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Dr. Laura To End Radio Career

August 17, 2010: After a week of controversy, Dr. Laura Schlessinger said in an appearance on CNN's Larry King Live tonight that she will end her decades-long radio career when her contract runs out at the end of this year. Schlessinger's show has been syndicated for the last year in a joint venture between Talk Radio Network Ventures and Take On The Day, and is heard on more than 200 stations worldwide.

An August 10 on-air exchange with an caller in which Schlessinger repeatedly used the n-word began making national news at the end of last week; during the call, the African-American caller asked if it is ever OK to use the n-word, and Schlessinger responded, "Black guys use it all the time." To illustrate her point, Schlessinger used the term several more times in the initial exchange and after a commercial break. She did not direct the term at the caller, but, when the caller objected, said, "Don't NAACP me." A transcript is available here.

Schlessinger apologized on her August 11 show, saying, "Yesterday, I did the wrong thing. I didn't intend to hurt people, but I did. And that makes it the wrong thing to have done." She said she was so upset by her "horrible mistake" that she was unable to finish the show and the last hour was taped. The full statement is here.

'I Want To Regain My First Amendment Rights'

On the King show tonight, Schlessinger said, "There are people who won't accept my apology, and they have their own reasons for that, and I feel bad for that."

She told King that activist groups "don't want to debate, they want to eliminate" those who disagree with them, and said, "I want to regain my First Amendment rights. I want to be able to say what's on my mind and in my heart, and what I think is helpful and useful without somebody getting angry, some special interest group deciding this is the time to silence a voice of dissent and attack affiliates and attack sponsors. I'm sort of done with that."

Schlessinger said that, in leaving radio, "I don't have to live in fear anymore than sponsors and their families are going to be upset, radio stations are going to be upset, my 'peeps,' as I call them, are going to be upset."

See the video here.

A statement provided by Take On The Day said Schlessinger made this announcement:

"At the end of the year, when my contract runs out, I've decided not to do a radio show anymore. I want my First Amendment rights back, which I can't have on radio without the threat of attack on my advertisers and stations. I would like to make it clear that I am not retiring -- I'm too young for that -- and I'm not quitting. I will be stronger and freer to say my mind through my books, my YouTube Channel, my blog and my website. And I'll be on TV more, because I'll have the freedom to speak my mind."

Ink View:
Schlessinger's First Amendment rights are not at issue (no one has alleged any government interference with her right to speak). The Internet makes it very easy to stir up outrage and to persuade people -- who may know little or nothing about the facts of a given incident -- to deluge a station with complaints and sponsors with boycott threats. How sponsors and affiliates respond when activists begin to howl is the real issue here.
-- Brida Connolly, Editor in Chief

(8/18/2010 12:45:14 PM)
Apparently, dr Laura is unfamiliar with the work of the Bozell's Circus Sideshow the Parent's Television Council:

- Elliott Mitchell
(8/18/2010 12:15:33 PM)
I don't think any apology is necessary, and caving to special interest just ads to the infringement on freedom of speech. While the rest of us are working these special interest groups use your tax dollars to take away others rights that they claim to hold dear for themselves. When infact their only goal is to create more dissruption to keep these issues alive and thus receive more goverment hand-outs. Laura's analogy was right on the money! They claim they don't want any use of the n word but inflict more use of it on themselves than anyone. She has the right to address that Hyprocracy. Imagine the outrage if we suggested an all white beauty pageant, all white police union, all white radio??? Yet they can have the Black Caucus, Black Beauty pageant, Hispanic Police union, and no one thinks that is racist or prejudice? Ironically it would of been fine if Dr. Laura were black.

- Rob
(8/18/2010 10:44:43 AM)
What a mess... but it can be untangled.

1. Dr. Laura's show is an advice show.
2. Dr. Laura's point was correct. No one is outraged when it is used by rappers and street thugs but it is never accepted when someone else uses it.
3. Knowing that it does invoke outrage when used by anyone else, Dr. Laura used it anyway.
4. Why would anyone want to take advice from someone who demonstrates such bad judbement?
5. Therefore, her show must go.

No confusion, simple logic.

- Dave Long

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