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« ESPN Exceeds Expectations and Fires 150 More People | Main | Apologies, But Vanity Fair Just Published Its Hit on Matt Lauer, and Whoo Doggy, I Gotta Post It »
November 29, 2017

Updates on Matt Lauer, Garrison Keillor

As for Matt Lauer: It seems unlikely that NBC president Andy Lack just heard of this allegation against Lauer, because Variety and the New York Times have been working on stories about him for "weeks." Further, it seems unlikely that Lack believes that it merely "may" be the case that additional allegations are put forth, as he almost certainly knows the Variety and NYT stories are about multiple women.

Further, it appears that the allegation that caused the firing was about a "non-consensual" bit of touching (or worse), that is, some kind of sexual assault.

And it's not just the alleged touching -- it's the alleged intimidation of victims.

"Among the worst" in a grouping that includes Harvey Weinstein? This sounds like it will get worse before it gets worse.

As to Garrison Keillor, apparently there are allegations from two women, or two women reporting the same event. Keillor only seems to acknowledge a single event, which he claims was innocuous and a misunderstanding.

In a statement to the Minneapolis Star Tribune Keillor wrote: "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. 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."


He indicated in that email that two employees had made allegations.

"I have to respect the privacy of the two employees who made the allegations," he wrote. "I have my own recollection of events, but I don't want to take issue with Jon McTaggart's decision. I think the country is in the grip of a mania -- the whole Franken business is an absurdity -- and I wish someone who resist it (sic), but I expect MPR to look out for itself, and meanwhile I feel awfully lucky to have hung on for so long."

There's that "my recollection differs" defense we've heard from fellow Minnesotan Al Franken.

Speaking of the My Recollection Differs defense, magnate Richard Branson says he can't remember if he groped a woman in his Caribbean home or nah.

Richard Branson says he has no recollection of an episode at his Caribbean home in 2010 that led a woman to accuse him of sexual assault.

The billionaire has been accused of putting his face in the breasts of an American who was working as a backup singer for the English artist Joss Stone. The group was attending a party at Branson's Necker Island.

"He went 'brrrrrr' and just walked away. It was surreal, totally out of the blue," Antonia Jenae told British newspaper The Sun.

"His behavior was disgusting. I feel like it was sexual assault," she added. "Everyone was wondering why I wasn't angry because I'm usually a firebrand. But I was just too shocked."

His statement says that it's not just he himself who doesn't remember this, but his "family and friends" who were with him at the time. So this edges towards an actual denial (without quite being one).

Tucker Carlson had a very good commentary about the power of accusations, and the fact that some accusations are false. He even disclosed the (false) rape allegation made against him by a woman he calls "delusional." Definitely worth a watch, just as a reminder that not every accusation is true.

[N]ot everyone accused of a sex offense is guilty. Not every accuser is telling the truth. I learned this the hard way a number of years ago when I was accused of felony rape by a woman I had literally never even seen.

She was a certified public accountant in Indiana, upstanding member of her community and also apparently delusional. Her claims were grotesque, but they were highly specific. The assault she said took place in the back room of a restaurant in Louisville on a specific day at around 10:30 p.m. She included loads of graphic and horrifying detail. It was stomach-turning.

And, yet, none of it, none of it was true. I spent the next two months trying to stay out of jail.

I couldn't tell my children because I knew they would be ashamed. I couldn't tell my employer because I knew I would be fired immediately.

I spoke only to lawyers and I paid them a fortune. I took a polygraph exam from the former head polygrapher at the FBI.

I never stopped worrying that the charges would become public and destroy my life.

Everyone accused of sex offense did something wrong. Everybody knows that. And I knew no one would believe otherwise. This isn't a defense of sexual harassment or misbehavior, obviously. It is just a reminder that real life is complicated. More complicated than sermonizing on Twitter.

Sometimes the mob is wrong. Sometimes the innocent are crushed. That's always a tragedy, no matter what the charge is.

Of course, crushing the innocent also may be the point of the exercise and we are seeing that.

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posted by Ace at 03:00 PM

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