Stephen Colbert, faux conservative television talk show host, seems to have done it again with the Dr. Laura Schlessinger “n” word controversy — put things into proper perspective via humor. In a segment on “The Colbert Report” Wednesday night called “Don’t Shoot the Schlessinger,” Stephen Colbert presented the “n’ word fracas and Dr. Laura Schlessinger’s subsequent resignation over the matter, then proceeded to make the veteran radio talk show host look like a self-serving hypocrite.
As Stephen Colbert explained, it all began when Dr. Laura Schlessinger fielded a call on her radio program, a show in which she has dispensed advice for three decades. The caller, a black woman, was married to a white man, and his friends’ constant use of the “n” word made her uncomfortable. She wanted to know what she could do about it. But instead of advice on coping or methods with which to deflect her irritation or help her husband’s friends be a little more sensitive to her sensibilities, Dr. Laura Schlessinger launched into both a personal attack on the woman concerning possible hypersensitivity and what amounted to social moralization.
The Dr. Laura “n” word rant is now famous. She used the “n” word 11 times in the span of five minutes. She repeated it several times and when the caller told her she was taken aback by Dr. Laura’s own use of the “n” word, Schlessinger insisted she had no “sense of humor.” She also suggested that if the caller was so sensitive, she should consider not marrying outside her race.
Although her motives are not clear, Dr. Laura Schlessinger later claims that she felt so awful about what she had said, about how she had not helped the caller but possibly compounded her problem, she took herself off the air. She would later publicly apologize and write an open letter of apology to her fans.
And then she went on CNN’s “Larry King Live” and announced that she was resigning.