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September's Around the Corner, and So Is 'Dr. Laura TV'
West Coast Canadian site rallies to stop local broadcast

 
StopDrLaura.com Announces National Days of Protest

Washington, DC, August 9 -  StopDrLaura.com announced today that it is organizing protests in cities nationwide in the event Paramount Television airs the "Dr. Laura" show this September.

PHOTO:  StopDr.Laura.com Twin Cities' Protest
As the list of big advertisers that have dropped Schlessinger continues to grow, Paramount and local stations say the "Dr. Laura" show will go on.  If that happens, StopDrLaura.com is putting the stations on notice that they will be met with national protests when the show airs, September 10 and 11.

"This situation is coming to a head," said Robin Tyler, National Protest Coordinator for StopDrLaura.com.  "A parade of advertising behemoths have said they'll have nothing to do with Schlessinger, yet Paramount and local stations foolishly soldier on.  If this show airs, any local station or local advertiser will feel the outrage of millions of consumers."

Cities across the country have signed on to host Stop Dr. Laura protests Sunday, Sept. 10 and Monday, Sept. 11.  Cities currently scheduled to participate include:  Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Lexington, Minneapolis / St. Paul, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Providence, St. Louis, San Francisco, Tampa Bay, Tucson, and Washington, DC.  Organizers say other cities will be announced in the coming weeks.  In addition to StopDrLaura's National Days of Protest, other cities are holding protests in the coming weeks, including:  Denver, August 13; Tucson, August 20;  Austin, August 26; and, Phoenix, August 26.

StopDrLaura.com's announcement of the National Days of Protest follows on the heels of yet more advertising losses by Schlessinger.  Just yesterday, StopDrLaura.com announced that Gateway has ceased advertising during Schlessinger's radio show.  In the past few weeks, EchoStar / DISH, Sears, the Ohio State Lottery, Geico, SkyTel and Kroger's / Texas have all  dropped their "Dr. Laura" advertising.  In addition, Kraft, American Express, United Airlines, ToysRUs.com, Xerox, AT&T, TCF Bank, Amica Insurance, and BoxLot.com have also cut their ties to Schlessinger's show since StopDrLaura.com was launched on March 1.

Tyler, who organized several national gay marches on Washington, DC, said the reaction to StopDrLaura.com has set a new record in gay activism.  "The combination of online and offline activism, national and local community group involvement has been amazing.  I think it's fair to say this is one of the largest mobilizations in the history of this community."  Since it's launch on March 1, StopDrLaura.com has received nearly 40 million hits, an estimated 3 million unique visitors, and spawned over 22 protests nationwide involving tens of thousands of participants.

AS summer nears an end and mornings become cool, thoughts roam to the 'back to life' scenario of September.  Vacations are over, it will be 'back to school' for many, and in the evenings fresh new television shows are expected.

And during the day, Dr. Laura Schlessinger.

Although controversy and multi-city protests in the United States have resulted in a cascade of advertisers distancing themselves from the pop psychologist's anti-gay rhetoric on her daily call-in radio talk show, entertainment giant Paramount has continued its plans to produce a similar television one.  Several tapings are reportedly 'in the can,' and TV stations across North America are set to begin airing it in September.
 

Canadian 'Stop Dr. Laura' site launched

In response to Vancouver television station BCTV planning to air Schlessinger's show, GayVancouver.net webmaster Mark Robins launched a 'Stop Dr. Laura' section on the site this summer.  It provides contact information at BCTV for people to use to express their outrage, details regarding local efforts to stop the show from being broadcast, and a way to remain informed of developments via e-mail.

"This type of homophobia should have no place in Canada," said Robins in a press release.  "Laura Schlessinger has shown herself to be homophobic in the past and we have every reason to believe she will continue to espouse her hatred in the future," he added.

The new Dr. Laura television show is an offshoot of her radio one which is currently broadcast by Vancouver radio station CFUN.  It and other broadcasters that aired controversial remarks came under fire by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council earlier this year and were forced to make an on-air apology.

According to Robins, because of current Canadian television standards - which involve largely self-regulation - broadcasters can only be censured after the comment or statement is made on radio or television.

Said Robins, "We want to stop Laura Schlessinger's show before she even has an opportunity to begin on television here in Vancouver so we do not have a repeat of what happened on CFUN."

The webmaster - who conducted the poll asking if gays considered Stockwell Day sexy and made national headlines - goes on to say that while gays and lesbians in Vancouver have had an ongoing problem with the Dr. Laura show being broadcast on CFUN, they believe the proposed television show has the potential to reach a much wider audience and [would be] therefore more damaging.

That is why there appears to be more interest in stopping the Dr. Laura television show, says the host of the Vancouver online community.

"We're taking a page from the Americans," continued Robins, referring to the hugely successful Stop Dr. Laura campaign in the United States.  He explains that while West Coast gays are following their American counterpart's lead, the first step locally will be more of a polite Canadian approach.

"We're asking members of the gay and lesbian community to write, phone or email BCTV and politely ask them not to broadcast the Dr. Laura Show this fall.  We're also encouraging the community to also ask CFUN radio to stop airing her show," he stated.

And if that doesn't work, Robins declares that a 'Dr. Laura Watch' will begin.

"We'll be watching the show carefully," he said.  "And not only will we be paying particular attention to the content but will also be noting the sponsors of the show.  While we're certainly not advocating a boycott of BCTV advertisers at this time, that will definitely be something we would consider if they decide to air the show in the fall," he concluded.