Syndicated radio agony aunt, Dr. Laura Schlessinger (KTTH m-f, 9p-12a) is pretty good at scolding trembling housewives for shirking their wifely duties for failing to suck their husbands' toes, but her own morals have often been, let's say, dubious. (See Dr. Laura naked here).
“Dr. Laura blurted out the N-word several times in rapid succession to a caller, a black woman married to a white man, [who] wanted to ask about racially hurtful remarks that other white people make to her and why her husband does nothing about them. Dr. Laura quickly concluded that the woman was hypersensitive, first pointing to African-American comedians on HBO who employ the N-word and then to black people in general, stating that the word is practically a term of endearment within that community. Not surprisingly, the caller was dissatisfied to hear that if some blacks call each other a particular word, everybody should feel free to use it. At that point, Dr. Laura might have steered the conversation in a better direction.”
Bernhart continued: “Instead, apparently chafing at society's notion that a white person shouldn't throw the word around, she exclaimed, ‘Nigger, nigger, nigger.’ While it was clear that Dr. Laura wasn't directing that term toward the caller personally, I was shocked at such an example of schoolyard frustration coming from a radio professional whose opinions I've tended to agree with more often than not. And a few moments later, she repeated the barrage.”
The self-appointed role model apologized today on her blog: “Yes, I did use the ‘n’ word and I regretted it as soon as the call was over.”
“While it was in the context of making a point about the unfortunate use of that term by others who deem it acceptable or funny, it is a word that is hateful, hurtful and I should not have used it even to prove a point. After the call, I was terribly upset about it and pulled myself off the air for the rest of the show. Wednesday, at the top of my program, I will apologize to my listeners.”She can apologize all she wants, but you can bet where her real heart is when it comes to the schwartzes. The remarks were a tone-deaf lecture on political correctness out of the formerly religious Jew (she renounced her judo/Judaism in favor of yacht racing a few years ago. And, it's reported, she cheats at that).
(We posed these questions in 2008 after she blamed Eliot Spitzer's wife for his whoring around: a) Can you imagine Dr. Laura as a passive little wifey, living so her man can feel heroic and horny? b) can you visualize My Kids' Mom be-aproned and always at the ready to lay down and please her "hungry, damaged, perfectly good man?" c) Ever wish Laura was your wife?)
This is mostly about the situational ethics of talk media. Short of felony, a talk host can forsake any professed morals, or values, and participate in any hypocrisy and stay on the air- as long as he or she performs in a way that brings and keeps an audience. Imus, Limbaugh, Schlessinger, and Billo Reilly are prime examples.
Dr. Laura's public life has seen more than just your run o' the mill, talk-host hypocrisy- hers is a bizarre tangle of angst, arrogance, meanspirit, self-righteousness, retribution; family feuding; religious confusion; formidable stick lodged in her backside; and wide streaks of what looks from here like sociopathy.
In Seattle, Laura appears on a station owned by Mormons and shares parts with moral titans, Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, both of whom use race daily as a schticking point. It has nothing to do with the "values" they and the LDS supposedly share: It's bidness. And bidness is bidness.