Pawtucket Times, July 18, 2000
Dr. Laura...take this advice
Mary Ann Sorentino
Dear Dr. Laura.
There has been much written and talked about lately with reference
to your degrading comments on the air about homosexuals.
Your fans are quick to spring to your defense. Some of them are
fond of justifying your comments by referring to passages from
whatever testament they hold dear.
Interestingly, you are a convert to Judaism, but you hold sway over
many fundamentalist Christians who might, in other circumstances,
call you an infidel.
Bonded as they are to your hyper-traditional views on family and
lifestyles, they are willing to overlook the fact that you actually
rejected the Jesus they revere (in defiance of Commandment Number
One) in order to adopt the faith of your father when you stopped
talking to your mother (Commandment Number Four).
You have weathered public outrage before. Just a few years ago,
when a former married lover of yours ( Commandment Number Six)
posted nude photos of you on the Internet, you at first denied that
the photos were actually of you. (Isn't that called lying or
bearing false witness?) Eventually, however, you did 'fess up by
admitting that, years ago, when you were also married to your first
husband, you had had an affair with a then-married boss of yours.
(Oops, there goes Commandment Six again, and even Number Nine!)
After a few rough weeks, people seemed to forget the incident and
the naked pictures, and you went back to being the beacon of truth
and light for those listeners of yours who can't seem to navigate
routine curves in the road of life without calling for your advice
on the radio.
You have recently (sort of) apologized for calling gay and lesbian
people "aberrations of nature..." but only after your television
debut was put in jeopardy as your sponsors starting dropping like
flies (sounds like Coveting Thy Neighbor's Goods to me!) Clearly
you were worried about losing a few million bucks in the wake of
your own public denouncement of some fellow human beings whose
lives really have nothing to do with you. This is hard for some
of us to understand since you sold your show to your current
syndicators for a reported $70 million just a few years ago. (Do
I sense a few of the seven deadly sins here? Greed or Covetousness
and maybe even a little Gluttony?) No matter.
Fact is that many off us who have heard you on the radio hanging
people out to dry because they didn't live up to the Dr. Laura
standard of good behavior know that you are one tough cookie in
the "Do as I say not as I do" department.
You are a mother who spends little time with her own son but insists
that people earning in a year less than you earn in a week, stay
home with their offspring as opposed to going to work and depending
on day care.
You are an admitted adulteress who has no compassion for others
who may be guilty only of committing the same sins you have committed.
You are a Jew who claims to be Orthodox who appeared in the pages
of Vanity Fair Magazine in an outfit that in no way resembles the
traditional trappings of an Orthodox Jewish wife and mother.
You have a degree in physiology but masquerade as a psychotherapist.
You lack compassion and patience, treat your callers with disrespect,
and you seem intoxicated with the heady drink of power and celebrity
that some unbalanced and helpless souls who apparently have nowhere
else to turn have delivered to you. You have capitalized on their
helplessness and responded to them with arrogance. (Is your Pride
showing, Dr. Laura?) I wonder if you have ever heard of the seven
attributes for which all good people should strive? I am talking
about Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety
and Fear of the Lord. By my count, you seem to be coming up short
in a few of those areas.
So while your comments against gays and lesbians have brought you
up short in a very public way, I just wanted to write to say that
some of us have been bothered by your hypocrisy and judgmental lack
of compassion since long before you put your pedicured foot in your
mouth on homosexuality.
Your pseudo-rabbinical sermonizing and your outright cruelty to
some callers had deep roots going way back to a time long before
your television ambitions had taken form in your greedy little
Now go take on the day ... and try to do the right thing, which
isn't always the Right thing!
Mary Ann Sorrentino is a syndicated columnist and talk host on
radio AM 550 The Buzz in Providence.