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CNN LARRY KING LIVE

Interview With Dr. Laura Schlessinger

Aired September 29, 2006 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. LAURA SCHLESSINGER: You are a pouty brat.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am, yes I guess.

SCHLESSINGER: Yes, you are a pouty brad.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't mean to be. I don't.

SCHLESSINGER: Yes, you do. Yes, you do.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE).

SCHLESSINGER: Yes, you do!

LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Tonight, Dr. Laura, the radio superstar, who accuses some women and girls of acting like unpaid whores, who says no sex outside marriage but love on demand for husbands. Does she practice what she preaches? Is this no to desperate housewives and, yes, to June Cleaver?

Dr. Laura will take your calls too next on LARRY KING LIVE.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Dr. Laura has the giggles.

SCHLESSINGER: Isn't that a little personal?

KING: One thing -- oh, be quiet. One thing you can say about Dr. Laura, you must admit no matter how you feel about her, dull she is not. Dr. Laura Schlessinger is the nationally syndicated radio talk show host.

Her best-selling book "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands" is just out, there you see it, in paperback. And, congratulations for ratings being way up, the spring, 2006 Arbitron book showed a 21 percent growth in adults 25 to 54 versus spring of last year, the talk radio industry magazine Talkers called it a triumphant return and call you the comeback kid. Where did you go by the way to be the comeback kid? Had things dropped and then you came back?

SCHLESSINGER: Well, after 9/11, as you know, everybody thought it has to be all politics all the time, everybody yelling constantly and so everybody got on that bandwagon and forgot that everybody watching, everybody at home has a life and they have ethics, morals, values and principles to consider with their spouses, with their friends, with their neighbors, relatives, families, work and everything else that still needed attention.

KING: Why do you call yourself a recovered feminist? Was that a disease?

SCHLESSINGER: I think so and I recovered from it and I'm very proud of that.

KING: What's the disease of feminism?

SCHLESSINGER: Oh, it's to be in a constant state of resentment and anger and feeling put upon, oppressed, negative, hateful and you are the evil empire because you're a male.

KING: All feminists feel that way?

SCHLESSINGER: Well, feminism started out with a very brilliant plan, you know. We should...

KING: Equal pay for equal work.

SCHLESSINGER: Equal pay for equal and equal opportunity if you have talent and ability but it got co-opted by mentality which said that being feminine, being loving, being sweet, being a wife, being a mother, being at home with your kids that all of these things were somehow treachery to the sisterhood and the reality is that the most important thing you can be is a worker drone. Power, you know!

KING: But didn't they have to by economics alone go to the workplace?

SCHLESSINGER: No.

KING: In other words, all women who went to work were nuts?

SCHLESSINGER: No, wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute. I've been a working mother.

KING: Yes, you're the epitome of the opposite of what you're saying.

SCHLESSINGER: No, I'm not because I worked until I put him in bed at eight, nine o'clock when he was a little kid and I would go and do my radio show from 10:00 to 1:00 in the morning.

KING: So you worked.

SCHLESSINGER: But I was there taking care of him all day. I worked when he was sleeping. He didn't know where I was.

KING: And you're saying all women, all women with children should not work when their children are awake?

SCHLESSINGER: That's what I think unless it's desperation time. KING: You really think that?

SCHLESSINGER: Children need that loving attention of their mommies. It's not, you know, we look at puppies being licked by their mothers and we go "Isn't that cute?" Well, I don't know. I wouldn't lick my kids.

KING: What if you're -- what if you're a lone mommy?

SCHLESSINGER: Then that's really sad and I've told the lone mommies that maybe they should live in with their parents and if they don't have parents because they did the usual "I don't know. I'm not happy anymore. Let's break up" and make ten new families that they could be with their kid and work at night. I mean that's what I did.

VAN SUSTEREN: What do you mean by the proper care and feeding of husbands, not wives?

SCHLESSINGER: Oh, oh, oh. I could never write the book "The Proper Care and Feeding of Wives."

KING: Why?

SCHLESSINGER: It would have one page, yes dear whatever you say. Or, I will be punished and I know that. But let's be honest about it. You, I said the word simple and people get confused because they think I mean stupid and I don't. You're uncomplicated as a male. Females are very complicated. We're even complicated to ourselves but we are the power in the home and in our relationships.

A real easy, defining little example, you come home, you got personal with me, you got home and you had a really bad day, OK? You walked through the door and your beautiful wife meets you naked and says "Let's go make mad passionate love." I guarantee you and every other male would not even remember his day.

A woman comes home after a bad day, her husband meets her at the door naked and says "Let's go make mad passionate love" and she'll start screaming at him that he's a sex maniac and insensitive to her feelings and you know it.

KING: How can you generalize like that?

SCHLESSINGER: Because I've been on the radio for 31 years. I've talked to God knows how many tens of thousands of people and I hear it every day and I got it in the e-mails and letters. I get it in the phone calls. I know what's going on. Feminism got women so off track that they forgot that there is beauty in being a mother, beauty in being a wife, beauty in loving their man and taking care of them. I understand one of the morning...

KING: There's beauty in other things too.

SCHLESSINGER: Yes, but if we commit to these things we should do them right. If I commit to a job, I should do my job right. I can't come into work with you, if you had hired me, and say "Larry, I'm giving you quality time, not quantity time." I wouldn't stay hired very long. The reality is that when we commit to something we have an obligation to fulfill it. I worked my career around my family, not the other way around.

KING: And because you did it doesn't make it the be all and end all.

SCHLESSINGER: No, I did it...

KING: And other people have raised successful children.

SCHLESSINGER: Wait a minute.

KING: Hold it. Other people I am sure...

SCHLESSINGER: I did it because it is the be end and end all of how you need to raise kids.

KING: That's it. You're the definitive word, period. Laura said it. That's it. Forget it. You're wrong if we disagree.

SCHLESSINGER: I help people to do the right thing by their kids and to be there for them.

KING: Would you guess that some people have worked and still done the right thing by the kids and the kids have been raised well?

SCHLESSINGER: If they're there, if they're there for their kids in the morning.

KING: No, no, not there supposing they can manage...

SCHLESSINGER: How can you be a parent if you're not there, Larry?

KING: OK, well then all things are impossible so that's it, either the Laura way or the highway.

SCHLESSINGER: Larry, how can you be a parent if you're not parenting?

KING: I just said to you I bet you there are women out there who have raised children while working (INAUDIBLE).

SCHLESSINGER: I don't know what -- I raised children -- a child while working.

KING: No. I'll bet there are women who have gone to work 9:00 to 5:00 out of necessity, single parents, and had their childcare programs take care of them, sometimes school, sometimes nannies, other things worked and the kids were raised well. I'll bet you that's happened.

SCHLESSINGER: What does one say to that other than...

KING: One says "You may be right." SCHLESSINGER: ...when you make children you're there to love them and teach them and nurture them and give them the attention and the importance.

KING: And what if you have a husband who's not home and you have economic depravity and you got to do something?

SCHLESSINGER: When...

KING: And you don't have a mother to go live with?

SCHLESSINGER: Can I answer the question?

KING: Yes.

SCHLESSINGER: You find a way to make it work and when you can't I call it a tragedy but we have made the tragic situation the norm and that's what's sad for our children.

KING: But what is that feminists fault?

SCHLESSINGER: Because that was the training. You got to any women studies program in any university in America, sit in the back of the classroom and listen to what you hear.

KING: Do you think a woman can be president?

SCHLESSINGER: Sure, why not?

KING: With children?

SCHLESSINGER: With little kids?

KING: Yes.

SCHLESSINGER: I would ask her to wait until they're 18, up and out, and go be president.

KING: Our guest is Dr. Laura Schlessinger.

We have an e-mail question from Vanessa in Oceanside, California. "I am curious why you rarely mention your husband on your show."

SCHLESSINGER: Good question.

KING: "Don't you always tell us the importance of a great marriage? Is it great when you dig deep into yourself on the show and lead us by example?" Do you not mention your husband a lot?

SCHLESSINGER: No. He likes his privacy. He's not a public figure.

KING: So, you don't use him as an example?

SCHLESSINGER: No, because he likes his privacy.

KING: So you're talking -- but you're talking to women about how to treat husbands...

SCHLESSINGER: They have their privacy.

KING: ...but you don't talk about your own husband?

SCHLESSINGER: Because I respect his privacy.

KING: What about my privacy, his privacy, her privacy?

SCHLESSINGER: Well, when somebody calls me they are anonymous. They are private.

KING: So, you can't give an example of your own marriage?

SCHLESSINGER: He has asked to be private. I respect that. I respect my husband. He wants privacy.

KING: So, what example can you give to your audience? You can't give your own example.

SCHLESSINGER: Well, you just told me that just because I did something it didn't make it so. Now you're telling me I should do my thing and to make it so.

KING: If you say to someone here's a way to treat my husband. Here's what I did last night with mine, that's a good example. You don't have any examples.

SCHLESSINGER: I have...

KING: You have no examples.

SCHLESSINGER: Well, I have a good example here. I have thousands of examples I can give to people who write me.

KING: We're going to get to that. OK, we'll do that.

SCHLESSINGER: And the people I counseled.

KING: Our guest is -- we're having a lot of fun.

SCHLESSINGER: Well, the proper care and feeding of husbands means to respect your husband's wishes.

KING: And vice versa.

SCHLESSINGER: And I do that.

KING: Dirty. By the way, TV husbands and wives have changed a bit over the years. When we come back, we'll talk about that when LARRY KING LIVE continues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(VIDEO CLIP OF "THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW," "MARRIED WITH CHILDREN," "DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES," "ROSEANNE," "THE SIMPSONS.") KING: The life and times as they affect Laura Schlessinger. Her new book, it's out in paperback now is "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands." What are you going to read to us here?

SCHLESSINGER: Well this is a woman who read the book but, I don't know, wasn't thinking. She thought because her husband was so sweet to her, even though she was ratty to him that he was some kind of doormat.

She said, "My realization came the other day when I arrived home from work. I opened the door. Immediately my dog ran up performing his dance of joy. I happily yelled 'I'm home' to the dog and began petting the dog, kissing his nose, telling him how happy I was to see the dog.

A few feet away stood my husband watching the scene with a wishful look on his face. There was no happy dancing of joy that I was home for him. Why would there be? I looked at him and a pang of guilt hit me. I thought 'What the hell are you doing? You should be greeting your husband this way not the dog.'

Standing up and opening my arms I looked at my husband, smiled and said 'Sweetie, I'm home. I'm so happy to see you.' My husband's face lit up and we walked toward each other for a hug."

KING: Should wives be whores?

SCHLESSINGER: With their husbands why not?

KING: Yes, that's what I mean.

SCHLESSINGER: Have a lot of fun. The latest research indicates that when women are, you know, I don't feel like having sex that it's not hormonal. Basically it's overworked, underpaid, doing too many things, resentful, hostile. There are so many negative feelings built up.

And what I tell these women on my show, "Well I don't want to have sex with him," you know "What is it you wish him to do for the next 20 years?" "Just be understanding." I said this is a joke right I said.

So, I tried another (INAUDIBLE) which works quite well. "Do you remember the last time you had an orgasm?" "Yes." "Wasn't it fun? Why would you turn down a perfectly good orgasm" aside from the fact, that usually registers, aside from the fact that you feel close when he listens to you. He feels close when you make love to him.

It's a different language, same sentiment and it has to go in a circle and you enjoy it too because a lot of women find that once they sort of get into it that they get into it.

KING: But you're not proposing that the woman be literally a slave for needs?

SCHLESSINGER: I'm proposing that the husband be her sex toy. KING: No a slave to needs, you're not saying that.

SCHLESSINGER: I think her husband should be her sex toy.

KING: And what if she's not in the mood?

SCHLESSINGER: As I said, you can get in the mood.

KING: What if she's not in the mood?

SCHLESSINGER: Well, you know what, I tell them they ought to think about how to get in the mood.

KING: What if it's 9/11?

SCHLESSINGER: Oh, come on, Larry. You take it to extreme and it's not fair.

KING: That was dirty pool right? That was dirty. That was unfair.

SCHLESSINGER: The reality is that if you love somebody you show them and that is a very important way to show your love.

KING: On both parts.

SCHLESSINGER: Of course.

KING: OK. You talk about me in your touring act?

SCHLESSINGER: My one woman show it doesn't have a script but it's my life and my day and part of my life was when I came to talk to you about "The Ten Stupid Things Couples do to Mess up Their Relationship, that book, I don't know, I guess I was having a hard six months and I looked in the mirror and I went (INAUDIBLE).

So, I thought I need to do something and I'm not about to get an old facelift and any of that. I don't like that idea. But I thought, you know, maybe I could just get the thinking lines botox'd.

So, I found a good person in Beverly Hills I thought. My friend took me there and before I knew it I was botox'd everywhere. I came on your show. You never noticed this but I do this in my show, I came on the show and, you know, I laugh and I smile a lot and they had botox -- he had botox'd up here, which means the muscles were paralyzed.

And so I smiled and then I couldn't get the lip down. You looked down at your notes. I looked at the monitor to see if the camera was on you. It was. So, I went and the camera came back on me. I spent a week getting e-mails. "Really liked you on the LARRY KING show but do you have false teeth?" So, I'm just normal now, no more botox'ing.

KING: You will not do botox again?

SCHLESSINGER: No, not again. My thinking lines I like them. KING: Another e-mail from Consuelo in North Las Vegas. "Would Dr. Laura ever write the Proper Care and Feeding of Children?"

SCHLESSINGER: I did actually. It's called "Stupid Things Parents do to Mess up Their Kids." It's in paperback.

KING: And you can still get it?

SCHLESSINGER: Yes.

KING: We'll be right back with more of Dr. Laura. We will be including your phone calls on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE.

Bob Woodward, his new book is really taking the country by storm. It is just out. It will be published on Monday but there have been many comments on it in the press. He's our special guest Monday night in Washington.

We'll be right back.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCHLESSINGER: Let me repeat myself. You created the negativity in his mind about your interest in ever going to things like this so he presumed what you built.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

SCHLESSINGER: Right. So, if you want to build something else like a woman who is negotiable build that one.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCHLESSINGER: Yes, I think you indulge hormones as a way to have some tyranny (INAUDIBLE). Imagine being a guy, once a month having to walk on eggshells because a woman is in a mood that she would not express to a cop if you were in the street. It's amazing how you and I can control our hormonal emotions with authority figures when we have to and how we have the expectation that everybody else is supposed to bow to them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: We're back with Dr. Laura. Her book is now out in trade paperback, "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands." And, by the way, if you like her hair because I like her hair, it was done at Christof in Beverly Hills.

SCHLESSINGER: Thank you. Oh, he'll like that.

KING: On Beverly, right?

SCHLESSINGER: Yes.

KING: Did you nice.

SCHLESSINGER: Thank you.

KING: Did he say you should be short?

SCHLESSINGER: He said -- well he, I came in and I said "I don't know what to do. I have a wide jaw and the eyes are too close together" and he -- and he said, "Well, the reason you look like you have a wide jaw because you have bangs" and he pulled them up and he said, "Did you see Sharon Stone in Casino?" I said, "Yes." And he goes, "That's the hairdo that would work on you."

And I said, "Will you give me her face?" And he said, "No, no, no, trust me it will work on yours too." And I really like it and people have had a very positive response. I feel perky. For the first time in my entire life I actually feel cute.

KING: You do look great, keep it.

SCHLESSINGER: Thank you.

KING: Montreal, we take some calls for Dr. Laura, hello.

CALLER FROM MONTREAL: Hi, Dr. Laura, I wanted to know what makes a perfect marriage work and why do you think there are so many divorces today?"

SCHLESSINGER: I can say two short things. I mean I have written long books about what makes a marriage work. But if I had to distill it all into a few very, very, very few syllables, I would say choose wisely, treat kindly. Wake up in the morning, look at your spouse, and the first thought that should cross your mind is "How can I make his or her life worth living today?"

When we put ourselves out like that rather than wondering are we getting what we need, what we feel, what we like, we're resentful, there's no way. It's sort of the Gift of the Magi. It's a wonderful story where each gave their most precious thing to the other.

That makes a perfect marriage even when there are financial problems, somebody has stomach aches or an illness or there are problems with this or one's personality is not perfect that's not the stuff that -- nobody is perfect. I'm not perfect. You're not perfect. Larry maybe is perfect. But the rest of us are not and it really...

KING: You got it baby.

SCHLESSINGER: Yes, thank you. It really matters what you give to the other person because you get it reflected back. When a man is treated with respect and lovingly I get these -- I got more mail back on this book than I have collectively on all my other books and I've written nine because women who were CEOs or just, you know, whatever they were, they went "I thought you were an idiot and I thought your ideas were stupid and demeaning to woman but I realize I treated him sweetly one night and suddenly the guy is doing double back flips and saying, you know, 'Do you need anything done honey?'"

KING: I don't mean to get awkward but you had a difficult time with this in the past. Could this book apply to a gay relationship?

SCHLESSINGER: Well, you know what I don't know how to answer that because it speaks to the polarity between masculine and feminine, so I don't know. I think the main concepts of treating each other with the utmost respect and wanting to give out rather than demanding what you get in would help any relationship.

KING: I would think so. We have an e-mail question from Linda in Santa Barbara, California.

SCHLESSINGER: Oh, e-mail.

KING: "Do you ever get a question from a caller and don't know how to answer it?" Stumping Dr. Laura.

SCHLESSINGER: No because there's always an ethical, moral principle of concept, some value that I could give them or some way I could give them to look at the problem. What stumps me is not the intellectual what should I tell them to help them?

What stumps me is the pain you hear from kids. I didn't expect this question. I didn't expect -- today I had a 10-year-old little boy, "I decided in the last three days not to see my dad anymore because when I go to see him, he gives me short (INAUDIBLE) so he can go be with his girlfriend." It's not a stumping intellectually.

KING: What do you say to him?

SCHLESSINGER: It's a wanting to go get his dad and smack him across the head.

KING: But since you can't do that what do you say to the boy?

SCHLESSINGER: I said "It's OK if you don't want to see him now." I mean there was no point. He wasn't having contact. I said, "But you know what, you need to keep contact. You need to talk to your dad, not yelling, no recriminations." I used kid words instead of recriminations.

But "You need to tell him that you're not going to see him for a while until he is willing to focus in on you when you're there but keep the contact, I said, because at some point he's probably going to wake up and realize that he's missing you and I want you to keep the door open."

KING: Do you often get emotionally caught up like you just did?

SCHLESSINGER: When kids call us. Kids, yes, the pain that kids are in.

KING: Kids call? SCHLESSINGER: They used to call me about "I don't like my forehead. My friend won't play with me." Now it's all, you know, "My mother is drunk and I don't even know who my parents are. I'm visiting from place to place. I don't have a home. My mom and dad both remarried, made more kids, where am I?"

The amount of pain kids are going through now no adult can justify their careers or their love lives when you consider the amount of pain and that's really the primary mission of my career is helping families not create this pain between husband and wife and between the parents and the kids.

KING: St. John, New Brunswick, telephone call for Laura, hello.

CALLER FROM NEW BRUNSWICK: Hi, Dr. Laura, question, because you describe yourself as a recovered feminist I wonder if your position -- what your position on abortion was when you were a feminist and what it is now.

SCHLESSINGER: Ah, well when I was a feminist it's an inconvenience, abortion, no big deal. And then one day when I was on the air in a station that was so small and had such a small signal that I think there were just mice in this little container that ran around and made a signal and I had to keep the windows open to be heard, I was reading something from The New York Times because I had to fill. There weren't many calls because you couldn't hear the station (INAUDIBLE). It was small.

And I'm reading the logic of my position as a feminist and that is we have a right to kill the babies in our bodies if we don't want them, if it's inconvenient, if it's the wrong time, it's the wrong guy, it's the wrong moment. And as I was reading this out loud, you know, making the point, I went out loud on air I had my conversion, I said "This isn't right."

Why should a little person die? Why can't we use the other A word, adoption? So, I pretty much work, work, work really hard for people to think of adoption instead of terminating the life in their bodies.

I had a man call today. When he was 19 he knocked up his girlfriend. Five days later she had an abortion without telling him. He's 28. He's married and he cried on my show that his first child is dead and he feels responsible, which he is in part, and he feels bad about having a baby with his wife.

KING: Since to you the fetus is a child you would also say the product of rape should be born.

SCHLESSINGER: You know what has been astonishing to me...

KING: Still a child.

SCHLESSINGER: ...how many women have called me who have been raped and kept and raised their children and I know this because I would say there's been at least 50 over my career. KING: But it's still a child so you favor that. I mean no child should be aborted under any circumstances.

SCHLESSINGER: I would like to try to avoid it if they're going to go and, you know, if the person is going to have a total psychological breakdown then no. That would be cruel. But these women gave birth and kept their children because the calls to me were about when should they tell them they were a product of rape? And my answer was somewhere between never and never.

KING: When we come back, Dr. Laura will talk about premarital, extramarital sex right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're back with Dr. Laura.

Nobody's life is perfect. Did you ever have extramarital sex?

SCHLESSINGER: Extramarital sex? Did I have an affair?

KING: Premarital sex.

SCHLESSINGER: Oh, unmarried sex?

KING: Yes.

SCHLESSINGER: Oh, in my feminist years, absolutely, because that's the rule.

(CROSSTALK)

KING: You posed nude once, in fact.

SCHLESSINGER: Actually, I love being here to clarify that.

KING: Please do.

SCHLESSINGER: Yes, I did, with a then boyfriend.

KING: OK.

SCHLESSINGER: But there are two sets of pictures.

KING: What's wrong with it?

SCHLESSINGER: No, wait a minute. That's what I want to know. I keep getting hit over my head with it.

KING: I don't find anything wrong it, because -- unless you're a moralist, and you preach against it.

SCHLESSINGER: That was 30 years ago.

KING: Don't matter.

I'm sorry.

(LAUGHTER)

KING: Go ahead.

SCHLESSINGER: I'm going back into your past, baby.

KING: Go ahead.

SCHLESSINGER: There are cute ones from me sort of nude from here up and dressed otherwise with little braids and -- that -- that -- I was cuter than I thought I was.

Then there are some really slutty ones where somebody is on a floor. And those are supposed -- and those are not me.

KING: They're not you?

SCHLESSINGER: But, anyway, you know, they get posted anyway.

(CROSSTALK)

KING: But you had sex without marriage?

SCHLESSINGER: Those were my feminist years. Why would I not?

(CROSSTALK)

KING: Was it terrible?

SCHLESSINGER: Was it terrible?

KING: Mmm-hmm.

SCHLESSINGER: Yes.

KING: Why?

SCHLESSINGER: Because any two animals can rut.

KING: And?

SCHLESSINGER: And, when you have sex in the context of loving someone and committing your life to them, their well-being and your community as a family, it takes the mundane, which is just sex, and elevates it to lovemaking, which is spectacular.

KING: But you described sex as wonderful a little earlier.

SCHLESSINGER: Yes, in its context.

KING: Now, supposing you haven't met that person yet, but you're with a person you really like, and you're 30 years old, and she's 28. Whose business is it of yours?

SCHLESSINGER: You know, I -- first of all, people call me because they listen to me, and they hear the callers.

KING: But millions don't. And they go and they have -- they have...

SCHLESSINGER: Can I finish?

KING: OK. Yes.

SCHLESSINGER: And they listen to the point of view, and they listen to the callers.

I have never in 31 years been on the radio had a woman called me that she was proud she had a sexual history that was unmarried. She never felt better about herself, never felt more feminine, never felt a woman.

KING: But didn't have to be depressed about it, did she?

SCHLESSINGER: She didn't feel proud.

It is not typical..

KING: Well, why do you have to feel proud about everything?

(CROSSTALK)

SCHLESSINGER: Well, everybody keeps talking about self-esteem.

KING: I'm not proud I yelled at a baseball umpire. Once, I cursed a baseball umpire. I'm not proud, but I felt good doing it.

SCHLESSINGER: Well, you know, you can feel doing a lot of things...

(CROSSTALK)

KING: You don't have to be proud about everything.

SCHLESSINGER: The more things you can be proud of, the better quality of your life.

KING: OK, but no one lives a life 24 hours a day being proud.

SCHLESSINGER: We can aspire to that.

KING: So, it was not fun for you, when you did it?

SCHLESSINGER: At the moment, I don't think so. I think the absolute moment, if something felt good, sure, but I didn't the next day have any feeling about the person or feel better about myself.

KING: So what?

SCHLESSINGER: Well, I think I am here to help people do and be better in their lives and to get more out of being alive. We're alive for such a short period of time. The more things we can do to that bring us pride and that we can do to bring other people such a wonderful feeling makes life such a blessing. Otherwise, it's just activity.

KING: Aha.

If I eat a piece of strawberry shortcake, it's not good for me. In fact, it's bad for me. I enjoy it at the moment. Tomorrow, I might feel a little ticked about it, but it was fun.

SCHLESSINGER: I would hate you to waste the tomorrows just to eat the strawberry.

(LAUGHTER)

KING: Let's go to Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

Hello.

CALLER: Yes, hi.

KING: Hi.

CALLER: I -- I have a question.

I just wanted to know, Dr. Laura, what example are you giving young girls by saying they should not work, they should stay at home with their kids, so they're supposed to just depend on the man to do everything? And, then if he leaves her, she will be stuck with nothing.

SCHLESSINGER: OK. That's the feminist mantra: You have to be prepared, because men are pigs, and they will use you and dump you.

KING: She said what if he leaves you? Didn't say pigs.

SCHLESSINGER: No, no, no. I'm saying...

KING: He leaved her -- he left her.

(CROSSTALK)

SCHLESSINGER: Those words came out of my mouth.

KING: Didn't have to be a pig.

OK.

SCHLESSINGER: Those words came out of my mouth. That's the feminist mantra. Be paranoid. Make sure...

KING: Be independent.

SCHLESSINGER: Nobody's independent. We need to depend on each other. KING: OK. Go ahead.

SCHLESSINGER: We love each other. We rely on each other. We are -- we are perfected by our intimate relationships.

KING: The question was what does she do when the man leaves? She's got two kids.

SCHLESSINGER: No. No way. That was not the question.

The question is, what role model? A fabulous one. I'm telling women to get their education, pick wisely, plan, that they can't have everything all at once. They will go crazy, because it can't happen, to do things sequentially, to -- I always tell women that kids are 5 or 6 years old, they will be in school. You have from 8:00 in the morning until 4:00 in the afternoon.

You want to do work during then, artist's work, exercise, whatever it is you want to work. But the most fulfilling thing about life, the thing that makes us the happiest -- and everybody is asking how to be happy -- what makes us the happiness is fulfilling our obligations to others.

And when we do that in a sequential way, we are able to focus and give what we need to give in the places we need to give it. And, as I said, choose wisely, treat kindly. When we choose a man right, and when we treat him well, the statistical probability that he will feel a need to walk away from us gets very small.

KING: When we come back: gay marriage, gay adoption, prominent gays going public -- all that and more when "LARRY KING LIVE" continues with Dr. Laura.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING: You now have a life partner. We'll get that story. Let's bring him in, Mark O'Donnell, front and center.

Come on in.

(LAUGHTER)

JAMES MCGREEVEY (D), FORMER NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR: Hi, sweetheart.

KING: I have never had that happen on this show. No, Brando kissed me.

(LAUGHTER)

MCGREEVEY: There you go.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: That was on this program a couple weeks ago. But Dr. Laura tells us -- are we talking or what?

SCHLESSINGER: You are now.

KING: All right.

(LAUGHTER)

KING: Good clue, boys.

(LAUGHTER)

KING: That was on this program a couple weeks ago.

And Dr. Laura advises she's not an expert on the subjects, and so we're not going to discuss the gay aspect.

But what about celebrities as role models, good thing or a bad thing?

SCHLESSINGER: Not too many of them are acting like very good role models. Isn't that a little obvious?

KING: You mean in the life they live and...

SCHLESSINGER: Yes.

I mean, the children out of wedlock, the chaos of not having committed -- you know, in the space of two years, you have people married, divorced, married, divorced, making new kids. And it gets normalized. And young children grow up.

I mean, I talk to young adults all the time, and they're afraid to get married, because, from their own parents and what they see in the media, the norm is, I am unsafe making a commitment, because it won't last.

So, I think it's pretty horrendous that you have the Tom Cruises doing that stuff with some honey half his age, and babies out of wedlock. And it's just terrible. I have seen my last -- what was his movie?

KING: "Mission: Impossible 3."

SCHLESSINGER: "Mission: Impossible." I have seen my last "Mission: Impossible."

KING: In other words, are we saying that Tom Cruise doesn't have the right to be happy?

SCHLESSINGER: If being happy is knocking up a girl half his age, when he doesn't marry her, then I feel sorry for him, because most people find happiness in commitment.

KING: But it's none of your business.

SCHLESSINGER: Well, you made it my business by asking me the question. He made it my business...

KING: I said, are they role models? Do you think -- are you a role model?

SCHLESSINGER: He made it my business by doing it in public.

KING: Are you a role model?

SCHLESSINGER: I try to be. I try to live my life realizing that, in addition to the critics who want to point me out as a hypocrite, because I lived as a feminist 30 years ago, and I don't now -- somehow, they don't understand the word hypocrite and what it means -- I have to be espousing something at the same time I'm doing the opposite. And that's clearly not the case.

(CROSSTALK)

SCHLESSINGER: But I live my life understanding that I am a role model. And if I'm going to be cavalier, I don't -- I don't do my show for show business. I am very committed to my mission. I'm not show business.

KING: What about the hypocrites?

SCHLESSINGER: Even with all the makeup.

KING: Congressman -- Congressman Mark Foley, Republican of Florida, he's on the committee that deals with protection of children. He's been sending e-mails to young boys, propositions.

SCHLESSINGER: Death penalty works for me.

KING: Death penalty.

(LAUGHTER)

KING: OK, we have an e-mail from Betty in Bremerton, Washington: "I'm also a therapist. I would like to know if you are truly this strident and opinionated with clients, or this is simply an act, a form of entertainment that has been profitable for you."

SCHLESSINGER: You know, you wonder why people can't ask a question politely.

I do nothing for showbiz. I do nothing for money, zero. If I were, God, I would be selling foodstuffs and exercise things, you know?

(CROSSTALK)

KING: What do you mean you do nothing for money?

SCHLESSINGER: I do nothing for the point of money.

My whole point of my life is helping people be and do better, helping families function, helping men and women have better commitments to each other, so their children and safe and happy, because that is the fabric of society and civilization.

And tough? I am. I have a few minutes. And you know what? That therapist should listen more closely to the show, because what he or she would see and hear -- actually, not see -- it's radio -- would hear was how effective I am, because people trust me. People don't call when they haven't heard me. They know I'm going to be tough. They know I'm going to challenge their defenses. They know I'm going to challenge the excuses.

And they volunteer for it, because they want to make the step from here to here.

(CROSSTALK)

KING: Do you see people privately? Do you see patients?

SCHLESSINGER: No, no, no, no, not anymore.

KING: You don't?

What do you think of Dr. Phil?

SCHLESSINGER: You know, I am embarrassed to tell you again, I haven't seen the show, because I work in the daytime when he's on the air. So, I haven't seen the show. So, I have...

KING: You have never seen Dr. Phil?

SCHLESSINGER: No.

KING: San Antonio, Texas, hello.

CALLER: Hello, Dr. Laura.

SCHLESSINGER: Hi.

CALLER: First of all, I have to say you look great.

SCHLESSINGER: Thank you.

(LAUGHTER)

CALLER: And because I have seen your show on television also.

But, first, my situation is, I am a divorced 44-year-old mom. I have an 18-year-old son. And when I chose to have my son 18 years ago, I made the decision that I was going to be a hands-on mom.

I censored from -- censored music, TV. Anything I could censor, I did. Fast-forward it 18 years. He's independent. He makes a living. He still lives at home. I took the low-paying jobs. I put my career on hold and my personal life on hold. Now it's time for me to, I feel...

SCHLESSINGER: You're my hero.

CALLER: ... find a companion for the rest of my life.

But the problem is (AUDIO GAP) clearly states that moms aren't supposed to do that. He comes across with a point of he -- your companion comes in the front door, and I will go out the back.

KING: I'm going to ask you to get right to the point, because we got to get a break.

CALLER: How do -- how do I handle that situation? How -- how do I handle a situation where my son makes me want to choose?

SCHLESSINGER: You hug him. You kiss him. You tell him you loved him, and he's an adult male. And he needs to have his own place now. And you're going to have your life. And you want him to be a major part of it.

You make an announcement. You don't negotiate it with him. Of course. He's had you to himself, and it's hard for him to imagine you, you know, and other things like that. But, mostly, he's still a kid. And kids tend to be a little selfish. So, you have to help him take that next step.

KING: We will be right back with more.

But, first, let's check in with John Roberts, sitting in for Anderson Cooper. He will host "A.C. 360" at the top of the hour.

John, what's up?

JOHN ROBERTS, CNN ANCHOR: Hey, good evening to you, Larry.

Tonight on "360": shocking, surprising, unbelievable -- all words heard tonight to describe the e-mail messages revealed today that appear to have brought down a United States congressman. Florida's Mark Foley resigned this afternoon. Tonight, we will tell you what was in those e-mails that he apparently sent to a 16-year-old male House page.

Also tonight: the new tape from al Qaeda's number two. He calls president -- quote -- "a deceitful charlatan" -- the tape and more coming up tonight on "360" -- Larry.

KING: That is something, John.

(LAUGHTER)

SCHLESSINGER: Don't even know what to say.

KING: I don't mean to smile, but that is a -- that is a major story.

John Roberts, he will host "A.C. 360" at the top of the hour.

And we will be back with Dr. Laura right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE MAN SHOW")

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wife School has been transforming average woman into high-quality wives.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Life School offers a curriculum specially designed to soften even the hardest female with award-winning courses, like "Stop Spending My Money, "How to be Quieter..."

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... and "Putting His Needs First."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHLESSINGER: May I comment on that?

KING: "The Man Show" on -- "The Man Show" on Comedy Central.

SCHLESSINGER: Everything they showed is a very good idea. What they didn't show is that he would put her needs first. He would rub her feet. He would keep from saying critical things when they're inappropriate just because he was in a bad mood.

There was nothing they showed that was anything but loving-wife behavior. What they didn't show is the reciprocation. To make fun of a woman loving up her husband is the sick sort of stuff that has gotten women off track, which is why "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands" sold a million in nine months, because I promised people, if you read this book and follow the concept, within 48 hours, you will be happier you're married, and to him.

And I got mail back saying, it only took 24.

KING: Do you -- are you concerned -- you're leading kind of double things. You're very pro-military. I know you're go, go, American. But your son is in the military.

SCHLESSINGER: Yes.

KING: And that could be dangerous.

SCHLESSINGER: Yes.

I remember when he came to me and said: "I -- I made a decision. I want your opinion."

"OK."

I was in a commercial break...

(LAUGHTER)

SCHLESSINGER: ... doing my radio show. And I said, "What is it, dear?" looking over my shoulder.

And he said, "I'm going to join the Army."

And I just kept blinking for a while.

And then I said, "I think that's a great idea." I said, "Why?"

And he goes, "I have had a privileged life."

He doesn't remember when he was young and we were poor. See, kids don't remember that, thank God.

But -- "and I feel like I owe something back."

But, months after that, when he finished basic and everything, I had a talk with him, the talk. Any son of mine, you know we would talk in great depth.

And I said, "Has it occurred to you -- you know, talking about how much fun all this stuff is to do" -- because for 18-, 19-year-old guys, it's a blast, all this stuff that they train and do. They love it.

I said, "Do you realize that it's going to be for real?" And I could barely get the words out. "Do you realize you could get shot, you could get hurt, you could get killed, you could be dead? Are you registering that part of it?"

I could barely say the words. And he put his arms around me. And he said: "Mom, I could get killed in a car crash, because I drive too fast. I could get" -- and he listed three other things. And he goes: "But if I died doing this, I will have died for something noble. And isn't that better?"

And I'm looking at my 19-year-old son and wondering when he became a man. It was sobering. It has put me in touch with a whole population out there of military parents. Most -- I have a question on my Web site, if you're a military mom or a military dad.

And I have about 10 questions that I'm asking, because I'm going to put together a lengthy article on this, what it's like, what they felt when their kid first went in, did they want them to, what they have to suffer with some of the scummy people saying horrible things about military, what they worry about, in terms of their kids not coming home, or if their kids have come home injured.

There's a lot to understand here. And there's a whole population that I wasn't in touch with that I now understand.

KING: Kansas City, Missouri, for Dr. Laura, hello. Are you there? Don't have him.

How about Joshua Tree, California, hello.

CALLER: Hello, Dr. Laura. Glad to hear you're a role model for us.

We hear you speak quite a bit about the responsibility of men towards their children when they get divorced.

SCHLESSINGER: Say again. I didn't...

KING: Responsibility of men toward their children when divorced.

SCHLESSINGER: Ah, yes.

CALLER: So, my question to you is, what type of relationship do you and your husband have with his children from his first marriage?

SCHLESSINGER: His children are all in their 30s and 40s. And he has a very warm, loving relationship with them. And thank you for asking.

KING: Sacramento, California, hello.

CALLER: Hello?

KING: Sacramento, go ahead.

CALLER: Hi. Hi, Dr. Laura.

My question is, I have been married to my husband for 15 years. He's a very nice man. However, we had our ups and downs for many, many years. And we have two kids, 9 and 8. And we are -- right now, he is just disconnected from me. And we are just not happy.

Do you think it's good idea to continue this marriage for our kids, or do you think I should move on with my life?

SCHLESSINGER: Well, I don't know -- well, there is no moving on with your life.

KING: Why not?

SCHLESSINGER: You have a husband who's the father of your children. You have two children, whose lives will be just fractured and made miserable while you get on with your life. It's not your life anymore. It's only your life when you're single.

And one of the reasons we call -- we need a commitment and we call it a commitment is it's that bridge over troubled waters.

KING: You're not saying divorce is bad in all cases?

SCHLESSINGER: No. In -- in my books, I clearly delineate the situations where I think divorce is totally supported: addictions, abuse, and affairs.

But people even come back from those things, when they develop the conscience they need, and they have somebody who is committed to them. They even come back from situations I wouldn't come back from. So, anything, you can do. Now, let me say something else. We have 10 years that you need to stay in this marriage until the kids are grown. Do you realize that, in those 10 years, we have time to come back together? It's not unusual that people come apart. I think one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen in my entire life was being in Central Park one time and seeing two doddering, hunched-over, gray-haired old, old, old, old people -- I'm going to be 60 next year.

KING: We got to get a break in.

SCHLESSINGER: And they were holding hands, walking together. I don't know. Wouldn't you like to be them?

KING: But the truth was, they weren't married.

SCHLESSINGER: Oh, stop it.

KING: Seeing other people.

(LAUGHTER)

SCHLESSINGER: I saw the wedding bands.

(LAUGHTER)

KING: Well, yes, but they were -- never mind.

(LAUGHTER)

KING: We will be back with our remaining moments. Don't go away.

(LAUGHTER)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're back with Dr. Laura.

You ever been drawn into politics? You ever try to -- has the show ever gotten political?

SCHLESSINGER: Oh, I -- I have made some comments hither and dither. But I have been asked to be in politics. But I am unsuited.

KING: Why?

SCHLESSINGER: And a woman has got to know her limitations. I'm a Clint Eastwood kind of woman.

KING: Oh, come on.

SCHLESSINGER: Yes, I am.

I -- I -- I can't compromise. You know how you have to negotiate and you have to give up things you believe in because you want something? I can't do that. And, consequently, I would be terrible. I could be like an empress, maybe. That would work.

(LAUGHTER)

SCHLESSINGER: But...

KING: Be good if you were a dictator?

SCHLESSINGER: Yes. But I could -- I absolutely could not function that way. I don't do the behind-the-scenes wheeling-and- dealing stuff. It's not my nature.

KING: Working on another book?

SCHLESSINGER: Yes, as a matter of fact.

I'm coming out with a new book in January. And we will do that together, I hope.

KING: What's the book?

SCHLESSINGER: It's "The Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage."

KING: So, then, it involves both parts now?

SCHLESSINGER: So, you can ask me a lot of the guy things then, yes.

(LAUGHTER)

KING: Do you -- do you write them all longhand? How do -- what's your method of operation?

SCHLESSINGER: No, I type faster than I can even think. I go right into the computer.

KING: You know, lay it all out, or do you know where you're going?

SCHLESSINGER: I think about a book for two years. I accumulate material, like the e-mails that I read to you.

And then I organize it in packs. And, then, it just flows out of me, because I have been thinking about it so much. And you have to realize, with my radio show, three hours a day, I'm practicing it, too, kind of, if somebody calls in relevant to the subject.

So, the books just sort of write themselves, after I noodle them for a couple years.

KING: Always good seeing you, Laura.

SCHLESSINGER: Thank you very much.

KING: Next time, wear something bright.

SCHLESSINGER: Oh, I will try. KING: Dr. Laura Schlessinger, the nationally syndicated radio talk show host. And her bestselling book, "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands," a runaway bestseller in hardcover, is now out in trade paperback.

Monday night, the book that has become an instant sensation -- my guest is the book's author, Bob Woodward. He joins me in Washington. His new blockbuster is "State of Denial," an inside look at the Bush administration and the war in Iraq.

Tomorrow night on "LARRY KING LIVE," we will repeat our interview with Oprah and friends; and, on Sunday night Howard Stern, the now announced father of Anna Nicole Smith's young daughter.

Right now, it's time to turn things over to New York, where John Roberts, our good friend and one of the best in the business, will host "A.C. 360."

John, what a story tonight.

ROBERTS: What a story tonight. Thanks, Larry.

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