Dr. Laura’s Racist Rant: Why Is This Woman Still On The Air?
8/17 UPDATE: : Dr. Laura is pulling the plug on her own syndicated radio show.
Laura Schlessinger told Larry King Tuesday night that she’s ‘s ending her syndicated run at year’s end when her contract with TRN expires. Not sure if she’s saving face. She claims the network wants her to stay on, that even in the wake of the MMFA proposed sponsor boycott–with Motel 6 already dropping out and NetFlix, Home Depot and OnStar reportedly “distancing themselves from the show”–Schlessinger claims to have added unnamed sponsors and five new affiliates.
She’ll storm the Internet instead, saying her “First Amendment rights have been usurped by angry, hateful special interest groups.” I suggest you immerse yourself in a remedial course on The Constitution, Dr. Laura. Yeah, the First Amendment affords you the right to say what you want without fear of government recriminations. But it also gives other folks the right to criticize you. And it doesn’t prevent the free market place from taking its shekels and going home after you throw a racist cherry on top of decades’ worth of hateful diatribes.
Love it when the fright wingers re-interpret The Constitution for their convenience. Doubt she’ll study up. It’ll be easier to just teach a course on the First Amendment at Beck U.
UPDATE: On Friday, Media Matters For America called for all advertisers to pull out of “The Dr. Laura Show.” In a statement, MMFA President Eric Burns said:
“Dr. Laura’s offensive outburst provided listeners with a window into her true beliefs about race in America. By deliberately choosing to sponsor her program, Dr. Laura’s advertisers are not only funding her offensive radio show, but are implicitly endorsing its content. Companies must demonstrate that they won’t tolerate bigotry and immediately stop advertising on her show.”
Major companies who recently purchased ad time on the “Dr. Laura Show” include: Pfizer, Chase Bank, Netflix, Motel 6 and Home Depot. Find out more about the proposed boycott on the MMFA website .
Okay, I admit it, I’m officially out of the loop. My radio success–vexed by bad luck, a few dubious career decisions and the usual corporate nonsense– has yet to rise to the level of my talent or aspirations. So maybe I can get a little “hypersensitive,” as Dr. Laura Schlesinger likes to say, when a big-bucks bloviator launches into a signature diatribe that defies her laudable, high-profile stint behind the mic.
On her syndicated radio show on Tuesday a caller phoned in for advice coping with racially charged comments from her husband and his friends. Listen to the first part of that exchange:
Wow! I’m not sure why people call Dr. Laura for advice on anything. This judgemental shrew–who, by the way, holds a doctorate in Physiology, not Psychology–often derides the very people she’s ostensibly trying to help. Friends who are ( or were) fans, tell me she’s imparting tough love. Maybe, but her finger-wagging can be irresponsible and abrasive. Still, it’s obvious enough folks are buying the act; she’s been scolding America for decades.
But to be so culturally tone deaf, to toss around the “N Word” with such cavalier impunity, is startling, even for a conservative hack. It’s hard to believe the caller, Jade, hung on, sitting out a commercial break, just to endure more of the piercing doctor’s toxic treatment, but she did. Listen to the rest of the now infamous rant:
“Don’t NAACP me?” Are you kidding, Dr. Laura. After she spews a rat-a-tat-tat litany of the “N Word” and the woman calls her on it, she has the audacity to invoke what she calls “Black Think” while defending her right to use the inflammatory slur by saying Black comics use it all the time on HBO. Yeah, right there’s no difference between an edgy African-American comedian using such language and a conservative, white radio crone justifying prejudice by pretending she’s opening up a national dialogue on racial insensitivity. Well, she, inadvertently did just that, by being incredibly insensitive.
“I really thought once we had a black president the attempt to demonize whites hating blacks would stop, but it seems to have grown.” Well, whites who hate blacks ( and vice-versa) should be demonized, but I assume she misspoke. She probably meant people would stop all that pesky talk about the inherent racism that –with or without a black man in the White House– remains our national albatross. Didn’t she just say we have to talk about it because “goodness, gracious me,” we’re all people?
The trouble with Dr. Laura Think is an assumption that she’s coming at every topic and every person from a grand perch from which she can wield her conservative agenda, telling people to eradicate the chips on their shoulders immediately if not sooner and ignore the hypersensitive “isms” that are cultivated by angry black activists scrambling for power. All of this justifies Dr. Laura spewing a racially charged slur that anyone who’s been in this country for a fraction of the time she’s been alive knows is infused with over a century’s worth of discrimination and violence. To throw it around with such reckless abandon is shocking. To do so under the guise of initiating a meaningful, even healing, discussion is appalling.
Now to be fair, Dr. Laura apologized on both her blog and the next day’s show. You can read her apology here. By the way, this isn’t the first time she’s gone down the road of PR sanctioned Mea Culpas. Most recently she’s apologized to the gay community for outrageous remarks on same-sex marriage.
I’ve done countless hours of live radio and know it’s easy to get swept up in the moment. Sometimes you say things that come out wrong. I’ve had calls or interviews that didn’t go so well. What I thought was funny may have come off as snark and offended a listener or guest. It happens. And I almost always regret it ( some folks have it coming). But I’ve never intentionally or unintentionally uttered a racial slur.
The level of Dr. Laura’s insensitivity during this interchange was inexcusable. I’m not sure how it will fly with the FCC. The “N Word” is so charged it is usually bleeped over broadcast airwaves. Perhaps her staff was too intimidated to utilize the traditional seven second delay on their boss. In any case, this wasn’t a slip of the tongue. It was –as she states–her attempt to make a philosophical argument. And to use her pathetic vernacular it was a”sucky” one at that.
She knows it didn’t work. And vows it will never happen again. Too little too late? I guess that will up to her listeners and advertisers to decide.