Attacking Dr. Laura: A Sign of the Times

There's nothing wrong with like-minded persons protesting whatever they find objectionable, be it a sacrilegious art exhibition or a bigoted baseball player. That also includes agitating to remove an offensive program and/or its host from television. If it's acceptable political action to work for the dismissal of Howard Stern, then homosexual activists have the right to try to scuttle Dr. Laura Schlessinger's upcoming TV show.

But as far as the substance of their argument goes, it's another story. The character-assassination campaign by the Schlessinger-bashers is repugnant.

Remember, though, that this is the radical gay movement, and as it has attained success after success during the past three decades, it has become increasingly militant. The viciousness now directed at Dr. Laura shouldn't surprise anyone.

I suppose it's no surprise to anyone that the left is loving this. On March 21 a culture writer for the New York Times, that bastion of elitist liberalism, weighed in against Schlessinger. Walter Goodman's column, "Dr. No: Laura Schlessinger, High Priestess of Opinions," is an extraordinary example of condescension, moral relativism, and intellectual confusion. It also puts into focus the militant gay message and merits close scrutiny.

The first sign of Goodman's bias is illustrative. To expose Schlessinger's "homophobia," he quotes her directly: "For sexual deviants...there are now rights? That's what I'm worried about with the pedophilia and the bestiality and the sadomasochism and the cross-dressing. [Are these] all going to be rights too?"

"If that sounds more like rant than reflection," writes Goodman, "such is the Dr. Laura style." The difference between rant and reflection is to a large extent in the ear of the beholder. Goodman's use of "rant" indicates simply that he doesn't care for Schlessinger. He doesn't bother to explain why, as if to suggest that one doesn't need to explain the obvious.

Actually, Goodman's just getting warmed up. Schlessinger, he writes, "insists that she draws a sharp line between calling individuals 'deviant,' which she denies doing, and calling their practices 'deviant.' Her critics do not find the distinction compelling, and her language - 'pedophilia, bestiality, sadomasochism' - does seem a touch personal."

In drawing that sharp line, Schlessinger is hating the sin and loving the sinner - and making the distinction hundreds of millions over the millenia have found "compelling." On the other hand, it is a distinction that gay activists refuse to accept.

Moreover, Schlessinger's language is anything but "personal." In fact, it's as objective as it can be. If you sit in the cockpit and fly the airplane, you're called a pilot. If you derive pleasure from your own pain or that of others, you're called a sadomasochist. If you're a man who seduces little boys, you're a pedophile. (Not to mention a wretch.) It's no more complicated than that.

Toward the end, Goodman snipes, "Among [Schlessinger's] chief commandments is responsibility, especially toward children, which often seems to be a synonym for repression of adults." Does he mean that? Now, really: A fellow who considers having an extramarital affair but doesn't do so because of the damage the affair might cause his offspring - is repressing himself? Is that conventional wisdom in Manhattan?

And he closes with this blast: "Some may assume, hearing [Dr. Laura's] blessings upon the obedient, that she is the weekday morning's courier from God, that Conservative." One doesn't respond to such a sneering insult. One simply notes it and moves on.

But after all that, Goodman's most jaw-dropping passage actually came a few paragraphs earlier, when he declared that Schlessinger "is known for her attack mode. One morning she was set off by Julie, a 37-year-old mother of two children who sought advice on whether to date a sometime sex molester. Without knowing much more than that, Dr. Laura called him a 'creep,' a 'bum,' a 'slime bag.'"

Without knowing much more than that? What else do you have to know about a "sometime sex molester" to be able to tell a woman - a mother! - that under absolutely no circumstances should she date him? If Goodman flays Schlessinger for giving that advice, the best I can say is that he's taking the cult of suspended judgment to new, and sickening, heights.

The Times' solicitousness toward gays, both on its staff and in its readership, is hardly a secret. That there hasn't been a peep of protest from the gays regarding Goodman's warped standards - if indeed he has any at all - says as much about them as it does about this twisted man.