In 1954, Joseph Welch stunned Senator Joseph McCarthy and his aide Roy Cohn by challenging the out of control committee accusing pretty much everyone of being a Communist.
What we have going on at the moment is a cross betwen the McCarthy hearings and the Salem witch trials where men are losing their careers over decades old allegations of improper sexual conduct as mild as a kiss at a Christmas Party or a man soothing a woman’s bare back. While there were real Communists and real sexual predators, there are fundamental rights to due process in our society – a right to confront your accusers, the right to a quick trial, right to trial by your peers and a prohibition on ex post facto laws. A person cannot be charged with improper conduct for events that occurred before the leaders of our representative democracy declared them to be improper.
Leonard Lopate could be that guy. He is a very smart thoughtful 77 year old man – hosting a daily live two hour interview show on WNYC radio in New York City for 32 years. Without any due process and any details of the allegations, he has been suspended from his career. This comes on the heels of American Public Media terminating its relationship with “Prairie Home Companion” creator Garrison Keillor.