Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dr. Laura Schlessenger Ends Radio Show To Regain Her First Amendment Rights

Dr. Laura Schlessenger used the N word several times in a conversation with a woman who called to complain about the racism in her inter racial relationship.  She went on to say that the woman was hyper sensitive and now she feels that she has been silenced.  It seems Dr. Laura feels that there is no place for her to be the voice of dissent any longer. By now we are all  a bit tired of hearing about Dr. Laura.  The media has latched onto this with iron jaws because it feels that they have evidence of a racist because of her repeated use of the N word.  Many media outlets have gotten on their high moral horse to scream racist, without examining the ways in which they perpetuate racism every single day.  Racism is about a lot more than not using the N word.

It is interesting that Dr. Laura has decided not to renew her radio show on the heels of this incident.  There is a part of me that seriously wonders how much of this decision was her choice.  I don't believe for one moment, that the station for which she worked did not receive pressure because of the vicious media backlash that occured.  We will just have to see if  in a few months her language is as forgotten as Don Imus' "nappy headed hoes."

I am absolutely fascinated with the idea that Dr. Laura suddenly feels restricted.  Though she is framing her argument in the first amendment, what Dr. Laura really wants is the right to be a bigot without consequence.  As far as I can tell, her rights were not impeded.  She engaged in a conversation in which her language was obviously racist but somehow she is being stifled and unable to dissent.  What people like her want is not freedom of speech, it is freedom from consequence.  You see the issue here is that freedom of speech applies to everyone.



Transcript starting at 3:00
Larry King: So what are you here to tell us tonight?
Dr Laura: Well I am here to say that my contract is up for the radio show at the end of the year and I've 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 and what I think is helpful and useful without somebody getting angry, some special interest group deciding that this is a time to silence a voice of dissent and attack affiliates and attack sponsors. I'm sort of done with that.  I'm not retiring, I'm not quitting - I feel energized actually - stronger and freer to say the things I believe need to be said.
Larry King: But you're giving up the one area of your fame
Dr. Laura: Oh my dear. I write books, I write blogs, I have my website.  I have speaking engagements.
Larry King:  When people think of Dr. Laura they think of radio talkshow
Dr. Laura: This is the era of the internet
Larry King: So you're going to do internet stuff
Dr. Laura: Oh Yeah I am now.
Larry King: Why is your freedom of speech denied on radio?  Because people can criticize what you say.
Dr. Laura:  You know when I started in radio if you said something somebody didn't agree with or didn't like they argued with you now they try to silence you.  They try to wipe out your ability to earn a living and to have your job.  They go after affiliates, they send threats to sponsors.
Larry King: But that's their right too.
Dr. Laura: Yes, but I don't have the right to say what I need to say. My first amendment rights have usurped by angry hateful groups who don't want to debate they want to eliminate.  So that's why I decided that it was time to move on to other venues, where I could say my peace and not have to worry that sponsors and families are going to be upset, radio stations are going to be upset, my peeps as I call them are going to be upset.
 As I said, freedom from consequence and this is a reflection of Dr.Laura's belief in the tyranny of the majority and White Supremacy. It is interesting that she claims her speech is being silenced, because what is actually happening is legitimate dissent to her language. If every caller were in agreement with her position, Dr. Laura would have no problem with the free expression of others, and this in of itself is a form of silencing.  To only be allowed to consent is to be oppressed.