Dr. Laura Says a Utah Newspaper Misreported her Comments About Military Spouses

This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," May 16, 2007, that has been edited for clarity.

BILL O'REILLY, HOST: "Back of the Book" segment tonight. The Salt Lake City Tribune reported that Dr. Laura Schlessinger was tired of hearing complaints from disenchanted military wives. The paper quotes Dr. Laura as saying, "He could come back without arms, legs and eyeballs, and you're bitching?"

Joining us now from Santa Barbara is Dr. Laura, the author of the book, "The Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage." Well, this article interview was by Matthew LaPlante from the Salt Lake City Tribune. Did he misquote you?

DR. LAURA SCHLESSINGER, AUTHOR, "THE PROPER CARE AND FEEDING OF MARRIAGE": Well, that's a correct quote, but it's out of context. And the context is about the fact that, when you're the warrior's wife or the warrior's mom, as I am, because my son's deployed in combat in the Middle East, you can bitch and whine and moan to each other — but never to the warrior, because that distracts them. It demoralizes them, and that puts them more in harm's way.

So it's about a sense of responsibilities for how we, as the warrior's family, have to rise to the occasion, take care of business on our own, and not worry and concern the warrior. And the second part of that was that, you know, everything is in perspective. Whatever's happening in your home, in your life, you are not tiptoeing around IEDs.


SCHLESSINGER: So it's really important that we, as military families, put our lives and what we're enduring in perspective.

O'REILLY: And Mr. LaPlante didn't get any of that across in his article, as far as I read. I mean, it was just basically, you were criticizing the military families who obviously are suffering. Correct?

SCHLESSINGER: And it's so painful to me that I was used to hurt military families.

O'REILLY: Let me just stop you. Let me just stop you right now. I just want everyone to know who Matthew LaPlante is. And you were very foolish to talk with him, Doctor, with all due respect. You need to have your staff check out these people.


O'REILLY: We invited Mr. LaPlante on the program tonight to put forth his point-of-view and he said, "I'll decline the invitation, because I don't think I can scream loud enough to be heard on O'Reilly's show." So Matthew LaPlante isn't a journalist. He's out to hurt you. He's out to take your comments and make it look like you want to hurt military families. That's what he wants to do.


O'REILLY: That's what he's in business to do in the Salt Lake City Tribune. Why would you talk to a man like that?

SCHLESSINGER: Well, to be honest with you, I took for granted that my staff had checked it out. It was a last-minute request. I was in Salt Lake City doing my show live to honor military moms, ironically, and we never — he never asked me about military moms. And I covered an awful lot of subjects.

O'REILLY: Doctor, he wanted to hurt you. That's what he wanted to do. He wanted to hurt you.

SCHLESSINGER: Well, you know you and I, Bill, we can take it. And that's all right. It's part of, unfortunately, what we have to deal with. But the families were hurt.

I mean this was carried on AP I came out with my blog on Monday, and correcting it and clarifying it. But it's like feathers out of a pillow in the wind. I can't bring all the feathers back. And that this hurt one military family just decimates me.

O'REILLY: OK. Now let's just on the record get your thoughts. We have in this country a very, very terrible situation in Iraq. Most of us aren't suffering. The military families are suffering. And our soldiers and marines in Iraq are suffering.


O'REILLY: OK. Now, your message to people here who have people over there as you do, your son, is you can complain internally, but don't complain to the actual soldiers and Marines because that demoralizes them and makes them feel worse. That's your message?

SCHLESSINGER: And it puts them in harm's way, because they're distracted, worrying about how we're feeling and what's going on here and will we stand by them? Are we so upset that we can't cope? We can't be doing that when they're in combat. I whine every day that I cannot protect my son's body and his soul while he's over there in combat.

But when he calls me the rare times he can, you know, make a call, I am up and supportive and I listen to him. And I never whine to him. We have to support them. They are in a horrendous situation there. And we need to be warrior families.

O'REILLY: All right. Well, I'm glad we could put the record straight. Matthew LaPlante is invited on this program. He will not be yelled at. We have no respect for him. I do believe you. I believe this man is an ideologue who's out to hurt you, and he shouldn't be working in any major newspaper.

SCHLESSINGER: I got to give him some points, because after my blog came out he has been a gentleman about it. It just hurts me that we can't suck all the pain that families are having back in.

O'REILLY: All right. Be very careful who you talk to, Laura. Thank you.

SCHLESSINGER: Yes, I'll check with you first.

O'REILLY: You should.

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