Sarah Palin continues to defend Dr. Laura Schlessinger’s use of the word “n****r” and blame liberals for forcing the controversial conservative radio show off the air. But just a few months ago Palin was adamant that using the “N-word,” and other offensive terms, should be a firing offense…if you’re a Democrat.
“I would ask the president to show decency in this process by eliminating one member of [his] inner circle, Mr. Rahm Emanuel,” Palin wrote in February. “The Obama Administration’s Chief of Staff scolded [liberal critics] calling them, ‘F—-ing retarded,’ according to several participants, as reported in the Wall Street Journal. 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.”
Fast forward to last night, when Palin had a change of heart.
“Dr.Laura:don’t retreat…reload! (Steps aside bc her 1st Amend.rights ceased 2exist thx 2activists trying 2silence”isn’t American,not fair”),” Palin wrote in an inscrutable Tweet.
Today, Palin expanded on that defense on Facebook.
Adversaries who have been trying to silence Dr. Laura for years seized on her recent use of the n-word on her show as she subsequently suggested that rap ‘artists’ and other creative types like those producing HBO shows who regularly use the n-word could be questioned for doing so. Her intention in discussing the issue with a caller seeking advice was not to be hateful or bigoted. Though she did not mean to insult the caller, she did, and she apologized for it. Still, those who oppose her seized upon her mistake in using the word (though she didn’t call anyone the derogatory term) to paint her as something that she’s not.
Indeed, Palin today even referenced the earlier Emanuel incident. “Dr. Laura did not call anyone or any group of people the n-word. Curiously, the same criers over this issue didn’t utter a word when White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel [sic] called a group protesting the Obama Administration’s actions, “f***ing retards.”
The distinction, she argues, is that Emanuel directed his insult at a group of people, while Schlessinger just argued that she should have a right to call people “n*****” even though she’s white.
“Black guys use it all the time,” Shlessinger said on her program. “Turn on HBO, listen to a black comic, and all you hear is nigger, nigger, nigger. I don’t get it. If anybody without enough melanin says it, it’s a horrible thing; but when black people say it, it’s affectionate. It’s very confusing.”
Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.