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Palin defends Dr. Laura over N-word rant: ‘Be thankful for her voice, America’

By Sahil Kapur
Wednesday, August 18, 2010 22:12 EDT
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Former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin on Wednesday defended Laura Schlessinger, the radio host whose recent racially-charged remarks to a black caller led her to announce the end of her program.

“Dr. Laura,” as she is best-known, created an uproar after using the N-word eleven times during a conversation with a caller. She announced Tuesday that she will end the show this year, lamenting her inability to speak freely without being attacked.

In two separate Twitter postings Wednesday night, a bullish Palin implored Americans to be “thankful” for Dr. Laura’s voice and blamed her departure on “Constitutional obstructionists” who trampled her First Amendment rights.

As for Schlessinger, Palin urged her to “reload” and not “retreat,” declaring that she’d be “even more powerful” and “effective” without “the shackles.”

Palin’s first Tweet:

Palin’s second Tweet:

Palin’s claims reflect, at best, a questionable interpretation of the First Amendment, which was designed to prevent government from restricting free-speech rights — not to provide citizens immunity from public controversy over potentially offensive remarks.

Palin joins numerous conservative activists and commentators, including blogger Michelle Malkin, in defending Schlessinger against fierce criticism over last week’s comments.

When confronted by the caller about her use of the N-word, Schlessinger responded: “Black guys use it all the time. Turn on HBO, listen to a black comic, and all you hear is n—-r, n—-r, n—-r.”

After controversy erupted with calls for her resignation, including from the liberal watchdog Media Matters for America, Schlessinger admitted the following day she did the “wrong thing.” She also lashed back at her critics.

“My First Amendment rights have been usurped by angry, hateful groups who don’t want to debate,” Schlessinger said. “They want to eliminate.”

While she will likely appreciate Palin’s defense, Schlessinger hasn’t always had kind words for the former half-term governor. “I am extremely disappointed in the choice of Sarah Palin as the Vice Presidential candidate of the Republican Party,” she blogged in September of 2008.

 
 
 
 
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