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Dr. Laura to End Radio Show at Year's End After 'N-Word' Controversy

5 years ago
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Dr. Laura Schlessinger , the conservative talk radio host who set off a furor last week when she used the "N-word" multiple times while answering an African-American woman troubled by racist comments, said Tuesday night that she will end the show when her contract expires at the end of the year.
The controversy began when the caller to her show, who is married to a white man, said she was troubled by the fact that he ignored comments offensive to her when they were made by family members and friends. (See audio and a transcript of the call.)
Schlessinger said she didn't think the use of the "N-Word" word the caller described was racist, saying, "Black guys use it all the time. Turn on HBO, listen to a black comic, and all you hear is" the epithet. She also said, "Without giving much thought, a lot of blacks voted for [President] Obama simply 'cause he was half-black."
Laura SchlessingerSchlessinger apologized on her blog and on her show but, when that triggered only more debate and criticism, she went on "Larry King Live" and said she would not renew her contract at the end of the year.
"I want to regain my First Amendment rights," she said, according to the New York Times. "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, attack sponsors. I'm sort of done with that."
She told King, "I'm not quitting. I feel energized actually -- stronger and freer to say the things that I believe need to be said for people in this country."
Schlessinger has been on the air for three decades and, at its peak, the show was the second highest in radio ratings after Rush Limbaugh, the Times said.

See Mary Curtis' column on the Dr. Laura controversy
Filed Under: Media, Race Issues

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We have to be careful what we say on the air an in Public when we have shows an all. People need to have wisdom.Blacks have been degraded long enough and hurt and dis respected long enough.

August 18 2010 at 12:28 PM
Jesus Saves

In the very beginning of her radio career, I'd listen to her radio show at work. But, it became increasingly more difficult to listen. Last year, I accidentally came across her show and listened for a "hot" minute. I thought, how sad; this can't be healthy for her as a host nor for the callers. Why is she waiting until the end of year? But it's her perogative. I suppose that's why radio talk hosts are called on-air personalities. They bring their personalities and unfiltered comments and thoughts to the radio. I was always concerned that "radio" was dead but "talk radio" sure is injecting some vitality into the mix (whether we like or don't like what the radio heads are saying). So, for 30 years, Laura used "shock talk" to verbally abuse and shame her callers into realizing that they knew all along what they should be doing. I wonder how lasting the "shock" treatment was in each case. This is the down-side and beauty of talk radio, absolutely ANYONE can do it, especially if you have Dr. before your name. Laura was a doctor of physiology ( mechanical, physical, and biochemical functions of humans); not a psychologist or a psychiatrist. Although certified in family counseling her approach was not ethical and certainly did not adhere to the credo, "first do no harm".

August 18 2010 at 12:24 PM

Don't quit Dr. Laura. You were respectful AND honest. the issue was treatment of this woman caller... This is not language you use in your daily living. Don't quit. you make the people who are making the big issue out of this look like they are right. Like Rodney King said "why can't we all just get along..." and he was so wise. He would not be holding this against you. Don't quit! stand up to this crowd.

August 18 2010 at 12:22 PM

Don't end your show. Dr. Laura needs to be looked at for her body of work not just one show. You have always been an exemplary role model of love, compassion, and caring. In context, Dr. Laura did the right thing!

August 18 2010 at 12:21 PM

I think Dr. Laura is 100% on the money. Just listen to most rap productions and you will here the "N" word a multitude of times. It's quite obvious that the rappers are exercising their right of free speech so why not Dr. Laura. If Dr. Laura was Oprah saying the same word there would't be an eyelash batted becuase she is black.

August 18 2010 at 12:18 PM

I think this is atrocious to read. What a gifted woman who has helped transcend lives and bring them to better health for years. I am sorry to see her go. Why is it that African-American cultural icons include use of the N word consistently in their songs? How is something so wrong for "selected" groups of people but acceptable to others when we live in a world that needs to bridge gaps. There is so much hypocrisy here that makes me sick.

August 18 2010 at 12:13 PM -2

Nobody forced her to resign. Her 1st Ammendment rights were not threatened. She's made millions spewing out hate and intolerance. Please give us a break!!!!

August 18 2010 at 12:12 PM

Some people hide behind the first amendment to make idiots out of themselves. Well then she should be free to accept the first amendment rights of others when they call her the worst things imaginable.

August 18 2010 at 12:11 PM +1

Wow. What a crock. Khelama infers all whites put the blacks through a bad time in their lives. Not true doc. It was the southern white democrats who tried to keep the blacks down. (and they are still doing it) Most all the rest of us had good relations with the blacks. We played together, ate together and enjoyed life in general together. Never was there a time when I couldn't bring a black friend home for lunch or dinner. Never was there a time when I couldn't play with a black. If you bother to seek the truth, they were better off being brough here instead of being taken to Egypt or Arabia to be slaves. Even though they were persacuted in America by some, they weren't worked to death and buried in mass graves here as they were in the middle East and in their native land. If the "N" word is offensive, how about the "honky" and "cracker" words? Did you ever see a riot because of those? I don't think so. Grow up. We are all humans (at least some of us are) I'm 1/4 Indian and by the way, we were called Indians because the Italian guy got lost and thought he was in India when he landed here. So, what's wrong with 'N', 'H', or 'C'? At leas N was short for Nigerian. Where the heck did the honkys and crackers come from? My God, don't we have more important things to worry about now? Jim

August 18 2010 at 12:11 PM +1

How she ever had a "show" to begin with, boggles my mind ! She's needed a solid left hook for decades !

August 18 2010 at 12:10 PM

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