Sarah Palin has used Twitter to share some advice with Dr. Laura Schlessinger, the talk radio host who apologized and decided to retire from her highly-rated program after using the N-word on the air 11 times in 5 minutes.
Palin's advice: "don't retreat...reload!"
It's a breathtakingly tone-deaf bit of provocation -- even by Palin's standards.
Dr. Laura, as she's known on her radio program, quickly came under fire for her remarks of a week ago. She immediately acknowledged the mistake and soon announced that she would end the show once her contract expires later this year. She currently commands the largest audience of any woman in syndicated talk radio and overall her ratings are among the top five hosts in the nation.
Palin, once the governor of Alaska and Republican nominee for vice president in 2008, has been using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to push her messages in recent months. She fired out two messages about Dr. Laura on Wednesday night, the first reading:
Dr.Laura:don't retreat...reload! (Steps aside bc her 1st Amend.rights ceased 2exist thx 2activists trying 2silence"isn't American,not fair")
That was quickly followed by:
Dr.Laura=even more powerful & effective w/out the shackles, so watch out Constitutional obstructionists. And b thankful 4 her voice,America!
(Screengrabs of the tweets are below.)
The response was immediate and furious.
Joan Walsh, writing on Salon, pointed out that Palin was tweeting about feminists just hours before "embracing the anti-feminist traditional-values preacher Dr. Laura." (Incidentally, Dr. Laura was never a big fan of Palin.) Walsh then went after the sentiment and historical context of Palin's latest comments:
It's scary to think we just had a vice presidential nominee who doesn't understand the Constitution, who thinks Schlessinger's First Amendment rights "ceased 2exist" because she was criticized for haranguing a black woman who called for advice, using the word "nigger" 11 times. Again, Gov. Palin, the First Amendment protects us from government infringing on our speech rights; it doesn't take away other Americans' right to criticize.
This isn't the first time a Palin tweet related to the First Amendment has generated controversy. Last month, she called on Muslims to "refudiate" Park 51's construction of Cordoba House, the so-called "Ground Zero Mosque."
That was followed by a series of tweets directed toward President Barack Obama, acknowledging that the Muslim group has the right to build ... "but should they?"
Palin acknowledged Park 51's rights. She acknowledged Dr. Laura's rights. She questioned Park 51's wisdom. So far, she hasn't questioned Dr. Laura's wisdom.
Dr. Laura's actions -- ending her show -- may have said more than Palin's words. And maybe even "refudiated" them.