Critics: Dr. Laura's Rant Reiterates N-Word Is Never OK

Dr. Laura Schlessinger Trips Down Don Imus' Path

Don Imus, "Seinfeld's" Richards, Mel Gibson: all toyed with the N-word, all suffered because of it. With more than 30 years of radio experience under her belt, it stands to reason that Schlessinger would think twice before tripping down the same path herself.

Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League said that whether Schlessinger should be banned from broadcasting is a matter for the public to decide, just as widespread anti-Imus sentiment sent the 10-gallon-hat wearing talk radio host off the air for nine months in 2007.

"Her popularity depends on whether this is acceptable to her audience," he said.

Schlessinger's reach is sizeable: according to her Web site, "The Dr. Laura Program," now in its sixteenth year of syndication, boasts 8.25 million weekly listeners in over 40 countries on over 250 radio stations.

"If it is acceptable, that's scary," Foxman said. "If you have an audience like that, something's wrong with American values."

Would Schlessinger's use of the N-word been OK if she were black?

"In the public manner, no," Foxman said. "Show business doesn't make using that word acceptable."

Comedian Mooney quipped that the radio host could use some treatment to reinforce that point.

"Dr. Laura needs a doctor herself," he said.

On a more serious note, Mooney lamented that Schlessinger's rant shows how deeply rooted the N-word is in American culture. Still, he continues his push to eradicate the N-word from the public consciousness. For him, Schlessigner's scandal only serves as a reminder that the slur still holds a sick power.

"If it could be taken care of tomorrow, if it could disappear, I would want it to disappear," he said. "I want it taken out of society."

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