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Muzzling Dr. Laura.

Ottawa - Doctor of physiology and family counsellor Laura Schlessinger is host of a popular radio talk show. The California-based syndicated show reaches 20 million listeners continent wide including many Canadians.

Dr. Laura's manner is brusque; she does not gladly suffer fools or excuse-makers. A convert to Orthodox Judaism, she advocates the importance of religion in family life and people's acceptance of responsibility for their actions. The show is one of the few remaining media outlets for the expression of traditional Judeo-Christian values.

The success of her radio show had stimulated the TV moguls at Paramount in the USA to set up a TV version due to debut on CBS this fall. This show was also projected to be seen in Canada as part of the cable TV package. However, in the past Dr. Laura expressed views critical of homosexual activity, which she views as deviant. (Compare #2357 of the Catholic Catechism: "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered")

This aroused the ire of "gay" activist groups, mainly from the Hollywood establishment. A "Stop Dr. Laura" campaign launched by the San Francisco based Horizons Foundation has so far succeeded in pressuring two important sponsors of the TV show, Procter and Gamble and United Airlines, to withdraw. Whether the program will actually ever land on our screens is currently in doubt.

In Toronto, Talk 640 at CEYI radio had until now broadcast the "Dr. Laura Show" each weekday from 9 a.m. until noon. Now, shorter by one hour, it occupies the less important 2-4 p.m. afternoon slot and is replaced in the morning by the more "politically correct" Dr. Joy Brown Show.

Canada steps in!

Meanwhile, the show has been censured by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC), this time for the remarks "aberrant" and "dysfunctional" aired in a broadcast last summer. Even though Dr. Schlessinger made a point of saying that she distinguishes individual persons from their behaviour, the remarks were still found to be "discriminatory" and "pejorative". Even as a happy Halifax homosexual showed up on CBC TV to rejoice in his 'victory' over Dr. Laura, Ian Grant, the managing director of Talk 640 in Toronto, hastened to broadcast apologies.

The CBSC is a voluntary association of 430 private radio and TV stations in Canada. It is meant to be an independent, not-for-profit organization which sets out ethical codes for the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB). However, according to Professor Hudson Janisch of U of T, the CBSC is effectively a "surrogate" for the Canadian Radio Television Commission (CRTC) which allocates and renews broadcast licences (N. Post May 11). Thus any radio station which does not fall into its politically correct line might be in danger of losing its licence.

Comment:

Canada is coming closer to the dictatorial censorship model of fascist statism in a steady, sometimes barely observable way, month after month. Catholic Insight rejects the authority of both the CBSC and the CRTC (remember their "No" to Mother Angelica, but "Yes" to Playboy TV) as unacceptably intrusive and censorious.

Staff Changes

On May 31, C.I. with great regret bade farewell to Managing Editor, Lianne Laurence, who goes to "fresh fields and pastures." Alberta-born Lianne, who trained as a journalist, came to Toronto in 1994. Her word processing skills have helped in the years since to give our magazine the technological boost needed in present-day publishing. Readers have praised her written work, particularly the meticulously researched series on Saint Edith Stein. Office colleagues will long remember her sparkling wit and inexhaustible good nature.

New additions to the staff are Eileen Anderson, who joins us as Assistant to the Editor, while Claudine Goller, with interests in immigration and native affairs, has joined us on the Editorial Board.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:conservative talk show host Laura Schlessinger
Publication:Catholic Insight
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Jul 1, 2000
Words:618
Previous Article:When killing is not killing.
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