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You can call her the “queen of mean” or the nation’s moral compass but either way you slice it, Dr. Laura Schlessinger is one of the most ubiquitous voices on American talk radio and a controversial national icon.

She’s one of several famous talk hosts who got her start after being a caller to a radio show. She fell under the tutelage of Southern California talk host Bill Ballance after calling his show one day. From there she got the chance to do her own program and spent a number of years developing her style. After a period off the radio while raising her young son, she returned to the air and began reshaping her no-excuses style of giving judgmental advice.

She went into syndication in 1994 and, riding the wave of talk radio’s ascent, soon became one of the country’s most popular talk hosts.

Dr. Laura struck a chord with conservative Americans already swarming to talk radio in the mid-1990s. Her often abusive tone with callers mirrored the attitude being taken by many issues talk hosts and helped cement her image as one of unapologetic righteousness. This perception was further advanced by her conversion to Judaism which strengthened the “absolute moralism” of her program’s tone.

Her impact on talk radio and American culture during the 1990s is important in that, during a time when politics and pop culture ruled the talk world, Dr. Laura almost single-handedly rose up to bear the standard of morality from a personal perspective. Syndicated by Premiere Radio Networks.

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