The Daily Stern: Afternoon edition

The Daily Stern: Afternoon edition

: DO YOU REMEMBER SEX? In Salon, Dan Savage (sometimes described, he says, as the gay Howard Stern) is upset about Howard Stern:

No, what distresses me about Stern’s predicament is that civil libertarians, lefties and sex radicals aren’t furious and distressed, too, and that they’re not rallying to his side — and they should be….

Perhaps this is a “First they came for Howard Stern …” piece. And it’s time for those of us who value the freedom of adults to speak in public, and value the idea that not everything on radio or television (or the Internet) has to be suitable for children, to speak up.

He says that because of the AIDS pandemic, we had to get used to discussing details of sex that weren’t discussed before. But now the nannies are trying to get rid of all that talk, forcing everyone back into one closet or another.

So now Howard Stern is in trouble for talking about sex like an adult, for using humor, and for doing it on the radio — something he’s been doing for more than a decade, something he was celebrated for doing until very recently. Stern didn’t say or do anything obscene — not by the standards of the communities where his show is aired, and certainly not by the standards of the people who tune in to his program.

: COMMUNITY STANDARDS? BUT WHAT COMMUNITY? That quote raises a fascinating issue I danced around the other day: What is our community? Is it New Jersey, for me? Or is it the Internet? Or is it Howard Stern fans? Or is it my blogroll?

It matters.

The other day, I linked to a Boston Globe story on John (Boobs Not Bombs) Ashcroft’s war against pornography that said the Justice Department ordered a porn tape made in California from another market just so it could be tried before a, presumably, more prudish jury. And in that story, the question came up: Which community standards will be used to judge this? California’s? Ohio’s? The Internet’s?

In this day and age, the concept of “community” as a geography is utterly out-of-date. Thus community standards should mean my community, whatever it is. In the gay community, you’ll hear different talk about sex than in the straight community. In the hip-hop community, you’ll hear different reaction to the n-word than in the KKK community. And the could all be just blocks apart.

Community standards is outmoded. Free speech is not.

  • Robert E. Bihlmayer

    “So now Howard Stern is in trouble for talking about sex like an adult”
    to the contrary; he’s in trouble again–as he’s been in the past–for “talking about sex” like an unsupervised and poorly-disciplined 11-year-old boy.
    “he was celebrated for doing until very recently”
    evading prosecution for illegal acts does not equal “celebration.”
    i’m not even going to dignify your attempt to define “community” down to “a group of people, however small, who share my perverse interest(s)” with the paragraphs of derision it rightly deserves…there are more important matters at hand, such as lunch.

  • KMK

    Didn’t you know Jeff, abstinence is the way. And if your not having sex then there is no reason to talk about it.
    /muttering under breath/

  • http://www.dimn.blogspot.com Andrew | BYTE BACK

    That’s Dan, of The Stranger.

  • sol

    Franken-Stern was on his soapbox most of his show again this morning. He finally allowed a caller through who disagreed with his new political bent. Ever since Stuttering John left his post of manning the phones Stern has exploited it by censoring incoming opinions. (Explain that one, Frankenstern supporters…) Frankenstern finally said to the guy (who was a Stern fan but who, like me and probably a third, at least, of his audience, find it difficult to listen to his and Robin’s (and now Artie’s) sub-3-digit-I.Q. political rants) “Vote Bush and leave the show!!” Well, OK, Frankenstern… Eventually, if you keep this up, we will have to do that. We just want to wait around a little longer watching you melt into your fetid pool of ignorance and dishonesty…

  • KMK

    http://www.stopfcc.com
    Go sign the petition if you so desire.

  • http://www.tonypierce.com/blog/bloggy.htm tony

    Sol,
    if you watched howard’s e! show last night you would have seen Franken on the show.
    howard invited his director Scott DePace into the studio. DePace is a staunch republican. He couldnt explain his beliefs any better than you can and they laughed him out of the place.
    Howard is the furthest from someone who would censor people for their beliefs. If you actually did listen to the show you’d see a variety of opinions regarding every topic.
    Of course he has people around who kiss his ass, but he knows that doesnt make for good radio or tv. Which is why he would destroy Rush head-to-head if Rush had the courage to compete in the early-morning time slot.
    By the way, do all Republicans think that people have “sub 3-digit IQs” if they disagree with the president, or only Republicans too cowardly to leave their real email addresses?

  • sol

    So I guess you’ve been trying to email me…? The fake email move has paid off! Nothing personal, Tony. I’m sure you have many friends and people who love you… Tony, the fact is Franken-puppet Stern has obviously told his new screener(s) to not put through people who would not give the usual boilerplate support for the ‘fight against the government’ and all the rest of the fiction he’s set up. He can’t allow that kind of call through because what he is doing is a lie through and through. Anybody who actually listens to the show (as you like to say) has noticed that he is no longer getting spontaneous calls. This is why the guy he did let through this morning stood out so much. One single caller in the last 3 or 4 weeks allowed to express a negative opinion of what Stern has been doing. Notice Stern also only reads emails that support him. He’s in Pravda land where every liberal has to go when they decide to become shameless and lie lie lie…

  • sol

    Actually, Pravdaland where every liberal has to go when they decide to become left-wing ‘liberals’… Left-wing views can’t survive the tribunal of reality and truth.

  • http://tvh.rjwest.com HH

    The Sterniacs, by far the worst part of anything Stern, called in to Fox & Friends… one verbally sexually harassed Kiran Chetry live on air. If Stern wants to get “the folks” behind him, he needs to call off his minions.

  • http://tvh.rjwest.com HH

    The Sterniacs, by far the worst part of anything Stern, called in to Fox & Friends… one verbally sexually harassed Kiran Chetry live on air. If Stern wants to get “the folks” behind him, he needs to call off his minions.

  • http://www.tonypierce.com/blog/bloggy.htm tony

    only cowards hide in the bushes like snipers and hurl negativity from fake email addresses. even kids know that.
    fortunately you always miss your mark.
    one of the funniest parts of howard’s radio show is when he plays his voicemail where callers call in to complain and disagree with him and his crew.
    im suprised you dont like it, whateveryournameis. howard gets called a hooked-nosed jew liberal, robin gets called a thicked-lipped n-word. and gary gets assaulted for his teeth and his gums and the way he speaks. and artie gets attacked for his drinking and eating and gambling.
    anyone who even listened to the show for a month could recall these voice mails, but the lie that youre a fan and a long-time listener is as trasparent and phoney as your email address which is why nobody takes you seriously.

  • http://tvh.rjwest.com HH

    “Of course he has people around who kiss his ass, but he knows that doesnt make for good radio or tv. Which is why he would destroy Rush head-to-head if Rush had the courage to compete in the early-morning time slot.”
    Tony, you’re a great guy and all, but this is a stretch. Stern appeals to blue states only, Limbaugh appeals to the red states and helps KFI and WABC dominate the air in LA and NY.
    By the way, the #2 radio talk show in the nation is Sean Hannity, and 50% of that show is Hannity debating people.

  • http://tvh.rjwest.com HH

    Here are the top morning shows in NY in fall ’03:
    1. WSKQ – Luis Jimenez and Moonshadow, 8%
    2. WINS – All-news, 6.9%
    3. WXRK – Howard Stern, 5.9%

  • http://tvh.rjwest.com HH

    “In Arbitron’s Spring 2003 survey, Limbaugh ranks first in eight of the top 10 radio markets. He’s third in New York (WABC-AM) and fourth in Boston (WRKO-AM).” – Mediaweek.com
    http://www.mediaweek.com/mediaweek/search/search_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1953833

  • http://www.tonypierce.com/blog/bloggy.htm tony

    HH,
    thanks for the compliment, right back at you.
    wasnt Howard #1 in orlando when he was pulled off? (im not asking sarcastically.) florida’s a red state, no? perhaps the most important one?
    as for Hannity, i have no problems with my UCSB alumn who i faught for when he wasnt allowed to do his show on KCSB-FM, the college station.
    this was ’90-’91-ish.
    i was playing grunge music and he wanted to do his right-wing politics talk.
    the program director wasnt into it, but i argued that if we were “Alternative” and “Diverse” there would be nothing better than a student who had a voice different than most of the djs.
    Although I disagree with many of his opinions, I still have no problem with his style, a confrontive one that harkens back to a younger Howard Stern.
    Stern is at his best when he’s confrontational to callers who disagree with him, especially when those callers are his parents, his boss, his producer, his engineer, or his “friends”.
    Sol is the one saying that Howard isnt into dissenting views, not me.

  • Trump

    Hey, Stern wants to call people with differing views from him Nazis? Well he has to expect some payback.
    Which we are delivering.
    Use your freedom of speech to tell the FCC and Congress YOU SUPPORT THE ANTI-STERN ACTIONS!
    Lets get this hatemonger off the air.
    It’s working…..we’re winning!!!!

  • http://www.tonypierce.com/blog/bloggy.htm tony

    trump,
    i think you have your talk show hosts confused.
    Rush calls liberal women Femi-nazi’s.
    Rush = drug taker
    Howard = king of all media

  • Trump

    Tony-
    Stern has abused drugs also. He admits that.
    Howard = Going to be thrown off the air.
    WE’RE WINNING! And pinheads like Tony will be reduced to making BabaBooey calls to CNN in between shifts at McDonalds.

  • Trump

    By the way Tony, when your movie gets out grossed by You Got Served, I think that disqualifies someone from being the King of ALL Media…

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    Trump:
    I’m not officially and completely and utterly tired of you. Go buzz around somebody else’s head, will you?

  • bob

    “He says that because of the AIDS pandemic, we had to get used to discussing details of sex that weren’t discussed before. But now the nannies are trying to get rid of all that talk, forcing everyone back into one closet or another.”
    q) We didn’t talk about sex before the AIDS pandemic?
    a) Not as much as we do now. But we had Caligula, we had the porn industry, we had all the fun decadences that we could imagine.
    Is Howard Stern decadent or serious? Who knows? But we aren’t going to stop talking about sex because a talk-show host has been canned from one network. After all, look at Oprah. According to you, she’s as raunchy as Stern. She’s not walking on tiptoes.
    I took a course in Human Sexuality (psych variety) a few years back that was far more graphic than anything Stern’s put on the air. No bananas in that class, I’ll tell you. Were we raided or shut down? Is there any prospect of it? No.
    Q) Are “the nannies” trying to end discussion of sex?
    A) No. And you don’t have to like what’s happening to recognize that. It’s a hyperbolic statement that doesn’t fool even the most concerned civil libertarian.
    You’ve seen it elsewhere. They’re coming to take our guns away. GM foods are killing us. Millions of babies/women are being murderered/oppressed by the pro-/anti-abortion interests.
    Fooey. If you want us to take you seriously, try a different approach: get serious.
    q) What closet are we being forced into?
    a) None. There is no closet, it’s another hyperbolic metaphor: conflate one issue with another to try to get a rise. If Howard Stern was canned because he discussed AIDS or because he advocated for gays, or because he was gay, then we’d have something to worry about. At most, he’s made fun of gays.
    So maybe you’re in a different closet. Maybe you (as in anyone) like sex clubs, or you dig wearing women’s clothes. Great. Was Stern fired because he does any of those things? No.
    q) “Do you remember sex?”
    a) Yeah, it hasn’t been outlawed in my community. Has it been outlawed in yours? Didn’t think so.
    When it comes down to it, Jeff, you’re not making the case. You’re failing to make the case repeatedly and loudly.
    Kind of like Trump, minus the ridiculous namecalling. (Except your references to the other side as “nannies,” “Boobs not Bombs,” “bastards,” “puritans,” cults, etc.) Hmm.

  • John

    James Lileks’ Newhouse column this week is pretty much in line with my feelings about the issue (though he fails to delve deeply into my initial pet peeve about this kefuffle, which was Stern’s effort to slience Opie and Anthony, though the “Sex for Sam” brouhaha does get a mention).

  • http://tvh.rjwest.com HH

    No idea about Orlando, but I do know that WDBO does bang-up business over there with Boortz and Hannity.

  • sol

    Tony, as long as you keep saying I don’t listen to Stern you’re just a fool. The fact that you can’t comprehend why that is not suprising considering your allegiance to the dumbest political ideology in history in a time and country where you have every opportunity to know better. And, as to fake email… It’s called spam-containment. Something else it’s not surprising you’re too dim to figure out.

  • tony

    in many ways anonymous negative comments are no different than spam since they’re annoying nuissances whose authors assume no responsibilty and hide and attack.
    if youre sincere about stopping spam, and sincere about not trying to leave anonymous negative comments like a cowardly lurker too lame to identify themselves with their statements, there are several ways to do it.
    to prevent spam, i leave one letter out of my email address. an easy letter than anyone can guess.
    my name is tony pierce, so i leave out the last e. thus when i comment on people’s blogs i fill out my email address as “tony@tonypierc.com”.
    this prevents the spam and associates my name with my comments.
    some people enter this into the email box: tony[at]tonypierce[DOT]com.
    secondly, i accuse you of not listening to the stern show because most of your attacks on stern are contrary to the regular bits that any average listener would have heard.
    it appears that you listen daily, but for only 5-10 minutes, just enough time to collect enough information to make your thin arguements that he’s still *gasp* unhappy with the president.
    in no way could this be judged as a fair or reasonable way to assess a 3-hour show.
    howard stern is one of the easiest targets to rally against if you actually listen to his show. to fail at both of these simple tasks (listening to, and rallying against) is quite an accomplishment.

  • sol

    Tony: if you’d like to meet me privately I’d very obligingly stick your fascist head up your fascist ***. Trust me, you not knowing who I am protects you. Now go back to your hate America drooling Chomsky sites. Contribute to the collective whine about how all your left-wing police-states have gone bankrupt. Hey, at least you smeared sh** on the lives of millions!