Like Matt Lauer, like Charlie Rose, and like so many before them, Garrison Keillor has been fired for behaving like a monster at work. Details are scant at the moment, but here’s what we know, from USA Today:
Veteran radio host and writer Garrison Keillor confirmed Wednesday that he was fired by his longtime broadcast home, Minnesota Public Radio, over accusations of improper behavior.
In the statement, MPR was not very specific about the allegation in question:
Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) 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….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)...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.
There’s no confirmation that the “inappropriate” behavior was sexual in nature, but considering our current climate and the language in the MPR statement, it’s borderline absurd to believe that it’s anything else.
Now, that happened today, Wednesday.
On Tuesday—this is not a joke—Keillor wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post titled: “Al Franken Should Resign? That’s Absurd.”
Yes, seriously. It was weird and rambling and full of that half-folksy, half-judgmental quality that is vintage Keillor, and included passages like this one:
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.
Notice how, in his spirit of high wit, he ignores the part where Franken forced himself on Tweeden for a kiss, and also ignores all those other women who have come out with groping allegations against the senator. That’s some real low comedy, apparently.
Despite the awful subject matter, the irony here is delicious. Keillor defends a sexual harasser, and gets fired the next day. It also makes it the ultimate example of the “Life comes at you fast” meme, which is defined as follows:
Life Comes At You Fast is a phrase popularly used on Twitter to caption unfortunate events either written or illustrated in photos and gifs.
That’s sort of accurate, but the meme has evolved to essentially own people who say something in print or on social media, and then get completely undermined by their own actions. It’s better illustrated than explained:
With Keillor and Franken, the Internet was quick to leap:
Life does indeed come at you fast—especially when you’re a sexual harassment apologist masquerading as a simple ol’ purveyor of homespun chuckles. Keillor would like you to believe he’s a Mark Twain reboot, but “hypocrite” seems like the more appropriate label. I hope this makes the next Lake Wobegon installment.