The Daily Update

Protest Paramount
- March 21, 2000

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StopDrLaura.com in the News

  • Newsweek, March 12, 2000, "Dr. Laura, Talk Radio Celebrity"
  • Time Magazine, March 20, 2000, "Dr. Laura, Heal Thyself"
  • Entertainment Weekly, March 17, 2000, "A proposed Dr. Laura TV show outrages gay activists"
  • Associated Press, March 11, 2000
  • LA Times, March 11, 2000
  • People Magazine - March, 20 2000 - HEAT WAVES Radio Provocateur Dr. Laura Schlessinger Raises a Ruckus with Controversial Talk About Gays
  • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Criticism sends ‘Dr.' Laura into a tizzy," March 8, 2000
  • New York Daily News, "Gay groups turning up the heat on radio host Schlessinger," March 8, 2000
  • New York Post, March 7, 2000 "No one spared as radio shrink boils over"
  • New York Times, "Gay Groups Campaign Against Radio Hostīs Plan for a TV Show" March 6, 2000
  • San Francisco Chronicle, "Dr. Laura Talk Show Provokes Backlash," March 4, 2000
  • Channel 2000, "Gay Activists Step Up Dr. Laura Campaign," March 4, 2000
  • TVSPY.COM, March 3, 2000
  • PoliticsOnline.com, "Activists Go Online to Stop Dr. Laura," March 3, 2000
  • Los Angeles Times, "Site-ing Dr. Laura," March 2, 2000
  • USA Today, "Talk show host's TV spot sparks a protest site," March 2, 2000
  • CNN, March 2, 2000
  • Access Hollywood, March 2, 2000
  • Salon, "StopDrLaura.com," March 1, 2000
  • BBC Radio, March 1, 2000
  • CNet Radio, March 1, 2000
  • Potomac Tech Wire, March 1, 2000
  • Southern Voice, "'Frasier' Producer Slams Paramount on Dr. Laura," Feb. 24, 2000
  • O'Reilly Factor, FOX News, Feb. 18, 2000
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DR. LAURA AND PARAMOUNT: AGREEMENT OR RUSE?

Dr. Laura's staff says there was no concession

The List,

February 16, 2000

WASHINGTON, DC - Today's Los Angeles Times reports that GLAAD has reached a "tentative accord" with Paramount about the upcoming Dr. Laura TV show, to be syndicated by Paramount this fall. But was a substantive accord really reached? According to religious right sources, Dr. Laura's staff says they made no concessions at all.

Dr. Laura has a history of describing gays as biological mistakes and sexually deviant (sample quotes can be found at the end of this message), and many in the community were more than concerned about Paramount providing her a nationwide TV audience to spread her anti-gay activism.

In spite of yesterday's announcement of the accord to tone Dr. Laura down, the news doesn't appear to have reached Dr. Laura. According to a press release today from the religious right group Americans for the Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH) - an organization with close ties to the Family Research Council, a "family values" organization that Dr. Laura regularly quotes on her show - "Dr. Laura's staff claims that she has made no concessions and retains full control of her show."

Yet, according to the Los Angeles Times story, Paramount and GLAAD (they met withParamount on Monday to discuss the new Dr. Laura show) "issued a joint statement Tuesday saying the TV program will offer 'many points of view, derived from a variety of sources, guests and a studio audience.'" In addition to asking that Dr. Laura stop using exclusively religious right research when discussing gay issues, GLAAD had also asked that Dr. Laura stop using defamatory words to describe gays, such as "deviants."

Who's to believe? Paramount, or Dr. Laura's own staff?

With Dr. Laura's record on gay issues, and her take-no-prisoners persona, it's hard to believe that any agreement could make her show somehow tolerable. On the day before Paramount and GLAAD reached their accord, Variety quoted Dr. Laura as saying: "How many letters have I read on the air from gay men who acknowledge that a huge portion of the male homosexual populace is predatory on young boys?''

And just yesterday, the day the accord was announced, Dr. Laura used her radio show to discuss a "fax poll" she did on gay marriage. According to the Post, Dr. Laura said: "'I asked for only those supporting legal gay marriages to respond to the question of whether it's OK for adult male and female siblings to marry,' Schlessinger said. 'Except for one fax, they all said yes,' she reported with disgust. 'If we're serious about gay marriages, then there is no marriage.'"

In addition to questioning how much self-censorship Dr. Laura can reasonably be expected to accept, her offensive comments might still be allowed under the new accord.

Why? Because Dr. Laura already includes "many points of view" on her show. She regularly reads quotes from sources such as the Human Rights Campaign, the American Psychological Association (which is quite gay-friendly), and even GLAAD itself - only to follow the quote with a less-than-congenial attack on gay men and lesbians. It's unclear why Dr. Laura wouldn't be correct in arguing that her current show meets the letter of the new agreement, as she is certainly including "many points of view."

In fact, in the quote above where she talks about the "huge portion" of gays who are predators towards young boys, Dr. Laura's comment was in reply to a quote by someone pro-gay who said "Pedophilia and child molestation have zero to do with being gay, homosexual or orientation..." Dr. Laura in fact included a pro-gay viewpoint on her show, then "strongly suggests", as Variety put it, that gays are sexual predators. While the pedophilia insinuation would appear to be acceptable under the new agreement, is it really acceptable for Paramount to broadcast that message to all of America, should Dr. Laura choose to repeat it this fall?

Paramount should be held to a very simple standard here. Treat gay and lesbian Americans as you would any other minority or ethnic group. If Dr. Laura's comments would be acceptable as applied to blacks or Jews, then let her have her show. If Paramount would balk at a host that said blacks were "biological mistakes", deviant, and sexual predators, then I think they have some explaining to do. Gays and lesbians deserve equal respect, not a double standard.

Until we get some very clear, and detailed, answers from Paramount, this battle appears to not be over.

Stay tuned.