Dr. Laura Schlessinger's brand has always been tough love, but it's a thin line between "tough" and "racially inflamatory," a distinction the radio host is rapidly becoming an expert on after dispensing N-word-heavy relationship advice to a caller earlier this week. A sampling of the reaction:

  • What Was She Thinking?  Schlessinger, writes The American Prospect's Jamelle Bouie, "isn't known for her sensitivity" but even by her standards "this is an impressive display of raw resentment" that could be the death knell of her career. "Even right-wing consumers have their limits," writes Bouie, "and Dr. Laura may have gone a bridge too far."
  • Not Good Enough  Jezebel's Anna North was unimpressed with the apology Schlessinger posted on her blog. "Schlessinger can apologize for using the n-word all she wants," argues North, "but the views she expresses above don't just slip out. They're clearly what she really thinks, and unless she undergoes a complete attitude adjustment, she'll still be a racist."
  • The Wrong Person  Salon's Mary Elizabeth Williams says is all for a national discussion on race, just not one led Schlessinger. "If you're going to make a point about racial sensitivity," Williams observes, "Dr. Laura is probably not the best person for the job."
  • Missed Opportunity  Mike Green of The Huffington Post says Schlessinger's rant was conservative talk radio at its worst. Writes Green:
Dr. Laura's exchange with a listener created an opportunity for the famous radio expert on interpersonal relations to clearly demonstrate her understanding of cross-cultural communications. Instead, she exhibited a distant disconnect with African Americans akin to the reputations of fellow radio cohorts Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.