Nationally syndicated radio show host "Dr. Laura" Schlessinger announced on CNN's Larry King Live last night that she will not be continuing her radio show after her contract expires at the end of the year. She had come under fire for a racially-charged rant last week, in which she said the n-word (unbleeped) eleven times, and accused an African-American caller of being "hyper-sensitive" about race.
GLAAD, Media Matters for America, Unity Journalists of Color and the Women's Media Center released a joint statement on Monday, condemning the comments, and promising to hold "Dr. Laura" and the show's advertisers accountable.
Schlessinger told Larry King that, essentially, she does not want to be held accountable.
“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.”
Schlessinger said last night that she's not retiring - she will continue to write books and appear at speaking engagements. But it is doubtful this will allow her to evade criticism. If "Dr. Laura" Schlessinger continues her decades-long pattern of media defamation, she will undoubtedly be held accountable. As GLAAD's Senior Director of Media Programs, Rashad Robinson recently put it:
"Last week were all reminded of 'Dr. Laura’s' propensity to use vile words and demean entire communities. It doesn’t matter how quickly she apologizes, if she doesn’t learn that using her media platform to promote ugly and vulgar language and rhetoric contributes to putting people in harm’s way."