The war on Dr. Laura

Posted: Sep 19, 2000 12:00 AM
Now, look -- I don't care how it sounds to the world; we need to understand that Dr. Laura Schlessinger's critics have just one commitment ... to Truth. And the Truth is, she's "an unqualified shrew'' -- the "ghastly female equivalent'' of "fat reactionary blowhard Rush Limbaugh,'' as well as "an intolerant, finger-wagging family-values bigot of the first water.'' And her TV show, which began last week, is "awful.'' But, yes, I see, that's to be expected, because of the woman's "saggy, baggy wattles,'' her generally "creepy'' looks, and a "strident'' speaking style that "rarely shows compassion.'' Why, her "ego is an entire solar system unto itself -- vast, limitless, and appealing to only the bravest explorers.'' While we're on the subject, there's another thing we must fix firmly in all minds. It is that no one wants to abridge Dr. Laura's First Amendment rights. You do understand, don't you, that "just as Nazis should not have a TV show, neither should Schlessinger's intolerance be permitted on the limited and public airwaves.'' In this tolerant spirit we await for the poor dumb clucks to drop her show, or "for Dorothy's house to drop on her.'' This gentle style of reproof is common on the Web site (where I mined these various nuggets). The idea is, well, to stop Dr. Laura -- in the interest of the Higher Truth, vs. the "intolerance'' that underlies her vocal endorsements of sexual abstinence, parental authority, heterosexual marriage, and a few other caveman notions we may at last be shaking off. Boy, am I glad they made all this plain because, being the slow type, I couldn't have figured it out for myself. I might have wondered whether Dr. Laura's antagonists were quarreling with a single maladroit interviewer or with the idea that underlies her discourse -- namely that civilization is blessed with a moral code that distinguishes "right'' from "wrong.'' In my delusive state, I might have asked what this thing really is about. These people don't mind Jerry Springer, I suppose, and his brawling, hair-pulling, obscenity-spewing guests? The old radar screen hasn't picked up any campaigns against rap songs that equate women with what you might find at the bottom of a trash can. A few months back, I didn't hear many injunctions to mobilize against a New York City museum exhibit, one of whose objets d'art dissed the Virgin Mary. I don't seem to recall, either, any movie critics gunning for blood-soaked films like "Natural Born Killers." Oh, some tut-tuttings here and there, some sidelong glances of admonition. Not much more. What do you suppose goes on? To judge from news accounts and, Dr. Laura's principal offense isn't looking "creepy'' on TV, it's disputing the increasingly conventional wisdom, firmly asserted by the gay rights movement, as to homosexuality's moral neutrality. Dr. Laura asserts the moral priority of heterosexuality, on which the future of the human race would seem to depend. In fact, she appears (I've never caught the program but have read some transcripts) to get plenty blunt about the matter. Naturally, this doesn't fly with semihysterical adversaries who pull for her to lose her show. In the name of Truth, natch. A society that watches TV and listens to the radio in search of moral enlightenment is a society you might call ... um, educationally challenged. But there is this also: Whether or not society wants to crown Dr. Laura Queen of Morals, that same society seems in many ways more in tune with her viewpoints than with, say, the viewpoints of liberals and gay rights activists working to overhaul the Boy Scout moral code by removing "anti-gay prejudice.'' (This includes some enlightened souls who actually booed six young Scouts and their leader at last month's Democratic Convention). Dr. Laura is an Orthodox Jew. Can you name another one? Correct -- Joe Lieberman, modern moral hero, with perhaps a wattle or two of his own, but also with an engaging conviction that "right'' and "wrong'' are more than dumb old myths. Don't look for Sen. Joe to bash good Democratic voters of the nonheterosexual persuasion. Put him down as evidence that moral truth isn't -- can't be -- won't ever be -- sorted out on Web sites.