: So I wandered into another newsstand today and asked for the new FHM (featuring Howard’s girlfriend, Beth Ostrosky on the cover).
“No yet,” said the guy working there, a gentleman of Arab origin.
A lot of people asking for it? I ask.
“All the time, all the time, all the time,” he says, smiling. “That guy and his girlfriend,” he says.
I realize that he’s asking me what the appeal is and repeats the question, insistently: “That guy or his girlfriend? That guy or his girlfriend?”
I explain that that guy is very popular and the people all want to see his girlfriend. “They’re jealous,” I say.
The guy in the newsstand laughs. I either think I’ve bridged a cultural divide — it’s a guy thing — or this fellow has seen the true decadence of American society and he is about to order a 10 kiloton airstrike on 42nd and Sixth.
In any case, never doubt the power of Howard Stern. He is, truly, the King of All Media.
There’s all this hubbub right now about David Letterman going or not going to ABC from CBS for $20 or $30 million, depending on whom you believe (Howard says he’ll stay at CBS and he leaked the ABC story to put them in a bind). I like Dave.
But Howard is bigger than Dave. He captivates America — mostly male America — every morning. I first discovered him when I watched his show for TV Guide and I was surprised how much I liked him. I wrote then that contrary to what you’d think, Howard is best taken in large doses. He’s a taste you acquire quickly. So I started listening to him. I quoted him to my friends in the office after my morning commute. They all started listening to him. We all listen to him. Howard is a media virus. He spreads.
Howard should be making at least what Dave and Jay make; he should be in every market; he is bigger than his competitors or detractors want to admit.
Just ask the guy in the newsstand. “All the time, all the time, all the time.”
Expect the virus
: Virus warning, fellow bloggers: I’ve been getting your basic virus email that asks, “Hi! How are you?” But what separates this one is that I have received a good 80 copies of the same email and attachment instead of the usual one or two. If this spreads widely and if every other recipient is getting 80 copies (and still coming) then ISPs will clog up like a constipated grandpa.
And, no, “Hi, Jack” is not funny, either
: Bad day for airport humor. A joke gift of a toy grenade clears out LAX. And former funnyman Kevin Meany gets into a scuffle at SFO, allegedly being stupid enough to video security operations (a no-no) and grab a National Guardsman’s gun (beyond no-no).
Happiness is a warm gun
: Yoko Ono is spending some of John’s money to buy a big billboard in London to promote world peace. It will quote just one line from a song of his. No, not the line above. Instead: “Imagine all the people living life in peace.” She has bought posters in Times Square as well.
Tribute in Lights
: It appears that the memorial in lights at the World Trade Center is on schedule to be lit next Monday, on the six-month anniversary of the tragedy. Here is the NY Times report. Says a designer: “It is a presence, but ethereal rather than concrete.”
And for the very curious, thanks to the intrepid crew at NJ.com, here’s where the lights will be located.
Nevermind homeland security… it’s backyard security we need
: The NY Daily News reports that the current administration is reshaping the NYPD to handle war and not just crime by hiring military and CIA veterans.
“All our lives changed; the world changed,” the commissioner said in an interview last week. “We’re configuring the department to respond to the reality of post-Sept. 11. We have to accept we’ve been targeted four times.”
Kelly said hiring retired Lt. Gen. Frank Libutti as deputy commissioner for counterterrorism marks the first time a city police force will have a military aspect.
“We’re at war, and we have to be able to defend ourselves in a variety of ways,” Kelly said. “The military experience is really perfect for what we have to do.”