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stern and the secret underground cabal

Howard Stern is losing me. I started listening to Stern when he was on AM radio in the afternoon drive slot. I was friends with Gary Dell'Abate when he was hired by Stern (after working with traffic repoerter Roz Frank) and quickly dubbed Boy Gary. I listened only because I knew Gary and it was cool to hear his voice or hear Howard mention his name. Stern kind of grew on me. He was funny, abrasive, arrogant and daring. I loved it. I followed him to KRock and was a steady listener for a while, until there were more strippers and lesbians than good jokes and skits. I still listen every once in a while on the drive to work, when Curtis and Kuby are annoying me and I need to turn the station. We all know what's going on with Stern now. Clear Channel took him off their stations. He's in danger of losing his show all together. I've been listening every morning this week to hear what he has to say on that matter. I feel for the guy, but I'm starting to back away from his corner. Slowly, carefully, like you would back away from a snapping crocodile. Today he's talking about conspiracies. Secret cells of senators and public officials plotting against the freedom of the United States. Stern is comparing today's government (or secret cabal within the government) to Nazi Germany and says we better be careful or soon it will be a Nazi state. His whole rant sounded awfully tin-foil hat to me. Yes, I know. Clear Channel is run by conservatives who give money to Bush. Stern is basically campaigning for Kerry. Therefore, it must be an underground faction of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy that is kicking Stern off the air. Just like it was the VRWC that got Ted Rall fired from the New York Times. Maybe Stern - and Rall - should take just a bit of responsibility here. I don't know about you, but women letting their brothers make out with them for money on the radio just isn't entertainment to me. My reaction is to change the station. Some people complain with phone calls and letters. I'm not about forcing my opinions down people's throats. I'm not about getting someone fired because I don't like the content of their show. But I'm not going to sit there and listen to these off-the-radar conspiracy theories about powerful Nazi-like politicians forming splinter cells and exchanging money with corporations just to get one shock jock off the air. I defend Stern's right to free speech, I defend his being indignant at the turn of events, but I am not going to defend his theories.


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» Howard Stern: Wheels within Wheels Man from The Young Curmudgeon
Michele today takes a clear-eyed view of The Passion of Howard Stern and his recent descent into conspiracy theory unreason. It's especially effective coming from her because she's a semi-fan, not a non-fan like me, or a super-fan like, um, [Read More]

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I doubt if he really believes it or, even if he does, he only half-believes it.

This sort of rhetoric is an attempt to get his most loyal listeners to circle the wagons around him.

It's a free market, baby. What Howard and the rest of the entertainment elite fail to realize, is that though they every right to say whatever they want, they do not have a God-given, or even Constitutionally-given, right to get PAID to do it.


I remember listening to him in high school in Washington. Not sure it's true or not, but supposedly, he was fired for calling Air Florida and asking for a ticket to the 14th Street the day after a plane crashed there in Jan 1982. By this time I was at Annapolis and had outgrown his infantile humor.

When I heard that he ended up in NY, I thought at that time, D.C.'s gain is NY's loss.

What really bothers me is the fact that someone, ehem FCC, feels that they can decide what I can and should be able to listen to. I donít buy the whole conspiracy thing, but there are some similarities to the propaganda machines used in Russia and Germany.

Hypothetically speaking If the government were to completely censor what is on the TV, radio and in print, do you think we would get an unbiased view of the world.

And when is enough enough? If allowed to nip away at our programming what will make the FCC stop.

Personally I thought Stern got old very fast, there is only so many times I can hear about two lesbians making out. Actually I could tolerate it a lot longer than I thought, but after time it got a little old for me. I havenít listened to Stern in a long time, and what gives me the power to do this is the fact that I can change the station on my radio.

The FCC may not have this as their mission statement; but, their basic principal is censorship. For some reason the FCC and groups that support them feel it is their duty to strip the rights of others away.

Last time I checked the radio had an on/off switch, supporters of censorship should try using it.

I am completely against censorship of any kind in print, radio, or television. Censorship should start at home.

Spot on Michele.


What about Clear Channel's right to air whatever it wants to air? They didn't slit Stern's throat, they exercized their right to provide whatever content they saw fit to air.

for whatever reason, whether it's a response to janet jackson's boobfest, or because they think it's the right thing to do, clear channel is doing something you rarely see these days, accepting responsibility for their actions and actually doing something about it.

@Whatever you do don't go to Buzzmachine - Jeff has officially gone off the reservation on this one.


Clear Channel is getting the pressure to pull this type of programming from the FCC. If Clear Channel did this on their own accord without getting 3 quarter of a million dollar fines from the FCC, I would fully support their right to censor the programming they sponsor.

Mark Mays, president of the Clear Channel stated: "We believe the time has come for every sector of the media to join together and develop consistent standards that are in tune with local community values. Our audiences deserve nothing less."

Why the sudden change of attitude Mark?

I agree with the statement, but it was issued after the FCC tacked the second largest fine in history on the broadcasting company for 26 indecency violations.

CCís decision to clean up the airwaves should be up to CC, not because of pressure and fines from the FCC.

You can bet if these fines didnít occur CC would put on the air the material that made the most revenue for the company.

I believe that the FCC is using threats of fines to cause radio stations to crack down on edgy personalities such as Stern.

I believe that Clear Channel has every right to decide they don't want to have Stern on their stations.

And most of all, I believe that when Stern is ranting about all of this, it is so boring that I change the station.

He must be complaining about losing six stations more than Limbaugh has been complaining about being investigated for criminal charges.

Clear Channel, like most corporations, contributes heavily to both parties. They like to cover their bases. In light of Mrs. Gores past actions it's hard to claim that media regulation is a limited to one party.

Bravo Michele!

Thank you so much for posting this. It explains this exactly right. Too bad his, ahem, more passionate fans can't even discuss this subject rationally.

"I doubt if he really believes it or, even if he does, he only half-believes it.

This sort of rhetoric is an attempt to get his most loyal listeners to circle the wagons around him."

Nail meet head...this is classic Stern. The "oppressed" Stern, the "Fuck the FCC" Stern, the "I am going after my bosses with both barrels" Stern. He is what he is, an extremely talented man in the ways of publicity.

That said, the only reason this is tiresome to me is Howard's already done this bit. I think CC was foolish to do so knowing what Howard does when he drapes the oppressed cloak around him.

But my biggest laughs come from DU, here is a place that vilifies the likes of Dennis Miller because of his political swing and hated Howard during his support of the war. Now Howard is their "champion" for "having seen the light". Or basically the same thing on FR when Dennis Miller became a big Bush booster.

I haven't been following this, so please forgive my ignorance.

Certain words from callers are bleeped all the time. That's what the 3-5 second delay is about, right? Otherwise the air will be filled with (fill in the blank).

So what's the difference? Could it also be Howard's getting old and the program is getting tired? There's really not too much more to say to push buttons. Do we want the airways filled with C, MF N, and all those other colorful phrases? At some point in time, can't we stop playing to the lowest common denominator and take it up a step?

And to think all the hubbub started from Howard reading Al Franken's book over his vacation. How softheaded must one be to be totally turned around on something by Al Frickin' Franken? (or rather, what Franken's team of interns wrote)

Imagine how fun it would be if the FCC (or some other government entity) had the right to levy fines against websites, service providers. Think how much money the government could raise if they could fine a blog every time someone used a profanity in the comments section. Stern got pulled by Clear Channel because a CALLER said something offensive.

Granted, Stern is not everyone's cup of tea, but do any of you remember what radio was like before Stern? It sucked!

Children have just as much access to the internet as they do to broadcast radio. If it's all about shielding children from four-letter words, then the FCC will be targeting the internet in the very near future.

F*** the FCC! (self-censored so as not to offend any bible thumpers, children, country music fans, Clear Channel stockholders, Michael Powell or anyone offended by the 1 second flash of Janet Jackson's breast.)

"Granted, Stern is not everyone's cup of tea, but do any of you remember what radio was like before Stern? It sucked!"

Yeah, all they did was play music. Boring! I used to cry myself to sleep, wondering if the day would ever come when I could hear talk radio banter about lesbian orgies and what black women taste like during oral sex just like our Founding Fathers intended when they wrote up the Constitution. All Hail St. Howard the Vulgar!

I forgot. There are still people out there who enjoy hearing the same 10 songs played every hour on the hour.

Regarding the founding fathers, didn't Benjamin Franklin write something about the joys of farting and why old women were preferable sex partners (something about being more grateful).

Thomas Jefferson probably knew what black women tasted like during oral sex.

The founding fathers were NOT puritans. That's why the right to NOT be offended is not in the bill of rights. If it were I would file a complaint against Clay Aikens.

as a connoisseur of smut, i enjoyed stern's show here before it was cancelled (not due to this controversy).

i haven't been following this story, but if howard is singing tim robbins' "chill wind" song,
the man has lost a fan. janets' boob shocked the mainstream, the fcc reacted, and cc reacted to the reaction. it's business, and howard's snail got cut by the razor.