Dr. Laura to quit radio after N-word incident

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by Gregory Dale

WASHINGTON (NNPA) —Following the repeated use of the N-word on a recent episode of her radio talk show, Dr. Laura Schlessinger has announced that she will end her radio career at the end of the year.

Dr-Laura
CALLING IT QUITS—This Feb. 17, 1998 file photo shows Dr. Laura Schlessinger posing during her morning talk show in her Los Angeles studio. Aug. 10.

Schlessinger has said in broadcasted interviews that her decision was made in the face of tremendous criticism she has received since the show aired Aug. 10. The incident occurred when an African-American caller phoned in to seek Schlessinger’s advice about whether she should take offense to a neighbor’s racial taunting.

The popular radio host accused the woman of being “hypersensitive” and detailed her beliefs of a racial double standard in which Blacks are able to use the N-word and Whites are forbidden. Throughout the segment, she bluntly used the racial term 11 times, despite the caller’s objections.

After later apologizing for her actions on air and on her website, she appeared on the “Larry King Show” Aug. 17 and announced her resignation.

“My contract is up for my radio show at the end of the year, and I’ve made the decision not to do radio anymore,” Schlessinger said. “The reason is, I want to regain my First Amendment rights. 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.”

“Radio One” personality Larry Young expressed his views on Dr. Laura’s rant in a recent interview with the AFRO. He believes she will step away for the moment, but will return to radio at some point in the future.

“I think she was looking for a way to suggest to her people that she would come back and come back fast,” Young said. “It’s not about the First Amendment, it’s about ‘what way she could back away for now.’ I [believe] she’ll be back in another format on radio with sponsors who are not as sensitive to our community [as her previous ones were].”

Schlessinger previously came under fire in 2000 after she referred to homosexuality as a “biological error.”

According to Schless­inger’s website, her internationally syndicated radio show, now in its 16th year, reaches approximately 9 million listeners weekly.

(Special to the NNPA from the Afro-American Newspapers.)

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