Sunday, March 07, 2004
I don't like Howard Stern. I never have; I doubt I ever will. After the flap about Janet, it seems he's become a bit of a scapegoat for the FCC who know they've let things get out of control.
Stern claims he is being "silenced" and "censored". Let me explain to you something, he is not. Yeah, it's true that the religious right have been trying to drive him off of the air for years. And it's true they've launched boycotts. Here's the the thing, CONSUMER LED BOYCOTTS ETC. ARE NOT CENSORSHIP. Only the government can censor, and only in rare occasions of EXTREMELY inappropriate conduct have the FCC acted as censors. Yeah, Clear Channel pulled Stern off of a handful of stations. As powerful as CC is (too powerful in my humble opinion), they ain't the government buddy. So yeah, go and whine about whitey putting you down. The truth is Stern has no real talent other than offending people, and his listeners are tiring of it. His ratings have fallen, and not because of "censorship", but because he, basically, sucks.
Another thing, fines are not censorship either. I got fined for exceeding the posted speed limit, but I wasn't told I couldn't drive my car anymore in a reasonable way. Here's where Stern comes in. If he conducts his show in a reasonable way, the FCC, etc. will leave him alone. But he doesn't WANT that. He WANTS a fight.
So the players are in the ring now. I hope Stern gets his ignorant unfunny hiney booted.
Here's a little story from the Wash Post about this mess, you can get some of Stern's point of view from this:
March 6, 2004 -- An anxious Howard Stern yesterday said the FCC is on the verge of pulling the plug on his controversial radio career and predicted it would issue a blitz of new indecency fines aimed at dethroning him as the "King of All Media."
In a rant that took up nearly half of Stern's four-hour show, the raunchy radio host launched a verbal assault on President Bush, the Republican Party and the religious right for conspiring to control the airwaves and dictate what America should listen to.
"My days are over," Stern told his early-morning listeners. "I've become too much of a symbol of a country out of control to the religious right. That's why I'm saying my goodbyes now.
"I'm about to be served up my head on a platter because all I wanted to do was make people laugh," Stern said.
He urged listeners not to support Bush in the presidential election. "Vote this maniac out of office," he said. Stern told listeners he can go to unregulated satellite radio if he's kicked off conventional radio - but that may not be as easy as it sounds.