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Ollie North

July 19, 1987

Ever since "Prairie Home Companion's" Garrison Keillor packed up his Powdermilk Biscuits last month, public radio has been in quandary as to who will take his place. I have a solution. Oliver North.

For two hours every Saturday night Keillor hosted a show full of inoffensive, heartwarming music, interspersed with sentimental tales of a fictitious American small town called Lake Wobegon. North has been sitting before a congressional committee for hours a day, spinning equally sentimental tales of a fictitious Central American country called Nicaragua and a fantasyland he refers to as Iran.

Just as Keillor's audience saw facets of themselves in the inhabitants of Lake Wobegon, North's audience sees its history and beliefs reflected in the "freedom fighters" of Nicaragua and the "moderates" (what American is not, after all, a moderate?) in North's Iran. And, like Keillor, North is a born storyteller. He is able to make the products of his imagination seem almost real.

Best of all, both men leave an audience feeling good. Its view of the world as a simple, easily understood place is never questioned. Is it any wonder that these gentlemen are known to be terrific fund-raisers?

I urge the American Public Radio Network to give serious consideration to North. He's popular, he's reliable, and best of all, he's a Marine. Which means that, unlike Keillor, he's not likely to demand Saturdays off.

CHRISTOPHER REINER

Sebastopol

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