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Hannity

Dr. Laura Schlessinger Talks 'N-Word' Controversy

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," January 18, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And she is the host of a brand new radio show on Sirius XM Satellite radio and she's even sporting a huge brand new tattoo.

DR. LAURA SCHLESSINGER, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Look at the size of me. How could something be huge on me?

HANNITY: We'll show it in a second.

Dr. Laura Schlessinger, no stranger to controversy -- actually seems to cause wherever she goes, and kind of like Sarah Palin strong -- she's a strong conservative woman repeatedly attacked by liberals set on tearing her down. Her new book touches on that very issue and it also offers advice to all of us on how to deal with those who do us wrong. And the book is called, "Surviving a Shark Attack on Land, Overcoming Betrayal and Dealing with Revenge."

Joining me now in studio, the one and only, therapist radio talk show host, our friend, Dr. Laura, welcome back.

SCHLESSINGER: Thank you very much.

HANNITY: All right. Come on. All right. I saw this. Now, you sent me a link to your tattoo.

SCHLESSINGER: You have seen it. Why do I have to --

HANNITY: No, no. We have millions of people watching. They want to see it. No, no, that does not do it justice. We've got a -- because that's only the beginning of the tattoo. But you've actually got it finished. This shocked me.

SCHLESSINGER: Why?

HANNITY: Oh, show us the tattoo, come on.

SCHLESSINGER: OK.

HANNITY: I want a panning close on this.

SCHLESSINGER: OK.

HANNITY: All right. I want to get -- that is like a Grateful Dead tattoo.

SCHLESSINGER: Bad ass girlie girl!

(LAUGHTER)

HANNITY: Are you going through a middle life crisis? What has happened here?

SCHLESSINGER: Oh, bless you.

(LAUGHTER)

Just turned 64. Let's see, midlife is a 128.

HANNITY: All right. Well, sort of, what inspired to you get that?

SCHLESSINGER: Well, I'm a Harley Babe. I climb mountains. I've started to boulder, you know what bouldering is? Learning how to climb boulders, my son is teaching me all of this. I'm very active, wild woman.

HANNITY: And you got a belly button ring too. What? Don't look at me -- you're the one that got it.

SCHLESSINGER: You know, you are a friend. You just shark-sided me.

HANNITY: I did not shark-sided you.

SCHLESSINGER: You just shark-sided me.

HANNITY: No, I didn't.

SCHLESSINGER: I'm not flashing my belly button ring.

HANNITY: I bet a lot of people in America --

SCHLESSINGER: Although my abs are great.

HANNITY: You want to flash those?

SCHLESSINGER: No. Take my word for it.

HANNITY: Well, let's, first of all --

SCHLESSINGER: This started out very dignified. Is it going to get better?

HANNITY: Yes, it is. Let me start with the end of your book. I love the concept of revenge, always will. I love the concept of enjoying my life more. And to those who have ever betrayed me or will, I have to say this frankly my dears, I don't give a damn. You tell people to --

SCHLESSINGER: Oh yes. I love revenge. It is just that you have not be immoral.

HANNITY: Yes.

SCHLESSINGER: You can't do something illegal.

HANNITY: OK.

SCHLESSINGER: You shouldn't do anything fattening. And definitely, you shouldn't do anything that changes your character, so I guess you can't get it.

HANNITY: Isn't revenge by its very nature, hate in your heart.

SCHLESSINGER: Yes. I think it is horrible thing because it destroys lives. That's why I wrote the book to help people find a way to deal with something so painful as betrayal.

HANNITY: You talk about this, you went into the story when the Internet pictures of you were released a number of years. I remember that controversy.

SCHLESSINGER: Yes. That was a lot of fun.

HANNITY: And they're naked pictures of you in your younger days. And, you had to deal with that.

SCHLESSINGER: Cute, wasn't it?

HANNITY: What was that like -- I knew you would make me blush. What was that like at that time?

SCHLESSINGER: I wish I had appreciation for how good I looked then. I was very insecure. I look at the pictures now and I go, I was adorable. Anyway, the pictures where I had nothing on from here up were real, the pictures where there's nothing on other places, those aren't real, those were Photoshoped somehow.

HANNITY: They are not real.

SCHLESSINGER: They're not real.

HANNITY: So, all of a sudden, here you are.

SCHLESSINGER: This is Bill Ballance. He was my original mentor. And turns out, he had some unpleasant sides to his personality. And when his career started to wane, he asked me to help get him a job on KFI.

HANNITY: Right.

SCHLESSINGER: I did so. I brought tapes and all this stuff and they turned him down. I got the brunt of that. Because he wanted to be in the spotlight again. So he came out with the pictures.

HANNITY: All right. Didn't he, is the story true that he --

SCHLESSINGER: Of course, Tom Leykis is the one by the way who put a bounty on my son. My son used to, when he was little, he used to come to book signings with me. And Tom Leykis put a bounty on his head, $500 for somebody who would take a picture of my kid with their penis or a breast in the picture. And nothing happened to him.

HANNITY: Yes. Well, Tom has known for being a shock-jock.

SCHLESSINGER: That's not shock. That's attacking a child!

HANNITY: Do you -- were you offered an opportunity to buy those pictures?

SCHLESSINGER: No!

HANNITY: I heard, you were.

SCHLESSINGER: No!

HANNITY: Because I heard the story that you were.

SCHLESSINGER: No!

HANNITY: You were never -- all right. So, this guy that was a radio doctor --

SCHLESSINGER: No, no he was just a funny show host.

HANNITY: OK. So, mentor of yours early on. You have this affair with him. You're young and all of a sudden --

SCHLESSINGER: Well, I wasn't married, so you can't call that an affair.

HANNITY: OK. Whatever.

SCHLESSINGER: Not whatever, let's have clarity here. I was not married --

HANNITY: You have the relationship.

SCHLESSINGER: Yes.

HANNITY: OK. You have the relationship. You are young. Years later, you are famous.

SCHLESSINGER: Thirty years later.

HANNITY: Thirty years later.

SCHLESSINGER: He waits 30 years.

HANNITY: Yes. And you are a conservative, your values have changed. How hard was that for you?

SCHLESSINGER: It was humiliating. "Saturday Night Live" made fun of it. And, again, use David Spade to represent my kid. Did you realize how many times my family was dragged into this? And humiliated my son. I mean, he had to go to school and deal with being made fun of on "Saturday Night Live" and his mother being made fun of.

HANNITY: I was made fun of this weekend.

SCHLESSINGER: Why, because somebody took pictures of you?

HANNITY: No.

SCHLESSINGER: Anybody want to see him without his shirt on?

HANNITY: No.

SCHLESSINGER: I didn't hear a peep.

HANNITY: That's not -- all right. Now, we got to take a break.

SCHLESSINGER: OK.

HANNITY: But you deal with this in the book there. And also, there was a controversy that led your decision to leave terrestrial radio.

SCHLESSINGER: Yes.

HANNITY: We're going to play that call and get your reaction and you talk about this as well in the book.

SCHLESSINGER: The whole call is very long. You'll play the whole thing?

HANNITY: No, no, we'll play portions of it.

And coming up, more with Dr. Laura. She will show her belly button ring when we come back.

SCHLESSINGER: No, she won't.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: We continue with the author of the brand new book, "Surviving a Shark Attack on Land: Overcoming Betrayal and Dealing with Revenge," the one and only Dr. Laura Schlessinger is here.

All right. So, you moved to satellite radio in large part, and over the years, you've had many controversies. But this call came in and you used the "n-word" and you write about this in the book. Let's go back to the call:

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

SCHLESSINGER: Not everything that somebody says -- we had friends over the other day, we got about 35 people here -- the guys were going to start playing basketball. I was going to go out and play basketball. And my bodyguard and my dear friend, he's a black man. And I said, "White men can't jump, I want you on my team." That was racists? That was funny.

CALLER: How about the N-word? So, the N-word's been thrown around --

SCHLESSINGER: Black guys use it all the time, turn on HBO, listen to a black comic and all you hear is (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

I don't get it. If anybody -- if anybody without enough melanin says it is a horrible thing, but when black people say it, it's affectionate. It's very confusing. Don't hang up, I want to talk to you some more. Don't go away.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

HANNITY: OK. Eleven times you use the word, you said it on the show. And you tell the story, you regretted it right afterwards.

SCHLESSINGER: Well, I didn't regret the context of what I was saying. I think perhaps it was inartfully said. But I made a valid point. And she -- I have since found out, called the NAACP and said that I had called her that word.

HANNITY: Which the call clearly shows you did not.

SCHLESSINGER: No, I never did. And suddenly, the NAACP, Media Matters, the Urban League, don't call me, don't have an interview with me, don't discuss anything with me. What they do is start plotting and planning how to take me off the air --

HANNITY: And this has happened --

SCHLESSINGER: -- for stating something that's truth.

HANNITY: The -- what is the difference? Because I've watched Chris Rock on HBO. Other comics, word is thrown around like this, other people --

SCHLESSINGER: I held up a mirror.

HANNITY: You mentioned Bill Maher has used it.

SCHLESSINGER: Bill Maher went on Larry King and accused Newt Gingrich of calling Obama that. You notice Jesse Jackson was not involved in this whole thing. You wonder he was quite? Well, he's on record and on tape as having said Obama is an F-ing half-breed mmm hmm.

HANNITY: We have tapes of Al Sharpton using the "n-word" about Mayor David Dinkins.

SCHLESSINGER: There you go. This was simply -- this was not really about a word, this was about an opportunity to eliminate --

HANNITY: To stifle a conservative.

SCHLESSINGER: Yes, obviously.

HANNITY: In light of what happened in Tucson and the tragedy there and we had Sarah Palin on last night and talk radio was blamed and the Fox News Channel was blamed and RFK, Jr. writes an article, I'm a merchant of hate.

It's this what it's really all about?

SCHLESSINGER: Oh, I had an op-ed piece that big on the op-ed page that called me queen of hate. I'm still trying to figure out what the hell that's about.

But, yes, I mean, you had one, lone paranoid schizophrenic evidently, that was the cause of it.

HANNITY: How did this become the --

SCHLESSINGER: What I learned from this, opportunity. Weakness finds opportunity to appear strong. In attacking somebody else is how people do it. And that's why I had to write that book because these were all like shark attacks.

HANNITY: You want revenge. You salivate at the thought of revenge. When you talk about Bill Ballance, you are upset that he's dead.

SCHLESSINGER: I'm upset that he's dead. I want him to see my tattoo.

HANNITY: You want him to see that he didn't win in the end?

SCHLESSINGER: Right.

HANNITY: And you are suggesting other people when you get stabbed in the back, what?

SCHLESSINGER: Well, decent people can't get vengeful without losing their decency. So, coping with how evil people often win is difficult. And this book helps people find a way through that.

I was completely open, as I have become. I'm so freed it's amazing. But I was completely open in that book about a number of circumstances that I've survived to prove the point. My humiliations were public. People call me a homophobe and a racist -- two of the farthest from true things you can call me.

HANNITY: You really, through your experience, through what we saw in Tucson, you really believe that freedom of speech is in jeopardy in this country?

SCHLESSINGER: That's why I quit terrestrial radio. Friday, August 13th, I sat at my desk, I saw that Media Matters, the Urban League, the NAACP, and I said, you know, this is just abysmally stupid and I'm done with it. And so, I called my partner and said, I'm done with it.

George Stephanopoulos said I got fired. I own myself, so, no, I didn't fire myself. I said I had enough of it and then went on the Larry King show and explained, there is no freedom of speech anymore. It's all about if somebody is offended. And it's all about special interest groups and activist groups who earn their living by attacking, hurting and demolishing somebody else.

And right now, it's sort of the flip side of what we had in the 50s --

HANNITY: I --

SCHLESSINGER: -- when the right was attacking anything which could seem leftist. Now, we have the left attacking anything that doesn't agree with them.

HANNITY: Do you think in is a new McCarthy era?

SCHLESSINGER: Absolutely. We're all -- I mean, it's blatant!

HANNITY: Are you -- have you ever been a conservative?

SCHLESSINGER: Blatant. Yes, I have.

HANNITY: What do you think, why is Sarah Palin always picked out?

SCHLESSINGER: Because -- can I say it bluntly?

HANNITY: Yes.

SCHLESSINGER: She has balls. And they don't like that in a woman. She's pretty. She's smart. She's tough. She's strong. She won't quit. She won't back down. They can't stand that. Now, they got two of us.

HANNITY: She said last night they're not going to shut her up.

SCHLESSINGER: No, and she texted me today to tell me to say she had a great time with you on the show.

HANNITY: Oh, on the show.

SCHLESSINGER: On the show. You have to watch what I say. I could start a whole problem for you.

HANNITY: You only made me blush twice. You want to show the tattoo before we leave?

SCHLESSINGER: I did already, leave me alone.

HANNITY: All right. Dr. Laura, it's good to see you. And congrats on the book and we'll see you again soon.

SCHLESSINGER: Thank you.

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