For the second night in a row Dr. Laura Schlessinger came on CNN to carp about Media Matters trying to "silence" her. So a right wing radio talk show host goes in the air and says some things that would offend most of America that doesn't listen to right wing hate talk or watch the Fox propaganda channel and when her advertisers start dropping her, she claims her right to free speech has been violated.
Sorry honey but you're free to say whatever you want on the air as long as it doesn't violate FCC rules, but if you say something offensive, others are free to exercise their right to free speech as well and let everyone know what they think about it and to ask your advertisers not to support your racism and bigotry.
I would expect Dr. Laura to be finding a cozy home over at ClusterFox some time in the near future where they welcome her ilk. John King actually did a pretty good job in this interview with her and even though she wasn't happy about it, stopped her in her tracks when she tried to distort what she said during her radio interview and some remarks by Nancy Pelosi about the Islamic center near ground zero that has the right wing going crazy.
Here is some of Media Matters' response after her appearance on Larry King's show.
In an interview this evening on CNN's Larry King Live, Dr. Laura Schlessinger announced that when her radio contract expires at the end of the year, she will not seek to renew it. Schlessinger said that she was ending her show in order to "regain my First Amendment rights." According to Schlessinger, in the wake of her racial screed last week, highlighted by Media Matters, "my First Amendment rights have been usurped by angry, hateful groups." [...]
On August 16, Media Matters released a joint statement with the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), Women's Media Center, and UNITY Journalists of Color, condemning Schlessingers comments and stating that "This week, we will hold these advertisers accountable and find out exactly where they stand." Today, Motel 6 announced that in the wake of her comments, it would be severing its relationship with the radio host. [...]
Asked how her freedom of speech was being denied by criticism of her comments, Schlessinger explained that "I don't have the right to say what I need to say. My First Amendment rights have been usurped by angry, hateful groups who don't want to debate, they want to eliminate. So, that's why I decided it was time to move on to other venues where I could say my piece and not have to live in fear anymore that sponsors and their families are going to be upset, radio stations are going to be upset, my peeps, as I call them, are going to be upset."
Schlessinger went on to criticize Media Matters directly. After King referenced "this group that was after you, Media Matters," Schlessinger said, "well, that's their job in life." She also said that a list of advertisers contacted by Media Matters who distanced themselves from Schlessinger due to her comments "proves my point." She also called Media Matters a "special interest group" that "decide[d] I should be silenced because they disagree with my point of view."
Transcript via CNN below the fold.
ROBERTS: Conservative radio host Laura Schlessinger, AKA Dr. Laura, says she's giving up her radio show at the end of the year because she wants to -- quote -- "regain her First Amendment rights."
She made the announcement last night on "LARRY KING LIVE" and set off a new round of controversy.
If you somehow missed the backstory, here is what started all of this. This is what Dr. Laura told a recent caller, an African- American woman, who said her husband's friends, who are white, made racist comments in front of her.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How about the N-word? Now, the N-word's been thrown around.
DR. LAURA SCHLESSINGER, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Black guys use it all the time. Turn on HBO, listen to a black comic, and all you hear is (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
SCHLESSINGER: I didn't spew out the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) word.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (EXPLETIVE DELETED) (EXPLETIVE DELETED) (EXPLETIVE DELETED)
SCHLESSINGER: Right. I said that's what you hear.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everybody heard it.
SCHLESSINGER: Yes, they did.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I hope everybody heard it.
SCHLESSINGER: They did. And I will say it again.
SCHLESSINGER: (EXPLETIVE DELETED) (EXPLETIVE DELETED) (EXPLETIVE DELETED) is what you hear on HB...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, what makes it...
SCHLESSINGER: Why don't you let me finish a sentence?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.
SCHLESSINGER: Don't take things out of context. Don't double "N" -- NAACP me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTS: Dr. Laura used the "N" word 11 times in all during that call. She later apologized and now seems to be claiming she is a victim because of the backlash over her remarks.
She joins me now for the "Big 360 Interview."
Dr. Schlessinger, good to see you tonight. Thanks so much for being with us. You said that you're leaving your radio show to regain your First Amendment rights. How did you lose them?
SCHLESSINGER: Well, I think everybody in the media risks that. I'm not the only one. I don't see myself as a victim in particular. It's the atmosphere in America today, where there is very little debate and just the attempt to silence voices that somebody disagrees with.
ROBERTS: But does this go beyond being disagreed with? You said something that was very offensive.
SCHLESSINGER: Well, yes. And I was trying to make a point about the hypersensitivity of racial issues. And I made it the wrong way. I instantly realized I had blown it.
ROBERTS: But you seem to be -- and correct me if I'm wrong, Dr. Schlessinger -- saying that you've taken yourself off of your radio show because other people are not allowing you your First Amendment rights, even though you were wrong to have said what you said.
SCHLESSINGER: I said something wrong and I apologized. I didn't intend to hurt anybody. My decision was not based on this incident. My decision has been percolating for about a year when I realized more and more that, like Nancy Pelosi saying we should investigate people who have a problem with the mosque being built at Ground Zero. Investigating these people?
ROBERTS: That's not what she said. What she said was...
SCHLESSINGER: I'm just pointing out --
ROBERTS: ... it would be good to have the same -- she said it would be good to have the same transparency.
SCHLESSINGER: It would be good if I could finish a sentence.
ROBERTS: I'm sorry. But you're being inaccurate in what you're saying.
SCHLESSINGER: All right.
ROBERTS: I'm just trying to correct the record here.
SCHLESSINGER: Well, I apologize for being inaccurate.
ROBERTS: She said that in the same way that there should be transparency among the mosque funding, there should also be similar transparency behind the people who are opposed to the mosque.
SCHLESSINGER: My point is that, when I began in radio, there was discussion and debate. And now there are organizations, like Media Matters, who exist for the sole purpose of silencing voices, not debating. That is my whole point.
ROBERTS: Much of this controversy is over the "N" word. But there were some other things that you said during that broadcast that other people found even more troubling than the "N" word, such as when you said, quote, "I really thought that, once we had a black president, the attempt to demonize whites hating blacks would stop, but it seems to have grown, and I don't get it."
Some people thought that was really a racist point of view.
SCHLESSINGER: I don't. I think that was an observation.
ROBERTS: Another statement that you made you say, quote, "Without giving much thought, a lot of blacks voted for Obama simply because he was half black. It was a black thing."
Lincoln Mitchell of Columbia University took particular exception with that, suggesting that there was maybe five more points of the black vote that went to President Obama than went to candidate Gore back in 2000. So, how could you make a statement like that?
SCHLESSINGER: The point that this woman made, which you do not play, interestingly, is her racist statement that whites are afraid of the black man taking over America. I think that was a pretty racist statement. My response to that was that blacks make up about 12 percent of the population. So, he was voted in by whites. Somebody has left that out of your tape.
ROBERTS: Well, we certainly can go back and we can find that and we can play it, if that would help to satisfy you tonight. Just looking back...
SCHLESSINGER: No. It might...
ROBERTS: Go ahead.
SCHLESSINGER: No, I'm fine.
ROBERTS: One other point, Dr. Schlessinger. The woman called you, asking a personal question, saying her husband, who's white, his friends were saying things that she felt uncomfortable with. Looking to you for advice. You really kind of came down on her. And I'm wondering why you responded to her like that.
SCHLESSINGER: Well, have you listened to the entire call?
ROBERTS: Yes. Yes, I have.
SCHLESSINGER: Oh, now I think, if her husband's friends were calling her a horrendous word, she would have led with that. But she didn't. She led with "They asked me a black point of view." So I'm even wondering, if you heard the call, why you would think I wasn't trying to help her?
ROBERTS: Dr. Schlessinger, it's good to talk to you tonight. Thanks so much for joining us.
SCHLESSINGER: Thank you.