Nita “Jade” Hanson -- the Colorado woman who called Dr. Laura for relationship advice in August and instead found herself on the receiving end of a racial rant in which Dr. Laura used the 'n' word 11 times -- says that Dr. Laura has been lying about Hanson on national television in an effort to rehabilitate her own image as she promotes her new book.
Hanson, who is African American, told Media Matters she was alarmed when she saw Dr. Laura on NBC's Today and Fox News' Hannity earlier this week claiming that Hanson “called the NAACP” and told them Dr. Laura “called her” the 'n' word on the air.
Audio of the controversial call, obtained by Media Matters in August, shows Dr. Laura did not “call” Hanson the 'n' word on the air -- but both Hanson and the NAACP say Hanson never claimed she did.
On the call, Hanson asked Dr. Laura for advice on how to deal with racist comments her white husband's friends made, and Dr. Laura responded, in part, by saying: “Black guys use it all the time. Turn on HBO, listen to a black comic, and all you hear is nigger, nigger, nigger.” In all, Dr. Laura used the slur 11 times and said, “If anybody without enough melanin says it, it's a horrible thing, but if black people say it, it's affectionate.” Dr. Laura also said, “If you're that hypersensitive about color and don't have a sense of humor, don't marry out of your race.” She went on to say that “hypersensitivity ... is being bred by black activists” and that “I really thought that once we had a black president, the attempt to demonize whites hating blacks would stop, but it seems to have grown, and I don't get it.”
During the ensuing controversy, Dr. Laura announced she would be ending her radio show in December of 2010. Her show now airs on Sirius XM.
Recounting the fallout from her August call with Hanson while promoting her new book on the January 18 edition of NBC's Today, Dr. Laura claimed:
DR. LAURA: I didn't call her a name... She went and called the NAACP and said I called her that name on the air.
MATT LAUER: Which was not accurate.
DR. LAURA: No, it's not accurate.
Later that day, Dr. Laura made the same claim on the January 18 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
DR. LAURA: She, I have since found out, called the NAACP and said that I called her that word.
SEAN HANNITY: Which the call clearly shows you didn't.
DR. LAURA: No, I never did.
Dr. Laura “has falsely accused me of something I did not do,” Hanson told Media Matters. “She said it twice on national television, and I wanted to set the record straight.”
“I did not lie,” Hanson said, adding, “I worked hard for my image.”
Rosemary Lytle, President of the Colorado Springs Branch of the NAACP, also told Media Matters, “Nita Hanson never said she was called the 'n' word. Only that [Dr. Laura] used it in the conversation.”
Hanson had contacted Lytle in an effort to retrieve audio of her August 10 call with Dr. Laura. Though the audio of Dr. Laura's shows is routinely available on her website, the audio of Hanson's call with Dr. Laura was not.
Hanson was advised by the NAACP to fill out a complaint form, specifying the date, time, and nature of her exchange with Dr. Laura. Hanson provided a copy of the form to Media Matters. Nowhere in that material did Hanson claim that Dr. Laura “called” her the 'n' word.
Hanson also appeared on CNN in August to discuss her exchange with Dr. Laura but never claimed that Dr. Laura “called her” the 'n' word.
Hanson -- who was a longtime listener of Dr. Laura's show -- said Dr. Laura is re-writing history in an effort to “prop herself up” on her book tour.
“She's just a bully,” Hanson said, adding, “She's on a platform to reach millions of people.”
Hanson isn't the only one who has said Dr. Laura is twisting the truth on her publicity tour. CNN's Anderson Cooper said Dr. Laura's claim -- also made on the Today show this week -- that CNN had a “field day” with coverage of the controversial August call without getting her side of the story is not true. Cooper said his program tried to get in touch with Dr. Laura, but that she turned him down.
Indeed, at the time, Cooper reported on his show, “We invited Dr. Laura to come on the program tonight, her staff said she was unavailable.”
A publicist for Dr. Laura did not respond to request for comment for this story.