Laura Schlesinger says she’s quitting radio because her “First Amendment rights have been usurped by angry, hateful groups.”

You might have heard she used a racial epithet a number of times on a recent show. She was making the point that it is sometimes acceptable, and not even seen as demeaning, when black people say the word “nigger,” but it is unacceptable for others. Fair point. The querulous way in which she made the point wasn’t attractive, however, particularly her repetitious use of the epithet. She caught hell and apologized.

As Larry King put it, Schlesinger seems to think her freedom of speech is being denied because people can criticize what she says.


You might call this the conservative view of the 1st Amendment. They are protected, but dissenting views are not. Critics of George Bush, for example. Muslims. And remember Kenneth Starr? His persecutors were busy smearing everyone in Arkansas, from school kids to politicians for everything from sexual practices to minor business transgressions. But when people started criticizing him, he suggested they were criminally obstructing justice.