Dr. Laura Schlessinger quits her radio show on Larry King Live Tuesday night. Well, let me rephrase. Dr. Laura Schlessinger announced to Larry King on Larry King Live that she was quitting to “regain her First Amendment rights” at the end of the year. Everyone knows that Dr. Laura got into some trouble for repeating the “N” word over and over to one of the callers on her radio show. Apparently a lot of people have been contacting the sponsors of the Dr. Laura show and asking them not to sponsor her anymore. Dr. Laura also claimed, on Larry King Live, that she had received a lot of hate mail. Regaining her First Amendment rights means that Dr. Laura wants to be able to say what ever she wants and the only way to do that is to quit the Dr. Laura show.
HOW DID DR. LAURA GET INTO SO MUCH TROUBLE
On August 10 a black woman called in to the Dr. Laura show and asked advice on how to deal with her white husband’s refusal to defend her against “racist remarks” made by his family. Dr. Laura Schlessinger accused this caller of being “hypersensitive” about race. In the course of the conversation, Dr. Laura used the “N” word at least 11 times and so created a lot of controversy for the Dr. Laura show. According to Dr. Laura’s website, www.drlaura.com, she issued an apology on air and web the following day. Dr. Laura said “I was trying to make a philosophical point, but I was wrong and I apologize.” Dr. Laura’s apology did not go very far with her critics.
SHOULD DR. LAURA QUIT TO REGAIN HER FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS
I personally listen to the Dr. Laura show from time to time and I have heard the conversation with the caller in question. I believe Dr. Laura was not being racist, but instead accusing her caller of being too sensitive about race. In the course of doing this, Dr. Laura herself was not sensitive to her caller. At the same time Dr. Laura should not have used the “N” word over the air like she did because so many people are offended by it. That being said, I do not believe Dr. Laura is a racist or a bad person. She is, however, prone to bouts of insensitivity on the Dr. Laura show from time to time. Should she quit? I do not believe so.
Dr. Laura’s comment to Larry King that she was “quitting to regain her First Amendment rights” I think is absurd. Dr. Laura is not being prosecuted for what she said. Dr. Laura has every right in the world to say anything she wants within reason. What Dr. Laura forgets is that the people who called the sponsors of the Dr. Laura show and sent her hate mail have a First Amendment right to do so as well. Dr. Laura has the right to say what she wants and her listeners have the right to not like it and publicly say so. Dr. Laura’s First Amendment rights have not been trampled on. As a matter of fact, the First Amendment has helped to make Dr. Laura a millionaire.
I love Dr. Laura and the Dr. Laura Radio Show and I wish she would not quit. I completely understand why she is upset. I also understand why many of the listeners to the Dr. Laura radio show are upset. Let us hope that both sides will grow up a little and just admit that the whole thing can be chalked up to poor taste.