Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Part I can be found

Media Matters for America courtesy of Eschaton:

Schlessinger ending her radio show

KING: So, what are you here to tell us tonight?

SCHLESSINGER: Well, I'm here to say that my contract is up for my radio show at the end of the year and I have made the decision not to do radio anymore. The reason is: I want to regain my First Amendment rights. I want to be able to say what's on my mind, and in my heart, what I think is helpful and useful without somebody getting angry, some special interest group deciding this is a time to silence a voice of dissent, and attack affiliates and attack sponsors.

I'm sort of done with that. I'm not retiring. I'm not quitting. I feel energized actually, stronger and freer to say the things that I believe need to be said for people in this country.


KING: Why is your freedom of speech denied on radio?


KING: Because people can criticize what you say.

SCHLESSINGER: You know, when I started in radio, if you said something somebody didn't agree with and they didn't like, they argued with you. Now, they try to silence you. They try to wipe out your ability to earn a living and to have your job. They go after affiliates. They send threats to sponsors.

KING: That's their right, too.

SCHLESSINGER: Yes, but I don't hatch the right to say what I need to say. My First Amendment rights have been usurped by angry, hateful groups who don't want to debate. They want to eliminate.

here, with video.

I get the feeling that this is less of a momentous decision on Schlessinger's part and more of a "we're not renewing your contract because you used the n-word ten times live on the air" sort of thing. But whatever. This is how the good doctor is presenting her departure from radio, and whoever syndicates her show doesn't seem to be contradicting her, so I won't quibble over her assertion that she's walking away from a lucrative contract allowing her a great deal of self-aggrandizement simply because people are criticizing her.

Ride off into the sunset, cowboy. That's what good guy racists do. I guess.

Of course, what's worth mentioning about her earthshaking pronouncement is that she thinks her first amendment free speech rights have been violated. If the freedom of speech includes a syndicated radio show, then sign me up for her crusade: I'm getting fucked over, too. Where the hell's my government guaranteed syndicated radio show? Fucking liberals, always fucking up my lawn.

I did some thinking about this during the Don Imus "nappy-headed ho's" scandal a few years back. A buddy of mine, who I daresay is just as liberal as me, was outraged that the asshole shock jock lost his job, even while condemning the statements that resulted in the dismissal. For my pal, it was a free speech issue; you know, I hate what you say, but I defend your right to say it. Of course, I hate Imus, and was glad to see him go, and was later angry at his reinstatement. Personally, I had no problem at all with his sacking: as an unemployed radio personality, Imus' free speech rights continued to be exactly the same as mine. He had the freedom to say anything he likes, just as I do. What he lost was not free speech, but the corporate sized megaphone handed to him by a big business for the purpose of making shitloads of money. The Constitution doesn't guarantee this kind of commercial speech, speech-as-consumer-product; the Constitution does not compel business entities, or any other kind of organization, to provide resources to private individuals in order to amplify their voices. Thus, Imus' rights were in no way violated. During his period of unemployment, his freedom of speech continued to be exactly what it has always been, free.

Same thing with Imus' fellow racist radio bitch, Dr. Laura. Her show is a commercial venture, and if its content becomes so offensive that her bankrollers fear for the bottom line, then she gets the ax. Simple as that. No first amendment violation at all.

Of course, I have to admit that when MSNBC sacked Phil Donahue for his anti-war views back in 2003, the same principles were in play. It was stupid on the part of parent company NBC, given that his was the cable network's highest rated program at the time, and it bummed me to no end because I love Donahue, but it was most definitely not a violation of his first amendment rights. Television and radio are businesses. They exist to make money, not to provide soapboxes for concerned citizens. I mean, maybe they should, but that's not currently the case.

In short, in addition to being a lying racist bitch, Dr. Laura is a whiny cunt who is apparently unable to live by the right-wing libertarian pro-business ideas she champions so callously. My favorite kind of justice is the poetic kind.