24 July 2000

Failure to toe a politically correct line has led to an exodus of advertisers and sponsors from the radio chat show hosted by reactionary radio host Dr. Laura Schlessinger, who fronts America’s second highest rated talk show (after Rush Limbaugh).

Dr Schlessinger, gained notoriety (and upped her ratings) with her incautious on-air description of homosexuality as "deviant" and a by-product of "biological error." This triggered an orchestrated campaign of protest by, among others, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and a specially convened pressure group, Stopdrlaura.

In a rare burst of candor, the show’s syndicator, Premiere Radio Networks, admitted that Dr Schlessinger had already lost twelve brands – almost 10%, of its national advertisers. First to quit in May was the show’s sponsor, Procter & Gamble, followed by Toys ‘R Us, United Airlines, AT&T, Kraft, General Foods, Xerox and others.

In alarm at the exodus of some of America’s biggest brands, Dr. Schlessinger last week hit back, pleading with her listeners to mail and email their support to those sponsors remaining loyal to her show, and urging the public to buy their products. She said she would dispense on-air plugs for those sponsors who stay put.

The dauntless doc has also posted an open letter on her website (, portraying the situation as a fight to the death over family values and herself as a latter-day St Joan, standing against "folks who don't share our beliefs about what's right for children and the family [and who] are trying to disrupt our relationship."

The lobbyists’ success reflects the growing political and economic strength of America’s gay community.

News source: New York Times