Keillor finds his fans still love him

The people of Prescott, Ariz., are not particularly offended by workplace harassment, at least if the allegations are against Garrison Keillor, who finally is back on stage after a couple of months to attend to the fallout from Minnesota Public Radio’s decision to terminate its business relationship with the retired humorist.

“So there you are, you make the best of it, and you go to Prescott, Arizona, where God bless them they welcome you,” Keillor said to a friendly audience, according to an Arizona journalist who pulled the assignment for the Star Tribune.

The reception was not surprising as has been mentioned here in the past. People will excuse anything if they like you; not so much if they don’t. They like Keillor. What’s the big deal?

“Should this come up in your own life, and maybe it will — it can happen to anybody, believe me — the beauty of being disgraced is that you realize that this person you’ve been married to for 25 years is the most wonderful person in the world,” Keillor told the audience.

OK, we’ll bite since he brought it up. In matters of romance, that’s the sort of thing you realize before you write love notes and sexually suggestive emails to women to whom you are not married and over whom you have a position of power.

“To have your beginning and end, within 12 miles of each other, and to know all of the people around you, is such a comfort, such an odd comfort. I know you think this is odd, but I’m telling you the truth, why else would I come? Once you’ve been disgraced you may as well be honest about these things.”

Be that as it may, Keillor’s reception at Yavapai College Performing Arts Center signifies that neither his career nor his marriage are ruined by his actions, nor are those who don’t want to be in business with him anymore. His fans are just anxious to swoon as they were before. Life goes on.

Romance is not dead.

“If he did it 40 years ago I don’t care,” a woman told the journalist. “We’re not that easily offended.”

At least by their guy.

  • Rob

    Not only do we need to move on from Prince, we need to move on from Mr. Skeezy – I mean, Mr. Keillor – as well.

    • Bridget L.

      I will never move on from Prince. 🙁

  • johnepeacock

    His wife must just love his wit

    • X.A. Smith

      Imagine the limericks he writes for her!

      • Kat S.

        Do they at least scan?

  • Guest

    I see from the outside, similar reactions to an accusation from both MPR and our colleges. A determination is made before getting the full story (both sides in the same room, able to ask each other questions, state your own case).

    • You keep making this argument that the full story hasn’t been determined. I think what you mean to say is YOU don’t know the full story; but that doesn’t at mean the full story hasn’t been determined by those who did the investigation.

      • John F.

        An honest question from a confused MPR member – Is the investigation ongoing and/or are they just in mediation? It seems like the Keillor episode changes daily and I honestly can’t keep up.

        • Jim in RF

          My understanding is that he’s gone, and the negotiations are about MPR having access to PHC archives.

        • As far as I know, the negotiations involve the exchange of money (or not) in the break up of the licensing agreement between the two institutions.

          Separately, I believe the lawyer for the woman involved has something in mind for Keillor .

          Keillor’s story changes but MPR’s has pretty much been the same. At first, he said it was about accidentally brushing up against a woman. Then we found out it was more detailed than that. Nobody to whom Keillor has spoken has bothered to ask why he led people to think it was something other than what he knew it was.

          • John F.

            Thank you, Bob. I hope this is all settled soon. I suspect it has been very uncomfortable for MPR employees.

          • The newsroom is so good at distancing itself from the company, and Keillor historically has not been a fan of the newspeople that he’s just another guy, and it’s just another company to us.

  • L. Foonimin

    not having been a paying member of MPR for a number of years i decided to rejoin as a sustainer because of the stand they took with regards to Keillor’s personal behavior

  • Jim in RF

    I’m done with him. I’ve been to two of his last-ever shows, seen him at the Fitz or fair probably 10 times, bought his books, had him out here to headline a fundraiser for Russ Feingold, but am now done with him. It’s time for him to disappear and write a memoir or something.

  • Jim in RF

    Shhhh. This is supposed to be anonymous.

  • ec99

    I always considered Gary’s monologues on Minnesotans to be analogous to the way Gulliver put out the fire in Lilliput.

    • RBHolb

      I always thought of them as exercises in condescension. “This is how those people really live. Isn’t that wild?”

  • Rixware

    I have never been a fan of Mr. Keillor. He seems to wear his Minnesota roots like an unwanted birthmark. He made a career of calling attention to it, poking “fun” since it couldn’t be denied. Yet, in doing so, he laid bare his own deep disdain.

    Now, he has a second such mark — this time a scar. Should we be surprised that he might try the same exact technique? I suspect he will continue this approach as long as some audience somewhere accepts the distraction from thinly-veiled ugliness.

  • JamieHX

    “To have your beginning and end, within 12 miles of each other, and to know all of the people around you, is such a comfort, such an odd comfort. I know you think this is odd, but I’m telling you the truth, why else would I come? Once you’ve been disgraced you may as well be honest about these things.”
    I don’t really understand this paragraph. What came before it?

    • JamieHX

      Never mind. I read the article. I get it now.