Local Stations Back Dr. Laura Despite GLAAD Campaign

July 7, 2008 - 7:02 PM

(CNSNews.com) - Pressure from homosexual groups who are trying to shut down the planned Dr. Laura Schlessinger television show - before it even hits the airwaves - seems to have had little effect on the local stations that have agreed to carry the show.

Last week, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) called for Paramount to cancel its contract with Schlessinger, after she told Boston Herald columnist Don Feder that a recent statement she issued represented a "clarification, not an apology" for her comments on homosexuality and reparative therapy for homosexuals.

The column came after a March 10th statement from Schlessinger in which she said that she never intended "to hurt anyone or contribute in any way to an atmosphere of hate or intolerance" with her comments on homosexuality.

"Regrettably, some of the words I've used have hurt some people, and I am sorry for that," said the popular radio talk show host. "Words that I have used in a clinical context have been perceived as judgement. They were not meant to characterize homosexual individuals or encourage others to disparage homosexuals."

GLAAD Executive Director Joan M. Garry said in a March 15th statement, "This disavowal of her own words demonstrates that Schlessinger cannot be held accountable for what she says publicly. Because she has breached the integrity of her own statement, GLAAD now has no assurance that Schlessinger will not publicly defame lesbians and gay men in her radio or upcoming television broadcasts."

Garry called on GLAAD members to call, write and email Paramount Television, the syndicator of the planned show, and local stations that have agreed to carry the show to express their displeasure.

Calls made by CNSNews.com to several of the local stations that have contracted to carry Schlessinger's show indicate that the campaign has had little success so far in convincing affiliates to drop the program.

"We certainly have no intention of trying to get out of our contract with Paramount to carry the show," a spokesperson for the programming department at KTVT, a CBS affiliate in Dallas/Ft. Worth, Tex., told CNSNews.com. "We just hope they get this taken care of before [the show airs in] September."

A spokesperson for Glenn Wright, general manager of KING, an NBC affiliate in Seattle, Wash., told CNSNews.com that the station had received "maybe 20 or so emails, and two or three calls," mostly demanding that the station drop the show. The spokesperson said Wright was referring all queries concerning the future of the show to Paramount Television.

Programming officials for Fox affiliate KTHV in Little Rock, Ark.; ABC affiliate WTVQ in Lexington, Ken.; and independent KTVK in Phoenix, Ariz., all told CNSNews.com that they had received no comments about the show.

However, a spokesperson for Jerry Eaton, vice president and general manager of CBS affiliate KPIX-TV in San Francisco, Cal., told CNSNews.com that the station has received "numerous calls" from viewers asking that the show not be aired, though the spokesperson declined to say whether the show would be dropped.

"We're monitoring the situation to see what happens," said the spokesperson.

Both Paramount Television and Schlessinger have declined to comment on GLAAD's campaign.

Numerous phone calls by CNSNews.com to GLAAD have not been returned.