Schlessinger ending her radio show because "my First Amendment rights have been usurped by angry, hateful groups"
From the August 17 edition of CNN's Larry King Live:
KING: So, what are you here to tell us tonight?
SCHLESSINGER: Well, I'm here to say that my contract is up for my radio show at the end of the year and I have made the decision not to do radio anymore. The reason is: I want to regain my First Amendment rights. I want to be able to say what's on my mind, and in my heart, what I think is helpful and useful without somebody getting angry, some special interest group deciding this is a time to silence a voice of dissent, and attack affiliates and attack sponsors.
I'm sort of done with that. I'm not retiring. I'm not quitting. I feel energized actually, stronger and freer to say the things that I believe need to be said for people in this country.
KING: So, you're giving up -- you are giving up the one area of your fame?
SCHLESSINGER: Oh, my dear. I write books. I have blogs. I have my Web site.
KING: But people think Dr. Laura, they think her radio talk show.
SCHLESSINGER: This is the area -- this is the era of the Internet.
KING: So, you are going to do Internet stuff?
SCHLESSINGER: Oh, yes, I am now.
KING: Why is your freedom of speech denied on radio?
KING: Because people can criticize what you say.
SCHLESSINGER: You know, when I started in radio, if you said something somebody didn't agree with and they didn't like, they argued with you. Now, they try to silence you. They try to wipe out your ability to earn a living and to have your job. They go after affiliates. They send threats to sponsors.
KING: That's their right, too.
SCHLESSINGER: Yes, but I don't hatch the right to say what I need to say. My First Amendment rights have been usurped by angry, hateful groups who don't want to debate. They want to eliminate.
So, that's why I decided it was time to move on to other venues where I could say my piece and not have to live in fear anymore that sponsors and their families are going to be upset, radio stations are going to be upset, my peeps, as I call them, are going to be upset. KING: Did you tell your syndicate today? The people who syndicate you?
SCHLESSINGER: Ten minutes before I came on.
KING: This show?