Age of Empathy
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Age of Empathy

Dear Garrison — Enough With Your “Aw Shucks” Whining

I’m using your interview to teach my grandson how to be a good person

Illustration by Tom Haney (used with permission)


When asked about #MeToo, you said it was a “noble undertaking.” You pointed out that it was an effort to fight bullies, and you are “in favor of fighting bullies.” And you added “I’m not one myself.”

Eyes of the Flirter

Onward. I have my grandson to think about. When Mason asked you what you’d say to those who haven’t seen enough “reflection or regret” on your part, you said, “I can only tell what I honestly feel.” And what you honestly felt was that the complaint that caused MPR to cut ties with you was a “mutual flirtation.” I will pause the video here, again, for:

Photo by Alisa Ventur on Unsplash

Everybody Does It!

Garrison, you were asked whether you think you crossed a line. Tossing it off with “evidently I did,” (in other words, “SOME people say so…” Very sixth grade of you) you added, “If I did, thousands of people did before me, and I hope they take my case as a warning. If [I did cross the line], I crossed the line in a way that if you were to dismiss everybody else who had crossed the line, there would be no staff left. And there would be no management whatsoever.”

Stay Away From Girls!!

And what was the lesson that you wanted so many people to learn from your experience? That, “You should not be friends with a female colleague. It’s dangerous.” And, “You should never put your hand on a female colleague. Ever. It’s dangerous.”

Friends Don’t DO That!

Mason points out that lots of people, reading the emails released around your case, would say it was “more than a friendship.” You tossed this off by characterizing it as just “a friendship.”

They Changed the Rules!

Then you looked mournfully at Mason and said, “The culture changed.”


Garrison, I know that you are sincere in accepting correction. I know it because you accept it in your new book from the fictional characters that you created. I also know it because you said to Anthony Mason, “I would have been grateful if an angry person had come up to me and said, ‘This is what you did to me.’ And this was the effect that it had on me.’” Dear Boy, the world needs more like this! Men who are hoping that angry women will approach them and explicitly tell them what an asshole they’ve been! I’m happy to hear that you are one of these Hommes Nouveaux, eager to hear directly how they have hurt their harass-ees.

I Want To Tell My Own Story

Regarding your decision to sign a nondisclosure agreement as part of the legal settlement, you said, “It was a dreadful mistake. A person should never sign away your right to tell your side of the story.”

No Thanks!

And then there was the way you were summarily dismissed by MPR after forty years of working with them. Indeed, you pouted, “There was no thank you.”

People Who Like You, LOOK Like You.

Mason wound the piece down by saying, “#MeToo issues don’t seem to deter his audiences,” and showed the line outside the theater waiting to get in.

What More Could Anyone Want?

Your final statement, Garrison, was that you “have friends and family, and a certain number of people who still want to come out and hear about Lake Woebegone. And that’s enough. What more would one want?”

Actual picture of all the women who want to be bombarded by unsolicited advances by men who can’t hear “no.” (Photo by Allec Gomes on Unsplash)



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