I’ve always loathed and detested this sanctimonious, holier-than-thou asshole:
In an email sent to the Star Tribune on Wednesday, Keillor appeared to seesaw from serious to lighthearted about the sacking, remarking that the incident occurred after he attempted to console an unspecified female acquaintance.
‘I put my hand on a woman’s bare back. I meant to pat her back after she told me about her unhappiness and her shirt was open and my hand went up it about six inches,’ Keillor recalled in the statement.
‘She recoiled. I apologized. I sent her an email of apology later and she replied that she had forgiven me and not to think about it. We were friends. We continued to be friendly right up until her lawyer called.’
Keillor added that he viewed firing as an ‘honor,’ and was proud to follow in the footsteps of his ‘heroes.’
‘Getting fired is a real distinction in broadcasting and I’ve waited fifty years for the honor. All of my heroes got fired. I only wish it could’ve been for something more heroic,’ he said.
The 75-year-old appeared to blame the incident on a self-described socially awkward demeanor, but seemed resigned in the wake of his sudden ouster from MPR.
‘Anyone who ever was around my show can tell you that I was the least physically affectionate person in the building. Actors hug, musicians hug, people were embracing every Saturday night left and right, and I stood off in the corner like a stone statue.’
‘If I had a dollar for every woman who asked to take a selfie with me and who slipped an arm around me and let it drift down below the beltline, I’d have at least a hundred dollars. So this is poetic irony of a high order. But I’m just fine. I had a good long run and am grateful for it and for everything else,’ he added.
Keillor also told The Associated Press of his firing in an email. In a follow-up statement, he said he was fired over ‘a story that I think is more interesting and more complicated than the version MPR heard.’
‘It’s some sort of poetic irony to be knocked off the air by a story, having told so many of them myself, but I’m 75 and don’t have any interest in arguing about this. And I cannot in conscience bring danger to a great organization I’ve worked hard for since 1969,’ Keillor said.
‘A person could not hope for more than what I was given,’ he said.
Minnesota Public Radio confirmed Keillor had been fired, saying it received a single allegation of ‘inappropriate behavior’ and doesn’t know of any other similar allegations.
‘Based on what we currently know, there are no similar allegations involving other staff,’ MPR said, noting the alleged incident occurred last month.
‘The attorney leading the independent investigation has been conducting interviews and reviewing documents, and the investigation is still ongoing,’ MPR added.
Keillor retired as host of his long-running public radio variety show in 2016.
His hand-picked successor, mandolinist Chris Thile, is in his second season as ‘Prairie Home’ host.
The firing comes just one day after the Washington Post published a new op-ed by Keillor, an avowed Democrat, defending Al Franken, called ‘Al Franken should resign? That’s absurd.’
Keillor started his Saturday evening show featuring tales of his fictional Minnesota hometown of Lake Wobegon – ‘where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average’ – in 1974.