If NPR is Liberal, Why Do They Defend Garrison Keillor

Christina Bishop
7 min readFeb 13, 2021


“Why are you ranting about Garrison Keillor, Lake Wobegon is a nice place where…”

Little do listeners realize that Garrison’s Lake Wobegon is not only a fantasy; but a dangerous fallacy that is similar to the talking points of Christian Nationalists like the ones who rioted the capitol. There is a difference between a Christian and a Christian Nationalist. One is a person who worships God no matter the denomination and does so without as Thomas Jefferson says, “Pick my pocket or break my legs”.

But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.-Thomas Jefferson

The other is an imperialist ideology that threatens immigrants, genders, and minorities only if they do as they are told; told to pickpockets from organizations and governments, erect statues without legal or federal permission, harass and assault women and then blame them, indoctrinate children so they do not wonder or feel curious about the world around them but are made and are threatened to obey. When people talk about the Good Ole Days when prayer was in schools, tell activists like myself that I should write about nice things, complain when inequality is addressed, fear science and humanities like their the Black Death, and does not debate using logical facts and sources then they are most likely a Christian Nationalist.

The reason why liberals are afraid to hold these people accountable is because of people like Garrison Keillor; who poses as a liberal but has a religious and conservative underbelly and a community of fans who love him and believe not defending him makes you a radical progressive rather than a person who wants accountability and more progressive journalism in NPR rather than a toxic fandom created for Conservative Liberals.

I had to delete an article about David Sedaris’s toxic comments on Canadian Television on the working classes; people like my father and mother who are essential and needed during this crisis because it got trolled on an NPR Reddit community by people claiming to not defend him and saying the one rotten apple argument I constantly hear from music educators who support abusive for-profit corporations like Drum Corps International and Bands of America because their a charity and don’t know the difference until they become the victim’s. I titled the article as a warning to him and NPR saying that Garrison Keillor is more than a monster, but the Dr. Frankenstein of NPR Conservatives who defend liberal Christian Nationalists until it’s too late to turn back than they themselves become the monsters. His rhetoric is the reason people like Trump prey on religiously extreme movements and ideologies like Christan Nationalism.

Christan Nationalists actually believe this garbage

This is also why Eugenics became popular in America under the guise of the social movement called Prohibition. German textbooks and books like Der Struwwelpeter and Max and Mortz were burned and replaced with propaganda claiming that if little Franz took a swig of beer he would combust in blue flames and die in hell. However, there are groups like Answers in Genisis and the Good News Club doing the same thing the Prohibitionists did many years ago by targeting and harassing public and private schools if they don’t have a bible in a classroom or teach creationism. They have also given and encouraged parents and students to follow suit and send death threats to teachers and students who do care about science and its humanity. In the famous case of Dover, Penlyvaina when a teacher refused to teach creationism alongside biology and evolution; received death threats from parents and churches in the community.

Because of these groups Christian colleges like Wheaton whose alumni include the creator of Veggie Tales Phill Vischer had to change their mission statements to protect, educate, and be vigilant to agnostics and atheists. Bill Nye and Art Clokey the creator of Davey and Goliath had their start as members of the Espciplaian and Lutheran Church. Later they became famous for Gumby and my favorite show as a kid Bill Nye the Science Guy and have inspired many people to go into acting, animation, and filming. Or to make complex and hard conversations in science and humanities fun; but also inspiring and meaningful.

When I quit being a music major I chose the science of sociology and psychology as a way to make the lives of musicians and artists better and recently the University of Kanas did a study suitable for an episode of Bill Nye. They wanted to know how many times Marching Band and Drum Corp members have to expel waste (poo and pee), gain more energy (food and drink), before they can do what they do best on the field, march and make music! The results were shocking, dehydration and eating disorders occur more in Marching Bands and Corps than do in other performing arts like gymnastics, ballet, and theater.

We can make this better if instead of dieting, tailored food and a menu to meet the needs and energy burned by members and encourage communal cooking and baking by members to build a connection to other members through food. Make temporary housing for band members where they can socialize and build community and strength and have actual beds to sleep on. Also, we need more psychologists, sociologists, and all medical fields to study bands and corps for a living to improve them. Many colleges put sociology and psychology into the arts and humanities category when they too like biology, physics, anatomy, astrology, geology, archeology, and anthropology are science with questions that have to be answered and problems with resolutions.

If people in the days of Prohibition claimed people's stomachs exploded if they drank alcohol; science should have been backed up or disproven by people like Michigan surgeon Wiliam Beaumont who actually studied human stomachs and their acids by sticking a carrot into a wound into a man who got shot in the stomach. Even Charles Darwin condemned slavery and eugenics because it was the biggest threat to not just humanity but human biodiversity; as an Englishman and a scientist, he knew from historical records the dangers and diseases that came from royal families who inbred with their own family members.

Yet to Christan Nationalist science, humanity, and democracy are considered their worst enemies; when people listen to Fox News or Praire Home Companion they are enjoying ignorance rather than the enlightenment of shows like Hidden Brain, Freakanomics, This American Life, Radio Lab, 1A, and On The Media. To me, Parie Home Companion is the gentle gateway drug for once Progressive Republicans and Conservative Liberals into the harsher substances like Bill O Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, and Fox News.

“Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering”-Yoda

Fear of no more Paire Home Companion leads to anger

Anger leads people to Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Bill O Riley

Hate leads the person to believe what they say is true

Suffering for both the family and friends around them who try to give them reason and truth to the world.

Yoda’s quote is not saying to ignore these feelings; but to be wary of the people who pray and feed upon these feelings for power, money, greed, and joy of watching people suffer. I’m glad people like Seth Andrews are exposing the truth and idiocy behind Christan Nationalism and why Christians are leaving the church because of these vultures. However, it’s not only Republicans and Conserivites who are to blame; it’s Corporate Liberals like Mr. Keilor and his fans who think donating money and pandering to the Koch Brothers makes NPR look good when it does not. Despite my love for my local station, it makes me angry as a Michigander that they expect blood money from Enbridge which plans to build an oil pipeline right through our two lakes Michigan and Huron which people fish and swim in. I’m glad our Governor is fighting against these monsters but my NPR station should fight too because if they did they would revive a lot of money from environmental groups in my state and from others who care about water.

Lake Wobegon is polluted, but instead, we should care about real lakes like Michigan, Huron, Superior, Eire, Ontario. Their smaller cousins in Mio, Waterford, Metamora, and others. Finally, our neighboring states that share the same lakes like Ohio our rival home to Cedar Point, Wisconson home of Charles Dallenbach, Cluver's, and Cheese Kurds, and Illinois and Indiana home to St. Louis, Chicago, and where shows like Blast got their start and won Toney awards. Instead of giving your money to Garrison Keilor; what about your real Thousand Lakes who will suffer because of our planet warming?

If you truly care about real lakes instead of a fictional lake…

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Christina Bishop

Tuba player, creator of Struwwelkinder and The Flying Circus Orchestra