August 18, 2010

Dr. Laura Schlessinger says she's going to end her radio show and everyone seems to believe her.

But I don't! I accused Dr. Laura of doing a media stunt — saying the n-word over and over on the radio — to get attention, and — lo and behold! — she gets right onto the Larry King show. So far, so good, with this stunt.

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.”

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.
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.

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."

Stay tuned.

48 comments:

HDHouse said...

It could also mean a change in network affiliation. By announcing that she won't re-up her contract she announces that she is something of a free agent.

She has enough of an audience that someone will pick her up. Her recent outbursts are much more in keeping with the current nature of shock-talk radio....so she might just pull it off.

rastajenk said...

I had no idea she was still around.

AlphaLiberal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
knox said...

I didn't know she was still on the radio.

Whenever I used to hear her, she was a total bitch even if someone had a perfectly reasonable question and hadn't done anything wrong.

AlphaLiberal said...

Her meltdown involved a lot more than repetition of the N-word and her resentment that she can't use it more. She said a lot more that is racist.

But, here is a great post on how nothing is racist anymore, even the worst racism (parsed for length):

'"The 29-year-old Kunkel has a swastika tattooed on top of his “skinhead.” He’s covered in “white power” slogans and imagery. The only ink-free spot on him is an empty space in the shape of another swastika over his heart. The crew first finds him spending time in the hole as disciplinary action for refusing to house with black inmates. When asked why he refuses, Kunkel says, “Because it’s wrong…nothing personal - it’s just the way it is.” In the next scene Kunkel is caught on camera beating an African-American inmate who is, of course, smaller than him.

Filmmakers for the series interview a close family friend of Kunkel’s, also locked up in Maricopa County. When asked about Kunkel by the producer, the self-proclaimed cousin offers, “He’s not a racist.”'

No, it would be far worse to call him a racist, than anything he has done. This is what I'm hearing from conservatives these days, anyway.

joewxman said...

Perhaps Dr Laura was channelling this during her call.

Rich B said...

I agree with Knox on this - my wife and I catch her sometimes at odd hours and she is rather harsh with her callers (many of whom have stupidly screwed up their lives).

When I saw this on Fox News this morning, I got the impression that she just lost it. After I found out more, her "rant" seems overblown by the usual suspects. She dared to speak the truth, however impolite.

AL - you got nothing, as usual.

rhhardin said...

The Imus incident was about Hillary's primary campaign, not about offending some interest group.

Imus was going to take down Hillary, so Media Matters took Imus down.

The means was fake offense over nothing.

Kirstin said...

I believe Dr. Laura--she will stop doing her radio show at the end of her contract.

rhhardin said...

John and Ken (KFI) have a Dr Laura contempt, born of sharing a radio station with her.

That's all I know about her personally. But "nice guy" isn't in her profile.

Comrade X said...

I'm just wondering if Jade got her groove back or if she's still with her typical white person husband who drops N-bombs on her.

I did notice she had no problem bailing on Dr. Laura for using the word in an example, but was conflicted about her spouse calling her that. Total credibility.

Scott said...

She's not as popular as she once was. She's probably trying to put on a brave face after losing more affiliates.

ricpic said...

Interesting that because Dr. Schlessinger is a strong defendant of traditional values and you're not you read cynical calculation into everything she does. Maybe she just won't allow the homo-police to take her out of the game.

The Crack Emcee said...

Rich B,

"My wife and I catch her sometimes at odd hours and she is rather harsh with her callers (many of whom have stupidly screwed up their lives)."

How anyone but the most sheltered individuals can miss the point of Dr. L's show is beyond me. Maybe most others are too cowardly to speak harshly and that's what people need? NewAgers are trying so hard to be "nice" they aren't of any good use to anyone else? Letting the ol' discipline and criticism go meant everything else went to shit? Connection? Anybody? Bueller?

She sounds like she's going to do the right thing. I warned you, Ann: this word boycott nonsense could go in directions you never imagined - away from where you want it to go - and towards true freedom. Meanwhile, you're sounding like Andrew Sullivan tripping on Trig.

Weird.

k*thy said...

She's not in any kind of legal trouble, right? Just in trouble with the public, which is all part of this beautiful thing we call "public discourse." She's really missing the point.

Scott M said...

She's going to stop taking on the day? Madness...

knox said...

How anyone but the most sheltered individuals can miss the point of Dr. L's show is beyond me.

Even if someone asked a harmless question like, "My daughter wants to stay out til 11:00, we want her back at 10:00. Are we being too strict?" ... Dr. Laura would go out of her way to be insult little things, how the question's worded, that they were even asking the question, etc. We used to laugh at how unbelievably nasty she was.

I refuse to consider her a voice of reason or sanity. Don't want her on my team. Could care less about the n-word thing, still don't want her on my team.

NotYourTypicalNewYorker said...

Uh, I wouldn't consider getting on the Larry King show a plus.

But that's just me...


WV: deadi, how does blogger do that?

rhhardin said...

Armstrong and Getty cover Dr. Laura (today, hour 1 podcast, 5 minutes in and following).

She got called into a radio office and told what she can say and she said screw it.

William said...

If the mosque proponents can morph the location issue into a freedom of religion issue, so can Schlesinger puff her klutzy remarks into a freedom of speech case.

former law student said...

There's only room for one Laura on the radio, and Ingraham is it.

But perhaps Dr. Laura could join up with Howard Stern and get on the satellite. Then they could talk all salty all the time.

edutcher said...

Her rep for being nasty comes from her expectation that people take responsibility for their lives and actions.

That said, ricpic is right about the homosexual Thought Police harassment. It's their standard tactic, right out of Uncle Saul. So rhhardin (and Crack) may well be right in that she's been given orders by her home station and she's told them to cram it. Like a lot of other people, she's had enough.

c3 said...

AL;

But, here is a great post on how nothing is racist anymore, even the worst racism (parsed for length)...

Are you seriously trying to make a partisan political point using an example of an inmate!?

You really have become like that character in the "Yellow Submarine" who repeatedly shouts gibberish followed by the phrase BLUE MEANIES!!!

(I guess in your case its RED MEANIES)

jeff said...

once again, AL is incoherent. Even for him/her.

No great loss if she goes away, I also didnt know she was still on. And when will someone be explaining what the 1st amendment means to her? When did the government act to silence her?

rhhardin said...

Imus: it frees up an afternoon slot for Hannity.

Leland said...

Stay tuned.

How can I? She's no longer available in my market of Houston. I can't find her in Dallas either. Not that I'm looking to listen to her. Maybe I agreed with her more than I didn't, but that doesn't really make for a good radio program. There's plenty of competition, and she's not much of a competitor. Considering she's out of major media markets, particularly conservative markets; I would have to suspect her ratings are tanking.

Other than watching her audience continue to shrink, what is the reason for her to renew her contract?

traditionalguy said...

The Dr. Laura show is no longer on in Atlanta. As I remember, she was not a caring type of counselor like Dr Phil. Dr Laura was more of a Crack Emcee type of counselor. She willingly tells the sinner that they have sinned and need to stop doing it. Next call.

Geoff Matthews said...

I'm with Crack Emcee on this. She was a welcome breath of frankness, and I respected her for that.
I don't listen to her, since I'm in the office when she's on, but I'd say that her advice has done women more good than harm.
Other than that, I don't care.

James said...

“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.”


Wait, so her "First Amendment rights" mean that no one can get angry over what she says, no one can boycott the people who sponsor her, etc?

I guess that that means that Imam Rauf and Park 51's First Amendment rights mean that none of you opponents should be able to protest or voice your disapproval of your project.

AC245 said...


I guess that that means that Imam Rauf and Park 51's First Amendment rights mean that none of you opponents should be able to protest or voice your disapproval of your project.


This has been the line you leftists have been pushing since the controversy started.

Schlessinger has adopted your position, not the other way around.

James said...

"Us leftists" haven't said that you don't have the right to speak your mind against the project.

Just that a good portion of you doing so are bigots.

There's a difference there. :)

former law student said...

Her employer has limited what Dr. Laura can say on the radio, for economic reasons. Thus she cannot enjoy the full scope of her First Amendment rights -- but by private action, not government action.

Scott M said...

Just that a good portion of you doing so are bigots.

Define "good portion" and please include whether or not that portion includes Senator Reid.

XWL said...

Rather than a negotiation tactic, I think her announcement points to abandoning radio in favor of podcasting. Radio is dead, the revenue model that supports it doesn't make sense, and just as the market for 'traditional media' like newspapers and national network news has shrunk and aged, same goes for radio. If she wants to stay relevant, she needs to abandon radio, she's created her excuse for doing so, and now she can claim '1st Amendment' purity as a reason for leaving behind the huge paychecks (that most likely wouldn't have been offered to her again, anyway, so rather than a massive paycut to stick with a dying medium, she can claim she's a trailblazer in new media)

She has a loyal following of people who want to hear her tear into other people (why anyone calls in to her show to be the tearee, is a mystery to me), and I suspect that she could be successful as a subcription based, or advertiser supported podcaster.

I have a feeling her target audience isn't the most tech savvy bunch, so they may not follow her to podcastland in big numbers. She'll be an interesting test case on which audiences are capable of making the transition from broadcast to podcast.

Thorley Winston said...

Even if someone asked a harmless question like, "My daughter wants to stay out til 11:00, we want her back at 10:00. Are we being too strict?" ... Dr. Laura would go out of her way to be insult little things, how the question's worded, that they were even asking the question, etc. We used to laugh at how unbelievably nasty she was.

I haven’t listened to her show in well over a year but I don’t recall her ever being nasty for something little like how a question was worded.

I do remember that often a caller would call in with a question about an issue and she would redirect them to something she thought was more important. In the example you gave, I can imagine her saying that the issue isn’t whether the daughter’s curfew should be 10 or 11pm but why is the parent caving to a child’s demand. Or the issue may not be necessarily how late she’s staying out but whether she’s with a responsible adult that her parents have met and trust as opposed to being out unsupervised.

Something to keep in mind is that she may have people who screen her callers and collect more information that shows up on her computer screen and while her listeners don’t hear or see that additional information, it may be key to her advice. I remember several times she chastised a caller who gave her a different set of facts than what the caller told her screener – so what may seem “nasty” in one context may be more reasonable when you have all or more information.

Just my $0.02.

Palladian said...

Wow, is this gay-hating old cow still cunting her nasty self around the airwaves?

Lucien said...

Can't you see it?!

The corrosive effect of Brett Favre-ism has spread to talk radio.

I thought you folks up in Wisconsin would be more sensitized to this threat.

former law student said...

I see 1490AM in Oshkosh is the only Dr. Laura outlet in Wisconsin. No Chicago station carries her.

The Dr. Laura show is in its death spiral. She's trying to concoct a story to disguise the inevitable.

John Stodder said...

I think her announcement points to abandoning radio in favor of podcasting. Radio is dead, the revenue model that supports it doesn't make sense,

There's a business model for podcasting?? Please explain.

But as for Dr. Laura. I think she hates the people who call into her show. Everyone is immoral, stupid and above all bad for children, but she makes a living counseling them to snap out any illusions about life and just go on grimly doing your duty. Now she can be the lonely misanthrope she has always aspired to be.

XWL said...

There's a business model for podcasting?? Please explain.


From the bottom up, no. But if you already have an audience, then you can put something out there for a tiny fraction of the cost of a national radio show, so even if you garner a tiny fraction of the income, you have the potential to profit just as well.

Also, she needs to keep her name out there to sell her books, so even if the podcast loses money, it can profit her to stay in the public eye as it sells her back catalog of books, and keeps her on the lecture circuit.

shoutingthomas said...

Wow, is this gay-hating old cow still cunting her nasty self around the airwaves?

You've got to give Palladian credit... he stand out among the bigot hunters.

While he's screaming his vicious hatred of anybody who doesn't give him what he wants right now, he's also accusing his enemies of bigotry.

And always with the vile, vicious language.

Who would you enjoy seeing anally raped today, Palladian?

You are such a civil rights inspiration.

Peter V. Bella said...

Does anyone really pay attention to Media Matters except the Clintons?

knox said...

I think she hates the people who call into her show.

Yes. The disdain drips from her voice. I don't think it's an act.

J Lee said...

Dr. Laura's show tended to wear thin after a while because so many of the callers were seeking affirmation from her for their side of the story in some sort of dispute and would then be hammered down by the doctor (often 4-5 times in a call, since they kept trying to figure out a way to get her on their side). And unlike political talk shows, which are driven by the news of the day, her show's personal relationship problems really didn't change all that much from week to week ... unless you throw in something totally out of left field (or in this case, out of the rail laying scene from "Blazing Saddles").

If she really wants more freedom to say what she wants, satrad seems like the most likely place to go, especially since SiriusXM was broadcasting her show. We'll see if she ends up with her own channel (XL rating or not) next year.

Revenant said...

The thing I like best about Laura Schlessinger is the fact that there are nude photos of her on the internet. Taken by the married man she was cheating on her husband with. This was the first husband, you understand. Not the *other* married guy she was fucking, who dumped his wife and eventually, after knocking Laura up, married her -- I'm talking about the first one, who gave her a radio gig in exchange for a little pussy on the side.

Throw in the way she treated her parents and sister and you've got exactly the kind of messed-up brainless whore Dr. Laura loves to ridicule on her show. The irony is delicious.

former law student said...

you've got exactly the kind of messed-up brainless whore Dr. Laura loves to ridicule on her show.

I knew two mentally ill people who were studying psychology in order to be able to help others.

Blue@9 said...

She's quite a bitch on the radio, but I think this whole episode shows the absurdity of the "race dialog" in this country. She wasn't saying the word as an epithet, but rather criticizing the fact that it's acceptable for some people to say it and that the exception is based on race. It's entirely legit to use a "bad" word in the context of discussing the word's usage. I don't think anyone should have to apologize for saying "kike" or "chink" in a conversation about the acceptability of saying "kike" or "chink."

We've got an AG saying that we're cowards about race and others on the left saying that we don't have honest dialogs about race, but when a person actually does bring up a valid topic about race, she's pilloried for using a word. Apparently, when the left says it wants an honest dialog about race, what they mean is "Shut up and apologize, whitey."

Blue@9 said...

"Us leftists" haven't said that you don't have the right to speak your mind against the project.

Just that a good portion of you doing so are bigots


Ah, yes, that hard-hitting critique (not limited to leftists, lucky you!):

Your concerns are not valid because you're evil.