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NPR suspends Leonard Lopate and Jonathan Schwartz!

More substantiated accusations of sexual harassment. I won't miss Jonathan and his incoherent ramblings too much but I've always enjoyed Leonard's noon show while I work.

These two follow The Takeaway's John Hockenberry who was suspended from NPR last week.

Well, we'll always have Terry Gross.

--Lakshmi Singh
replies 78Dec 6, 2017 10:20 AM +00:00

No, the accusations are not substantiated. Go back to sleep, Mabel.

replies 1Dec 7, 2017 12:19 PM +00:00

How can you be sure we'll always have Terry, OP? Who knows whom SHE may have had?

replies 2Dec 7, 2017 12:31 PM +00:00

I'll vouch for Terry!

--Brooke Gladstone
replies 3Dec 7, 2017 12:41 PM +00:00

Anything new on the Leonard Lopate investigation?

According to the NY Times, he was shocked to be accused and denies all allegations. I really hope that's true. This one hurts.

replies 4Dec 7, 2017 12:42 PM +00:00

I'm shocked too. My assumption is that, after letting a lot of harassment go on at WNYC, and being criticized for it, the station is now suspending anyone that ever had anything negative said about them by any woman.

Would not be shocked if some snowflake* complained about a compliment on her outfit or something, which old guys think is nice for a woman to hear.

Laura Walker gets a half million a year to manage WNYC, and she's not going anywhere except kicking and screaming!

*I'm a liberal, but do snowflakes exist? Yes, they certainly do.

--Ofeibea Quist-Arcton
replies 5Dec 7, 2017 12:56 PM +00:00

I hope Melissa Clark didn't accuse Lopate of touching her buns?

replies 6Dec 7, 2017 5:57 PM +00:00

I am as liberal as they come but I agree with the Weekly Standard on this — both Lopate and Rush have lost important positions without even being told the specifics of the accusations. If #metoo becomes a Stalinist witchhunt, the many true stories of sexual harassment and assault will be tarnished by association.

The adjectives “Orwellian” and “Kafkaesque” (but, curiously, never Orwellesque or Kafkian) are some of the most overused and abused in the English language. They’re oft employed, one suspects, by those with hazy memories of paging through the Cliffs Notes of 1984 or The Hunger Artist a couple of decades ago. But occasionally the comparisons are apt. Such as when people seem to be living through the literal plot of a Kafka novel. Consider the case of Australian actor Geoffrey Rush. The Academy Award winner appeared in a Sydney production of King Lear in 2015 and 2016, to much acclaim. But just recently, a complaint was lodged against Rush dating back to that performance. It is alleged by someone—we don’t know who, as the accusation has not been made public—that he behaved “inappropriately” at some point during the course of the production. But not unlike Joseph K. in The Trial, Rush claims he has no idea what he is actually being accused of: The theater has refused to tell the actor what it is that he supposedly did. Subjected to a campaign of innuendo and a charge that he literally can’t answer, Rush just stepped aside from his role atop the Australian Screen Academy.
Weekly Standard
replies 7Dec 10, 2017 8:45 AM +00:00

The Lopate complaints are apparently from GUESTS

replies 8Dec 10, 2017 8:47 AM +00:00

My elderly mom is very tired of these snowflake meltdowns over "a boy getting 'fresh' " as attempted rape.

replies 9Dec 10, 2017 8:56 AM +00:00

That’s completely bizarre, r8 — he’s on live radio. They march in, he talks to them, they march out. When would he even have the chance to harass them?

replies 10Dec 10, 2017 7:53 PM +00:00

Behold the witch burners on the Left.

replies 11Dec 10, 2017 10:05 PM +00:00

Oh dear.

replies 12Dec 10, 2017 11:35 PM +00:00

R10, maybe he was a creepy toucher? Maybe he was the kind of man who stares at a woman’s breasts and avoids eye contact?

I was imagining that he might have been inappropriate with producers who are young and naive, but I don’t see how he could assault a guest, either.

NPR has been very open about the problems they’ve had over there. I’ll give them that. I listen to WNYC daily, but I don’t always agree with their party line.

replies 13Dec 10, 2017 11:39 PM +00:00

heh heh heh heh

--jian ghomeshi
replies 14Dec 10, 2017 11:40 PM +00:00

Not suspended - FIRED!

Lopate is the only one of the people accused that I like!

He is the best one on WNYC!

Terry Gross has Asperger's - I cannot listen to her!

A WNYC News investigation finds complaints to management about the two longtime hosts go back years.
replies 15Dec 21, 2017 4:41 PM +00:00

This is starting to get ridiculous. I'm going to start boycotting women-led anything.

replies 16Dec 21, 2017 5:27 PM +00:00

I will miss Leonard Lopate.

Such an articulate man, I'd really like to hear his defense. If he has one.

replies 17Dec 21, 2017 7:07 PM +00:00

Goodbye WNYC. Lopate was the best thing on that network. Oh well, my pledge dollars will go someone else.

replies 18Dec 21, 2017 9:50 PM +00:00

^ somewhere else.

replies 19Dec 21, 2017 9:51 PM +00:00

Wow-not even a goodbye !

replies 20Dec 22, 2017 12:56 AM +00:00

Lenny's show is getting a new name. This is from statement by CEO Laura Walker, who makes $800,000 a year, while listeners are told contributions are for programming.

"We’ll continue to produce two hours of midday programming, called WNYC at Midday, which will feature a diverse array of hosts—from WNYC and beyond—in conversation with thinkers, artists, writers, and performers."

replies 21Dec 22, 2017 1:08 AM +00:00

R14 lol I was thinking the same!

replies 22Dec 22, 2017 1:12 AM +00:00

Well, somebody had to pay a price for that haircut.

replies 23Dec 22, 2017 1:14 AM +00:00

See, our nerds at WBEZ are more polite than those found at WNYC.

replies 24Dec 22, 2017 1:16 AM +00:00

Both Lopate and Schwartz seem the type who would pinch women’s asses and not think there was anything wrong with it.

Now we’ll never hear that mystery Carly Simon intro theme again!

--Steve Inskeep
replies 25Dec 22, 2017 1:21 AM +00:00

Schwartz was the epitome of obnoxious.

I recently started finding Lopate to be somewhat overbearing and smug. Maybe my tastes changed. He seemed to,try and one up the guests and not,let them finish answers. Not as bad as Charlie Rose, though (I sure can imagine him opening his robe,eww).

Hockenberry was a self-important ass on The Takeaway. But Todd Zwillig on there is smart and respectful and really cute (googled him).

replies 26Dec 22, 2017 1:29 AM +00:00

Lopate sounds like a horrible person. Byeeeeee! Sounds like there will be an upper management reckoning, and Laura will be gone also.

replies 27Dec 22, 2017 3:56 AM +00:00

I love Terry Gross's interviews and hope she one day soon has Lopate on as a guest.

I think the weird thing for me about Lopate is, that because I could never see him....and he always sounded so smart and articulate and's hard to imagine him as anything else.

replies 28Dec 22, 2017 4:01 AM +00:00

Todd Zwillich has a face made for.......TV!

Why is he languishing away on public radio?

replies 29Dec 22, 2017 12:50 PM +00:00

Let's start a petition for that. And he's is really smart too.

--Family? He has a cat...
replies 30Dec 22, 2017 2:08 PM +00:00

Jonathan is a bit of a smug know-it-all but he does come from old Hollywood minor royalty, one of our last connections to that bygone world, and he has impeccable taste in music and artists.

I wonder what he's accused of...

replies 31Dec 22, 2017 8:31 PM +00:00
This is from statement by CEO Laura Walker, who makes $800,000 a year, while listeners are told contributions are for programming.


replies 32Dec 22, 2017 8:58 PM +00:00

r31 this is their own reporters, but there are PC signifier phrases that are red flags. Oh, and they yell.

A WNYC News investigation finds complaints to management about the two longtime hosts go back years.
replies 33Dec 22, 2017 9:08 PM +00:00

Lopate has rage issues and makes women *and* men staffers cry with his screaming attacks that come out of the blue. That's of course unprofessional and he's been warned about it but he's gotten away with it for so long. Until he didn't. And HR has at least one on tape. The stories about Lopate getting canned because of mildly off-color remarks are bullshit. Will be interesting to see what real reasons for the firings are eventually leaked to the media.

replies 34Dec 22, 2017 9:18 PM +00:00

Any info on Schwartz? His dad sure as hell was a great composer.

replies 35Dec 22, 2017 9:35 PM +00:00

r34 so this isn't within the realm of acceptable in a creative industry? I imagined him like Frank Reynolds' famous on air rant, with obscenities, and didn't think that was a firing offense. I assumed they were using #metoo as cover to reduce the payroll & hire a trendier demographic. (Either that, or one of the snowflakes was going public, so they canned him rather than defend OWM talentin this climate.)

Why isn't his PD on the curb as well? It's her (or his) job to take the edge off the talent and not let him shoot himself in the foot. Usually, when someone has already been warned by HR, TPTB hire someone to oversee him, especially re: the outbursts.

replies 36Dec 22, 2017 9:43 PM +00:00

This is getting way out of hand. It seems like any man who did not conduct himself in the manner of a perfect gentlemen around the opposite sex is going to be pilloried for past actions. As a female who retired at 55 recently, I could list at least 50 men with whom I worked who were anywhere from extremely "fresh," to very inappropriate with me in the confines of the work environment. I even had not one, but TWO CEOs of my airline pull me down forcibly to sit on their laps. I know: gross. but that is not far fetched for the behavior of a man of power in the 80s.

The point is, a grown up woman knows how to deal with these situations. I am well aware that I used my sexuality and beauty to advance myself within the company whenever the chance arose; therefore it would be the height of disingenuousness to then scream "How dare you" and then seek revenge on the boor who responded to me as most men would. Of course I am not talking about rape or attempted rape--that would and always has been an out of bounds situation. I am simply talking about workplace grab ass.

And I am convinced that at least 80% of the firings and severe disciplinary measures being doled out now are the result of nothing more than office grab ass. Should woman HAVE to tolerate it? Of course not...but if you are going to make an official complaint which could potentially ruin someone's reputation and future, you had better be sure that you as a woman had never used your own sexuality to your advantage with that man you are accusing.

replies 37Dec 22, 2017 10:01 PM +00:00

Very interesting. I m glad this whole issue is being discussed. I think that there really has to be a distinction made between gross behavior (such as Franken has been accused of, though there was never a hearing) and assault of the sort that Clinton and Weinstein have been accused of. As for a woman (or man) using sexuality to advance, of course people should take responsibilty for that, but they are making the choice. There are theother situations in which someone else is making the choice. No means no.

replies 38Dec 22, 2017 10:12 PM +00:00

Hockenberry was creepy and a bully. Even the men he worked with thought so.

replies 39Dec 22, 2017 10:56 PM +00:00

Couldn't stand him. Pompous, self-important, and very directive in interviews. "Don't you think that [fill in the blank]." Sure hope they keep Toddy as the permanent host.

--Love him
replies 40Dec 22, 2017 11:14 PM +00:00

If this is true, what shocks me about Lopate's supposed "rage" issues is that they were never apparent in years and years of live broadcasts.

He always seemed very calm and cool, even with contentious or dull guests or when an interview called for taped clips that didn't come up. He always moved his show along effortlessly.

replies 41Dec 23, 2017 5:58 AM +00:00

Zwillich, not Zwillig, R26?
replies 42Dec 23, 2017 6:27 AM +00:00

replies 43Dec 23, 2017 6:40 AM +00:00

U missed the firing. Schwartz I could take or leave but I’m shocked about Lopate.

Some of the accusations are purely in Snowflakelandia:

In one example, as she was preparing for a segment about a cookbook, Lopate explained how the avocado got its name. She said he told her that it came from the Aztec word for “testicle,” and then he made what she considered a crude hand gesture, adding “you know, because of the shape and the bumpy skin." Lopate referred to this incident in an interview with the New York Times. The paper reported “he was incredulous that such a statement would have resulted in a complaint to superiors.” Speaking with WNYC News earlier this week, he denied making the hand gesture and using the graphic description. He said of the etymology, “it’s an interesting fact.”

Leonard doesn’t realize just what this new crop of women is like. Each one is “literal sexual violence” waiting to happen, with just a wrong look or comment.

Another complaint was about his he would make absurd comparisons between awful stories of mistreatment and how he treated his staff. Since he doesn’t ACTUALLY mistreat his staff, he probably assumed they knew it was a joke. Wrong!

He admits to both of these. There were two other accusations of rude sexual comments he supposedly made which he flatly denies. I frankly believe him. These sorts of allegations can be made by women these days and they’ll simply be believed and the accused fired.

Used to be a regular contributor to WNYC, $100 a year. They’ll never see another penny of my money. They’ve got that annoying swishy Jonathan Capehart guest hosting and he drives be UP THE WALL.

replies 44Dec 25, 2017 12:48 PM +00:00

You just called him swishy.

You're fired!

replies 45Dec 25, 2017 1:09 PM +00:00


OMG - that could be straight out of David Mamet's "Oleanna"!

replies 46Dec 25, 2017 2:26 PM +00:00

Lots of angry posts on their site.

A WNYC News investigation finds complaints to management about the two longtime hosts go back years.
replies 47Dec 28, 2017 8:16 AM +00:00

Will we ever get to hear Lopate's side of the story?

replies 48Dec 28, 2017 8:19 AM +00:00

Are things slowing down? No major accusations in the last week. Or was that just the Christmas lull?

replies 49Dec 28, 2017 3:58 PM +00:00

Does anyone know if Brian Lehrer addressed the firings on his show?

replies 50Dec 28, 2017 4:26 PM +00:00

I also wondered if Brian Lehrer mentioned Leonard's firing.

replies 51Dec 28, 2017 4:48 PM +00:00
Will we ever get to hear Lopate's side of the story?

The answer is NO, because just like the Maoists in the Cultural Revolution your accusers "disappear" you immediately after sentencing.

replies 52Jan 1, 2018 4:40 AM +00:00

OP - NPR didn't do anything with regards to Lopate and Schwartz. They were employees of New York Public Radio.

Some of the reactions in this thread are examples of the larger problem which others have pointed out. The star system. in entertainment/media industries Behavior that would never be considered unacceptable and cause for termination from a clerk doing data entry is overlooked in people like Matt Lauer.

We see it here. Clearly there are people coming to the defense of these two men based upon their shows. Based upon their on air personalities. Not their behavior in the workplace.

Let me remind you of the obvious. There are very public cases where men have been falsely accused and they have come forward and publicly stated that. Defended themselves successfully. It happened at Duke University and University of Virginia. It happened with Bill Clinton and Juanita Broaddrick.

replies 53Jan 1, 2018 5:50 AM +00:00

So...frau cunt gets upset because he told her the word avocado is from an old Aztec word for testes?

Career ruining over a fucking word.

A WNYC News investigation finds complaints to management about the two longtime hosts go back years.
replies 54Jan 1, 2018 5:58 AM +00:00

r53, so you're saying that because Lopate has not publicly voiced a defense he must be guilty?

replies 55Jan 1, 2018 6:06 AM +00:00

R55 - not saying that at all Just pointing out the obvious. Men have been accused and successfully defended themselves.

replies 56Jan 1, 2018 2:35 PM +00:00

When I heard about this, I guessed it was Lopate making a joke. I wonder if he will fight it.

replies 57Jan 1, 2018 2:47 PM +00:00

This reminds me of the shock I felt when I heard what happened to Jeff Smith, “The Frugal Gourmet”.

From Wikipedia: “In 1997 seven men filed a civil lawsuit against Smith, charging him with sexual abuse. Six alleged that they were molested as teenagers in the 1970s while working at Smith's deli and catering service in Tacoma; the seventh claimed that he was assaulted in 1992, at age 14, after Smith picked him up as a hitchhiker.[6][4] Smith denied the allegations, and no criminal charges were filed, but he and his insurers settled the cases for an undisclosed amount in 1998.[3][7] The litigation ended his television career, though he continued his writing and charitable work.”

He also sexually harassed his assistant on “The Frugal Gourmet” show, Craig Wollam.

My mom and I used to LOVE watching him on PBS. He seemed like such a darling man. He was a fucking pedo and sex pest.

replies 58Jan 1, 2018 3:20 PM +00:00

I loved it when Lopate would spout something he believed to be true about a movie or TV star guest, and they'd politely tell him he was wrong. 38 years is long enough, Lenny, time to retire. It was reported he made $200,000 a year.

replies 59Jan 1, 2018 3:51 PM +00:00

He was good though, for a long time. I listened to him since 1999.

replies 60Jan 1, 2018 3:52 PM +00:00

R58 I had no idea that's what happened to him. I used to LOVE the Frugal Gourmet. Its the show that made me want to visit Seattle. lol

replies 61Jan 1, 2018 3:57 PM +00:00
I loved it when Lopate would spout something he believed to be true about a movie or TV star guest, and they'd politely tell him he was wrong.

You think he was just spouting that stuff? It was provided to him as research by his assistants/producers. Many of them being millennials, they got stings wrong. A lot. I assume that's why he would fly into a rage, and now he's fired. Ridiculous.

replies 62Jan 2, 2018 6:29 AM +00:00

stings = things

replies 63Jan 2, 2018 6:29 AM +00:00

The Leonard Lopate Show is still playing. Are they repeats or do they have some other host?

replies 64Jan 2, 2018 6:49 AM +00:00

They are calling it "Midday on WNYC" and the last time I listened some other person was hosting.

I thought Lopate had a wide range of knowledge, asked good questions and had a good sense of humor.

The younger ones seem more fake and lightweight.

replies 65Jan 2, 2018 6:54 AM +00:00

Hockenberry was suspended last week? What for?

replies 66Jan 2, 2018 7:50 AM +00:00

Now it's called "MidDay." Lenny took too many vacations anyway. Either I was getting less,tolerant or he was getting to be more of a gasbag, but he seemed to be interrupting guests a lot more. Can't stand that. Now, Todd Zwillich., smart, polite.

--Come over here, Toddy. Talk to me.
replies 67Jan 2, 2018 7:52 AM +00:00

R66--for terminal self-importance

--Almost equal to that of Steven Inskeep.
replies 68Jan 2, 2018 8:06 AM +00:00

This is the scandal: CEO Laura Walker makes $800,000 a year. That is a good university's President's salary. How big could the staff and budget of a radio station be?

replies 69Jan 2, 2018 8:12 AM +00:00
The younger ones seem more fake and lightweight.

They really are -- and as they are younger, some millennials, they're ultra PC. Was just listening today and the guest host referred to children who might have self-esteem issues as "feeling they are less-than."

Lennie had a better, smoother voice, and he was from an older generation and more well-rounded.

Either I was getting less,tolerant or he was getting to be more of a gasbag, but he seemed to be interrupting guests a lot more.

Absolutely necessary to run a good and informative talk show on the radio. Right now, with the younger hosts, the guests often go on and on and on and they are not shepherded toward making a complete and coherent presentation of their postion on an issue (whatever it might be). Leonard knew how to move the conversation along.

replies 70Jan 2, 2018 8:13 AM +00:00

Yes, I agree R70.

I also agree with R69 and also think that is an obscene salary for a university head/administration as well.

replies 71Jan 2, 2018 8:16 AM +00:00
This is the scandal: CEO Laura Walker makes $800,000 a year. That is a good university's President's salary. How big could the staff and budget of a radio station be?

WNYC has grown vastly under Walker's management and they make many shows now. Still, that's a vast amount of money for public radio. And that's why everything has happened as it did. She didn't want to rock the boat on her team which was working so well, and then once the complaints started because of the #metoo tidal wave, she overreacted (IMO). Throwing others overboard to save oneself, bacically.

replies 72Jan 2, 2018 8:17 AM +00:00

Another voice agreeing with r70. There’s no substitute for experience.

It’s too bad, because Leonard was pretty good. He was a little bit pompous, but he knew a little bit about many things. And he was diplomatic.

replies 73Jan 2, 2018 8:22 AM +00:00

Jonathan Schwartz, on the other hand. ..

--No one will ever love him like he does.
replies 74Jan 2, 2018 8:51 AM +00:00

I tried listening to Jonathan Schwartz for about five minutes and I turned him off. Never bothered again.

replies 75Jan 2, 2018 8:53 AM +00:00

I found Schwartz listenable but he just played music, mostly. He was a glorified DJ. The loss of Lopate is much harder.

replies 76Jan 2, 2018 9:07 AM +00:00

Can you recommend any other stations or hosts? Lopate was the last one I was listening to.

The Philosophy Zone on Australian radio can be good.

replies 77Jan 2, 2018 9:15 AM +00:00

R69 -I haven't listened to WNYC on a regular basis in a very long time. I moved out of its broadcast area long before the age of podcasts and streaming. But even I know that Walker is not the CEO of a radio station. She is the CEO of New York Public Radio -which is a huge enterprise. Google her. Maybe you will see she is worth the salary?

replies 78Jan 2, 2018 11:26 AM +00:00