Dr Laura Schlessinger is stepping down, according to today’s The Washington Post article “‘Dr. Laura’ to end radio show over racial controversy”. Apparently, she yesterday called a caller to her program “hypersensitive” because the caller’s neighbor used racial slurs towards the caller. Dr Laura then went on to describe how there was a racial double standard and used the “N word” eleven times in five minutes while discussing statements made by black comedians and the like.
You know, I can understand the argument, but I cannot understand her subsequent actions. Maybe, just maybe, if it was once. But 11 times?! At some point, it is not freedom of speech any more, nor does repetition always make the case stronger. About the least derogatory thing I can say about this incident is that it was “stupid”.
Then again, I used to listen to her from time to time several years ago, and I often found her “help” was anything but helpful, quite frankly. It wasn’t her philosophy I disagreed with most often. Rather, she seemed to want to rush through calls as though it were the quantity that most mattered. She often came to snap judgments and would try to cut calls short. If someone took too long, she would often be just downright rude.
In particular, the last time I listened to her she kept interrupting the woman on the phone she was trying to “help”. Dr Laura had already made up her mind what the issue was, and frankly I wasn’t convinced that she hadn’t come to a snap judgment once again. Furthermore, the caller was having a rather serious problem, and all she seemed to be getting was rudeness. When the woman tried to explain herself, Dr Laura eventually hung up on her. As a psychologist, you would think listening skills would be important.
I think she’s a much better writer. For example, her book The Ten Commandments: The Significance of God’s Laws in Everyday Life is an excellent read. Of course, she can’t interrupt anyone through a book. Maybe, if she truly wants to restore some sense of morality and family values to our culture, she’ll stick to what she’s best at.
Of course, after this incident, one is forced to consider what type of morality she’s trying to establish. No matter what, after this point in time, her effectiveness will be compromised at best.