Laura Ingraham, the most popular woman on political talk radio, has been off the air for two weeks, and not by choice.
Ingraham's syndicator, Talk Radio Network, barred her from her Washington studio after talks about a new contract hit a snag, and some of her fans are mounting a campaign to get her back.
"The fact is, they took her off the air," says Eric Bernthal, her lawyer. "There's no doubt in my mind they did it as a tactic in contract negotiations."
Ingraham said on her Web site: "Rest assured, this absence is not of my choosing, nor is it health or family related. I am ready, willing and eager to continue the conversation we started seven years ago about politics and the culture. (Heck, if cancer couldn't keep me off the airwaves for long, nothing will.) . . . I would never voluntarily abandon you during such a critical time for our country." She declined a request for comment because of a confidentiality clause in her contract.