NEWS from StopDrLaura.com
May 9, 2000 11PM EST
CANADIAN BROADCAST COUNCIL BLAST
- Laura is "abusively discriminatory,"
may fertilize "brutality" against gays
- Anti- Matthew Shepard commentary is revealed
Washington, DC - The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) blasted controversial
radio show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger today in a decision accusing her of using
"abusively discriminatory" language against gays on her daily radio show. The
decision also suggested that Schlessinger's anti-gay rhetoric may "fertilize the
ground" for "brutality" against gays and lesbians.
The Canadian decision in its entirety can be found on the StopDrLaura.com home page - www.StopDrLaura.com - and the CBSC press
release can be found at
The decision resulted from a series of complaints by Canadians objecting to
Schlessinger's on-the-air attacks against gays and lesbians. It should be noted that the
CBSC is not a Canadian governmental entity, but rather a trade association, of sorts, for
Canadian broadcasters to self-regulate their own. Thus as it is a "jury of her
peers," and not government action, there are no free speech issues involved. The CBSC
noted in this regard that "Free speech without responsibility is not liberty; it is
licence. The freedom to swing one's arm ends where it makes contact with one's neighbour's
As an industry self-regulating body, it is not clear if the CBSC's decision extends
beyond requiring the stations that broadcasted Schlessinger's shows to read the decision
publicly on the air. Although Canadian's involved in the case have said that they believe
the decision will have an impact on TV stations in Canada that are considering airing
Schlessinger's new TV show this fall.
The CBSC began by criticizing Schlessinger's use of the term "doctor" to
describe herself. "...the use of terms such as 'aberrant', 'deviant', 'a [biological]
error', 'disordered' and 'dysfunctional', which appear to have a medical connotation to
them, is exacerbated by the host's insistence on describing herself as Dr. Schlessinger,
when the degree which she has earned has no relevance to the opinions which she
expresses...The Councils regret the deceptive effect that this must have on her audience,
particularly in the context of the gay and lesbian issue at hand," the CBSC said in
The CBSC also blasted Schlessinger for equating gays with pedophiles. "To suggest
that homosexual paedophilia is more prevalent than heterosexual paedophilia is not
supported in a significant way by the authorities which she has cited, despite the
implication to that effect in what she has said....the effective assertion by the host
that paedophilia has to do with being gay is, in the view of the Councils, an abusively
discriminatory comment based on sexual orientation in violation of the CAB Code of
With regards to murdered Wyoming college student Matthew Shepard, the CBSC released
transcripts of Schlessinger's broadcast that we at StopDrLaura.com, at least, had never
before heard. Schlessinger insinuated that Shepard was to blame for his own murder. We
quote at length:
"You know what was largely responsible for that guy's [Matthew Shepard's] death?
Those two guys who killed him did not go out looking for a homosexual to kill that night.
They were shooting pool. He went to the bar. He left with two guys he thought he was gonna
have sex with. He got murdered. How many women has that happened to? How many women have
left bars thinking they were gonna get some action with some guy who raped and murdered
and tortured and murdered them? Far more women than homosexual men have ended up dead that
way, I would guess. Is that a hate crime against women? I think so but they specifically
picked the woman who was willing to leave for sex. If Matthew hadn't been willing to leave
for sex, he might still be alive. That certainly doesn't make him responsible for his own
death but when you put yourself into a situation of going off to have anonymous sex with
people you meet at a bar, what kind of person is gonna leave with you? Usually scum,"
Schlessinger is quoted as saying."
The CBSC threw out Schlessinger's repeated argument that while she is critical of
homosexual activity, she has never criticized gay people themselves (e.g., calling
homosexuality "sexual deviancy" but not homosexuals themselves). "It is the
view of the Councils that the host's argument that she can "surgically" separate
the individual persons from their inherent characteristics so as to entitle her to make
comments about the sexuality which have no effect on the person is fatuous and
The CBSC concluded by suggesting that Schlessinger's words may help create a climate of
brutality against gays and lesbians. "...the Councils are left with the uneasy sense
that there is an understandable cumulative effect of Schlessinger's positions on so many
matters which concern the gay and lesbian communities. The result of this perspective may
well be that, while she does not herself advocate any of the homophobic hostility or,
worse, brutality, which can be found in criminal corners of society, from her powerfully
influential platform behind a very popular microphone, Schlessinger may well fertilize the
ground for other less well-balanced elements, by her cumulative position, to take such
aggressive steps. With the power emanating from that microphone goes the responsibility
for the consequences of the utterances."
The entire decision by the CBSC can be found on the StopDrLaura.com home page at http://www.stopdrlaura.com
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