DR. LAURA’S RACIST TIRADE LEADS TO RADIO SHOW’S END…. It takes an awful lot to force a conservative talk-radio host off the air, but as it turns out, there are apparently some limits. Just ask Dr. Laura Schlessinger.
If you’re just joining us, a woman called Schlessinger’s show last week with an upsetting problem. The caller is in an inter-racial marriage — she’s black, her husband is white — and is offended when her husband’s friends and family members make racist remarks. Schlessinger blamed the woman, telling the caller that she’s “hypersensitive” — a problem “bred by black activists” — and needs a better sense of humor. To prove the point, Schlessinger repeated the N-word 11 times, defending it by saying “black guys say it all the time.”
Last night, Schlessinger announced that she’s ending her radio show.
Dr. Schlessinger made the announcement on Tuesday night on “Larry King Live,” saying she made a decision not to renew her contract when it expires at the end of the year and suggesting that she did not want her opinions and language, however provocative, to be muzzled
“I want to regain my First Amendment rights,” she said. “I want to be able to say what’s on my mind and in my heart and what I think is helpful and useful without somebody getting angry, some special interest group deciding this is the time to silence a voice of dissent and attack affiliates, attack sponsors. I’m sort of done with that.”
But she stressed that she was not retiring, only ending her show, and would continue to write books and appear at speaking engagements.
“I’m not quitting,” she told Larry King. “I feel energized actually — stronger and freer to say the things that I believe need to be said for people in this country.”
Oddly enough, last week, facing criticism, Schlessinger expressed regret for her remarks and acknowledged that her on-air remarks were “wrong.” By last night, however, her contrition appeared to be gone and the incident was everyone’s fault but hers.
Media Matters’ Eric Burns said in a statement, “Dr. Laura’s radio career ended in disgrace tonight because of the bigoted, ugly and hateful remarks made on her show. Americans have had enough. Listeners are now holding hosts, affiliates, and sponsors accountable for the offensive and inexcusable content on the airwaves.”
Here’s hoping that trend continues.
Postscript: Funniest line I’ve seen so far: “Dr. Laura announces retirement to spend more time with the N-Word.”