JERRY SPRINGER SUPPORTS
DR. LAURA'S RIGHT TO SPEAK
By Mark McGuire, staff writer
BOLTON LANDING -- You can't say Jerry Springer enthusiastically
leapt to the
defense of Dr. Laura Schlessinger. When asked, he just sort of flinched and
did what he had to do.
"I don't personally like her views... but she has every right
to be on the
air," Springer said Tuesday. "If we start any form of censorship because we
don't like someone's views... then we are all in trouble."
Despite coming from opposite ends of the political spectrum, it's not
surprising that bad boy Springer would back up the righteous Dr. Laura, the
radio physiologist-playing-psychologist who's coming to syndicated
television this fall (locally on WNYT Ch. 13).
Schlessinger's anti-gay diatribes (actually only a small part
of her show)
have sparked a backlash in the gay community, which has targeted the show by
pressuring its potential advertisers. Several, such as Proctor & Gamble,
have already backed out.
"As we see other advertisers announce that they will not pursue
of the show, we praise them for their commitment to fairness and to
inclusive rather than divisive television programming," said Joan M. Garry,
executive director of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance against Defamation, in a
Springer, interviewed Tuesday before he moderated a panel discussion
judge shows as part of the 39th executive Conference of New York State
Broadcasters at The Sagamore, has to back up Schlessinger. If such an
assault on advertisers is successful, who's not to say that Springer's
raucous talk show -- entering its 10th season -- could be next.
"Abhorrent views fall by their own weight," Springer said, "not because we
But is there a line? Is it OK to air anti-gay television? Then
anti-black shows, or talkfests which target Jews? No? Then what about the
free exchange of ideas?
Dr. Laura would have had a perfect opportunity to discuss this
month's gathering of television critics in California.
But she's not on the schedule, apparently ducking the event. So much for