THIS is My Point
A curious thing happened over at Facebook.
Dr. Laura, as you may have heard, has announced her decision to end her radio program, citing her desire to “regain her First Amendment rights.” The announcement followed several days after she made headlines for using the “N word” on air. As I often do, I left a comment on a post that I read over at The Huffington Post:
If her First Amendment rights were violated, for what did she apologize?
Leaving aside this one specific incident, Dr. Laura, whose Ph.D is in physiology, contributes to the nastiness that has overtaken contemporary society. She treats her callers with callousness and contempt rather than guiding them with compassion. Perhaps we will see a reduction in some of the vitriolic hatred…
I then shared a link on my Facebook page, figuring it might elicit a few responses. Out-of-nowhere, my “wall” was the location of a conversation that moved completely away from my main point.
I was very clear that my issue was not with last week’s incident. My problem has to do with the way she speaks to others. Did she offer some helpful advice? Sometimes. My criticism was not with the substance of her message. It was with the delivery system.
Dr. Laura, like so many “talk radio personalities,” speaks to people as though they are worthless. Clearly her callers are in need of some guidance and sometimes the reality they need to hear is harsh. But there is a kind and gentle way of giving hard-to-hear advice. Her words are callous and hurtful. While it may be for shock value, such speech is detrimental. There is a general lack of cordial speech in our society. People feel empowered to share their thoughts in vile and disgusting language.
Judaism is clear about the way in which we must speak to others. If you don’t believe me, check with my buddy, the Chofetz Chayim.