August 13th, 2010
11:45 AM ET

Friday's intriguing people

Laura Schlessinger

Weeks after she was nominated for her second Marconi award, the veteran talk show host used the N-word repeatedly while speaking with a black caller on her radio talk show.

Schlessinger apologized on her radio show on Wednesday for her remarks. "I talk every day about doing the right thing. And yesterday, I did the wrong thing," she said.

The Marconi nod, her string of best-selling books and her accomplishments raising money for injured vets indicated that the good doctor was on the rebound after a group of gay activists nearly shut her down altogether. In 2000, the activists launched "Stop Dr. Laura," because of a series of remarks she'd made about homosexuality. In one incident in 1998, she called homosexuality "a biological error." By 2001, she'd lost her syndicated television show as well as the support of significant advertisers.

Despite that setback, she slowly recovered. Her syndicated advice program has continued for 30 years, most recently on the Sirius/XM satellite radio network. Her most recent book came out in 2009 from Harper Collins, "In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms." She also received an award from Pentagon for raising money to help injured war veterans and their families.

She posted this comment about bigots on her blog in June:

"The callers who tell me they know a relative or friend is hostile, bigoted, or opinionated about something always get the following question from me: Tell me, do they act out on it? Do they proclaim it in public and insult or hurt people because of it? If the answer is "yes," then that person is to be shunned and, perhaps, hated If the answer is "no," that person should be commended for having a strong opinion but never hurting anyone in any form because of it."

"I don't hate people with stupid opinions or ideas," Schlessinger concluded, "I just think they're kinda stupid, that's all."

Dr. Laura blog: Pity Stupidity, But Hate Evil

National Association of Broadcasters Marconi Awards finalists for 2010

Stop Dr. Laura

Katherine Miller

The U.S. Military Academy cadet resigned her position this week, citing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." As reported in Mother Jones magazine, Second Class Cadet Miller was considered one of the top cadets at West Point. However, since May, she had been anonymously blogging about her West Point experience on a lesbian website called "Velvet Park."

In doing so, she not only chronicled her decision to come out, she confirmed something the gay community had suspected: There is an underground network of gays and lesbians in the U.S. military.

"Of course, upon entering West Point I was scared to death that I was the only lesbian in the entire Armed Forces, and therefore the only woman struggling with the policy," Miller blogged. "How very wrong I was..."

Miller's decision to leave West Point entirely rested on two pivotal moments, she wrote. The first was meeting Rep. Patrick Ryan, the Iraq War veteran and Democrat from Pennsylvania. He is the author of legislation that would reverse DADT. He also supported a speaking tour of gay veterans called "Voices of Honor."

The second sign came this summer when Miller was accepted to Yale on a scholarship this year for students from the GLBTQ community. But she could not receive the award without recommendations from a professor - which placed her in the ultimate quandary. After she outed herself to the West Point professor, Miller received the instructor's full support. She'll now move on to Yale.

Still, Miller's time at West Point was not wasted, she wrote. "The discrimination I have faced as a cadet at the United States Military Academy at West Point, an institution regarded as the pinnacle of leadership excellence, has exposed me to the harsh reality of... inequality in the military and in society. As a result of this epiphany, I have redirected my life from battling terrorists in the Middle East to combating hatred and intolerance domestically."

Mother Jones: Inside West Point's Lesbian Subculture

Velvet Park blog: West Point Lesbian Culture Lesson 3: Underground Support

Stan Chambers

The 87-year-old television news reporter announced his retirement this week from KTLA in Los Angeles. With 63 years at his one and only job, Chambers is considered to have the longest career ever of any television news reporter.

When Chambers joined KTLA in 1947 it had a viewership of about 300 households, according to a statement released by the station. KTLA was also the only television news organization west of the Mississippi River, officials said. Chambers covered an estimated 22,000 stories throughout his career, including the Watts Riots and the 1968 assassination of Robert F. Kennedy.

Yet Chambers said the most important story he'd ever covered was the 1949 case of three-year-old Kathy Fiscus. The toddler had had fallen down a well in Southern California town of San Marino. It is considered the first breaking news story to happen on television in the metro Los Angeles area.

Chambers said he will retire to play golf and spend more time with his wife and 11 children.

Media Bistro: LA TV News Veteran Stan Chambers Retires at 87 KTLA's Stan Chambers Retiring After 63 Years

soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. toad

    Dr. Laura is dirty.

    August 13, 2010 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cindy

      Very twisted video; perhaps I'm missing something. Laura Schlessinger is a very pathetic person on several levels. I think the least of her offenses in that exchange with Jade was her using the N-word...excessively, to the point of taunting the caller, who was turning to Schlessinger for good advice. Her apology should have included her regrets for being so stupid, rude, and insensitive. For not being able to recognize the difference between whites using the N-word, and blacks using it amongst each other. The reasoning that Schlessinger used to argue her point showed her behind and the racist she actually is...there is no apology for that. I've heard this very same rant come from ignorant rednecks before, it is not a unique perspective on her part and obviously she got it from other simple minded people. A doctoral degree doesn't necessarily equate to a healthy and logical mentality. And to Jade, I'm really sorry that you've had to be subjected to so many ignorant, low brow, whites. I can understand how hurt you must feel not having your husband's support. Maybe you should educate those whites about what it is to be a human being who is black...not with hostility, but with straight forward information. Most of the problem behind racism is ignorance.

      August 13, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  2. rocksin

    I forgot to mention...Listening to Dr. Laura is not a sign of intelligence! Far from it and I don't. My comment has nothing to do with her.

    August 13, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  3. disgustedbyher

    I'd like to know what her response had been had someone made reference to her ethnicity so disparigingly. I always remember what my Grandmother used to say "Empty vessels make the most noise." Sadly this country gives too much importance and credence to so-called celebs like this vacuous windbag. If people recognized her for what she truly is – a racist, intolerant hatemonger, maybe they'd wise up and stop listening. There is no room for the N-word, or the K-word EVER. And, btw I'm a WASP

    August 13, 2010 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • MK

      You got it.

      August 13, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  4. dan

    Dr. Laura loves scolding manginnas:

    August 13, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Ken Krieger

    I often have "foot in mouth dease "myself. For that reason I tend to forgive those mistakes. Dr laura has saved the jobs of the far left "Race Baiters". God bless Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and the lame stream media who will blow this out of poportion to keep control over Black Americans. These idiots have kept Black Americans in these liberal, getto, cesspools of poverity. They have been taught to hate White people. We will not bite. just get a job and get your children out of the cesspools. Ken krieger 239-283 7385 Cape Coral, Florida

    August 13, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  6. CATom

    Dr Laura doesn't like gays or blacks. Who can blame her?

    August 13, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Eric

    Let me begin by saying I find "Dr. Laura" grating and rude. I'm a generally conservative guy but can't have her show on for more time than it takes to change the station without having my mood darken.

    That said, the writeup above is terribly misleading. It sounds as if Ms. Schlessinger gratuitously used the N word while dealing with a black caller. As I understand it, that's not at all the case. The caller called to complain about the way her white inlaws treated her and commented they used the N word. Ms. Schlessinger commented that blacks use the same word, and that black comics often say N-this or N-that.

    Granted, she could have been much less offensive. But that's not her schtick any more than it's Dave Chappelle's schtick. She makes lots of money being a rude b**** under guise of being a conservative mom. But she was not throwing the term around as a racial slur. CNN, once again, simply reports the story with a slant in order to color the public's perception of someone.

    August 13, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  8. anthony fantacone

    Why do people listen to her?

    August 13, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Cassandra

    CATom: Nobody likes trolls.

    Who can blame us?

    August 13, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Bull

    Prior to this news item,I've never heard of this hag.If she is just a talk show person,taking advise from Paris Hilton would
    be as wise.

    August 13, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  11. david63111

    I heard Dr Laura say on CNN this morning that "black people use the n-word all the time"...well thats because we are black. we know the real meaning of it and we dont use it to call each other a bad name...on the other hand when people that are not blk use the term, its an insult. Thats why its not ok for you to use have a talk show and think if 85% of your audiance was black you would go under......Think before you speak Dr......or give your degree back............David Jr and Black man but in no N-Word..........

    August 13, 2010 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  12. c smith

    How has everyone overlooked the truly offensive statement made that if you are going to be 'hypersensitive' about race don't marry inter racially that was an absurd statement the n-word was said to make a point, not that it was a good one, the moral being she is trash.

    August 13, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  13. mar

    "I'm sorry", but I did not hear Dr. Laura apologize. She simply conceded (because of the pressure) that she was "wrong". Yes, she was wrong and she should apologize for being so insensitive to the caller, and she is wrong not to apologize, and she should no longer be on the air.

    August 13, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  14. RasNyabinghi

    At no time is appropriate for anyone to use the N word. The term is used to down press a person and should be abolished completely.

    August 14, 2010 at 6:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Glenn

      I agree with your comment, but you know we are the minority. This is a very profitable word. The rap world would not have a vocabulary without it. Ask Jay-z and the rest of the Hip-hop world. Because they make money selling this crack for the brain, which is mostly negative and disparaging to black women, they think it is a legitimate business.They have all been hoodwinked...
      The business they are in is of a demise and self-destruction of a people who with dignity and respect sought to conquer slavery only to submit to the poison that gave birth to slavery, the intoxicating power of money and greed at any cost.

      August 16, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |