First, let me state I have never been a fan of Dr. Laura, or actually any talk show host that uses the personal problems of people to improve their ratings. However, curious about the hoopla, her apologies and comments concerning the freedom of speech, I googled her this morning to see what I thought was really going on. And I watched the clip of what was said, and what was not said. I’m assuming this was a true clip, but cut at the point where she asked the caller to hold, I assume, for a commercial. Therefore, perhaps I didn’t hear the entire program with this caller.
Familiar with politics and public speaking I listened to the program with an ear toward what was offensive, and truthfully found nothing said to the caller particularly offensive. However, I found her attitude to the caller rude, as she kept interrupting and not allowing the caller to discuss her real issue which was the fact that her husband’s family and friends often made her feel uncomfortable or hurt due to comments they made concerning black people. Never once does Dr. Laura address the issue of this caller’s emotional feelings, instead she makes a comment that I’m sure was based on her personal feelings, as it certainly isn’t true, and could be construed as racist. She states totally off the issue “Black people voted for Obama because he’s half black.” Now, what did that comment have to do with this woman’s emotional and hurt feelings concerning her husband’s family and friends making comments that she felt were inappropriate because she was black and her husband’s lack of empathy or support for her? Absolutely nothing.
Was it a racist comment? Yes, because it implies that “white” people did not vote for President Obama because he’s half back. Which of course isn’t true. I know many black people who did not vote for President Obama, just as I know many white people who did. Race was only an issue for most of us when politicians and the media made it an issue. Comments like these are made daily by hundreds of people wanting to increase their ratings because they think it’s what the public wants to hear and see. Controversy. Ridicule. DRAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Basically that is the exact reason I don’t watch these shows. Perhaps I’m old, but airing your dirty laundry in public was frowned upon as I grew up. Insulting people or ridiculing people was frowned up. And you didn’t call up a complete stranger for advice is you had a problem. You found a good friend, your minister or your therapist and you discussed it behind closed doors. If Dr. Laura had wanted to help the caller she would have asked the question “Have you talked to your husband about how you feel?” “Have you talked to your husband’s family about how you feel?” But she didn’t do that, because the show wasn’t dedicated to helping callers with problems. Instead it was dedicated to DRAMA.
I personally won’t miss Dr. Laura, as I didn’t watch her to begin with. Was her comment worthy of being ousted or requiring her to quit? I would say that truly was up to the network advertisers and sponsors. It would be interesting to know if they threatened to pull their ads from the show unless she apologized and resigned. Of course, we the public will never have access to that information. Unless, of course, it comes to play in a future drama that might improve ratings.