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.