What is one to believe?


McZENA MUSE - Louise Swartzwalder



There are times you want to turn the other way when you hear yet another admission from someone you once revered.

As a follower of all the recent, sometimes loud, declarations by people who say they were either victims or perpetrators of abuse, I think I’ve now reached my limit.

On Wednesday afternoon, it was reported that Garrison Keillor, renowned writer and raconteur on National Public Radio, has been fired.

If you don’t know about Garrison Keillor, he is the person of the mellifluous voice, who would tell his tales about Lake Wobegon. This was a town he invented and wrote about, said to be in Minnesota.

I once saw him in person, when he performed at Wolf Trap outside Washington, D.C.

From a personal perspective, I am quite sympathetic to statements many have made, saying they were a victim of something.

As a long-time, serious, professional in journalism and other areas, I do know what is like to be considered less than others.

You can take this to mean almost anything.

Are you considered less because someone feels he, or she, can take advantage of your position?

Because you’re a young woman, can an editor or a senior reporter feel it is okay to sometimes brutally make suggestions to you?

Some things you can take lightly, like the time a man who liked to dress like Nehru said he loved his wife, but he sometimes thought he’d like to ride a stallion.

Oh dear.

Or how someone once remarked it was odd that a strong-minded person who supported women’s rights would dress up nice.

I support any human’s right to say what they think happened, to stand up for their own rights.

What is bothering me about this flood of allegations are two items.

Number one: Because so many people are now pointing fingers, does this mean any allegation will be shoved into a dirty old basket?

I have thought a lot about this. I’ve wondered how people in any area get news. Is it from television, or on the web?

Do people read newspapers? (Fewer people do, for the record).

Do the people hearing all these things start to dismiss them because they think people who allege something are piling on?

This is something I don’t know.

I could make cruel and curt remarks, like about some of these people accused of doing bad things. Some of these people are not the kind I would call “lookers.”

Part of the truth here, I think, is that people in power are likely to attract persons who want to be close, to be able to say “I knew that guy.”

And, it is a fact that in the entertainment world, one must meet and ingratiate one’s self to be able to advance.

O, for a simple world. Where is it?

It is probably true some of the people making allegations have lied.

Being on the female side of the fence, I feel a little distraught about all of this.

On Wednesday, we received information about Matt Lauer. Then, Garrison Keillor.

Number two: Because so many people are tearing down others, where will it go from here?

As a journalist, you many times get to meet the great. I once worked for one great person, the late Sen. John Glenn. His history, I probably don’t have to enumerate.

Famed astronaut, U.S.Senator, presidential candidate.

My observation after working as a campaign press secretary, that even he was used. Many people in politics are hacks, and don’t care for a cause. They look out for their own interests.

Glenn got painted by people in one of the opposing campaigns, that of former vice president Walter Mondale, as being the kind of guy who had the “right stuff” but the “wrong staff.”

Politics are vicious.

Another thing that is unfair.

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McZENA MUSE

Louise Swartzwalder