Or, ‘Raising Hell, The Dr Laura Way”.
It seems Dr Laura Schlessinger, scourge of the morally lax parent, may herself have raised a sociopath. Oh, how I love the smell of hung petards in the morning….
First a little backstory, for non-Usanians like me who may not be that familiar with ‘Dr Laura’, the bizarro-Oprah of talk radio. Dr Laura Schlessinger is a rightwing radio ‘therapist’, wannabe tv star and self-help book author, whose fans absolutely lap up her harsh strictures on sexuality, relationships and child-rearing.
Her show’s syndicated on Clear Channel radio US-wide; Clear Channel, part-owned by Mormon presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s private equity firm, Bain Capital (which has all kinds of interesting connections with some decidedly neofascist types) has a history of manufacturing and broadcasting far-right reactionary radio ‘personalities’.
So far, so usual for the US rightwing media machine and its creatures.- but Dr Laura is special. First off she’s a doctor, of sorts; even though it’s a Phd. in physiology not pychology it authenticates her very subjective advice as somehow quasi-medical and so iher personal emotional hangups’re adopted as sound principles by her rightwing supporters, some of whom are so loyal to her personally that they describe themselves as ‘Dr Laura’s Army’.
Dr Laura fits the Clear Channel mould perfectly; she’s a cruel homophobe and a hypocrite with a shady past (by her own stated standards) who preaches to others what she does not practice herself. She’s a vicious piece of work with it, as I’ve discovered the more I’ve read:
Even more shocking was her treatment of a Connecticut eighth-grader for an award-wining essay on free speech on the Internet. Attacking the girl by name, she maliciously asserted: “If she was my daughter, I’d probably put her up for adoption. . . .When she makes her marriage vows, and her husband has sex with someone else, let’s see if she thinks that this philosophy works. She also suggested that the girl be “sacrificed,” Inca style!
Someone who could treat a child that way should never be allowed near one in a therapeutic or a parental sense, IMHO. Who knows how many children’s lives she’s affected with her self-interested, twisted ideas? Well, one at least has been severely affected according to this report, and having found out what unpleasant child-rearing ideas his mother has it comes as no surprise – in fact it almost seems inevitable.
Dr. Laura son linked to lurid Web page
Site contained violent, sex-oriented images one official called ‘repulsive’
By Matthew D. LaPlante
The Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated: 05/19/2007 12:15:45 AM MDT
The soldier son of talk radio relationship counselor Laura Schlessinger is under investigation for a graphic personal Web page that one Army official has called “repulsive.”
The MySpace page, publicly available until Friday when it disappeared from the Internet, included cartoon depictions of rape, murder, torture and child molestation; photographs of soldiers with guns in their mouths; a photograph of a bound and blindfolded detainee captioned “My Sweet Little Habib”; accounts of illicit drug use; and a blog entry headlined by a series of obscenities and racial epithets.
The site is credited to and includes many photographs of Deryk Schlessinger, the 21-year-old son of the talk radio personality known simply as Dr. Laura. Broadcast locally on 570 KNRS, “Family Values Talk Radio,” the former family counselor spends three hours daily taking calls and offering advice on morals, ethics and values. She broadcast a show from Fort Douglas, in Salt Lake City, last week.
“Yes . . . F—ING Yes!!!” said one blog entry on the Schlessinger site. “I LOVE MY JOB, it takes everything reckless and deviant and heathenistic and just overall bad about me and hyper focuses these traits into my job of running around this horrid place doing nasty things to people that deserve it . . . and some that don’t.”
Dr. Laura’s publicity people and the US Army are now trying to suggest that this site was created by mysterious ‘enemies’ engaged in ‘information warfare’. Uh, huh, right, yeah, because Al-Qaeda or the Mahdi army have got nothing better to do than to fuck around creating fake MySpace pages about the batshit crazy sons of psychotic wingnut radio personalities.
After the Salt Lake City Tribune published this report ‘Dr Laura’s Army’ leapt to her defence in the papers’ pages, bombarding it with oddly similar emails, the overall tone of which was ‘don’t blame her for the decisions her child makes’. Bollocks to that, she doesn’t get off that easy – particularly since a major part of her schtick appears to be telling parents that they are indeed responsible for their child’s behaviour. Her catchphrase is even “I am my kid’s mom,”, FFS.
Dr Laura was once asked a very pertinent question a while back about the kind of behaviour her own son is apparently exhibiting , by CNN’s Larry King:
KING: And then how do you explain those where you had parents that drifted and the kid turned out terrific, and other places where the parents did all the things you said to do and he turns into a serial killer and everyone on the block is shocked?
SCHLESSINGER: When we take the fringe of the bell curve of exceptions and try to make them speak for the rule we’re not being fair. We’re taking extremes to try to get away from a truth that we know morally, intuitively we know what we need to do. I think human beings — I mean, from the time we’re born we have the ability to be selfish, we have the ability to be selfless. But I think small creatures are basically selfish, and we always have to strive against our selfishness every day in every way.
Shorter Dr Laura – “I don’t know what makes psychos. Ask me another”.
But she did know the answer all along.
Laura Schlessinger’s appearance in Utah last week included a visit with Army families at Fort Douglas. In an interview with The Tribune, she said, “We raised our son to be a warrior.”
Now see, there’s the problem right there. This is the kind of ‘warrior’ he became under Dr Laura’s tender care – at least according to what may admittedly beunreliable sources, ie someone who says they were at at school with Schlessinger Jr.:
I was in school with Derek in fourth and fifth grade. He was a sadistic bully then. He was a terribly unhappy kid who boasted about all the money his mom made and threatened, bullied, and beat up younger kids.If a teacher tried to discipline him or in any way thwart him he would threaten that his mom would get them fired and would sue them. I don’t know if she could but I know it scared a lot of teachers I don’t know a kid in school who was sorry to see him go when his mom put him in private school. We used to call him Malfoy because he reminded us of the character from Harry Potter. I wouldn’t be amazed by anything the guy is assused of, up to homicide. He is a nasty piece of work.
May 19th, 2007 at 19:09:49
From: KEN KORNFELD
Now, Schlessinger Jr. has been serving in special forces, and there might be those who’ll say PTSD! but that’s a copout. Special Forces are the soldiers who did this. This typifies what’s on young Deryk’s MySpace page:
In one of the stick drawings, a top-hatted man laughs as he rapes a bound and bleeding woman in front of her family. In another depiction, a man forces a boy to perform oral sex at knifepoint as the child’s mother pleads for her son’s life.
No doubt Dr Laura herself will be one of those who scream “PTSD!” too, supporting her little ‘warrior’ and his pyschotic tendencies to the end. But there’s no evading her responsibility: as she’s said herself –
SCHLESSINGER: …men are born of women, they are trained by women, they date marry that are trained by women, they marry women they are trained by women. A lot of what women get from men is their own doing, and that’s why I wrote this book because we primarily have the control in the relationships of the quality of the relationships.
How does that petard feel, Dr Laura? A little uncomfortable, perhaps?