Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Do What I Say Not What I Do

The guru of conservative family values, Dr. Laura Schlessinger, probably has some work to do at home if a story reported in the Salt Lake City Tribune about the aberrant behavior of the radio talk show host's son are true.

According to the report, published in the May 19 edition of the Tribune, Schlessinger’s son Deryk, who is currently serving in the Army in Afghanistan, is under investigation for a graphic personal web page that one Army official has called "repulsive."

The site, believed to be Deryk's, reportedly featured "cartoon depictions of rape, murder, torture and child molestation; photographs of soldiers with guns in their mouths; a photograph of a bound and blindfolded detainee captioned 'My Sweet Little Habib'; accounts of illicit drug use; and a blog entry headlined by a series of obscenities and racial epithets"

It was shut down on Friday.

"Yes . . . F---ING Yes!!!" said one blog entry on the site. "I LOVE MY JOB, it takes everything reckless and deviant and heathenistic [sic] and just overall bad about me and hyper focuses these traits into my job of running around this horrid place doing nasty things to people that deserve it . . . and some that don't."

The site indicated Schlessinger's team has survived numerous mortar, rocket and roadside bomb attacks. It also included several graphic cartoons. In one of the stick drawings, a top-hatted man laughs as he rapes a bound and bleeding woman in front of her family. In another depiction, a man forces a boy to perform oral sex at knifepoint as the child's mother pleads for her son's life.

The talk radio host, who refers to herself as "my kid’s mom" and has recently taken to calling herself "the proud mother of a deployed American paratrooper" speaks frequently about her soldier son before military audiences nationwide.

In an interview with The Tribune, Mike Paul, a spokesman for Schlessinger suggested that the web page could be a fake.

This contention was echoed by Army spokesman Robert Tallman, who said "it may be possible that our enemies are actually behind this."

"Our enemies are adaptive, technologically sophisticated, and truly understand the importance of the information battlespace," Tallman continued. "Sadly, they will use that space to promulgate and disseminate untrue propaganda."

It's unclear who created the cartoons, but Army spokesman Robert Tallman said the drawings "are repulsive and not anywhere near being acceptable," for a soldier's personal web page.
David Accetta, public affairs director for the 82nd Airborne Division in Afghanistan, said the Army "will investigate thoroughly and impartially."

Laura Schlessinger's appeared last week in Utah. At that time she met with Army families at Fort Douglas and in an interview with The Tribune, she said, "We raised our son to be a warrior."

After her Utah visit, Schlessinger received criticism for telling The Tribune that she didn't want to hear the complaints of military wives whose husbands are deployed.

"He could come back without arms, legs or eyeballs, and you're bitching?" Schlessinger said. "You're not dodging bullets, so I don't want to hear any whining."

This is not the first time that Dr. Laura has been associated with behavior that appears to be inconsistent with her message of conservative family values.

On her daily radio show, she advocates the basic "family values" -- no sex outside of marriage, moms shouldn't work, divorce is wrong, abortion is wrong, living together without marriage is wrong, getting married too young is wrong and foolish, a marriage without children is hardly a marriage at all, homosexuality is destructive and "a biological error", gay marriage is wrong, girls should not dress like "sluts", and the family unit is of paramount importance.

However, her own behavior and family life have not lived up to this standard.

When she broke into the radio business in the mid- 1970’s she was the protégé of Bill Balance, who some consider the father of modern talk radio. While still married, she apparently had an affair with Balance, before taking up with her current husband Lew Bishop, who is Deryk’s father. Her relationship with Balance would have been a small footnote in her career, if not for her decision to pose for a series of nude photos that have circulated on the internet for several years.

Another questionable aspect of Schlessinger's character is her decision to call herself Dr. Laura, suggesting that her doctorate is in psychology. Actually, it is in physiology, which dictionary.com defines as a branch of biology dealing with the functions and activities of living organisms and their parts. In her website drlaura.com, Schlessinger is referred to as "Dr. Laura" more than 40 times. "

In addition, to her marital infidelities and the problems displayed by her son, Schlessinger also, has displayed some strange behavior with other members of her immediate family.

According to the biographical website NNDB.com, Schlessinger describes her childhood as "difficult" due to the rocky, "unloving" marriage between her father, a Jewish US citizen, and her mother, an Italian Catholic war bride.

Schlessinger never got along with her father, and she and her mother had been estranged for at least 14 years before her mother's death in 2002. (Her partially decomposed corpse had been on the floor of her apartment [a few miles away from Schlessinger's home] for several weeks before being discovered. Police initially suspected foul play.)

Schlessinger has also been estranged from her sister since the mid-1970s, and has reportedly told friends she is an only child. She says it was her family that shunned her, not the other way around.

"My door is open", Schlessinger has said, on those rare occasions when she mentions her sister. On her show, however, she has often advised listeners to break off contact with troublesome family members. "I love shunning", she says. "It reminds people they have an obligation to others".

Schlessinger has also exhibited some ambivalence about her religious views.

NNDB reports that she has changed her religious orientation several times during her life.
In 1996 Schlessinger and her son Deryk converted to Conservative Judaism, then switched to Orthodox Judaism in 1998. She has said that her husband Lew, raised an Episcopalian, also converted, but he later admitted he had not completed the conversion.

In 2003, Schlessinger announced on the air that she was no longer an Orthodox Jew, that she felt frustrated by the effort she had put into the religion, and complained that she felt little or no connection with God. NNDB claims that she converted to Christianity that same year.

Schlessinger's radio show can be heard on 200 stations across the nation or on-line here.


Anonymous said...

I am not a fan of "Dr" Laura but I will give her this much. She does have a kid in the service in a war zone, in contrast to the chicken hawk right wing hosts, members of the administration and members of congress.

I don't see how her use of "Dr" to talk about personal issues is any different than Mike Newcomb's use of "Dr" to talk politics.

If Laura's personal life NOW is consistent with what she preaches, I don't see making a big deal of what she did 30 years ago. Most everybody does dumb stuff when they young. If anything, those pictures demonstrate the possible consequences of the kind of behavior she advises against.

After looking at those pictures again, I have to say I do like her bush (in contrast to the one in Washington).

barooosk said...

I don't see how her use of "Dr" to talk about personal issues is any different than Mike Newcomb's use of "Dr" to talk politics.

Bad analogy

1. Dr. Newcomb (who is not the air now) is medical Dr. It is common to refer to a medical doctor as "Dr. so and so"

2. It is not common to call a phd in physiology, botany, zoology, or horticulture "Dr."

3. Furthermore, Dr. Newcomb is not misleading anybody. He's a medical Dr. who deals with political issues.

4. Dr. Laura is intentionally trying to mislead her listeners. I am sure that most of them think her doctorate in psychology or counselling. She makes no effort to explain to her listerners that he phd makes her better qualified to help them deal with a cramp in their leg than resolve a personal issue.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I don't think so.

Newcomb's programs had nothing to do with medicine, the practice of medicine or any health-related issues. Yet he flaunted the "Dr" thing repeatedly, as much as does Schlesinger.

An MD is relevant for Dean Edell and the kind of show he does, not for Newcomb.

Newcomb used the "Dr" on his website, on the WPHX website and in releases in subsequent references when common writing style would call for use of the last name alone without any courtesy title, even for MDs.

I notice Howard Dean doesn't go around flaunting "Dr" in his current role, which also has nothing to do with the practice of medicine.

Newcomb's use of the Dr as a talk show host implies he has a doctoratr in some relevant discipline, like political science, government, international affairs or history. The guy has no academic credentials related to broadcasting or politics.

This sounds like a double-standard at work: One standard for Laura; another for Mike.

Since Newcomb has struck out in talk radio, maybe he can return to his day job where he can walk around in a white coat and everyone will call him "doctor."

Anonymous said...

As if it weren't bad enough that the homo-phobic 'arch-hypocrite' one-time physiologist (by the way, she's NOT a Psychologist) 'Pseudo-Dr' Laura's misanthropic pseudo-Judaeic vitriol has destroyed not only her own mother's life (the poor old lady was found bludgeoned to death rotting on a dirty kitchen floor nearly 3 months after her murder---Dr Laura having NOT even spoken to her for more than a decade) but has added misery & mayhem to countless persons desperately coming to her seeking so-called 'professional' help with family problems on that hideously inane radio 'talk show' of hers (most of the vomit flowing from her painted caustic lips are so mindlessly jejune they are positively laughable---unfortunately she doesn't know she's doing comedy...) : the recent child pornography & violent sex acts displayed by her hell-spawn son recently posted on MySpace.Com did NOT happen in a vacuum (and we can all thank our own very personal clan god there is only one such little abortion from her rotting thighs that we have to deal with on this planet) & echoes her own degraded moral character if we pause to consider all those cheery pornographic colour snaps of her naked, mis-shapen, flat-chested, spread-eagled stick-like body posted on the world wide web for the whole world to gawk at in Shock and Awe nearly ten years ago...the problem of course is that this particular type of religious right wing zealot-hypocrite tends to have AIPAC type corporate sponsorship along with a kind of Jim-Jones cult-like following among the deluded & Dumbed Down American masses that kept her sickeningly in the Public Ear for so many years now ('What Would Moses Do...?!!!' Actually he'd probably stone her then go out and genocide some more Amalekites just so he'd feel better after having had to look at her...)--so now we have to figure out WHAT THE HELL to do with that scheming 'Little Boy-Toy’ of her’s, aka Deryk the Devil---maybe a nice LONG tour of the Back Streets of Baghdad on all Fours sniffing out all those Improvised Explosive Devices littering the backroads these days, courtesy of US Operation Shekhinah (better make it FIVE uninterrupted Tours in a row, like so many other US soldiers who have had to undergo that Hell-Hole just to keep people like his Mommykins in Mink)---or maybe we should just post a few pictures of sonny-boy spread eagle in positions suggestive of Guantanamo Bay Detainees...or maybe just a Simple Court Marshal…suffice it to say, 'Doctor' Laura and her little Monster are certainly 'not good for the Jews'...in case AIPAC was wondering about that one...just a few thoughts off the top of my head this afternoon....

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