Tuesday Dr. Laura Schlessinger announced on CNN’s Larry King Live that she is quitting her radio show. This announcement came just days after a racially incendiary rant, during which she used the n-word 11 times, caused a firestorm of controversy.
When asked by Larry King what she was on the program to announce Schlessinger said, “I’m here to say that my contract is up for my radio show at the end of the year and I have made the decision not to do radio anymore. The reason is: I want to regain my First Amendment rights. I want to be able to say what’s on my mind, and in my heart, what I think is helpful and useful without somebody getting angry, some special interest group deciding this is a time to silence a voice of dissent, and attack affiliates and attack sponsors.”
Many feel that Schlessinger’s decision has less to do with the First Amendment and more to do with being dropped by national sponsors like Netflix, OnStar, GM, Motel 6 and Advanced Auto Parts.
After King asked Schlessinger if she understood the concept that different groups are allowed to “kid” their specific groups, but that someone outside that group is not allowed to do it, Schlessinger, replied “Well I was trying to make a point.” She then defensively reverted back to her actions after the call, saying, “I took myself off my show for the rest of the day because I was so upset because I realized I had blown it.” She also sought to highlight that by 8:00 that night she sent an apology to LARadio.com that she was going to do in the morning on her show . She then added, “I had already policed myself and apologized and said I was sorry.”
Since Schlessinger had not answered the original question, King again asked if she understood the concept that, “it’s okay if blacks want to kid blacks” but that, “it’s not okay for… a white person use the word”, to which she replied, “I was trying to make a philosophical point. But I was wrong. I apologized.”
It wasn’t just the use of the n-word that raised eyebrows; it was the litany of racist views that she expressed scattered around her continued utterance of the word that upset people. Wednesday CNN’s John Roberts questioned Dr. Laura about some of those statements.
The first statement Roberts asked Schlessinger about was when she said, “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.” Roberts asked whether or not she thought those comments were racist, to which Schlessinger replied, “I don’t.”
Roberts then addressed when Dr. Laura told the caller that “without giving much thought, a lot of blacks voted for Obama simply because he was half-black. Didn’t matter what he was gonna’ do in office, it was a black thing. You gotta know that. That’s not a surprise.” Roberts asked her how she could make a statement like that when “maybe five more points of the black vote went to President Obama than went to candidate Gore back in 2000.” Instead of answering the question, Schlessinger took issue with a portion of the caller’s comments that had not been mentioned at that point in the interview, comments that she she felt were racist, “The point that this woman made, which you do not play, interestingly, is her racist statement that whites are afraid of the black man taking over America. I think that was a pretty racist statement. My response to that was that blacks make up about 12 percent of the population. So, he was voted in by whites. Somebody has left that out of your tape.”
Dr. Laura’s nationally syndicated radio show “The Dr. Laura Program” will end in December 2010.