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Dr. Laura ends show on heels of N-word rant

August 17, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Radio talk show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger has announced that she is ending her show and will not renew her contract at the end of the year.Schlessinger made the announcement Tuesday afternoon on "Larry King Live," saying she wants to "regain my First Amendment rights."

"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. I'm sort of done with that," she said to Larry King.

She said she is not retiring, but has decided not to do radio anymore. She said she will continue to write books and publish articles on the Internet, as well as maintain her speaking engagements.

"I'm not retiring, I'm not quitting, I feel energized actually," she said. "Stronger and freer to say the things that I believe need to be said for people in this country."

Schlessinger came under fire last week for using the N-word during her radio talk show.

During the exchange last Tuesday, Schlessinger told a caller she was "hypersensitive" for complaining of racist comments from her husband's friends. She said "black guys say it all the time" and went on to repeat the N-word several times.

When the caller objected, Schlessinger replied: "Oh, then I guess you don't watch HBO or listen to any black comedians."

Schlessinger also said that if the caller did not have a sense of humor about race, she shouldn't have entered into an interracial marriage.

Schlessinger later said on her website that she had actually been trying to make a philosophical point, but that she now believes she was wrong. She said she "realized I had made a horrible mistake, and was so upset, I could not finish the show."

Schlessinger said she pulled herself off the air at the end of the hour. She apologized the next day but the damage had been done.

On Tuesday night, local community activists had mixed feelings about the radio host's calling it quits.

"She wants to go where she can say the N-word and people won't be offended. That's not going to happen anywhere in the United State of America," said Eddie Jones, president of the Los Angeles Civil Rights Association. "Anywhere she goes and she uses that word the way she did on that show, it's going to happen again."

West coast editor of Parade Magazine, Jeanne Wolf, said she believes Schlessinger's announcement today is part of a bigger plan.

"I think Dr. Laura wants nothing more than a public outcry for her to come back and not quit radio," Wolf said.

Still, many people, including comedienne Kathy Griffin, are happy the talk show host will be silenced.

"She's a stupid bigot," Griffin said.

"I think it's a wise decision that she quit and her apology was a little lackluster," said West Hollywood resident Seveaine Byous.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.


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