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USA media icons Matt Lauer and Garrison Keillor fired in sex scandals

04 December 2017

Radio personality and author Garrison Keillor says he's been fired by Minnesota Public Radio "over allegations of improper behavior", reports the Associated Press. Minnesota Public Radio didn't immediately respond to messages. MPR described the investigation as continuing, and said that they were not aware of any other allegations, but that they were severing their ties with Keillor by both "end [ing] distribution and broadcast of The Writer's Almanac and rebroadcasts of The Best of A Prairie Home Companion" and renaming the current iteration of the weekly show hosted by Chris Thile. "In addition, MPR retained an outside law firm to conduct an independent investigation of the allegations".

While MPR didn't offer specifics about the misconduct, Keillor told the Minnesota Star Tribune that, "I put my hand on a woman's bare back", going on to claim that he'd been groped dozens of times by fans.

"On the flight home, in a spirit of low comedy, Al ogled (model and broadcaster Leeann Tweeden), pretended to grab her and a picture was taken", Keillor wrote. "Getting fired is a real distinction in broadcasting and I've waited fifty years for the honor. She recoiled. I apologized", Keillor said.

Lauer had hosted the show for 20 years and is thought to have reached a salary of $25 million a year. "I only wish it could've been for something more heroic", he wrote.

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On Thursday, MPR repeated that it had received just one formal complaint against Keillor, a day after a statement by him raised questions about the extent of the allegations. In light of that news, it's only appropriate to find that the last time Keillor traveled to Charleston a year ago, he recorded his adventures in ideal character for his recurring Washington Post column. "While we appreciate the contributions Garrison has made to MPR and to all of public radio, we believe this decision is the right thing to do and is necessary to continue to earn the trust of our audiences, employees and supporters of our public service".

The Washington Post, which published occasional op-eds by Keillor, added an update to the top of his Franken essay, outlining the allegations against him.

Keillor once brought up the scourge of sexual harassment in an odd address at the National Press Club in 1994. Keillor writes that calls for Senator Franken to resign are, quote, "pure absurdity". "And I can not in conscience bring danger to a great organization I've worked hard for since 1969", Keillor told the news organization.

USA media icons Matt Lauer and Garrison Keillor fired in sex scandals