On Wednesday, Garrison Keillor, the ostensibly genial but fiercely leftist host of National Public Radio’s “Prairie Home Companion,” which he hosted for 42 years from 1974 to 2016, announced he had been fired by NPR over allegations of inappropriate behavior
Although Keillor retired last year from “Prairie Home Companion,” he still produced “The Writer’s Almanac” for syndication for NPR. He followed up after announcing that he had been fired from Minnesota Public Radio by stating he was fired over “a story that I think is more interesting and more complicated than the version MPR heard.”
Keillor’s apparent firing has one of the most ironically hilarious moments in recent media history: less than 24 hours before, he posted an op-ed in The Washington Post titled, “Al Franken should resign? That’s absurd.” In Keillor’s piece, he viciously attacked President Trump, writing:
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 backseat, 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?
The playboy blather? Hmm.
Keillor then truculently defended Franken, writing that talk of Franken resigning from the Senate is “pure absurdity”:
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. Miss Tweeden knew what the game was and played her role and on the flight home, in a spirit of low comedy, Al ogled her and pretended to grab her and a picture was taken. Eleven years later, a talk show host in L.A., she goes public with her embarrassment, and there is talk of resignation. This is pure absurdity and the atrocity it leads to is a code of public deadliness. No kidding.
Back in August 2016, when Trump was trailing badly in the polls against Hillary Clinton, Keillor wrote:
You are in the old tradition of locker room ranting and big honkers in the steam room, sitting naked, talking man talk, griping about the goons and ginks and lousy workmanship and the uppity broads and the great lays and how you vanquished your enemies at the bank. Profanity is your natural language and vulgar words so as not to offend the Christers but the fans can still hear it and that’s something they love about you.
Doubling down, Keillor wrote in late October 2017:
Donald Trump is done. He couldn’t get elected dogcatcher in New York, his hometown. I was very, very nice about it. Very nice. But New Yorkers love dogs and he does not. There are 14 recorded instances of him kicking small dogs, and I have documentary proof of all but two of them. Plus many other instances of him running around grabbing women’s cats. Knocked on the door, grabbed the cat, walked away. Just to show that a famous rich guy could get away with it. Where is the apology?
Good question for Keillor the next time he looks in the mirror.