Oh, My!

Seriously, I am stuck for a reaction to the news this week that both Matt Lauer and Garrison Keillor have both been let go, with appropriate force, by their employers for sexual conduct unbecoming and unprofessional in the extreme with women in their respective workplaces. Earlier in the week it was howls for the heads of John Conyers and Al Franken, giving the impression of those gentlemen holding on to their congressional seats by their bare fingertips, while Cokie Roberts confesses that ‘everyone’ knew not to get into an elevator with Congressman Conyers. Jeez Louise, is there anyone in the higher levels of show business, the media and the government who isn’t a total woman-mauling pig? Anyone? And is there anyone in the media specifically charged with covering show biz and politics who isn’t complicit in covering these matters – with a pillow, until they stop moving, in the deathless phrase of Iowahawk? Can we wait until our fearless media fifth-column representatives are cornered like a rat and forced to ‘fess up to deliberately looking the other way? Oh, and thanks, Cokie – for sitting on that bit of intelligence regarding sexual abuse on Capitol Hill. Just couldn’t bear to tear yourself away from the sweet, sweet source of social power in Capitol City, and face the prospect of never being invited to the good cocktail parties again, could you? Between you and Garrison Keillor, I feel like demanding a refund of every single dollar in pledges I ever made to public radio and television. I will keep the Blake’s 7 tee shirt and the La Madelaine cookbook, though. (The tee shirt is trashed, and the cookbook is pretty well-worn.)

Granted, the accusations – so far – aimed at the lugubrious king of live variety show public radio seem rather thin, but the roundelay of accusation is still young as far as Garrison K. is concerned. I ought not to be taking such unseemly and unchristian satisfaction out of his embarrassment, since there seem to be less than half-a-dozen accusers on record in his case, but he has been so ugly regarding Republicans, conservatives, citizens of Flyoverlandia, and small rural towns in general over the last twenty years (or more), that I am more than happy to point, laugh, and privately make scurrilous jokes regarding the size of his gut and his genitalia. But the print intifada regarding Mr. Lauer and his workplace practices seems to be exhaustively documented … again, I say, “Oh, my.” Between those who played along, those who ran silently screaming – and those who knew but preferred not to share with the general public … is there anyone at the topmost levels of the media, show business or the government whose hands are not dripping with …ahem, certain bodily fluids?

Of course, this whole farrago can rightly be compared to the Salem witch trials, or even the great 1980s Satanic Day Care Scare, in that public hysteria mounted up and up, and the whole thing took on a ghastly life of its own – never mind that most, if not all of the accused in those cases were innocent, which doesn’t seem to be the case here. Public hysteria is never a pretty sight; even – and especially – if those involved in the whipping-up eventually express remorse and regret later, over having been carried away. Likely it will prove the same with this current round of national public hysteria. But I must confess that I find the spectacle of national establishments and industries who have spent the last twenty years (or more) lecturing ordinary Americans about our various failings (political, social, sexual and racial) being so thoroughly shamed. Discuss, if you can stop snickering long enough.

13 thoughts on “Oh, My!”

  1. This is all happening because Trump won the election. Hillary would have kept the ball rolling another 20 years with Chelsea taking over what was left of the country.

    The Clintons have finally been extracted like an abscesses tooth.

    It feels like a huge dam fell releasing a lake of pus.

  2. What Mike said. These people are no longer useful to the Left so out they go. That’s why the perps are almost all Democrats. Moore is an exception that proves the rule and it’s not even clear he did anything wrong.

    A corollary to all of this is that many supposedly outraged leftists, including many of the women who now claim to have been harassed sexually, protected the men they are now accusing when it was helpful to the cause to do so. And as in Hollywood with producers many women in DC have sought professional advancement by sleeping with pols or journalists or other powerful, connected men. It’s always been like this and always will be.

  3. 1. Why in the world did you ever give $ to NPR?

    2. What I’ve read so far about GK leads me to suspend judgment until I’ve seen more. He’s looking like the Ameraults at the moment afar as I can tell.

    3. Another interesting theory I’ve heard is that there was plenty of female anger over Trump’s unexpected victory over the (almost) first woman President. It couldn’t focus on Trump because it had already come out and he was elected in spite of it. So it went to the men closest to the irate liberal females: guilty liberal men. Interesting that the only liberal women able to tag conservative men were the news babes at Fox. They started the ball rolling, but after that the target rich environment was on the left.

  4. Sigh – Mrs. D, I used to work for the local public radio station – the classical station. And in Utah, we loved the local public TV station. The general political foulness of public broadcasting didn’t really become evident in a big way until after 9/11.

    There is a hell of a lot of free-floating anger, I will admit – just curious that all of a sudden now it is landing on men and establishments who always seemed to skate away before. Because the Dem/Clinton machine combine sheltered them? Maybe…

  5. I have a particular hatred for NPR because in the east they drove all the commercial classical music stations out of business or to other formats and then converted their programming to political propaganda outlets for the left. In college in Baltimore I could listen to three classical stations WBAL, WCAO and WGMS. Now the only place for classical music on a reliable basis is XM.

  6. I listened to PHC from the 1980s on. I recorded a lot of PHC shows to send an English teacher friend- originally from NH- in Argentina. Somewhere around 2000, I stopped listening to PHC. I got tired of listening to reruns that had first appeared only three months before. I didn’t care for the explanation that copyright reasons precluded playing much older shows for the reruns.

    Soon after I stopped listening, Garrison went off on his Bush Derangement Syndrome tangent- some of which I read about online. So, it was a good time to stop listening to PHC. I recall Garrison doing a joke about Bill Clinton, so at one point he was at least somewhat non-partisan. His screed circa 2007 about dose eevul Pubs definitely finished it for me.

    Up to the point that I stopped listening to PHC, I thought that Garrison had some affection for his Lake Wobegon characters. I was from a small town, as were my parents, so I felt some kinship with Lake Wobegon- even though I didn’t know any Norwegian Bachelor Farmers.

    I still have a PHC joke book.

    What was reported about Keillor doesn’t seem actionable. I suspect that, like Matt Lauer, there is more behind the scenes than was initially reported.

  7. ” In college in Baltimore I could listen to three classical stations WBAL, WCAO and WGMS. Now the only place for classical music on a reliable basis is XM.”

    I used to listen to KFAC in Los Angeles. I remember attending a concert at the Greek Theater in LA and the master of ceremonies was the host of “The Gas Company’s Evening Concert,” a very popular classical program in LA. Everyone in the audience recognized his voice before he mentioned his name.

    The was a hurricane of applause as he began.

    KFAC became a rock station about 25 years ago. KUSC was the only current classical station that I know of. Of course it was a college with limited programming.

  8. Doctor K., I grew up listening to KFAC – only radio station Mom would have on, all the time. Our favorite was the interview program broadcast live around noon from the restaurant at the Dorothy Chandler pavilion – and the intro music was Wagner’s Procession of the Meistersingers. We always rather liked that, because they interviewed anyone interesting to have to do with culture in So Cal, and it was done live. Once a waiter dropped a tray nearby, with a crash like a scrap truck unloading, and another time, a nice lady wandered into the live segment, asking about the microphones on the table, and what they were doing.

    I may have been the singularly most pop-musically clueless student ever passed through DINFOS to be a DJ. All I knew was classical music.

  9. Thomas Cassidy was the announcer I remembered.

    Many of its programs, such as “The Gas Company Evening Concert,” “Luncheon at the Music Center,” and “The World of Opera” lasted for decades – with the Gas Company show airing for over 40 years. The station’s “DJs” also had unusual career longevity; according to some estimates, their collective tenure at the station was over 400 years. This unique staying power, and the fact that at times KFAC was the only classical musical station in Los Angeles (KUSC, its last competitor, did not convert to full-time classical music broadcasting until 1976, and despite being non-commercial never achieved the listenership of the professionally formatted KFAC) meant that several generations of Angelenos and other Southern Californians (including the southern boundaries of the San Diego metro area) grew up listening to the station. That, along with its cultural authority, gave the station a special place in their affections.

    And then,

    When time came for Federal Communications Commission (FCC) license renewal, a group of challengers also applied for the license, claiming that KFAC was not serving the local African-American community. This seemed a ludicrous charge because the station never discriminated against any group in its choice of featured composers or performers.

    Investigations seemed to uncover that the protesting group had challenged other station licenses for the purposes of extorting substantial amounts of money from the station owners. It is not known precisely how much money was paid by the owners of KFAC to settle a possible lawsuit, but typically when a station’s license is being contested during the renewal process, there is a slim chance of it being sold.

    In 1986 a group of investors headed by Louise Heifetz (daughter-in-law of the violin virtuoso Jascha Heifetz) purchased the station for around $33 million. She and her accomplice (program director Robert Goldfarb) fired most of the staff announcers in the hope that new talent would attract new listeners. The highly respected engineering staff was also laid off in the new year’s blood bath of 1987. Supposedly, Goldfarb had been hired to do the same for manager Wallace Smith at KUSC a few years before.

  10. “When time came for Federal Communications Commission (FCC) license renewal, a group of challengers also applied for the license, claiming that KFAC was not serving the local African-American community. This seemed a ludicrous charge because the station never discriminated against any group in its choice of featured composers or performers.”

    Damn, is there anything that monetarily-weaponized race-mongering can’t do? Guess they paid them off before that angle got old, when Jesse Jackson wore it out.

  11. Former KFAC listener here. If you’re looking for a good classical music station online, try allclassical.org – commercial free and blessedly apolitical.

Comments are closed.