functions were provided via APM, or payroll or marketing, legal, facilities, or any of that.

          • Jerry

            And PRI is also a content producer?

            This is actually really helpful although I imagine people will just go back to lumping them all back together in their minds.

          • Honestly I don’t know anymore. PRI got bought out by WGBH a few years ago and I THINK it’s pretty much a distributior. So although you hear “PRI’s The World” for example, The World is actually produced by WGBH.

            There is also PRX, which is an online distribution center for all sorts of podcast and radio content from all over public radio. I think that’s more of shared platform, but I’m not sure.

            then you get into things like Radiotopia, another online marketplace of digital content, but that’s a whole ‘nother rabbit hole.

  • Kassie

    Honestly, I’d rather lose my job than have my library card revoked. Not having access to free books, magazines and other goodies would be devastating.

  • NoManzLand
    • It depends on whether the women believe they were sexually harassed on the job.

      • NoManzLand

        A thoroughly flawless criteria, no doubt.

        • Jerry

          Isn’t it?

        • RBHolb

          Would you rather the criterion should be whether men think they are harassing women?

          • NoManzLand

            Are we talking about American sexual culture from 1997, 2017, or retroactively from 2037?

          • RBHolb

            I have no idea what you’re trying to get at.

          • Jerry

            I don’t think he realizes the real issue is consent, not sexuality.

          • NoManzLand

            I wouldn’t know. The details of his firing haven’t been made public so I’m comfortable not claiming to know anything more than that.

          • NoManzLand

            It means that different generations have different sexual customs and norms and that we have a tendency to look back through time to judge through a lense of today’s norms. It means that people can be fine with something at the time and later have regrets because our understanding of that history changes. And it means that it is impossible for us to know what the norms and boundaries of the future will be and that we act in accordance with what we know today, not 20 years from now. It means that human behavior must be understood in context, not the binary existence of accusation.

          • Jerry

            Was it ever ok for the women affected?

          • Which accusation are we talking about?

            Louis CK’s? Was there ever a time when it was considered normal to masturbate in front of a co-worker?

            Charlie Rose? Was there ever a time to invite someone in your employ into the shower and when she didn’t go, you brush up next to her where she’s working wearing only a towel.

            Harvey Weinstein? Really, do I even have to ask?

            Michael Oreskes? Was there a time when it was normal when inviting women in your employ to talk about job prospects you instead kiss them and thrust your tongue into their mouths. If so, was it 20 years ago?

            This is a riff on the “they didn’t know better back then and it’s all just so confusing now.”

            No, it’s not.

          • NoManzLand

            I would prefer each case and accusation to be handled individually on its merits. What I just read from you suggests GK was fired because of accusations against other men.

          • I have no earthly clue (and absolutely no desire to know) how you reach that conclusion and the only advice I can give you — perhaps you are a recent arrival on this blog — is to take what I say literally and read nothing into it other than what it actually says.

            I didn’t write anything about Keillor. What I’m asking you is the questions I asked you. Take them one at a time if you wish, but I dispute any suggestion that there was a time in our culture that any of these actions I indicated were permissible. But if you believe there was, I’m open to hearing it in these specific cases, how they fit with the assertion that ” people can be fine with something at the time and later have regrets because our understanding of that history changes.”

            If you’re not talking about recent cases of sexual harassment, then please be specific about which ones you’re talking about and why it’s relevant to the most noteworthy cases that have come to light .

            As for Keillor, well, we’ve kicked around what we do know and don’t know and by now everyone should have a firm grasp on what can be definitely said we know and what we don’t know. As we don’t know with any degree of certainty what the story is, we can’t use his case to speculate on the involvement of culture norms (and, for the record, I’m not going to allow that speculation)

          • NoManzLand

            GK is the subject of this discussion and you haven’t been shy in your writing about him so, again, let’s pay attention to context.

            I think that all kinds of habits have been common at different times and were more or less accepted as norms. I accept that people grow, learn, screw up, unlearn and relearn through those changing norms. I accept that there are generational clashes because norms are changing more rapidly than they ever have. I am perfectly comfortable with a norm change. But I am not comfortable lumping all people and behavior together.

            What do I mean by norms? I mean the way humans flirt or communicate interest changes across time and cultures. Some people waltz and some people grind but I refuse to allow that when the two styles mix, it’s automatically malicious.

            I can believe he groped her as easily as I can believe he misread a situation. But your writing and this thread’s audience do not allow for anything of the sort. Context matters and until I have more to go on than a public announcement, I will continue to stand for rational caution with accusations of this nature.

          • Yeah. Thanks.

  • My god, I love Nora McInerney so much