Dr Laura to Drop Column, Go Ahead with TV Show
(CNSNews.com) - In a signal she is not caving under pressure from critics, Dr Laura Schlessinger announced Friday she is giving up her syndicated newspaper column so she can devote her time to her new nationally-syndicated television show scheduled to begin in September.
"We constantly have to rethink our priorities," Schlessinger said Friday on her radio show, which reaches an estimated 20 million listeners on 500 stations in the United States and Canada.
Schlessinger's announcement reassured her fans and supporters that she is not caving to critics who seek to have the TV show canceled.
The conservative commentator has come under heavy fire from some homosexual rights groups for remarks she made on-air favoring reparative therapy for homosexuals who want to leave the gay lifestyle.
Homosexual rights groups called Schlessinger a "bigot" and a "homophobe" and launched nationwide campaigns to force Paramount, Schlessinger's TV producers, to cancel the show. Intense lobbying by Schlessinger's opponents also has resulted in sponsors - including Procter & Gamble and United Airlines - withdrawing their support.
"The campaign to silence me is well-funded and tireless," Schlessinger said in a television interview this week. "And it's their mission to counter any opposing opinion. That's not my mission. My mission, and I have stayed focused on it and it's been my mission since the beginning of my career, and that's to support families and in particular, to protect children."
This week the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation placed full-page ads in newspapers across the country calling Schlessinger hurtful not only to gays but to many Americans.
Paramount has stated it has "strong up-front" sales for the TV show, and that it was "disappointed that Procter and Gamble had chosen to withdraw their advertising without ever having seen the show."
(CNSNews.com Morning Editor Susan Jones contributed to this report.)