When we last left Dr. Laura she had announced that she would be ending her nationally syndicated radio show on December 31 due to criticism over the now infamous rant in which she used the N-word 11 times. For those that need to be brought up to speed:
On August 10, Dr. Laura Schlessinger launched into a racially charged rant, during which Schlessinger -- in her own words -- “articulated the 'n' word all the way out -- more than one time.” Among other things, Schlessinger also told an African-American caller that she had a “chip on [her] shoulder.”
Schlessinger apologized the next day.
As Media Matters noted at the time, it wasn't the faux-psychologist's first brush with controversy:
Schlessinger's troubles then -- just like now -- began with incendiary remarks aimed at a minority group. During the 1990s, Schlesinger blasted “homosexuality” as “a biological error,” “deviant behavior, a dysfunctional behavior,” and linked gay men to pedophilia and child molestation. Schlessinger also touted “therapies which have been successful in helping a reasonable number of people become heterosexual.”
When Paramount announced it had signed Schlessinger to a TV talk show for the fall of 2000, the group StopDrLaura.com successfully "waged a campaign to dissuade companies from sponsoring the show." Dr. Laura debuted to “disappointing” ratings and Paramount “had difficulty attracting national sponsors to the show,” forcing the studio to sell ads at reduced rates (LA Times, 9/22/00).
In the spring of 2001, Dr. Laura -- to no one's surprise -- was cancelled. Schlessinger blamed the cancellation on gay rights groups such as StopDrLaura.com and Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), telling Larry King that “political correctness” “overpowers and overwhelms the United States of America today. ... This was strictly about trying to destroy my voice.” Schlessinger defenders claimed that critics were trying to silence her “1st amendment” rights.
It is now being reported that Schlessinger will only be trading in her terrestrial radio program in favor of a satellite broadcast on Sirius XM. As Huffington Post notes:
The AP report, which appears to have been published prematurely, says Schlessinger will begin on Sirius XM on January 3, just three days after signing off from terrestrial radio.
Much like Howard Stern before her, Schlessinger says that freedom of speech is what drew her to satellite radio.
“The first and most important thing that appealed to me was the freedom to speak my mind without advertisers and affiliates being attacked by activist groups that just love to censor anything they don't agree with,” she told the Associated Press. “That just about made my heart and head explode.”
The Associated Press report appears to have been designed for publication Monday, and has since been retracted. A note to editors said to disregard the story was it “was not intended for publication on Friday.” A representative for Sirius XM did not respond to a request for comment.