It might seem to some that the punishment is greater than the crime, but what I think is greatly working against PD is the fact that she was seen as a jolly soul just oozing love (if not butter) and goodwill to all from her pores, and now to find out that she was planning pre-Civil War plantation parties complete with African American men in period costume as servers as they would have looked in slavery time (in what universe is that okay??!!), and that her reply to whether she had used the N-word was an apparently cavalier "of course," as if there's nothing wrong with that. Then there's her excuse of being a Southern woman of a certain age, which doesn't hold water and is clearly a huge copout! There are plenty of white people who were raised in the South and are around her age (including me) who would NEVER use or even think that word and who find it appalling and abhorrent! And I don't care if some AA people use that word in rap songs or conversation .... that has nothing to do with me and does not give me permission to say it, not that I ever would!
She also came across as insincere in the Today show interview, contradicted what she had said previously and was trying to get sympathy as a victim. That doesn't work for me at all, and apparently not for a lot of other people, as well. The contrast between the image she created of herself before all this, and the crap that is hitting the fan now is just too pronounced for her to salvage her career, at least in the foreseeable future. She should devote herself to working for a civil rights organization, and maybe she will learn something and appear more humble and contrite.