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February 18, 2005

Comments

Pseu Braun

EEE-yah, this is a sticky wicket. I actually heard the entire thing and was telling Brian Turner about it last week. I really do adore Jeff, and although his follow-up opinion piece may be relevant, he got in way over his head with Howard on this one, I feel. HS is a smart guy who is very well aware of the finer points of what's going on with the very out-of-control FCC. Jeff seems to have only a general knowledge of the situation as it pertains to radio, I'm afraid. HS, with whatever percieved influence people may think he has in broadcast law, has been rendered powerless in this current administration. Howard's consistent complaint has been that the other big media comgloms have *not* stepped up to help Viacom ( and at the time Mel Karmazin's nipplegate fiasco) to fight this all the way up to the supreme court. Of course, why would they anyway, they have their own bottom line and pants-shitting execs. Add in the fact that the largest, Clear Channel, seems to be part of a f*cked conservative conspiracy, and a broadcaster like HS is forced off to satellite radio. Jeff thinks this is a good thing. It's not a good thing AT ALL that ANY broadcaster has to be forced into basically unchartered territory to attempt to maintain his freedom of speech. It doesn't make things any clearer that The NYP simply attack's Stern's relevancy. They'd have done a much better service 10 months ago to have supported ANY broadcaster (no matter the size of his ego or agenda) whose basic rights to free speech were threatened.
xoxo
Pseu

listener dave from nh

Why blame Stern for the increasingly irrational and puritan stance that the FCC takes? They hold his corporate masters' pursestrings (and by proxy, his) and they fine the stations that broadcast his show, not him. I wasn't aware that the fines or anything else that the FCC does was up to judicial review or that there's any accountability on the FCC's end to speak of (see also: Ken's "the fuck stops here" post). Exactly what more should (or could) he or anyone else have done? As Stern's more than happy to point out, he gets fined for saying the same things on his show that Oprah gets fined for saying. His speaking out against the FCC is easy to spin as self-serving; someone like Oprah's speaking out isn't so easy to spin (sort of like John Denver speaking out about censoring music) so does that make her loathesome?

buckeye girl

I generally defend Stern to all, and listen every day. But I do think the NYPress makes some good points, mainly that Stern DID support the Republican administration until they screwed HIM. Hey supported Pataki, Giuliani, and Bush, not seeing the direction things were going until they were right at his doorstep.

However hamfisted his current attempts may be, however, and how sometimes culturally out of it he sometimes seems (the entire staff was baffled as to who Kanye West was at the Grammys, for example)I think Howard truly believes in the free speech line he sells, not just for himself but for others he hears about. And I think he truly believes what he says, that he is being persecuted (I mean that Oprah thing REALLY is absurd) and that also someone high profile like him leaving really CAN affect things.

ohio conrad

I consider myself a fan of the Stern Show, and I enjoy some of the stripper/porn star segments.
I could also do with a lot less of it on his show. That isn't why his show is compelling. He cuts through the bullshit on many subjects, in a way almost no one else does. Having said that, he is certainly in it for the money and attention above anything else. He fails to truly put his career at risk merely for principles. Many of us wouldn't either, though we don't have the resources he does. He may brag about picking up the check all the time, being a great tipper, and giving half his money away to his ex-wife, but ultimately he is mostly self-serving.

zebracow

i love howard but i have to admit that he looks sooooooooo gay and phony in the latest issue of the new york magazine that it breaks my heart. and what's up with those ann liebowitz 90's photographs. so pretentious that it makes me puke.

Sam

I listened to Stern every day from about 1991 to 2005 and used to laugh out loud during my morning drive. Big fan. Anyway, as the years went on, my laugh per mile rate dwindled. I see now that all the hype regarding the big move to Sirius was about leaving terrestrial - not arriving on satellite - and I'm glad I didn't follow. You see, I listen to O&A on XM and my laugh per mile is back where it used to be during the early 90s with Stern. Just like those good good ol' days with Stern, I find myself sitting in the parking lot before work again not wanting to turn off the radio.

If you get the chance give the boys a listen.

Sid

If anyone actually bought his story about moving to satellite for the "freedom" when he first started spouting it... I'd think twice now...

Howard Stern has been in full hypocrite mode for the past month and it seems as though he's finally destroyed the last shred of credibility he might have had left. These are some of his quotes in the current issue of Entertainment Weekly,

"I was just at my psychiatrist and I said, `I just got great news: We hit the 4 million mark. And I'm angry. It should be 20 million"

"It's insulting to me that everyone hasn't come with me. I take it personally,"
"I want to say to my audience ... `You haven't come with me yet? How dare you? We're up to wild, crazy stuff, the show has never sounded better. You cheap bastard!'"

So, in the name of "freedom" you take you show off free radio and take over $600 million dollars to go to satellite? To be "free", you need to be paid $600+ million dollars and your fans need to spend a hundred or a few hundred bucks on a radio as well as a monthly subscription? Then you take your show off E!, so you can be more free... also so your fans can pay even more subscription fees to watch your show in pay per view?

Where do you get off, being a man who just got paid $600 million, calling your fans cheap for paying to hear you? Maybe if you'd done some interesting radio in the past 10 years, people may have actually followed you. By your own admission, your show was "subpar". Awww... The few hundred million you were making a year then wasn't enough for you to put out some effort? Oh yeah, you weren't "free" enough... because you care about freedom. You care about the government telling someone they can't say something, you care about an employer telling you not to say something.. or do you?

If you really cared about any of that, you wouldn't have(by your own admission) forced your bosses at CBS to forbid Opie & Anthony to talk about you. What was your quote again? "I'm a strong supporter of MY free speech." You don't care about free speech. You care about money, which that's fine with me. Make as much money as you'd like. However, don't go spouting off all this hypocritical garbage about free speech. You aren't doing something noble. You are no crusader. That much is obvious.

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