Circumventing Consequences: Why Dr. Laura’s Apology Rings Hollow!

As a follow-up to my post from this past Friday “Are First Amendment Rights Becoming The Ultimate Excuse For Bad Behavior?” I have been trying to put my finger on the reason (or reasons) why Dr. Laura’s apology was troubling to me.

After all, didn’t she immediately acknowledge her mistake in using the “N” word, and after taking herself off the air issue an apology.  It seems to me that this was both a prudent and reasonable response.  And herein lies the rub, why didn’t she just leave it at that!

A hint of self justification . . .

“And then, after I apologized, I received more letters.  Many asked me why I needed to apologize.  A few said they were still upset at what I had done.”

The seeds of self-righteousness . . .

“It was made while there was absolutely no demands for me to apologize.”

And self righteous indignation . . .

“Now, despite all my efforts and sincere desire to express my remorse fully and publicly, it was not until Thursday evening that the news media started getting on the story.”

With a touch of martyrdom . . .

“However, as the media rebroadcast my error again and again and again and again, compounding the damage which I shouldn’t have done . . . and never intended to do in the first place . . .”

A bit of deflection . . .

“The effect has been that my words have offended many, many, many, many more people and there are many who are saying that they will not accept my apology.”

And an I am the ultimate victim . . .

“There will be people out there who will not accept my apology . . . I have heard comments from some broadcasters and letters from some people that cannot be described as anything other than hate-filled diatribes . . . emphasis on Hate-filled.”

I am of course the bigger person . . .

“This does not make me angry, but it hurts my heart.”

The real focus should be on . . .

“My hope with my apology, which was true and immediate and uncoerced, was that the silver lining might be that a dialogue be started to stop hate and bigotry.  I still hold out some hope . . .”

There is nothing wrong with me . . .

“but I am a realist and I fear that there are those who frankly want to encourage hate and anger.”

Going off the rails . . .

Now when I first started out in radio, people would disagree . . . they DISAGREED . . . they didn’t HATE . . . They didn’t try to censor.  They didn’t try to destroy an opposing point of view.” (Note: to what point of view is Dr. Laura referring with regard to her use of the “N” word?)

The rest of the world is the problem . . .

“This environment, as you know, is not only in radio and television . . . it is in politics; it’s in every area of our society . . . in your neighborhoods, in your school districts, at work . . .”

Dr. Laura then closes by expressing the sentiments that those who have not yet accepted her apology she hopes that they will change there minds and, to those that have, thank you.

I have included a copy of the 9:42 video clip for you to review and of course draw your own conclusions.

But here is my thinking in a nutshell:

She said something wrong and apologized.  But just like it is not up to her in terms of whether some accept or do not accept her apology, the degree and time line relative to the response of the public is not of her choosing either.

In short, and like the Seinfeld double dipping episode in which George was admonished to “just take one dip and end it,” once she apologized she should have with all humility accepted the consequences and left it at that.  It is hard to argue with a sincere and contrite heart.

However, and for some unknown reason, she instead chose to go on her own First Amendment diatribe indicating that she was quitting the radio business because she did not like the continuing press coverage and subsequent public outcry.  This of course was tantamount to throwing gasoline on the proverbial fire.

Perhaps, and I obviously cannot say for certain, but is it possible that from this very point of view we can find the origins of her use of the “N” word in the first place.  A kind of self-righteous, I am one of the top seven most influential people in radio, arrogance.

In short, do I believe that Dr. Laura is prejudice?  No!  Do I believe that she is self-righteous, a little arrogant and annoyed that she should be called to task for something she has said or done.  Hmmm . . . now that’s a line of thinking that may be worthwhile pursuing further.

Dr. Laura’s Video: What I’ve Learned From the Events of the Past Week


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