Alert! Garrison Keillor Becomes The Latest Smug Liberal To Get Run Down By The Harvey Weinstein Ethics Train Wreck, And I Should Have Predicted It

Keillor on “The Charlie Rose Show.” I bet Charley agrees with you about Al Franken, Garrison!

From the Washington Post:

Garrison Keillor, who hosted the popular radio show “A Prairie Home Companion” for decades until his retirement last year, has been fired from Minnesota Public Radio after allegations of “inappropriate behavior,” MPR confirmed in a statement Wednesday.

“Minnesota Public Radio is terminating its contracts with Garrison Keillor and his private media companies after recently learning of allegations of his inappropriate behavior with an individual who worked with him,” the statement read.

I’m not surprised. In fact, when I read Keillor’s head-exploding rationalizations for Al Franken in an op-ed yesterday, also in the Post, I thought, “Hmmmm. This sounds like the logic of a sexual harasser to me. I wonder…?” Foolishly, I didn’t post my suspicions; it was a late cut from today’s Warm-Up.

In his op-ed, “Al Franken should resign? That’s absurd.”, Keillor made the astounding illogical leap of equating the tearing down of statues of historical figures whose conduct was offensive by current standards to excusing current individuals whose conduct—in this case, sexual harassment and assaults—would be acceptable under past standards.

To facilitate this unethical argument and wishful self-applying excuse, the plummy-voiced progressive minimized the complaint of Franken’s first reported victim. I’m numbering each awful section:

Sen. Al Franken…did USO tours overseas when he was in the comedy biz. (1) He did it from deep in his heart, out of patriotism, (2) and the show he did was broad comedy of a sort that goes back to the Middle Ages. (3) Shakespeare used those jokes now and then, and so did Bob Hope and Joey Heatherton when they entertained the troops. (4) 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. (5) On the flight home, in a spirit of low comedy, Al ogled Miss Tweeden and pretended to grab her and a picture was taken. (6) Eleven years later, a talk show host in LA, she goes public, (7) and there is talk of resignation. This is pure absurdity, and the atrocity it leads to is a code of public deadliness. No kidding.(8)


To be more specific:

(1) What business Al was in may explain harassment, but doesn’t excuse it. (2) Shameless  ethics accounting. So Al’s patriotism entitles him to some “Get out of Harassment Free” cards? (3) Completely irrelevant.  (4) Also irrelevant, and a deflection. Franken is not being accused of telling old jokes. (5) What??? (6) Outrageous misrepesentation. First, Keillor conveniently ignores the allegation that Franken exploited her during a skit to stick his tongue down her throat. Then he skips the material fact that Tweeden was asleep when Franken used her as a prop. The ogling was not an issue. The feeling-up of an unconscious, unconsenting female co-worker was and is. (7) Yes, it’s too bad she didn’t go public before Franken was able to eke out a disputed Senate victory over Norm Coleman. Then he could keep being patriotic,doing old vaudeville jokes, and molesting women as a member of the corrupt show business culture, just like you, Garrison! (8) Holding men accountable for workplace harassment is not a “code of public deadliness.” It has been the official standard of conduct for many years. It’s just that celebrities, actors, powerful executives and politicians assumed it didn’t apply to them.

So for Franken to face accountability for his sexual misconduct now, Keillor concludes, means we might as well “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. ”

Would someone explain to this guy that if a current day politician owned slaves, he’d be in big trouble? See, Garrison, it’s wrong to hold historical figures responsible for breaching conduct norms that didn’t exist when they were alive, but it doesn’t work in reverse: their conduct a century or more ago can’t excuse a Senator…or a NPR radio host…who engages in sexual harassment now. That kind of unethical and cynical reasoning was how sexual harassment got the “everybody does it” pass when Democrats and feminists sold their principles to save Bill Clinton, allowing unethical men like you to shrug and say, “Heck, if he the President can do it, why can’t I?” for all these years.




55 thoughts on “Alert! Garrison Keillor Becomes The Latest Smug Liberal To Get Run Down By The Harvey Weinstein Ethics Train Wreck, And I Should Have Predicted It

  1. “The Latest Smug Liberal To Get Run Down ”

    As far as smug Lefties (forgive the redundancy) I’d LUV to see get their arrogant @$$e$ caught in a grinder, it’d be a toss-up: Keith Olbermann or Bryant Gumbel.

    • On Bryant Gumbel: I would bet a McDonald’s Quarter-Pounder (without cheese – no offense to the Dairy State or its people or products intended) that if he got dinged for improper advances to any woman, she would have a lower voice than his. (I can be a smug baritone like that, sometimes.)

  2. Garrison Keillor the “nice guy” from Minnesota who can’t own up to his own misconduct and and anyway there are much worse things such Donald Trump. And then we have the patriotic Al Franken who probably risked his life entertaining troops which copping a feel. I sincerely hope that the woman who’s ‘lower back’ was inappropriately touched files at the very least a civil suit against Keillor.

  3. I grew to despise A Prarie Home Companion. Guy’s Shoes, the whole smarmy, Minnesota Nice pile of horse shit. Sorry Minnesotans. The guy has struck me as essentially clinically depressed for decades. Why don’t these guys just retire when they’re sixty or so and count their money, or spend it or go fishing? I see Jay Leno is now doing the Indian Casino circuit. Why?

      • I guess addict is the word. I’m thinking of how his eyes would light up when he’d enter the stage to do his monologues. A pavlovian response. Might as well have been taking his first hit of the day on a crack pipe.

        • At least Leno put his checks in the bank, I once heard Larsen the cartoonist simply kept his royalty and other checks UNCASHED in the top drawer of his desk.

    • I also despised A Prairie Home Companion. Those who think the show is a love letter to mid-west residents should listen more closely. Same with Meredith Wilson and The Music Man in a prior era. (Although I appreciate many aspects of the musical.). Keillor seems a passive-aggressive, smug, quasi-literate prick, recycling old stories to entertain the NPR listener who need never deign to actually converse with a fly-over country citizen.

      • Wash your mouth out with soap! “The Music Man” doesn’t hide the fact that it’s partially satire, and occurred during a period when people could laugh at obvious stereotypes about themselves. Greatest American musical ever. Not my favorite, but the best example of the form. And the best ending on any musical, ever green, and full of truth: if a parent’s kid is playing the music, it sounds wonderful. Worked when “School of Rock” ripped it off too.

        • I was afraid that might raise your hackles! I admire “The Music Man”, for many reasons, (did you know that Wilson had played in Sousa’s band in the early 20’s?), and wasn’t denigrating it at all. Just pointing out that it has some bite.
          I think the movie version from ’62 is the most fully realized musical ever done on film.

      • Joe Fowler wrote: “Keillor seems a passive-aggressive, smug, quasi-literate prick, recycling old stories to entertain the NPR listener who need never deign to actually converse with a fly-over country citizen.” THIS!

    • I despised that show from the first moment I heard it. As a born-and-raised central Illinois boy, I hear a lot of condescension and smug mockery in Keillor’s shtick. It may have been presented as a fond recollection of his Midwestern upbringing, but there’s an ugly edge to a lot of it. I always thought he seemed like a real dick.

  4. I think…. I have a new respect for the liberal position on rape culture. It’s still generally a load of bollocks, but there was always a small part of me that asked: “Hey Jeff, you know you don’t live in a rape culture, you know these things don’t happen in the places you’ve worked, who do these assholes think they’re trying to fool? Are they lying so loud and so often they hope people will eventually forget they’re full of shit, or do they actually believe this?”

    Well….. I think the answer has come in, and it’s: “They believe this. And with good reason! Where I knew that I didn’t exist in a rape culture, because not only did I not condone, encourage or tolerate rape, they knew that they did.” A smug, partisan, bear-poking part of me would say that the liberal preoccupation with rape culture was projection, but I don’t think I really believed it, I thought I was shaming an idea so stupid it could not possibly be true.

    Weinstein could have been an outlier, shitty people are out there, and the king’s pass was strong with him…. But as the bodies continue to pile up, I’m forced to relook at the paradigm with which I examined rape culture, and I’m disgusted. I now know they were telling the truth, as opposed to lying, I just have no conception under God why it’s been allowed to fester this long.

      • They’ll say “It’s because of people like you that it went on this long, people who did not believe.” But that’s bullshit, people like me didn’t believe because we had absolutely no frame of reference from which to start believing.

        Society doesn’t approve rape, You don’t brag about rape and receive slaps on the back and chortles from your fellows, rape was always bad. Someone like Matt Lauer having a button on his desk that locked his door so he could turn his office into a sex dungeon isn’t normal! Sending employees sex toys for Christmas isn’t normal! But this was the culture that Hollywood, DC and The Media fostered and projected onto everyone else.

        The idea that the solution to this was somehow hampered by outside forces is insane. This started in very specific cultures, and those specific cultures need to take some ownership, stop blaming the world, or society, or anything other than their own shitty culture, and fix this.

        • I’m the kind of angry over this that you only get when something you believed was true has been found to be fundamentally wrong. I wouldn’t be surprised at this point if the DC police found a child sex ring in a fucking pizza parlor right now.

        • From the Washington Times:

          “Vice President Mike Pence was ridiculed for making an effort never to be alone with a woman who is not his wife, but the policy is looking less prudish and more sensible now.”

          Et tu, Washington Times?

        • “Weinstein could have been an outlier, shitty people are out there, and the king’s pass was strong with him…. But as the bodies continue to pile up, I’m forced to relook at the paradigm with which I examined rape culture, and I’m disgusted. I now know they were telling the truth, as opposed to lying, I just have no conception under God why it’s been allowed to fester this long.”

          It’s the same old, “Do as we say, not as we do (and cover up the fact that we’re doing it).” Gad, man – it’s like so many preachers sermonizing about the “satanic” practice of rectal intercourse. (How the fuck do THEY know?)

          “The idea that the solution to this was somehow hampered by outside forces is insane. This started in very specific cultures, and those specific cultures need to take some ownership, stop blaming the world, or society, or anything other than their own shitty culture, and fix this.”

          Bingo, Yahtzee, safe at home!

  5. The left, and specifically the cultures we’re talking about, have been on the cutting edge of a movement attempting to decay sexual norms for decades, and now that it’s been proven, so fucking clearly, that some of the rules around sexual contact were actually a good thing, the new incoming set of sexual mores will be by necessity more prudish and puritanical than anything we’ve seen before.

    We’re already seeing the edge of that wave with things like California’s “yes means yes” legislation.

  6. I suspect we all agree that the politicization of all things has been unfortunate. But perhaps it’s the most regrettable in the arena of sexual harassment.

    Might we agree that sexual harassment appears to be pretty much an equal opportunity folly?

    Unfortunately, this post feeds the politicization narrative. There is a risk to that, and I think it’s well stated by Justin Dillon in his Above the Law post about the late Judge Scalia:

    • It is an equal opportunity offense. However, there is an added offense, and an important one, when the self-anointed champions of a group are really offenders. Police breaking laws is worse than citizens breaking laws. Priests molesting boys are worse than other child molesters.

      I know the Left would love to have us ignore this, but it shouldn’t be ignore. I was offended at Bill Clinton being the keynote at a convention accusing conservatives of a “war against woman,” and was very clear why. My Democratic friends just shrugged it off. Well, the piper must be paid.

      • True.

        And one problem with sexual harassmnet is that, as you yourself conceded , there is no mathematically rigorous definition.

        This is especially problematic regarding the issue of hostile environments.

      • “[T]here is an added offense, and an important one, when the self-anointed champions of a group are really offenders.”

        Yeah, that is why I’m gonna have to tune-out Ethics Alarms again for awhile, for as long as this orgy of exposure of sexual criminals and its companion orgy of “born-again” virtue-signaling keep humping along.

        Because I really, REALLY do want to flush Joe Barton from my mind. (while I hope he flushes himself, or gets flushed, from public life)

      • Yes, but this hyppocrisy only applies if Garrison Keillor’s guilty. As you’ve argued so well in your Kevin Spacey defense (before we know that it was more than Rapp), just because you want to see Keillor taken down more than a conservative, doesn’t mean any of it’s justified. So far, all we know is that Keillor patted someone’s back whom he was hugging. If you were truly ethically practicing what you’d preach, you’d be equally as troubled by what’s happened to him whether you liked the guy’s politics or not.

        I think it’s reasonable to conclude that conservatives preach family values more because they advocate for laws to be made based on family values as opposed to democrats. However, it’s also true that some liberals do get punishment lust for all conservatives to go down if they have any sexual deviance or even infidelity (not a crime)

        • What makes you think I want Keillor to be taken down? I don’t care one way or the other, except that I am opposed to anyone being ruined unjustly. There are two accusers, not one, and NPR presumably did its due diligence. I haven’t seen the evidence, except that I thought Keillor’s op=ed was creepy, and he didn’t tell the Post that he was being investigated when he submitted it.

    • “Might we agree that sexual harassment appears to be pretty much an equal opportunity folly?”

      No, frankly.

      Look, when a child is abused, the overwhelmingly vast majority of the time it’s done by either their mother or their female teacher. We shouldn’t try to politicize that in the context of the male/female violence discussion because that statistic only makes sense: A majority of mothers take a larger portion of parental duties, and teachers spend more time with kids than their parents, more often than not, and the vast majority of primary year educators are female. If someone’s going to hit a kid, it’s probably going to be the people they interact with, and we can talk about why it is that they most likely interact with women over their formative years, but in the meantime reality being what it is, so this example is not a good measurement of the average violent tendencies towards children by adults as a whole.

      No such natural or unnatural divide happens between party affiliations, republicans are no more or less likely to employ women. They are no more or less likely to interact with women, but for some reason, Democrats, and places where rich powerful Democrats seem to cluster, apparently, punch above their weight class in abuse and harassment. You’re going to try to derail this with “Well what about” and then start a laundry list of Republicans. Ok… Do that. O’Reilly, Alies, Moore…. And then the list gets harder, doesn’t it? There’s a longer list of Democrats that were fired this week than I think you can muster for Republicans this last quarter. This IS a partisan issue.

      • HT, I think the partisan issue is a rabbit hole.

        To your longer list of liberals who have been fired, I could counter that the left-leaning industries of news and entertainment are more willing to take harsh action than the political establishment, which leans right.

        Score-keeping and splitting hairs is just not the right issue at the time.

        I’d say, I’ll cop to a Clinton and spot you a Trump, and let’s move on to focusing on how to stop them all.

        • Yes, score-keeping is silly, and I don’t think there is any winner. My point is that we should be able to expect the “team’ that has loudly berated the other “team” for having corrupt values in this area to “win” in a rout. and this in part why the various left-leaning organizations are acting in such haste, in some cases, unseemly haste

          • “Yes, score-keeping is silly”

            There’s nothing wrong with score keeping when there seems to be a world-view competition here. Two world-views which both self-profess to uphold certain values regarding the treatment of women, both of which propose different methods of going about inculcating those values in their young men.

            Keeping score IS useful in determining if one world-view is noticeable more successful with their methods in achieving their ends.

            That being said, we can then decide whether or not what each world view sacrifices in it’s methodologies is worth the sacrifice or not compared to the variety of payoffs.

            I find that the people who say “we shouldn’t keep score” are the one’s whose score sucks; while they are more than eager to keep count when their score is high.

            • Against my better judgment, I’ll offer this: a list of political congressional and gubernatorial scandals from 2000 – 2017:

              R: Souder, Lee, Desjarlais, Cain, McAllister, Hastert, Trump, Murphy, Moore, Barton. = 10
              D: Massa, Weiner, Wu, Franken, Conyers. = 5

              Of course, we could go back in time, to 2000 – 2009:

              R: Schrock, Thurmond, LaTourette, Dreier, Sherwood, Foley, Vitter, Tobias, Craig, Fosella, Ensign, Pickering. = 12
              D: Condit, McGreevey, Mahoney, Edwards. = 4

              Basically, for every Clinton, there are 2-3 Livingston, Gingrich and Packwoods.

              And of course it’s the reverse in Hollywood, where the political balance swings the other way.

              I honestly don’t think the numbers game gets anyone anywhere, other than to deflect from the fundamental issue of wrongness.

              • You missed Clinton….

                And give it time, we’ve seen Republicans get caught with their pants down for years, and the media has gleefully picked them apart in real time, whereas even now, there’s significant pushback on holding some of the Democrats accountable. Get back to me in a quarter after the enema has fully worked its magic, and we’ll see if the numbers even out.

                • Clinton was in the 1990s: along with Packwood, Livingston, and Gingrich, who I also didn’t include. The numbers for politicians haven’t evened out for three decades, I doubt another month will change it.

                  Though as I originally said, the GOP dominates the House, and therefore politicians; whereas Democrats dominate Hollywood. In the larger scheme of things, it probably does even out.

                  Which again, to my point, suggests that score-keeping is a useless and divisive form of politicization on a human issue like this one.

                  • I mean, you also copied the sex scandal list from Wikipedia without reading what the people did.

                    Schrock was caught soliciting a male prostitute, Thurmond fathered a child out of wedlock in 1925, LaTourette cheated on his wife and then divorced her to marry his mistress, Dreier was a closeted gay man who was found out, Vitter’s name was found in the book of the “DC Madam”, Tobias admitted he was a customer of the “DC Madam”, Craig was caught having sex with a man in an airport bathroom, Fossella had a daughter with his mistress, Edwards too, Ensign three, Pickering four.

                    The only Democrat who wasn’t on your list for harassment, abuse or rape was Edwards, and 10 of the Republicans were either outed gay people (who often ran on anti-gay platforms) or slept with women that weren’t their wives. The only name on the Republican list I’d put back would be Thurmond… The “woman” he fathered a child with was 15, but back in 1925 the fact that she was black probably would have caused more uproar.

                    So between 2000-2009, once you remove the gay hypocrites and the adulterers, you’re left with:

                    R: Thurmond, Sherwood, Foley = 3
                    D: Condit, McGreevey, Mahoney = 3

                    Between 2010 and 2017, Souder – adultery, Lee was caught using his congressional Email to hook up on Craigslist (Jesus…), DesJarlais – adultery and abortion hypocrisy, McAllister – adultery, Murphy – adultery, Barton – sexting his junk (Jesus…).

                    So… Between 2010 and 2017, once you remove the gay hypocrites, the adulterers, and the idiots who texted their junk (so long as it wasn’t to unwilling 14 year old girls) is:

                    R: Cain, Hastert, Trump, Moore. = 4
                    D: Massa, Weiner, Wu, Franken, Conyers. = 5

                    • All true, all true.

                      But again, the point is not to itemize the political persuasions of all these folks, it is – to Jack’s point – to make sure that we don’t tar everyone with the same feathers. That, and the fact that all of them suck, are far more important than trying to keep ever-deeper gradations of score.

                      Calling everyone a D or an R just detracts from both of those aims.

                      I’m out.

                    • I mean….

                      First you said: “This isn’t a partisan issue.”

                      To which I replied: “Yes it is.” And to expand on that: Not only in raw numbers, and abuse, but in culture and hipocrisy, Democrats have been accusing Republicans of a “War on Women” for decades now, you’ve MADE it partisan, and now that you’re firmly hoisted on your own petard “It’s not a partisan issue guys” (I wish I could insert music notes and turn that font pink and cursive to denote just how much scorn I mentally give that idea.) Well, lie in the bed you made, sir. It’s partisan because you made it partisan.

                      Then, when I said you’d make a laundry list, you proved me wrong by making a laundry list. Except in pure Greenian fashion, you were lazy. I mean… props for Googling something for once, but when you have a list that obviously shows that the numbers are in fact partisan… Why read the article, right? So taking an issue that I say is partisan, you had to narrow it down to a specific subset of the partisan divide (elected officials) and then include people who’s “harassment scandal” was that they were gay in red states. Then, when someone, you know, finds your source (which you didn’t cite) and, you know, reads it, and corrects your horrendous interpretation down to, you know, the truth… Well… Even using your measurements, Democrats offend more.

                      And now you’re back to, “This isn’t partisan, and saying it is is distracting”

                      That’s right, you run.

            • It IS silly, among other reasons, because there’s no fair way TO keep score. George Takai isn’t as bad as Kevin Spacey. John Conyers isn’t the same level of miscreant as Bill Clinton. Is Bill worse or better than Harvey? Is Harvey worse of better than Roger Ailes? One of the witch hunt qualities of all this is that Matt Lauer is being treated the same and lumped with Garrison Keillor. Al Franken groping isn’t the same point score as Harvey’s predation.

        • As a set of general principles, I will support victims, I will insist on due process, I will keep my nose clean, and I will furiously guard against anything even remotely close to the stories coming out right now from ever happening.

          That makes me officially a better “ally” than any of the asshats in the offices that knew this was going on and did nothing, despite their virtue signalling and grandstanding for the last two decades.

          You stop them by stopping them. This isn’t complicated, or voodoo sociology. Physician, heal thyself.

  7. Pence could have just used the Scouting rule of three. Never be one-on-one with a child. I have adopted never to be one-on-one in the workplace whether male or female. Always have a witness. Always had my 1SG with me when counseling or disciplining a Soldier. Makes life easier.

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