Dr. Laura Schlessinger to Quit Radio Show Following "N-word" Tirade

August 19, 2010
Sean Johnson

Dr. Laura Schlessinger is a seasoned radio host with over 30 years experience. Her popularity is undeniable; however, she announced yesterday that she will be quitting her talk show, in part due to criticism from a racially charged conversation she had with a caller.

Dr. Laura Schlessinger is a seasoned radio host with over 30 years experience. On her website, she is billed as someone who “offers no-nonsense advice infused with a strong sense of ethics, accountability, and personal responsibility.” Her popularity is undeniable; she currently reaches approximately 9 million listeners weekly and at her peak had the second-highest-rated radio show (after the Rush Limbaugh Show), and was featured on more than 450 radio stations.

However, Schlessinger announced yesterday that she will be quitting her talk show, “The Dr. Laura Program,” in part due to criticism and fallout stemming from a racially charged conversation she had with a caller last week. One of her listeners called in to discuss relationship problems, and Schlessinger went off on a tangent about how the "n word" is repeatedly used by African Americans as a term of endearment.

"Black guys use it all the time. Turn on HBO and listen to a black comic, and all you hear is n****, n*****, n*****. 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. It's very confusing."

Needless to say, Schlessinger’s comments sparked an outrage, with many listeners saying that she crossed the line. But those familiar with Schlessinger shouldn’t be surprised, as she has been associated with controversy throughout her career. She had a short-lived television show in 2000, which was ended in part because of her views on homosexuals. A couple years before that, nude photos of Dr. Laura surfaced on the Internet.

Schlessinger did offer an apology on her website, admitting that she was “wrong” in the way she handled the situation and that she “did not intend to hurt people.” But regardless of whether or not she is sincere in her apology, she seems set on not renewing her contract at the end of the year. She told Larry King yesterday that she "made the decision not to do radio anymore" because she wanted to regain her First Amendment rights and freely speak her mind.

Are you a listener of the “Dr. Laura” show? What are your thoughts on the controversial conversation that took place? Are you disappointed that she will not be continuing her show? Let us know!