Letter: Balentine's defense of Keillor is tone deaf

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John Balentine says that a “grandfatherly” type like Garrison Keillor isn’t the kind to sexually harass anyone. A casual Google search brought up a story of “multiple allegations of sexual harassment” against Keillor as the reason for his firing.

I was a longtime fan of Keillor’s show, but a performer’s true character is often hidden behind an innocent, likeable persona. I recall reading that the shooter in Las Vegas was a nice, quiet guy who was a good neighbor, if a bit aloof from his community.

It doesn’t shock most women to know that men they trusted, like Keillor, or Matt Lauer, have turned out to be craven people who abused their power over their staff and colleagues. There are fathers who molest their daughters and bank presidents who beat their wives. Too many of them.

Calling the uncovering of sexual abusers a “witch hunt” shows that Balentine has forgotten that witch hunts in Salem were carried out by powerful men. There is no such thing as “harassment hysteria.” Women are finally being believed; this is a watershed moment and men should listen more carefully.

Joyce Devine
Phippsburg

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