Several weeks ago, Dr. Laura Schlessinger used the N-word eleven times in a rant sparked by an African-American caller to her radio show, igniting a firestorm of criticism and a call by Media Matters for advertisers to boycott her program.
Schlessinger quickly apologized for having “hurt people” while “attempting to make a philosophical point,” but a few days later she told CNN’s Larry King that she would be giving up her radio show because “my First Amendment rights have been usurped by angry, hateful groups.”
Now she’s intensified her rhetoric, complaining that attacks on her by the “thought police” are “how it started in [Nazi] Germany.”
Schlessinger began a segment of her radio show on Tuesday by quoting from Leroy Towns, a journalism professor at the University of North Carolina who formerly served for many years as the chief of staff to Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS).
“Here’s further evidence the right of free speech is being replaced by The Right Not To Be Offended,” Towns wrote. He went on to describe how Schessinger had come “under attack from the ultra-liberal group Media Matters,” whose spokesperson had refused to accept her apology “because his group was concerned about Schlessinger’s overall attitudes toward race, more than just the N-word.”
“Got attitude?” Towns concluded. “The thought police are coming for you.”
“That’s pretty serious stuff,” Schlessinger remarked, possibly taking Towns’ “thought police” reference more literally than he had intended it. “And it doesn’t start with the government. It starts when small interest groups — groups that are supported and aided by political parties — decide that they are the guardians of what is politically correct!”
“That’s how it started in Germany,” she went on. “That’s how it started in communist China. That’s how it’s right now in Iran. So when I speak about leaving syndicated radio at the end of the year to regain my ability to speak freely, it is so I can speak freely.”
“I’m going to be standing on my own, ready for the slings and arrows,” Schlessinger continued dramatically. “What I’ve been dealing with for the past thirty years in the public arena are activist groups, politically motivated individuals taking exception to my differing point of view — who reframe it as ‘she’s offensive.’”
This is not the first time that Schlessinger has been the subject of a boycott. In 2000-01, a boycott and protests organized by gay and lesbian groups after she’d called homosexuality “a biological error ” helped lead to the failure of her short-lived television program.
“People pretend to take offense at my opinion but in reality merely want to shut down an opposing point of view,” Schlessinger grumbled. “I may be standing on my own, but I won’t be shut down.”
This audio is from The Dr. Laura Program, broadcast Sept. 7, 2010 and uploaded by Media Matters.