Griper Blade: Dr. Laura Tells the Nation Her First Amendment Rights Have Been Taken

The First Amendment guarantees your right to say what's on your mind without government censorship, to practice the religion of your choosing -- or, like me, no religion at all -- and a nationally syndicated talk radio show that no one is allowed to comment on. It's right there in the Constitution. Look it up.

Of course, you won't actually find the part about no-feedback radio in the First Amendment, but I guess that's implied somehow. Ask Laura Schlessinger. After a fun little segment where she used the n-word 11 times and told a caller that she shouldn't marry outside her race, people got a little miffed. And it was then that her First Amendment right to a nationally syndicated radio show that no one can criticize was violated in a completely un-American way. So she's done. Freedom of speech in America is dead. She told Larry King that she's going into exile at the end of the year and, having been silenced by radical socialist media critics and people who think racists are awful, will publish a book that stands a good chance of spending time on someone's best-seller list. Because she has no First Amendment rights.

[Media Matters:]

I'm here to say that my contract is up for my radio show at the end of the year, and I've 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, and what I think is helpful and useful, without somebody getting angry, some special interest group deciding this is the 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.

And shame on me for using the dreadful Media Matters for the clip and the quote, huh? She used her First Amendment right to her nationally syndicated radio show and they went and repeated what she said verbatim. It's just awful. And then people reacted to it, which is even worse. Exercising your Constitutionally guaranteed right to a nationally syndicated talk radio program is a matter of trust. Schlessinger, who is a doctor after all, has every reason to expect a sort of doctor-patient relationship with her audience. When her voice is broadcast to every state in the nation, it's broadcast in confidence. It's a 50,000-watt special and shared secret.

And we're not talking about some trumped up, out of context, Shirley Sherrod sort of thing. Schlessinger herself apologized for it the next day. Now she's going to quit to "regain her First Amendment rights." Good for her. More nationally syndicated talk radio hosts should do that. Let's hope she starts a trend. Rush Limbaugh can quit. Then Sean Hannity. Then Glenn Beck. Michael Savage, Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin, and Neal Boortz can all join in. Call it "Talk Radio Goes Galt." We'll see just how long we can get along without the sage advice and accurate information we get from these people. We'll see how well society is able to function without them. Then we'll be begging them to please, please, please accept their First Amendment rights back. But probably not until after they, like Laura Schlessinger, have written best-sellers about how they have no freedom of speech. But don't repeat what they say in those books, because I guess quoting people is a horrible violation of their God-given freedoms. Who knew that John Bartlett was such a ruthless oppressor?

It's tempting to see Schlessinger as something of a whiner, instead of the tireless defender of her own liberty that she is. She'll probably be on the radio today (or already has been -- I have no idea when she's on) broadcasting nationwide the story of how her First Amendment rights have been taken from her. And she'll write that book, where she'll more than likely mention the fact. Of course, we can't forget that she was on Larry King, telling the story of how she'd been robbed of her freedom of speech. Apparently, when Media Matters shoves a gag in your mouth, you go all over the place to talk about it. How long before she tells the ladies on The View how her First Amendment rights have been abridged? Not too long, I hope. America needs to know.

But don't worry too much. The end of the year is still a long way off. It wouldn't surprise me any if Schlessinger, after much prayer and deep introspection, changed her mind about retiring her show and struggled on. Continuing the show without any First Amendment rights will be hard, but she plans to do it for a few months anyway.

Maybe she'll find out it's easier than she thought.


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