Dr Laura's N-Bomb

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Dr Laura's N-Bomb

Postby radiofan » Fri Aug 13, 2010 11:02 pm

Friday, Aug 13, 2010 11:05 ET
Dr. Laura's N-bomb meltdown
The controversial radio host goes off the rails making a point about race. Was she just misunderstood?

By Mary Elizabeth Williams


If you're going to make a point about racial sensitivity, Dr. Laura is probably not the best person for the job.

On Tuesday, the controversial radio host/crackpot fielded a call on her program from an African-American woman who said she was weary of her white husband's family and friends' racist comments. Dr. Laura immediately went on the offensive, asking the caller to cite specific examples, because "Some people are hypersensitive." The caller, a woman named Jade, explained that her husband's comrades ask her questions like "How do you black people like doing this? Do black people really like doing that?" -- which Schlessinger promptly dismissed as "not racist." It's funny, because I thought that ascribing a particular set of traits to a person based on the color of her skin was pretty much the textbook definition of racism, but, clearly, I'm no doctor. "A lot of blacks voted for Obama simply 'cause he was half-black,'" Dr. Laura continued. "Didn't matter what he was going to do in office. It was a black thing."

The caller then pressed on, asking: "What about the N-word? The N-word's been thrown around." To which Dr. Laura airily retorted: "Black guys use it all the time. Turn on HBO, listen to a buh-lack comic, and all you hear is nigger nigger nigger. I don't get it. If anybody without enough melanin says it, it's a horrible thing. But when black people say it, it's affectionate."

The caller, clearly agitated by now, nevertheless remained respectful, asking, "Is it ever OK to say that word?" Schlessinger responded by accusing her of having a "chip on [her] shoulder," telling her "Don't NAACP me" and that she possessed "a lot of what I hear from blackthink." For the kicker, she added, "If you're that hypersensitive about color and don't have a sense of humor, don't marry out of your race." In other words, why are you black people so uptight?

Predictably, Dr. Laura's odd discourse was manna from heaven for the Rev. Al Sharpton, who appeared on CNN to call the tirade "despicable." Also predictably, the national media was quick to seize upon on the incident, reporting Dr. Laura had used "the N-word." But she didn't say "the N-word." She said "nigger." She actually went on to say it at least seven more times, with considerable gusto. And though she didn't apply it directly to the caller, she did express a spectacular amount of ignorance as to why a word with such a rich and hateful history might be considered offensive, regardless of how casually it may be bandied about in certain circles.

Really, lady? It's simple. Because words are like firearms – if you don't know how to use them carefully, they can blow up in your face. Is it fair that Katt Williams can say the word and not give universal offense, and you can't? Well, America's colorful history of slavery, violence and racism doesn't exactly work out even-steven, so why not just let that one slide?

On Wednesday, perhaps feeling somewhat schooled by the furor, Dr. Laura issued an apology on her website. Though she said, "I did the wrong thing," adding that she was so upset about the incident she had to cut her show short, she also continued to display her trademark cluelessness. "I was attempting to make a philosophical point," she explained, adding that "I ended up, I’m sure, with many of you losing the point I was trying to make, because you were shocked by the fact that I said the word." Oh, if we'd only understood! Why can't we all just be smart enough to get Dr. Laura's philosophical points?

It's true that some people will always bristle at the word, regardless of context or nuance. Those are the same people who'd prefer to scrub up the works of Mark Twain, who believe that quoting someone saying a word is as bad as using it directly. But there are many more who are unwilling to let an old white woman off the hook for tossing around a slur in order to accuse black people of racial insensitivity. Schlessinger wasn't saying, "Your husband's friends say nigger? That's messed up." She was, when not dropping N-bombs, dismissively declaring that "we've got a black man as president and we've got more complaining about race than ever. I think that's hilarious." Yes, how dare a caller express discomfort with being stereotyped and subjected to epithets? That is SO funny. Like, black-guys-on-HBO funny. Too bad we can't all have a "sense of humor" like Dr. L's, because we've got "hypersensitivity, which is being bred by black activists." Maybe it's a black thing. Or maybe it's just a human thing. But for most people, Dr. Laura, it's just a knowing when to shut the hell up thing.

http://www.ktla.com/news/nationworld/sn ... .htmlstory

http://www.salon.com/life/feature/2010/ ... the_n_word
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Re: Dr Laura's N-Bomb

Postby Mike Cleaver » Sat Aug 14, 2010 12:03 am

Does any Canadian radio station still run "Dr." Lying Shitslinger?
She's racist and anti-gay and I'm glad I helped get her run off the air after some anti-gay remarks at CFRA when I worked in Ottawa.
Another example of American crap programming that should stay south of the border.
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Re: Dr Laura's N-Bomb

Postby Jack Bennest » Sat Aug 14, 2010 7:35 am

I have to agree with Laura on one point - only one point.

If those of black skin go around calling themselves a "n___er" - the use of the word will never be extinguished.

On another point and I will fly the :canflag5: Why do canadian stations import less-than-great-programming from the USA just to fill our radio schedule?

Its time for Canadian talent coast to coast to fill the time available on our airwaves. If we have to compete with american programmes maybe the quality will rise.
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Re: Dr Laura's N-Bomb

Postby Howaboutthat » Sat Aug 14, 2010 10:45 am

So much for free speech. I must say, the US seems much more tolerant of these right wing nut jobs than some in this country. You can always not listen.
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Re: Dr Laura's N-Bomb

Postby Jack Bennest » Sat Aug 14, 2010 10:58 am

Howaboutthat wrote:nut jobs :violent3:



thank the lord you were not talking about moi
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Re: Dr Laura's N-Bomb

Postby jon » Sat Aug 14, 2010 12:54 pm

Mike Cleaver wrote:Does any Canadian radio station still run "Dr." L

A quick check on her web site indicates that no station in Canada currently carries her show. Quite a change since mid-decade when Cool 8-80 here in Edmonton laid off Greg James (live mid-days) for Dr. Laura. And CFUN Vancouver was running her, as well.

Even Washington State has her relegated to mostly smaller stations, all AM, and mostly running only two hours, not three. In Seattle, she is on KTTH-770 from nine to midnight.

Her web site also has her apology in both text and audio versions:
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Re: Dr Laura's N-Bomb

Postby albertaboy4life » Sat Aug 14, 2010 1:22 pm

Her kids' mom is limited to one hour each Saturday from 6 to 7 pm on CHQR in Calgary.
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Re: Dr Laura's N-Bomb

Postby pieinthesky » Sat Aug 14, 2010 2:03 pm

The show isn't as interesting as it once was. I've caught it on SiriusXM stars a few times.
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Re: Dr Laura's N-Bomb

Postby CKNF » Sat Aug 14, 2010 10:24 pm

albertaboy4life wrote:Her kids' mom is limited to one hour each Saturday from 6 to 7 pm on CHQR in Calgary.


That's still too often... :sad3:
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Re: Dr Laura's N-Bomb

Postby pave » Sun Aug 15, 2010 5:25 am

People can say what they want to whomever they want in any medium they want. And there may be consequences.

In the case of Her kid's Mom, the consequence - with an odd exception... like this latest - is one of audience indifference.

What galls me is that people play the "offended" card as if it had some value other than (possibly) filling a low, unsuited straight.

Talent: "Blah bluh-blah, blaw."
Audience member: "I'm offended."
Talent: "So wucking phut, princess?"
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Re: Dr Laura's N-Bomb

Postby hagopian » Sun Aug 15, 2010 1:49 pm

Garbage programming. This woman is a total knee jerk, ego freak.
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Re: Dr Laura's N-Bomb

Postby pave » Thu Aug 19, 2010 4:36 pm

Still, she is being skewered by those that can because they think they can get mileage... and they're right.

Plus, since she was using a quote from someone else to make a point, her mistake was in apologizing.

The appropriate and more useful response would have been: "Don' like it. Don' listen. Otherwise, bite me."

This is a representation of an even bigger problem. That being: a position that someone's being offended is a cause for actual concern and angst.
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Re: Dr Laura's N-Bomb

Postby Buckley » Thu Aug 19, 2010 7:36 pm

pave wrote:Still, she is being skewered by those that can because they think they can get mileage... and they're right.

Plus, since she was using a quote from someone else to make a point, her mistake was in apologizing.

The appropriate and more useful response would have been: "Don' like it. Don' listen. Otherwise, bite me."

This is a representation of an even bigger problem. That being: a position that someone's being offended is a cause for actual concern and angst.


Well, this is exactly why Canadian Radio is considered "boring" by some (especially American visitors), when the most offensive thing you're going to hear was a recycled poop joke from a Shrek movie, or the word "d-bag" (not the actual word mind you, exactly as written... "dee-bag"). Certainly the "N-word" isn't appropriate for radio no matter where, but radio personalities in general in Canada could do a better job of taking any position other than "superglued to the fence". I understand the balance between advertisers and content and wah wah wah, but that said, if a little controversy can draw a lot more listeners, then so be it. Dr. Laura's 9 million listeners or whatever it is, that's an advertiser's wet dream compared to what passes for "good ratings" in Canada (I know we're a 10th' of the size but what Canadian show has a 900,000 listeners at any given time currently? Strombo? Maybe Alan Cross?).

I think that for radio to draw younger listeners in, it's going to have to be allowed to get at least as "racy" as prime time TV. Maybe I just live in a very conservative city, but we don't have anything close. "ohh, a joke about a drunk driving politician's husband, delivered so tounge in cheek as to not truely offend anyone that he's about to poke a hole straight through... watch out!". But even in the limited Toronto/Vancouver listening I've done, I've never heard anything even close to what Opie and Anthony has ever done on Terrestrial, or Stern, or any so-called "Shock Jocks" in the states. And political opinion is limited to "doesn't Harper have a stupid haircut? Oh, and grr at <insert policy here>, THOUGH I can see what he's trying to do". Ugh.

Yeah, Dr. Laura's an idiot. But you know what? If you're just going to say "oh my god she said that word! Quick, take away her means of feeding herself!", well... instead, maybe just turn off the radio on your way to church.
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Re: Dr Laura's N-Bomb

Postby Mike Cleaver » Thu Aug 19, 2010 8:20 pm

Somewhere in the '80's, the mantra from managers and program directors and news directors at the largest stations became:
"Don't offend anyone!"
That sure as hell took all of the fun out of doing editorials because as soon as you give your opinion, you just know there are going to be thousands out there disagreeing and wanting equal time to spout off on the topic from their point of view.
I remember doing a national commentary on a woman's right to have an abortion and that the only person she needed to consult was her doctor.
What a shit-storm that raised from the "pro-life" people and numerous dogmatic religious whackos.
Thus the beginnings of "milquetoast" radio and the move to no live humans who might slip and make an offending remark.
If even one person was offended and especially if they claimed they were going to the CRTC or latterly, CBSC, an on air apology was mandatory, no matter what
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Re: Dr Laura's N-Bomb

Postby pave » Thu Aug 19, 2010 9:08 pm

Yup. Gotta agree with you, boys. And all this non-offensive positioning ends up being the most offensive part of the proposition: It is patronising to a fault. I mean, how vacuous does terra-radio have to become before the audience, after tuning in for a tad, notices it is peeing pure, filtered sachrine?

Of course, we're all aware that we are - at this same time - surrounded by media with no boundaries whatsoever.

This, being one of them, I can yammer until the page turns blue. I can say ka-ka, pee-pee, poo-poo and even fuck-tard.

The real difference is - and this may be significant - if my yammerings draw no interest or worthwhile responses, I will be relegated to the side by indifference.

Kinda like a ratings-system, y' know? :shock:
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