Dr. Laura issues apology, GLAAD fires back missive

LOS ANGELES: Four weeks into the debut of her Paramount TV show, Dr Laura Schlessinger and her foes at GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) continue to lock horns over her boldly stated views on homosexuality.

LOS ANGELES: Four weeks into the debut of her Paramount TV show, Dr Laura Schlessinger and her foes at GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) continue to lock horns over her boldly stated views on homosexuality.

LOS ANGELES: Four weeks into the debut of her Paramount TV show, Dr Laura Schlessinger and her foes at GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) continue to lock horns over her boldly stated views on homosexuality.

In her latest strike, the syndicated radio and TV talk show host used the Jewish Yom Kippur holiday, the Day of Atonement, to publicly apologize for words she concedes may have been perceived as 'hate speech.'

Schlessinger's apology appeared in a full-page ad that ran in a special 'Gay Hollywood' edition of Daily Variety. In the ad, which took the form of a personal letter, she writes: 'While I express my opinions from the perspective of an Orthodox Jew and a staunch defender of the traditional family, in talking about gays and lesbians, some of my words were poorly chosen ... This fact has been personally and professionally devastating to me, as well as to many others.'

GLAAD, in its typically speedy manner, fired back by issuing a same-day press release rejecting Schlessinger's apology and refuting her arguments.

'Schlessinger's tepid assertion that her anti-gay words were 'poorly chosen' represents another blow to her waning credibility ... The notion that (her) words have been somehow 'distorted' is absurd. GLAAD has always offered (them) verbatim and in full context,' the statement reads.

For the past two and a half years, GLAAD has waged a successful campaign against the 'Dr. Laura' radio show, including organizing nationwide 'Laura Watch' monitoring groups to tape every radio and TV broadcast and reactive press releases responding to every public appearance.

The group also launched a grass-roots outreach campaign to inform gay & lesbian support organizations within corporations about their parent company's intentions of advertising on the Paramount TV show and targeted communications to media serving the ad-buying population, such as Advertising Age and Adweek. Such efforts have resulted in the conspicuous drop-out of several high-profile TV and radio sponsors, including Procter & Gamble.

But it's Schlessinger's rock-bottom Nielsens that most directly threaten the survival of her TV show. Since debuting September 11, the show has failed to generate the ratings of her radio program.





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