Public radio fans nationwide were stunned Wednesday by the news that Minnesota Public Radio has severed ties with Garrison Keillor, the former host of its long-running Minnesota-based variety show "A Prairie Home Companion," over alleged "inappropriate behavior." Keillor said in an e-mail to the Star Tribune that the allegations revolve around him putting his hand "on a woman's bare back," though MPR did not specify what the inappropriate behavior was.
After the news broke, Howard Mortman of C-SPAN tweeted a link to an old video clip of Keillor delivering a speech at a National Press Club luncheon in Washington, D.C., on April 7, 1994, which he closed by riffing on the Whitewater investigation that was then the talk of official Washington and issuing a warning that perhaps resonates differently now.
"When scandal breaks and we get to see the humanity of the great and the powerful revealed, naked and dumb in front of us, there's always a cry for new rules, or at least some new awareness that will prevent this from ever happening again. We should be careful, though, not to make the world so fine and good that you and I can't enjoy living in it. A world in which there is no sexual harassment at all is a world in which there will not be any flirtation. A world without thieves at all, will not have entrepreneurs. A government in which there are no friendly connections or favors between politicians and powerful people will be the first in the history of mankind. And a world without fiction, my friends, would be unbearable for all of us."