As most radio enthusiasts have probably already heard, veteran talk show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger appeared on the Larry King Live program Tuesday night and announced that she would leave her show at the end of the contract. Schlessinger made the decision in response to growing flack over her repeated use of the so-called “n-word” with a black caller on the Aug. 10 edition of her program. The liberal media watchdog group Media Matters organized a swift and effective campaign calling attention to Dr. Laura’s remarks and joined with the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), Women’s Media Center, and UNITY Journalists of Color to “hold [the program’s] advertisers accountable and find out exactly where they stand.”
In announcing her departure from the airwaves Dr. Laura put forth a curious interpretation of the Bill of Rights when she told King, “I don’t have the right to say what I need to say. My first amendment rights have been usurped.” Lest anyone be confused, the current state of US law and policy makes it perfectly legal for Dr. Laura to use the “n-word” and most other words in the English language on the radio. The only exceptions to this are in cases of indecency, which only pertains to discussing matters of sexual and excretory functions; racial, gender and other types of epithets are not policed by the FCC in any fashion.