Let's consider a few things first:
1) She is a 66 year old woman who grew up in Georgia during the Civil Rights struggles when "that word" was on the lips of everyone she knew, probably even preachers. So even with the current PC environment, it's probably a hard thing to break certain habits.
2) She admitted to using the offending language during a deposition - over 20 years ago! We cannot attribute today's sensibilities to decades-old actions. Yes, "that word" had been on the bad list for about a decade at the time, but not for older folks who still lived in that environment.
3) I haven't read the full deposition but it's for a lawsuit brought by a seemingly disgruntled former employee. So... why wasn't the suit brought back before Paula became a multi-millionaire? It's about money. Period. No one is harmed by mere words and then sues decades later. I'd like to know if the person filing suit will admit to using "that word" at any point in her life. Does she sue everyone who said it around her - not to her - 20 years ago?
Now to the controversy. A friend has a theory that this is a set-up. Anyone who didn't know who she was before, sure does now. Having worked in both entertainment and marketing, I think there may be something to this.
Maybe Paula, and her producer Gordon Elliott, are really behind a lot of the controversy. She's been trying for the past year to re-brand herself as a low-calorie, low-sugar, diabetic cook but her audience wasn't having any of it. It's possible this was the best way to rip off the bandage and go forward with a new career. Other minor scandals haven't stuck, nor gotten the kind of traction you'd expect, so they're not letting this crises go to waste. Previous scandals were the admission of her diabetes and when her personal assistant complained online about all the geriatrics aboard her cruise. Interestingly, the cruise that bears her name is expanding and will have even more guests than ever.
In the deposition Paula also admitted, jokingly and defiantly, that she made more jokes about Jews than anyone else. Yet, no one in the Jewish community of note has spoken out against her. I guess the African-American race-baiters have more pull at Food Network than Jews. Wonder if Muslims would've been this silent, although one bite of Paula's brown sugar bacon will convert them.
Paula was the darling of the Left - a single mother (divorced), who became a mogul and had Jimmy Carter, Michelle Obama and numerous celebrities on her shows, and surrounded herself with gay staff members. (Don't get me started on her sons.) The Hollywood Left is strangely silent.
I think Paula, while possibly not behind all this, along with marketing genius Gordon Elliott is certainly going to use it for her next move. This is the best opportunity Paula has to re-brand, re-group, and come up with a whole new concept in cooking shows. The idea of "healthy Southern cooking" has been slowly brewing out there, but there is no clear leader for the concept. With a little time off the air, Paula will be the best champion for the movement. And I will rally behind her. My hope is that Paula will find another outlet rather than having to go back to those pansies at Food Network. I don't totally blame Food Network for dropping her show as they knew they'd have protesters at their doorstep and certain "Reverends" who have also been caught using "that word" would denounce them on BET, CNN, etc., but they didn't have to take her shows off the air the next day.
If there is to be any consistency, then at the very least the Obamas shouldn't allow performers who say far worse, to perform at the White House. "That word" is prevalent in the lexicon of Rap/Hip-Hop artists, along with so many worse anti-women, anti-gay, anti-every group terms. Where is the outrage there?
For now, however, I will have to use butter with a smile on my lips and a tear in my eye, and the hope that Paula will again wish me "best dishes" in the near future.