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Palin: A Profound Lack of Sensitivity

And now, it has come to this.

Sarah Palin--presumed Republican candidate for President, former governor of the state of Alaska, 2008 vice presidential nominee--is defending Laura Schlessinger's repeated use of the N-word on her radio show, which she quit yesterday after apologizing for her words. In a musing to her Twitter followers, Palin called for the controversial talk show host to "reload" rather than "retreat," telling them Americans should be "thankful 4 [Schlessinger's] voice."

I have tried to prevent this blog from becoming partisan or political, liberal or conservative. We can learn from good and bad examples of leadership on both sides of the aisle, and there is no shortage of either one. But I hold a firm and unshakable belief that those who purport to be leaders--or even potential leaders--have a responsibility to promote tolerance and discourage the use of language that the dictionary very plainly calls "probably the most offensive word in English." And Sarah Palin is brazenly doing the opposite.

Palin, like Dr. Laura, as she is known, seems to relish being provocative. As much as she derides and scoffs at the national media, she is a master at exploiting it, often by making controversial statements that insure she stays part of the headlines.

To wit, this post by yours truly. But I believe her comments are worth discussing because of what we should expect--no, demand--from the discourse of those who seem intent on rising to political power in this country. Schlessinger's comments, even if she was questioning who can use the N-word, rather than calling someone it herself, showed an utterly profound lack of sensitivity. Palin's defense of them, even with her convoluted First Amendment argument, does the same.

After resigning from the governorship of Alaska, Sarah Palin may not be an elected leader. But because of her thousands of followers, and her repeated, and often successful, attempts to impact the national conversation, she is still very much a leader. I believe that role demands its actors to condemn offensive speech and promote tolerance and understanding. In defending Laura Schlessinger, Sarah Palin is anything but.

By Jena McGregor

 |  August 19, 2010; 12:39 PM ET |  Category:  Bad leadership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Comments

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"I have tried to prevent this blog from becoming partisan or political, liberal or conservative."
Please, you have not tried to be anything but part of the professional left, Jena. Palin is a easy target. True leaders would aim higher.

Posted by: Monkeysee | August 23, 2010 8:34 AM

neither of these rather lackluster conservatives can get beyond the sand kicking stage into dialogue which generates heat and light. They only have ink because they have 'previous records' and skimpy, negative ones at that.. losers, quitters.. and sand kickers..BUt this is the nature of entitlement and over-bearing greed-- Im getting it and you aint- i can call you whatever i chose, and you must submit.. thats why we have elections... if your into that stuff... but the typical republican cant grasp the world and the rhetoric around their greed, so they just vote for their greed candidate and cast dispersions on everyone else

Posted by: nzonelson | August 20, 2010 11:52 PM

No comment on the essay. However, I find the comments interesting. Sounds somewhat similiar, at least in context, to the current discourse about the "Ground Zero mosque". No one says that Laura CAN'T say the "N" word. Yet virtually everyone does say that using it is "insensitive" or "polarizing" or "bigoted" or well, you get the point. And, those also go to great pains to denigerate Palin and her supporters. Maybe they don't use the "B" word or the "I" word or some other "inappropriate" term, but their position is just as intellectually honest as hers.

And, a comment to a comment posted by: dmdorsett | August 19, 2010 4:25 PM. To imply that hip hop made the "N" word appropriate for blacks to use is bull. I know for a fact that the term was used abundantly by blacks when talking about other blacks when I was in the military 40 years ago. And, being pretty familiar with popular music of that era, I can assure you that the music of that day did not use the word in any music that was played on the radio or most concerts -- even by black artists. And if the attempt was to imply that blacks use the word to describe themselves as a rejoiner to being called the "crack" generation, that makes absolutely no sense at all. I would submit to you that the "N" word is an insult no matter who says it. And, while oft times when a black uses it with other blacks it is a friendly insult, much like calling a pal a "retard" or an "idiot", it is an insult nonetheless.

Posted by: MadBag | August 20, 2010 4:19 PM

To clarify the point of my last post: the "loud-mouthed nut" in Germany didn't "force" his way into power: his followers VOTED him in, which shows what can happen if you ignore a demagogue.

Posted by: JayDeeDee | August 20, 2010 3:49 PM

Thank you, DCGRASSO1, for your response. I have heard those arguments about co-opting words of hate to thus neutralize them. Maybe it's working; clearly the N word just doesn't mean to many young people what it means to those of us who understand its history. Also, you made a great point about the "R" word flap, which I'd forgotten about; it does underscore Ms. Palin's hypocrisy. We're probably fighting a losing battle about the N word, unfortunately. Language is mutable, and today's easy media access and instant idea exchange is hastening the process exponentially. In France, for example, there is a conservative movement to keep their language "French", but they already have "le week-end", "le pull-over" and "le shampooing" as standard French words.

But to those like VAGAF31 who basically say we should just disregard Sarah Palin because she's a nitwit: she's a nitwit with a large and, more importantly, very vocal national following. You disregard her at your peril. Here is an example, albeit an extreme one: Eighty years ago, there was an German war veteran whose oratory illustrated his gift for tapping into the hearts and souls of those who felt aggrieved and disenfranchised by the powers that were. He promised to take back the country from the elitists and restore power to the people. The elitists disregarded and disparaged him as a loudmouthed nut, not worth paying attention to. But, his following eventually got so large and vocal that they forced his way into power. You know how that ended. And, he accomplished it without the benefit of CNN and the Internet.

I do not, in my heart, believe Sarah Palin to be a despot in waiting. I do believe, however, that she and her followers will turn the country in the wrong direction if given the opportunity. They must, therefore, be paid attention to and battled at every turn with the best weapon: the truth.

Posted by: JayDeeDee | August 20, 2010 2:51 PM

Jaydeedee, I want to thank you for your outstanding comment. I am a middle-aged white woman who has taught in a number of public schools where the majority of students were African-American, including in the school run in a local jail for under-aged offenders (including murderers, drug dealers, etc.). I couldn't help asking some of my students why they weren't embarrassed to use that word, especially in front of a white woman. "It don't mean nuthin'," I was told. Another teacher suggested that it had been appropriated almost as a term of pride: this is a word used to try to make people of your skin color a slave, so let's turn the tables on the white masters. None of my students were able to articulate this idea to me; it was just part of their vocabulary.

I would sometimes ask my students why they weren't proud of being the descendents of people who had survived the Middle Passage. Only one had ever heard of it! I showed the film "Glory" to my classes around Martin Luther King Day; you could have heard a pin drop. It was an aspect of history of which they were completely unaware. It was shocking to me that a white woman knew more of black history than these kids did.

One other poster pointed out that Ms. Palin went ballistic at the use of the "R" word by Rahm Emanuel. As mother of a child with developmental disabilities, this may possibly be the only thing she's ever said that I agreed with! And I find it unbelievably hypocritical that she should condemn the use of one offensive word, while claiming a First Amendment right to use another.

Posted by: dcgrasso1 | August 20, 2010 2:08 PM

What a waste of time!

Let's get over the novelty of Palin's ravings and get back to some solid informative journalism.

The amount of time and energy that has been expended, in dealing with her inane comments, is ridiculous. The most ridiculous part of all though is the gross ignorance repeatedly demonstrated by those who attempt justifying anything and everything she says or does.

Who else would find it refreshing to see some semblance of intelligence in political discourse and journalism?

Posted by: vagaf31 | August 20, 2010 1:40 PM

A clarification on a sentence: "Well, instead of scratching your head and wondering why, but really commenting that blacks shouldn't use the word, perhaps those who wonder why ought to truly ask it and truly investigate it."

Posted by: 20000days | August 20, 2010 1:09 PM

There seem to be two kinds of "opposing" views here. The first is in that category of "why can't the world be just like me, since I see everything clearly and fairly." Of course, people with this kind of attitude (like nmg3rln and Cdgaman) are only an annoyance in blog comments such as these--but with political power can be horribly tyrannical. But the honest questioning of folks like veilleuse and edismae deserves real discussion. There are plenty of white people who understand that blacks in America have been wrongfully treated and are especially sensitive to language that reminds them they were once legally placed in a special class in which they were barely considered human. So, why do some black folks use the word? Well, instead of scratching your head and wondering why, but really commenting that they shouldn't, perhaps those who wonder why ought to truly ask it and truly investigate it. Because the simple answer is not adequate. The simple answer seems like an excuse. Take for example "Les Miserable." I could tell you that it's futile to pursue following rules to perfection. That means little. But when you read a human story, full of context and history, then you get it. Until you "read" the same book on racism, you'll still be scratching your head wondering, "Gee, how come we can't but they do? Dudn't make sense."

Posted by: 20000days | August 20, 2010 1:06 PM

I'm a middle-aged black man whose father participated in the March on Washington when I was a child. I speak for myself and many, if not all, of my peers when I say that the "N" word is indeed the most offensive word anyone of any color can say in my direction or even within my earshot. To me and my generation, you call someone the "N" word and you're asking for a fight. It's not that long ago that if a black person objected to being called "N" by a white, said black person would next be seen hanging from a tree. That is a fact of history that too many have either forgotten or don't even know in the first place.

I cringe every time I hear the venality of the "N" word cheapened and minimized by today's hip-hop culture, to the extent that now I'm hearing not only young blacks saying it to each other, but young people of all races casually addressing each other that way even if they're not African-American. Such usage of this historically evil word betrays the user's ignorance of its true meaning, and of the blood spilled by those who fought against the centuries of subjugation that the "N" word symbolizes.

Dr. Laura thinks her caller was over-sensitive and was trying to make that point? Would she think so if the word in question started with "c" and rhymed with "hunt"? Would Gov. Palin be so quick to defend her or anyone else who decided to make a "point" by blurting the "C" word multiple times on national media? Yes, I believe in the First Amendment and free speech. I also believe that right applies in both directions: both for those who want to express controversial opinions, and for those who will call the former group on the carpet for the stupidity of their views.

And to those who may want to post opinions in response to mine, go ahead. You're entitled to express your opinions, wrong-headed as I may believe them to be.

Posted by: JayDeeDee | August 20, 2010 12:43 PM

It's all about context. I can't presume to speak for black people, but I know as a gay white man, I can walk into a bar and if a friend greets me with a "hey, fag!", that's a friendly greeting. On the other hand, if I'm walking to my car on a dark street and a carload of skinheads pulls up and shouts "hey, fag!", that's a different context.

Posted by: tctexas | August 20, 2010 11:01 AM

It is too bad that both Sarah Palin and Dr. Laura missed an opportunity to explain to those who don't understand why using the N word is extremely hurt full when white people use it toward black people and not when blacks use it among themselves. The N word was used by white racist bigots for years to denigrate and humiliate blacks. The word is derogatory. However, when used among blacks the word's meaning and purpose is changed. Blacks understand the insult and play with it, thus taking back control. This is similar to the widely told Nazi jokes and references made among Jews. We can laugh at insulting language from our friends and family when given in jest but not by outsiders. What is so hard to understand? Why didn't Palin and Dr. Laura simply explain the importance of context instead of trying to justify the use of the N word by whites. Instead of building understanding they both just reinforced racial distance.

Posted by: ns28k | August 20, 2010 10:43 AM

Palin need to be concern about whats happening in her own family right now.

Posted by: MILLER123 | August 20, 2010 10:42 AM

The mature people reading or posting on this page know that SOME african-Americans use this word as a term of endearment or in a joke. However, the mature readers or posters know when whites use this term it is usually not in a joke but out of anger. Mature posters and readers know that it is never ok to use this term and would like to see what would happen if jokesters, radio hostess, and other notable personalities use terms that belittle other races or genders and in order to see just how long they would last on the air.

Posted by: MILLER123 | August 20, 2010 10:33 AM

Isn't it anazing how the liberal media doesn't catch the whole content of anything like Jan Brewer trying to make it
safe in her home state with a law for everyone, and she came out after she signed the bill and told her states officers and police that she would not tolerate profiling on their part but you people left that part out. you people need to look at where we were before the election to know the damage this administration has done and you are worried about what Dr. L.S. says: HEY GANG GET A LIFE.

Posted by: rgrasser | August 20, 2010 10:31 AM

Jena M is not demonstrating leadership qualities in her post about Palin defending "Dr. Laura" over her castigating of African-Americans' use of the N word. A true leader would seek to unite us all by affirming that, on this issue, one rule of behavior should apply to every human being, because perpetuation of the offensive word is harmful, regardless of who perpetuates it. But Jena M's PC-correctness blinds her to this fact and undermines her leadership potential.

Posted by: DoTheRightThing | August 20, 2010 10:16 AM

Your double standard is pure hypocrisy. It is perfectly acceptable for African Americans to make derogatory comments and to use derogatory language about Caucasians but it is not ok in the reverse direction. This political correctness is ruining our country and denigrating good, upstanding people like Dr. Laura; that is why Sarah Palin spoke up. Look at the context of Dr. Laura's use of the N-word, like you looked at the context of Shirley Sherrod's statements. Dr. Laura was trying to help a caller, not trying to denigrate AAs. Get a life and apologize to Sarah Palin!

Posted by: t_gwynn | August 20, 2010 9:43 AM

What Laura was trying to say is that is all right for the blacks to use the N word, but not the whites.
She was clumsy in her arguement , but right.
Anyone who dares not to be completely polically correct pays the price.

Posted by: joanz3 | August 20, 2010 9:42 AM

bethg1841 wrote: So, tell me what are the sensitivity rules which we are supposed live by according to almighty liberals?

Sensitive to Muslums, but not 9/11 survivors.
Sensitive to illegal immigrants, but not legal citizens who have been effected by the violence.
Sensitive to minorities, but not to anyone who has to mark "White" on their job applications
Sensitive to benefits for union member teachers, but not to the nonmember private sector jobless
==================================
Uh, Beth:

In supporting Muslims' right to build the Cordoba House, Liberals are not being "sensitive" to Muslims. They are being "sensitive" to the rights accorded all Americans under the U.S. Constitution.

Thanks to liberals, it is illegal to ask a person's race on a job application.

It was liberals that fought to extend unemployment benefits for all those non-union private sector employees who lost their jobs.

Posted by: carlaclaws | August 20, 2010 9:34 AM

When the status quo begins to become a bit "stale", the public will entertain a change, or something new that reawakens them or brings them out of their settled ways. Such was the flash in our faces of Sarah Palin in 2008. From out of nowhere came this Alaska Governor, on her first term and only in her second year, she was ushered into the limelight by McCain. She was a fresh face, not matured in the ways of the public life on a very large scale, and very different. She caught on instantly with those who felt most dis-enfranchised and she had an instant following. But, as with all fads, the public begins to tire of that line of thinking and monotone, single line rhetoric like Palin uses against President Obama. She endorsed several candidates, but has had a losing record of late with all of her endorsements faring very poorly. The "mama grizzly" novelty effect has been washed away and her line of rhetoric is dying.

As for a radio show host who would revert back to using the "N" word, one has to admit that such behavior is a mistake in the least and downright stupid in any other sense. She said that she wanted to be able to say what she feels, and she can do that now - absent a radio show or any broadcast media from any street corner in her town, and few will listen and far fewer give her real attention.

Maybe she and Palin could stump together like Abbott and Costello.

Posted by: ronjeske | August 20, 2010 9:33 AM

Where was the washington posts report when the black panthers called for killing white cracker baby's and the doj refused to prosecute them for election intimmedation.And Obama not responding to that,This insensitivity is never mentioned or the way the current administration and congress are ruling against the will of the people.Why the hell do you think you are loosing your reader base? It is because no one trusted your bias reporting and you are lying yourself out of business.

Posted by: jburo | August 20, 2010 9:03 AM

What can anyone expect from this Alaskan hillbilly. She is from a state that has few minorities and no minority following so she can say anything ignorant she wants. Now FOX is in the spotlight as she works for FOX and the FCC should look into her as far as being a racist.

Posted by: acordas | August 20, 2010 8:54 AM

Ahhh yes, Sarah Palin. I remember her from the last presidential campaign. She was picked to run by the has-been, pseudo war hero Grumpy McShame. Turned out she was too stupid to talk - apparently, she still is.

Posted by: peverts | August 20, 2010 8:44 AM

Laura Schlesinger did nothing but overstate an already overstated cliche, African Americans can use certain words to refer to themselves but white people can't use those words and IT'S NOT FAIR! We've heard it all before Doc, from Rush to O'Reilly and nobody needed your graphic reiteration of that old point. Of course you forget to mention that most African-Americans are quite sick of the use of that word by members of their race and are actively trying to do something about it. Could you let them handle it? And that goes for Sarah Palin, who comes from a state where I'm sure the number of African Americans is way below the average of just about any other state.

But Palin truly is a gift that keeps on giving. She paints a picture of conservatives as shallow, mindless dolts who can't recognize a transparently self-serving opportunist when they see one. Please keep her in the headlines. Record every goofy word that she writes on her hand. I refuse to believe that the majority of our country is so brain cell depleted that they see leadership in this media-created, overgrown adolescent Tweeter. Give her as much air time as her little heart desires.

Posted by: curtb | August 20, 2010 8:35 AM

Sarah Palin may be repulsive, but what of those who treat comments like hers as so much red meat? We need to remind ourselves that this woman has many followers that, like her, are either too ignorant to realize they're acting like racists, or in fact are racists.

These are the same people who likewise oppose the NY Islamic community center on the grounds that all Muslims are terrorists and are creating a shrine to their victory. It was primarily Newt Gingrich, another so-called "leader" who carried the water on that one.

And it is the flourishing of the meme that all Muslims are terrorists that makes the accusations that Obama is a Muslim an epithet in their eyes.

And, in the wake of 9/11, their inability to tell one Muslim from another gave support to our "leader" G. W. Bush's shell game that substituted Iraqi Muslims for the al Qaeda who attacked us.

There is a pattern of Orwellian "Two Minutes Hate" running through the American tapestry like a horrendously vulgar off-color thread. Thank you for pointing out that we should expect better from our leaders, and those that don't offer better are not leaders at all, but people worth shunning.

Posted by: trippin | August 20, 2010 8:25 AM

Notice how The Washington Post always uses its women to attack women. Very slick.

Posted by: Delongl | August 20, 2010 5:35 AM

Palin defends Laura S. after she apologized. Who side is Palin on? Obviously, her own.

+ She did not quit yesterday. She announced her resignation yesterday which will be at the end of the year. Big difference.

Posted by: cmecyclist | August 20, 2010 5:16 AM

Sara is the best thing that ever happened to the Democratic party. Keep talking Sara, right up to november.

Posted by: eaglehawkaroundsince1937 | August 20, 2010 3:27 AM

I understand what Sara Palin means when she tells Laura to reload. Reload with 11 more spews of the word Niger to another black person. Its your constitutional right to do so!

Posted by: matrox | August 20, 2010 12:07 AM

What does Ms. Palin mean by "reload" rather than "retreat," in the context of the use of objectionable language? Unless Laura Schlessinger is dumb as a brick, she was using the N-word for its original purpose: to make herself feel superior at the expense of others.

If she had had a white female caller complain about her black husband’s friends use of the “white-B” word, how likely would it have been for Ms. Schlessinger to rise to their defense? Would she have repeated the white-B word in its explicit form several times?

True leaders feel humble and grateful for the trust and support that others have given them. They realize that other people are not to be objects of intolerance or tolerance, but seen as endowed with exactly equal humanity regardless of circumstance. By that measure Palin and Schlessinger come up short.

Posted by: SCKershaw | August 19, 2010 11:30 PM

Sarah Palin's sleazy, opportunistic hypocrisy knows no bounds.

Remember when she went after Rahm Emanuel for calling liberal groups "effing retarded" for running attack ads against DINOs?

She ALSO said this, and I quote:

"Just as we’d be appalled if any public figure of Rahm’s stature ever used the “N-word” or other such inappropriate language, Rahm’s slur on all God’s children with cognitive and developmental disabilities – and the people who love them – is unacceptable, and it’s heartbreaking,"

from: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/politics/palin_rahm_emanuel_should_be_fired_VUR6zejDxSatFe08K5N9JO#ixzz0x6yUa5kr

Palin supporters may try to claim that "Dr." Laura doesn't have the "stature" that Palin is referring to but that is beside the point - since Palin herself aspires to higher stature and she is here defending the use of the n-word herself.

Spin THAT, Palin supporters.

And just for the record, I am a liberal and I despise Rahm Emanuel.

Posted by: solsticebelle | August 19, 2010 11:09 PM

And this is how Dr. Laura really feels bout Palin.

http://www.drlaurablog.com/2008/09/02/sarah-palin-and-motherhood/


I wonder if Palin knows.

Posted by: lcarter0311 | August 19, 2010 10:45 PM

Please ignore Sarah Palin. She's a jobless moron with no future in politics. Thanks.

Posted by: Republitard | August 19, 2010 8:29 PM

Palin and Laura have consistently highlighted their extreme ignorance in public. Now they are both on their way down.

Posted by: revbookburn | August 19, 2010 7:39 PM

I notice everyone defending Palin here does not address the fact in issue. This is not a 1st amednment issue at all and it represents profound historical ignorance and stupidity.

If you want to call black people the "N" word, have some guts and do it to their faces. I would LOVE to see Sarah "cojones" Palin say it to Obamas face.

Say the "N" word Sarah, loudly, proudly, publicly, pleeeeeeease!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Chops2 | August 19, 2010 7:26 PM

"I have tried to prevent this blog from becoming partisan or political, liberal or conservative. "
===========================================
Of course you meant this article to political. Reading most of the posts, you got the exact reaction you were looking for. This is just another of WaPo's mandatory daily Palin-bashing political articles. Obviously, if someone says they have a critical article about, WaPo says we'll print it sight unseen.

So, tell me what are the sensitivity rules which we are supposed live by according to almighty liberals?

Sensitive to Muslums, but not 9/11 survivors.
Sensitive to illegal immigrants, but not legal citizens who have been effected by the violence.
Sensitive to minorities, but not to anyone who has to mark "White" on their job applications
Sensitive to benefits for union member teachers, but not to the nonmember private sector jobless

Tell me. What are the official rules of sensitivity?

Posted by: bethg1841 | August 19, 2010 6:06 PM

Regardless of "free speech rights", the 'n' word is OFFENSIVE to everyone.

Palin's true personality as a racist, bigot, a hypocrite is shining through her ignorance.
She needs to shut up and go away.

Posted by: momof20yo | August 19, 2010 5:52 PM

McGregor, when you earn a leadership position...chair a school board... be a mayor of a city council... or become a governor... as Palin has done, I'll listen to you about leadership.

"Those who can't, they teach or write. Those who can, lead."

I'll get my info about leadership elsewhere.

Posted by: RonKH | August 19, 2010 5:47 PM

This article would have had more journalistic merit if an attempt, any attempt, to get Palin to answer some of the concerns expressed therein. Why is the Post not seeking clarification from Palin on what her points were? A "twitter" re: "Dr" Laura Schlessinger exhorting her to "reload" is unclear as it is provocative. The very least you could say was "an attempt was made to get clarification, but no response was received by this journalists deadline."

Posted by: janouzpoha | August 19, 2010 5:37 PM

Two peas in a rotten pod!

Posted by: Woodstocknative | August 19, 2010 5:25 PM

I am not condoning the use of the N word but the argument that black people and rappers use it so, it's OK for white people to is absurd. Do you know why blacks began to use that word so much? When whites used that word in the past, it had no hip hop conotation, it was purely evil and perjudice. I am old fashioned in the sense that the great white establishment has done nothing but gave a half ass appology and "affirmative action" which only affirms that racism is still alive in America. Why do people believe that 100% of 13% of the population is all on welfare and smoking crack? Why do FoxNews pundits slip in the term "thug" when they talk about urban blacks? So in my mind, you get no pass, never not until Reagan appologizes for letting the 80's become the "crack era" and only responding by building prisons for profit. I will piss on a picture of Reagan for what he allowed to happen to my people. I have never seen a worse crime on a people in my life. That's why we love Clinton, in 1998, he put them back on trial. While the outcome was the same, acquital, the transcript is legendary. Q: "Did you knowingly conspire to bring in cocaine into America in echange for guns from Nicaragua?" A: "We did not sell any crack cocaine." That's why I know it will never be the same. You can't change what I've witnessed with a snide remark. My eyes are stained for life.

Posted by: dmdorsett | August 19, 2010 4:25 PM

The comments provided by the die hard democrats entitled Palin: A profound lack of sensitivity reflect their profound inability to express the truth about Sarahs'inherent leadership abilities and determination to serve her country.If an election was held now between Barrach Hussein Oboma and Sarah, Barach would be hamburger and the country would be better hands.

Posted by: rvaw120 | August 19, 2010 4:05 PM

Palin is such a dimwitted dunce, that her opinion on this matter is practically irrelevant. But, I agree w/an earlier poster: let her keep talking; it will just aid the aims and outcomes of her opponents and detractors.

Her commentary during the Katie Couric interviews was laughable, and gave Obama-Biden a great boost...

Posted by: ntlekt | August 19, 2010 3:47 PM

Does Palin realize this isn't a Constitutional law trial? It's plain and simple economics. If Dr. Laura's market (audience) finds her distasteful, her demand goes down. Her advertisers run away, and she is fired or asked to resign.

Kind of like how voters didn't elect Palin. It was partly because of things she said, all right, but not whether she had the right to say it. That wasn't the issue.

Posted by: sarahabc | August 19, 2010 3:45 PM

To do what you suggest, Sarah Palin would have to have class and integrity. She has proven she does not possess these qualities.

Posted by: danw1 | August 19, 2010 3:43 PM

"Don't retreat..reload" is an incoherent slogan in this case. The vapid former half-governor is just twittering in a particularly cryptic manner. Was she endorsing use of offensive racial epithets? Was she endorseing Dr. Laura's 90's style abuse of her female callers? Was Palin calling for some sort of cutural pass for unrestricted free speech, no matter what the content.

Posted by: roboturkey | August 19, 2010 3:41 PM

Let her keep talking. She may not realize it now, but this is something that will be very hard for her to explain away if she ever does try to run for national political office again. She was very poorly advised by her handlers on this one.

Posted by: jayelle5 | August 19, 2010 3:41 PM

If you actually did listen to Dr. Laura's piece you'd realize that her comments were insensitive, at best. A black woman called her complaining about how her white husband's friends used the "N-Word" in her house. Instead of saying something along the lines of, "well it's your house so you have a right to determine what's allowable..." she implicitly condoned this behavior by telling the woman she should not be offended by it and that "black guys" use it all the time.
Just because you believe in freedom of speech does not require you to support what's said. By unequivocally supporting Dr. Laura's comments Sarah Palin supported the use of the "N-Word", not the just right to use it.

Posted by: acuminata | August 19, 2010 3:39 PM

Sarah Palin could have kept her thoughts to herself on this one, but in order to remain attractive to Tea Bagging racists, and to continue having them pay Sarah her $200,000 to personalize the Tea Bag talking points, Sarah takes a spin.

They are welcome to keep it up because they'll never get the black or minority votes anyway, and they're obviously not planning to visit any minority neighborhoods who would definitely be offened if they heard Sarah or her buddies using the "N" word.

Posted by: lindalovejones | August 19, 2010 3:35 PM

Palin's First Amendment argument is not "convoluted," as you say, it's just wrong. The First Amendment applies only to government and prevents it from censoring speech, on the basis of its content, with a few narrow exceptions, such as defamation and overt threats of physical harm. For Schlessinger, or Palin, to argue that Schlessinger's First Amendment rights were somehow violated because private citizens protested Schlessinger's conduct and apparently induced her advertisers to abandon her, is pure nonsense. Those private citizens who protested Schlessinger's racial slurs were in fact merely exercising their own First Amendment rights. Both Schlessinger and Palin are idiots who don't understand the first thing about our Constitution.

Posted by: AdrianMole | August 19, 2010 3:30 PM

to me she is being advised by the same clique that advised Geo Bush and Jesse Helms. It is called offense and there is a committed core that has an agenda and work on a talking point a day, 365 a year. The pivot group is run by Howie Phillips, and I'm not sure what they call themselves these days but back in the early '80's it was called 1rst Tuesday's.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld1 | August 19, 2010 3:22 PM

Sarah who?

Posted by: overed | August 19, 2010 2:58 PM

To call Palin "insensitive" is shallow. It only works if one misintreprets Dr. Laura Schlessinger's piece.

See, the problem with this kind of trash reporting on the internet is something called "You Tube," where people can get the straight truth.

Jena is merely a cheap propagandist.

Posted by: Cdgaman | August 19, 2010 2:48 PM

What else would one expect from these lame brain leftists who have been trashing Gov. Palin since 2008? Theyi need to stop drinking their lunches from brown paper bags! Have you morons forgotten the hateful rhetoric and scorn heaped on the Governor?

Posted by: nmg3rln | August 19, 2010 2:23 PM

Sarah's no leader, just a demogogue.

Based on the clip I heard of Dr. Laura and her guest talking about the N word, I think Dr. Laura used a typical radio/TV egomaniac tone and manner to discuss an issue that needs some serious discussion.

The same day this story broke, I got out of my car at a post office the same time as a 30? year old black man was getting out of his. He left his music blaring N word this and M-F that for everyone on the street to hear.

How does he expect anyone to have respect for him? Is this how he talks around children? Does he allow them to listen to this crud? This is not acceptable behavior to the majority of the people in this country. And, no one likes a hypocrite - different rules for different people, based on race, is offensive.

We have started on this discussion several times with Tipper Gore and Bill Cosby.

The media pc frenzy over this is disgusting. We need dialogue, not monologue on this and other race issues.

Posted by: edismae | August 19, 2010 2:22 PM

On the one hand, it is unfortunate that it seems that we can't even talk about the N-word. Dr. Laura didn't call anyone that; she was just talking about the word. On the other hand, she is probably not just the person to bring up a rational discussion about a very powerful word and who can use it and under what circumstances. It does amaze me though that there is such hysteria at the mere utterance of the word. This will turn certain people into the equivalent of the three-year-old who starts saying the F-word just to get Mommy's attention.

Posted by: veilleuse | August 19, 2010 2:21 PM

Please ignore Sarah Palin...she is, in my very kindest words, a lightweight. She hasn't a clue and everyone (except the most ignorant, bigoted and hateful people in the United States) knows this. She may have, as a base, the 20% "know nothings" of our century but she is at most a blip on the screen. A cheerleader, maybe but a meaningless one.

Posted by: gilbertpb40 | August 19, 2010 2:17 PM

Sarah Palin is helping to further polarize and diminish the civility of not only our politics, but our society. I don't really believe that we'll fall into a cycle of violence, but I hate to see us exploited in this way by either party or 'side' or movement, whether it's the NRA or Greenpeace. Less and less is getting done that really matters and those who are elected too often find their party's agenda is different from their constituents. Not good.

Posted by: bgreen2224 | August 19, 2010 1:38 PM

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