Laura Schlessinger

From RationalWiki
(Redirected from Dr. Laura)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
She may look ugly on the outside, but don't let that fool you—she's ugly on the inside too.
You gotta spin it to win it
Icon media.svg
Stop the presses!
We want pictures
of Spider-Man!
Extra! Extra!

Laura Catherine Schlessinger a.k.a. Dr. Laura (1947-) is a right-wing radio host known for her morality policing and love of The Bible. Schlessinger's doctorate is in physiology, with her thesis on the effect of insulin on rats.[1] Constantly referring to herself as "Dr. Laura" in a professional context, while never discussing anything relevant to her professional qualifications is a form of credential abuse.

Since 2011, Schlessinger has been hosted exclusively on Sirius XM[2] although before that point she was incredibly popular on AM, with her being the fifth most popular radio host in the country in 2010.[3] Surprisingly, she also spent a few years on the editorial board of Skeptic Magazine, but resigned in 1998 because the magazine published an issue on the topic of theism. Although it showed various views from different perspectives, even questioning the existence of God was enough to get her to leave.[4]


If there's one thing that Schlessinger is infamous for, it's her homophobia. Quotes from her on this topic include, but are by no means limited too:

  • "I'm sorry, hear it one more time perfectly clearly: If you're gay or a lesbian, it's a biological error that inhibits you from relating normally to the opposite sex. The fact that you are intelligent, creative and valuable is all true. The error is in your inability to relate sexually intimately, in a loving way to a member of the opposite sex ­it is a biological error."[5]
  • "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."[5]
  • "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?"[5]

Television show[edit]

Between September 2000 and March 2001, Schlessinger hosted a daytime television show produced by Paramount Domestic Television.[6] Gay activists, along with anybody with any sense of decency, protested this decision primarily as a result of her homophobia.[7] A website called "Stop Dr. Laura" was created explaining the reason for the protests, arguing that "No television studio would host a show by someone who called African-Americans biological errors. And in fact, when Jimmy the Greek suggested blacks were biologically different, he got fired. But when Ms. Schlessinger suggests gays and lesbians are biological errors, she gets a TV show. That's a free speech smoke-screen, and an anti-gay double standard,"[8] and received over a million page views in two days.[9]

Although the show did eventually premier, a combination of low ratings and an inability to get advertisers quickly caused CBS to shove it into a late night time slot[10] before cancelling it altogether in March 2001. The most notable thing about the show is how Schlessinger would repeatedly have her staff dress up various people so she could interview them,[11] basically making it so the interviews were totally fake.

That time she attacked an eighth grader on air[edit]

"If she were my daughter, I'd probably put her up for adoption," said Schlessinger about an eighth grader in Connecticut. She went on to say, "When she makes her marriage vows, and her husband has sex with someone else, let's see if she thinks that philosophy works." The girl in question had published an essay on the importance of free speech on the internet — that's it.[4]


See the main article on this topic: Hypocrisy

Despite being a strict supporter of family values, Schlessinger:

  • Started dating her husband, Lew Bishop, while he was still married to somebody else (i.e., adultery). The couple also lived together for nine years before marriage ("living in sin" as some fundies still call it[12]).[4]
  • Is estranged from both her mother and sister.[4]
  • Says that women with children should stay at home to raise them, despite working on an incredibly popular radio show despite having a juvenile child for a large chunk of that time.[4]
  • Allowed her radio broadcaster, Bill Ballance, to take naked pictures of her while having an affair with him in 1978.[13]

Why can't I own a Canadian?[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Why can't I own a Canadian?

In 2000, a man named Kent Ashcraft wrote a fictional letter to Dr. Laura mocking her use of The Bible as an argument for things being right and wrong. One particular section of the letter has since become famous:

Lev. 25:44} states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?[13]

For those unaware, Leviticus 25:44 says the following:

Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids.[14]

Of course, part of the joke is that Leviticus is the most cited book in The Bible in regards to Christian and Jewish homophobia, due to Leviticus 18:22 stating:

Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

The letter has since been used to mock others who are highly religious. It appeared in an episode of The West Wing as part of a takedown of somebody rather similar to Schlessinger, and was circulated against George W. Bush in 2004.[13]