When the fans get angry....
I recently interviewed Karen Grassle, who was here to promote her memoir "Bright Lights, Prairie Dust: Reflections on Life, Loss and Love from Little House's Ma". In the book, she says some very harsh things about co-star Michael Landon, who, as Executive Producer, was also her boss on "Little House on the Prairie" - a show that ran for 8 seasons and made Karen Grassle a household name.
In the interview, I asked Karen point blank whether she was ready for the inevitable onslaught of criticism and outrage she was bound to get from loyal Michael Landon fans. She said, "Yes, bring it on." Well, sure enough, as you can see from the slew of comments posted on YouTube under this interview, the knives have come out for Karen. Not all of the comments are negative, but quite a few of them are.
I think it's important for everyone to understand and appreciate that Karen has every right to articulate her truth as she recalls it. This is HER story, written in her own words, and recalling her experiences as she lived them. Yes, it is true - and very sad - that Michael Landon is long gone and therefore unable to defend himself. I asked Karen why she took so long to write the book, and if you watch the interview, you'll hear her response. It might have been preferable for her to make her comments about Michael Landon while he was still alive, so he could have had the opportunity to respond, but she has her own reasons for not doing so.
For whatever it's worth, I am inclined to believe Karen. I found her very open, forthright and sincere. Given the fact that I've spent the last 26 years in a courtroom assessing credibility, I happen to trust my instincts about these things. But I'm not imposing my opinions on anyone else. I tried to be fair and even-handed in the interview, to elicit the information that I felt would be necessary for viewers to receive the information and assess it as they see fit. Obviously, in the interview, we could not cover everything she said in the book. If you want to get Karen's full story involving Michael Landon, I urge you to read her book, which I found highly compelling, sincere and truthful.
I welcome an open and frank discussion from our viewers about any of our guests - and, for that matter, about any aspect of our show. All I ask is that people be respectful and civilized in their comments. We have had to remove a number of comments on YouTube that were rude, obnoxious or vulgar. Our show is a "class act", and we intend to keep it that way. Our guests and viewers deserve no less.
One more thing: please don't shoot the messenger. This should go without saying: I am not responsible for what my guests say, nor for the opinions they express. My role as an interviewer is to present my guests as fairly, impartially and comprehensively as I can. I strive very hard to do that.
Thank you all for watching our show, and for engaging myself and other viewers on YouTube and Facebook.