Thursday, August 19, 2010

RIP Dr. Laura -- Wait, she's still alive? DAMMIT!

So right-wing radio nut/fake psychiatrist Dr. Laura Schlessinger is quitting her controversial show, because she wants to be free to express her First Amendment rights, without retaliation from the people she offends, advertisers, or the FCC. Evidently, this is in response to her latest bigoted tirade, where she repeatedly referred to black people as n***ers and -- SHOCK! -- people were outraged over it.

(jeez what took them so long?)

First of all, I'm glad she's finally gone -- it couldn't happen to anyone more deserving. Well, except maybe for Charles McVety, the Westboro Baptist Church, the National Organization for Marriage, and pretty much everyone who's worked for Fox News. Oh, and Stephen Harper, but that's a different matter.

Second, before any neo-cons out there get up my ass about free speech, I suggest you take a look at broadcasting laws in your country. In Canada, in addition to our hate speech laws, we have the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council. America has the oft-maligned Federal Communications Commission. While both policies -- and their enforcers -- have their occasional problems and brain farts, they are nonetheless the law of the land when it comes to what you can have on public airwaves. Frankly, anyone who's ever been near the broadcasting industry knows that there are certain words you are not allowed to say on the air -- Professor George Carlin did some seminal work on this subject in the 1970s. This is especially wise, when some of those words are used by various bigots and supremacists in their rants to call for the deaths of everyone who isn't a straight white Judeo-Christian (and sometimes it's even more narrow than that).

Third, if Schlessinger really wants to find a place that frees her to spread her bile, she's going to have her work cut out for her. I doubt that any other mainstream outlet will want her, because she's a defamation lawsuit/huge FCC fine waiting to happen, she clearly hates about half of the country, and isn't above using foul language and slurs to say so. The FCC even has some involvement in Internet regulation, which limits her options there as well (plus that's assuming the best case scenario for her, that she's able to set up her own web site and video streaming service -- after all, YouTube, BlipTV and most other video sites forbid her kind of dreck too).

So I guess that limits her to private functions with the KKK, Aryan Brotherhood, and Republican Party. Well, at least that would be honest as well as open.

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