Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Say Goodbye, Dr. Laura

I didn't even know Dr. Laura was still on the air.

So I was surprised to hear that not only has her show been plodding along since I last heard it about 12 years ago, but that she had the audacity to use the n-word 11 times on a recent episode.

Schlessinger has always been a difficult nut to crack. I never could understand why she'd treat some callers differently than others. She could be patient and sympathetic to some, yet rude and dismissive to others, her bi-polarity seemingly unrelated to the attitudes of her callers or the problems they were sharing.

Although her general support of conservative family values resonated with me, I couldn't tell if the often wacky and sometimes outlandish comments she made on the air were some sort of psychological therapy tool or simple showbiz shtick.

Whatever she spiked her shows with, however, definitely crossed the line with her repetitive use of the n-word. To have used the infamously derogatory term once or twice to clarify the word with her caller might have been excusable. But 11 times is simply reprehensible. Period.

Schlessinger insists her repetition of the word constituted some sort of First Amendment exercise in parodying racial insensitivity. She's announced that she's quitting her radio show after the end of its current season because her sponsors have been hounded by enraged customers. She's portraying herself as a victim of uber-political-correctness in an age where anything controversial gets silenced by people who get offended too easily.

But what Schlessinger fails to realize is that while she has a radio show, she's not recognized as a public figure with authority to moderate a discussion on this issue. Rightly or wrongly, the use of the n-word is simply inappropriate for both whites and blacks.

While you may indeed have the right to say it, you have an obligation not to.

If we have to have another national dialog on the reasons why, then Schlessinger has proven why she should no longer be on the radio.


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