Having made it to center stage, she makes a dramatic announcement:
“I want to regain my First Amendment rights,” she said. “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's not quitting right away. That's a key clue. She's just "made a decision not to renew her contract when it expires at the end of the year." She's fighting back, lighting a fire under her supporters, betting — I think — that her audience will increase as a result of the new attention.
But she stressed that she was not retiring, only ending her show, and would continue to write books and appear at speaking engagements.
“I’m not quitting,” she told Larry King. “I feel energized actually — stronger and freer to say the things that I believe need to be said for people in this country.”...
Shortly after Dr. Schlessinger made her announcement, one of the groups that had called for advertisers to back away from her show, Media Matters for America, issued a statement applauding the outcome.
Media Matters may want to intimidate advertisers, and without advertisers her new contract negotiations would not have gone well. It's better to quit than to go down defeated. But the controversy is also great leverage. If her ratings go up — and I bet they do — the advertisers will be there.
Think about it: Rush Limbaugh is still on the air, with plenty of advertisers. If the Media Matters strategy for destroying radio careers worked, he'd have been gone long ago. Yeah, the strategy sort of worked against Imus, but only temporarily, and it made him seem important and relevant (even as the "nappy-headed hos" incident was probably painful for him).
So the time for end-of-the-year contract negotiations will come up for Dr. Laura, and we'll see what happens. I predict she'll be offered good money, and she'll announce a change of plans, along with heaps of self-praise for her bravery standing up for her First Amendment rights. Remember, she "feels energized," and she wants"to say what’s on [her] mind and in [her] heart," and she won't tolerate "some special interest group deciding this is the time to silence a voice of dissent."