The daily Stern
: Yes, I know you’re waiting for my daily report on Stern. This morning, he started to list people who have been taken off the radio by Clear Channel because of opposition to Bush. And he said that Viacom’s First Amendment attorneys have told him that the FCC is preparing a case againt Stern. A caller again raised the prospect of moving to satellite and Stern again acknowledged thinking about it — but then added this wrinkle: 30 percent of XM satellite radio, Stern said, is owned by, yup, Clear Channel. [see below]
: UPDATE: Salon has a good and balanced piece on Stern, Clear Channel, Bush, et al.
If Clear Channel did fire Stern at least partly to prop up Bush, the move may backfire — especially if Stern’s rage against Clear Channel feeds his newfound distaste for the president. Stern’s audience contains many independents and potential swing voters.
At least one radio pro suggests Stern’s sudden turn against Bush could prove costly to the administration during this election year. “Absolutely it should be of concern for the White House,” says Michael Harrison, the publisher of Talkers magazine, a nonpartisan trade magazine serving talk radio. “Howard Stern will be an influential force for the public and for other talk show hosts during the election. Despite the shock jock thing, Stern has credibility. He’s looked upon as an honest person.
“Clear Channel is a good target and Stern may be honestly upset with them. But over time he’ll realize Bush makes a better target, and Stern could be the leader of a new anti-Bush movement. Bush is very vulnerable at talk radio and Stern could reinvent himself as a new, improved Stern and take on more serious issues.”
: UPDATE: Commenters correct Stern’s percentage of XM ownership; not sure what the number is but it’s substantial (one commenter says 4 percent, one says double that; I’m nowhere where I can look up the percentage.)