Laura Schlessinger

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  • Hannity Helps Make Dr. Laura The Victim

    Blog ››› ››› JEREMY HOLDEN

    Dr. Laura Schlessinger's controversial N-word rant has been Hannitized.

    When last we heard from the caustic radio host, she was resigning in disgrace after using a racial epithet 11 times during a call in which she also told an African American woman, "If you're that hypersensitive about color and don't have a sense of humor, don't marry out of your race."

    After those comments were publicized by Media Matters, Schlessinger's advertisers dropped her show in droves. Within days, Schlessinger told CNN's Larry King that she would leave her radio show, bogusly claiming that she was doing so in order to reclaim her "First Amendment rights."

    Enter Sean Hannity.

  • Dr. Laura set to bring her hate to satellite radio

    Blog ››› ››› KARL FRISCH

    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 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 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.

  • NPR's John Ridley explains why it's not OK for Dr. Laura to use the N-word

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    Today on Morning Edition, co-host Steve Inskeep and commentator John Ridley discussed Dr. Laura Schlessinger's use of the N-word and her subsequent resignation because of criticism over the incident.

    Ridley said Schlessinger's use of the N-word was a "speed bump" in the conversation that served to slow down listeners and got them to consider other things she said about race that were troubling.

  • Dr. Laura returns to CNN to defend her indefensible racial remarks

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    The day after she engaged in the racially charged rant which eventually led to her deciding to step down from her radio show, Schlessinger apologized for having "articulated the "n" word all the way out - more than one time." But as the Rev. Al Sharpton pointed out, the repeated use of a racial slur wasn't the only problem with her comments - the "whole line" of her remarks "was extremely disturbing."

    Tonight on CNN, we found out why Schlessinger neglected to apologize for some of those additional comments - she doesn't think there's anything wrong with them.

    During an interview, John Roberts pointed out that while much of the media attention devoted to Schlessinger's comments has revolved around her repeated use of a racial slur, "there were some other things that you said during that broadcast that other people found even more troubling than the n-word." Rather than apologize for those comments, Schlessinger kept digging:

    Roberts brought up her comment 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," and noted that "some people thought that was really a racist point of view." Schlessinger replied, "I don't. I think that was an observation."

    Roberts then raised Schlessinger's remark that "without giving much thought, a lot of blacks voted for Obama simply 'cause he was half-black... it was a black thing." Roberts raised a Columbia University professor's statement that Obama did not receive a substantially larger portion of the black vote than John Kerry got in 2004.

    Schlessinger did not respond to Roberts, instead attacking her original caller for her purportedly "racist statement that whites are afraid of the black man taking over America," and pointing out that she had responded to that statement by pointing out that whites had been responsible for Obama's election since blacks make up such a small percentage of voters. She then attacked Roberts for not having played the caller's statement. Incidentally, the exchange Schlessinger was describing came on the other end of the commercial from the one that Roberts brought up.

    Defending indefensible statements wasn't all Dr. Laura did on CNN.

  • Dr. Laura: Thanks to Media Matters, "[W]e're going in the direction of Russia"

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    In an interview with Newsmax, Dr. Laura Schlessinger continued her efforts to portray herself as a First Amendment martyr, claiming that thanks to the "bullying" of Media Matters, among others, "[w]e're going in the direction of Russia." From the interview:

    Where are our First Amendment rights headed if we as Americans are no longer free to speak out on these issues?

    Well, when you have Nancy Pelosi saying she's going to investigate the people who feel profoundly, deeply, that a mosque should not be on Ground Zero, I think you can see where the First Amendment rights are going. It's bullying and it's scary. We're going in the direction of Russia, for goodness sake, where if you say the wrong thing you're toast. I find it very alarming. I do not find it as a bipartisan issue, I really don't... I don't see the flip equivalent of Media Matters.

    Schlessinger also told Newsmax that in response to the firestorm that followed her racial rant:

    I sat down at my desk and said 'I'm done trying to help people in a situation where my First Amendment rights don't exist, where special interest groups and activist groups can make a decision to silence you. It's not American, it's not fair play. I would like for people to just say, 'Hey, I didn't quite understand what you meant by that, let's have a debate at the LA public library.' You know, debating and discussing is kind of gone, attacks are in. You can see that in politics, you can see that everywhere.

    As Media Matters' Ari Rabin-Havt noted in response to Schlessinger's outrageous attempt to turn herself into a First Amendment victim, "She has the constitutional right to make her statements, and I have the same right to assemble people to challenge the statements."