Dr. Laura Schlesinger, Ethics Chicken

Dr. Laura Schlesinger turned tail and ran last night, telling CNN host Larry King that she was quitting her radio show in response to the manufactured controversy following her repeated use of the word “nigger” to quote (with complete accuracy) what could be heard from black comics on HBO. “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.” she told Larry. “I’m sort of done with that.”

In related news, Seth McFarland announced that he would end “The Family Guy” because the critics who kept saying the cartoon series corrupted American youth made him cry at nights; Frank Rich revealed that he would terminate his acerbic political column for the New York Times because all the attacks from the Right were giving him gas; and Sarah Palin told Anderson Cooper that she was retiring to Wasilla, “because I want to live somewhere where people don’t get all mad at you and stuff when you say things they don’t agree with and then attack you just as hard as you’ve been attacking them. It’s mean, and I’m kinda sick of it.”

Schlesinger, who has preached a high standard of integrity, ethics, and, most of all, courage to fight for core values, just gave the green light to all the ideological bullies, personal assassins, speech censors and political correctness Ninja to continue their vicious, intolerant and hypocritical ways, by not having the guts to take the consequences of the controversy she invited, and stand up for Americans who express their opinions vividly, bluntly and honestly.

Her exchange with the African-American caller was unnecessarily harsh, but still well within acceptable standards of radio talk. Later, she apologized for her tone, graciously. What she said, however, was in no way racist, and she had a duty to remain on the battlefield and make certain that it was not re-defined as racist by race-baiting opportunists who will profit from a definition of the word so rigid and restrictive that it prevents open communication and debate. But poor Dr. Laura is tired; poor Dr. Laura is, she told King, “sort of done with that.”

Poor Dr. Laura is a lily-livered coward. Who knew?

All that “courage” talk for abused wives and values lectures? Yada yada. Dr. Laura has lots of money, and doesn’t need the aggravation, though for years she specialized in aggravating her ideological foes with her bluntness. That was before she decided it was just too much trouble to stand up for her own First Amendment rights, however, just like Comedy Central decided it was too much trouble to stand up for free speech when Muslim nuts proclaimed “South Park” the vomit of infidels and threatened to hurt someone. “I want to regain my First Amendment rights,” she said. Tell, me, faux Dr., how will you be able to regain your rights when you make it easier for cultural censors to restrict them…and ours?

Never mind. You’re tired.

Already, Schlesinger’s critics are taking a victory lap. Media Matters brayed,

“Dr. Laura’s radio career ended in disgrace tonight because of the bigoted, ugly and hateful remarks made on her show. Americans have had enough. Listeners are now holding hosts, affiliates, and sponsors accountable for the offensive and inexcusable content on the airwaves.”

I don’t blame Media Matters; it releases junk like this every day, as the self-appointed advocate for the position that all conservatives are lying, mean-spirited morons who persecute the saintly liberals fighting to save the nation. The miscreant here is the formerly bold standard bearer for personal responsibility and accountability, who intentionally kicked the political correctness hornets nest and ran away: Dr. Laura herself.

She ended her radio career in disgrace, all right, but not the kind of disgrace Media Matters describes. Laura Schlesinger abandoned the ethical duties she built her reputation on—the duty of integrity, the duty of personal responsibility—and showed that she lacked the character trait that makes ethical conduct possible—courage.

4 thoughts on “Dr. Laura Schlesinger, Ethics Chicken

  1. Absolutely. She has a responsibility to meet her own high standards of responsibility and accountability (and by the way, I’d argue that most of JFK’s profiles were really just Senators meeting their ethical duties.) Leaders and role models have a duty to have guts, and those who deal in punditry and public commentary have an ethical obligation to stand up for dissent and legitimate discourse. Once you start a fight, you have an obligation to see it through, especially when you’re fighting for principle.

    Cowardice, when one is a leader, a role model, and a social critic IS unethical.

  2. “Better Red than dead?” Don’t start a fight you don’t have the conviction or fortitude to finish. And when you’re fighting for core principles, and have put yourself on the front line–surrender isn’t an option. Especially when you aren’t losing. This was a self-engineered defeat for the principle of truth-telling and candor.

    It also implicates the duty of competence. What a botch!

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