I’ve been a Howard Stern fan for a long time – a very long time. When I was younger, I used to have a taped copy of his 1987 album “Crucified by the FCC.”
As I’ve posted before, I’m no fan of the FCC. But if you’ve read the news lately, Howard has basically turned the better part of his show into yelling about the government. I still listen, because it’s still more entertaining than the rest of morning radio, but it certainly is frustrating.
The reason his continuous rants are driving me crazy is as follows:
- More than 15 years ago he put out a full album ranting about how he was “crucified” by the FCC. He has never stopped fighting against the FCC. This battle is not new.
- He claims this is an assault on free speech (and he’s right), but over the years I’ve heard him (a) Laugh and make fun of Bill Mahr when he was thrown off the air for “indecent” talk during 9/11, and (b) Laugh and make fun of Opie and Anthony when they were thrown off the air by the religious right threating the FCC. Now that the attention is on Howard, he’s pissed. When the same thing was happening to other people, he thought it was a joke.
- He’s endorsing a candidate that would do the same thing, if he were president. Rather than endorsing a party that actually cares about free speech (ahem, the Libertarians), he’s endorsing Kerry. He’s even stated that he’s not endorsing Kerry because he likes Kerry, he’s just endorsing him so Bush doesn’t win and he “sends a message.” I personally don’t think that’s a bright move.
It would be much easier to “send a message” if you were taking votes from Bush and giving them to a third party candidate. Even if they didn’t win, you could demonstrate how you created for Bush what Nader was to Gore. If Kerry wins, not only will it be difficult to show that you really affected this (since he’s so well known already) but once he takes office, he’ll continue with the same policies which have only gotten worse over the past decades. Stern supporters have even called the Kerry campaign and been laughed at. The Kerry campaign wants nothing to do with them.
In the meantime, Howard’s show has gone downhill and is practially half political now. He said he was going to be off the air before his Vegas trip, but now that’s just around the corner and he’s stopped saying that. I’m not saying he won’t be off the air at some point, or that the FCC is right in any way, but for now the show is weak, and putting Kerry in office certainly doesn’t seem like a solution.
“in Chicago (WCKG-FM), Stern posted a 23 percent gain in morning drive time, jumping from 15th place to No. 9”
I can’t believe he was in 15th place before, or even 9th now. Can you name 8 morning radio shows in Boston? Of the ones that you could name, how many would even be in Stern’s league in terms of listenership? Chicago must have some great radio.
I agree whole-heartedly with your criticisms of Stern’s recent subject matter. Say what you will about the religious right — and I think they suck — but it’s not any better to start spouting Al Franken’s liberal propaganda. Maybe all the ranting drives up his ratings, so that’s why he does it, but I find it unlistenable.
This has only inflamed my previous frustration with how hypocritical and trite Stern’s show has become over the past couple of years. For one thing, you can’t keep bringing on girls every day for 20 years and saying “Wow you’re hot, I would totally bang you…are you completely shaven…do you do anal?” Second, the whole nature of his show has switched from “I’m a struggling shock jock with a boring wife, this show is my chance to engage in risque debauchery and bring in girls to look at but not touch” to “I’m a multi-millionaire icon with a world-class model girlfriend who can party with celebrities at Scores every night, but I still pretend to be Joe American on my show.”
I never thought about that aspect (the change in nature of the show) but you’re definitely right.
Hey, isn’t it May? He wasn’t supposed to last through the month of March… or was it April? He’s still going though. His daily commentary about how each week will be his last has grown incredibly tiresome (and has repeatedly proven to be untrue).