Stern on Letterman

Stern on Letterman

: Howard Stern mentions my little scoop on the FCC on Letterman’s show tonight: “An ex-TV Guide writer went and researched. Three people complained. Three people.”

Damn. Wish I’d recorded that.

: It’s a serious talk and a good talk. Howard discusses the problem of the FCC and free speech and Clear Channel and creativity. Random quotes:

“This is my way of checkmating the United States government,” he says.

“This guy Michael Powell… he’s telling us what we can hear,” he says. Later: “How can we have a democracy how can we have an open exchange of ideas?”

“My fellow broadcasters are not standing up for me.”

“In five years, satellite radio will be dominant in radio broadcasting.”

On getting satellite radio: “I believe it is a political movement.”

Dave: “In many ways, you pioneered terrestrial radio.”

Howard: “And now I’m here to destroy it.”

On making fun of racists: “I think the show actually has a high moral value.” Dave asks: “Is there a segment of the audience that may not get it… that may have its prehistoric beliefs reinforced?”

Dave: “How come President Bush won the election?”

Howard: “Had I been on in more markets in the country, I believe we would have had an effect on the election.”

“I can’t syndicate my show anymore. Radio stations are deathly afraid of the religious right… and Michael Powell…”

“Bababooey is coming. Everybody is coming over to the new place.”

  • saw that, jeff….. nice!

  • Mumblix Grumph

    I don’t know…this whole “God bless you, Howard Stern, You’re the new Nathan Hale!” business is getting old.
    It reminds me of how Larry Flynt tried to paint himself as a savior of democracy…Milos Forman made a movie out of it, probably just so he could make Jerry Falwell look like an ass. (The enemy of my enemy is my friend)

  • pdq332

    “This is my way of checkmating the United States government,” he says.
    Jeez. Get over yourself, Howard! Somehow, I am reminded of the Chicago White Sox sojourn on OnTV, the scrambled pay TV experiment of the 80’s.

  • No one U know…

    …but jerry falwell is an ass.
    and stern is an entertainer. he gets out what he puts in. and he’s really damn good at it.

  • A_Reader

    Dave: “How come President Bush won the election?”
    Howard: “Had I been on in more markets in the country, I believe we would have had an effect on the election.”
    This man’s ego cannot be contained.

  • Eileen

    “My fellow broadcasters are not standing up for me.”
    Letterman is just coming on in my time zone. Listening as I type. But as I have read otherwise – oh, and having heard him, too – Stern is the king of raunch. Is his observation about his peers surprising?
    Not quite sure why you’re on this particular bandwagon, Jeff. And I note that a number of your ‘supporters’ here (three or more, is that enough?) on this site are completely whakkkko (talk about ‘religious nutjobs’ !!!)….who encourage slicing up women with ginsu knives on their own ‘free speech’ blogs.
    Sirius, schmerius. It will die very soon. And yes, the FCC will follow whatever technology that may be developed. Existing 1st Amendment laws will be applicable to all forms of technological expression.
    I suggest you attend a law school course (even One!) on constitutional law, as your litany of comments on the subject of the 1st amendment are truly steeped in lack of knowledge. You could use a primer on the basics.
    Meanwhile, your holier than thou approach in this blog, and your repeated denigration of anyone who doesn’t agree with you is shocking.
    ‘Religious nutjobs’? When you go to church on Sunday, think about this, your favorite epithet.

  • jim

    Howard Stern will find, as has Opie and Anthony on XM,that as soon as all restrictions are lifted his act will not be “edgy” anymore and will just become boring. There will no longer be that “wow,did you hear what Stern did on the radio?” feeling. You also have it wrong on why we “religious nutjobs” are upset over Janet Jackson and MNF. I have no problem with showing just about anything as long as I am aware it is coming. What I don’t like is having it slipped in and slammed in my face purely for “shock” value and to generate publicity. It is all about $$$, not some noble attempt to expand free speech. Howard Stern will fade into the backround when he is heard by only a few thousand people each day.

  • An ex-TV Guide writer…?????
    The guy’s an ass if he can’t even mention (or know) your name. Does he not realize that you are THE frontline communicator on this issue?
    While I certainly come down on your side on this matter, it doesn’t change my belief that Howard Stern is a self-obsessed ass. He’s not in it for the issue. It’s all about Howard Stern.

  • JackieMarlow

    I’ve subscribed to XM online while I await the debut of the portable receiver and I am hooked. Opie and Anthony are hilarious, much like Stern was over a decade ago before he went Hollywood. I love the Sinatra channel, which plays many artists I just don’t have the budget to collect on cd and who aren’t available on P2P networks. Sirius is going to make things very interesting with Karmezin. I wonder if there is a clear winner in a few years if there will be a merger or if it will be an HBO / Showtime type co-existence?

  • Don Mynack

    Dave: “How come President Bush won the election?”
    Howard: “Had I been on in more markets in the country, I believe we would have had an effect on the election.”
    LOL! The mythical Howard Stern voter rears its head again. As reliable as the “Arab street”, it seems.
    Good luck to Stern on Sirius, but I personally won’t miss that self-serving, egotistical clown one iota.

  • Terry: No, I don’t matter in this. The story is what’s important. It was cool that there was impact. That’s the point: Anybody can find out facts and have impact now. If he were going to use a generic, “blogger” would have been more accurate — since this came about not because I had a column but because I used my citizen’s rights to do a tad of reporting. But in any case, I don’t have Dan Rather’s ego (close, but not quite) and so it’s not my identity that matters, it’s making a difference; it’s getting the facts out.

  • I’m just glad you don’t have Dan Rather’s fact-checking ability.

  • Pete T.

    I agree with you that the most important thing is knowing that is coming. And I don’t think Jeff would have a problem with the FCC enforcing a well documented, objective ratings code. The problem is that FCC is regulating content with broad, poorly defined laws that allow the the agents of the FCC way too much personal discretion and no accountability. That is a chill on free speech and should be unconstitutional. Especially if the FCC gets to pick and choose who they enforce the laws on (see Oprah). That is a blatant violation of the 14th Amendment equal protection clause.

  • Mark Jeffries

    Yes, SportsVision (which was separate from ON TV in Chicago) was unsuccessful–but the Prism channel in Philadelphia, which mixed movies and local sports, was successful and was converted to cable. SportsVision was also converted to cable in Chicago, sold to Cablevision and became SportsChannel Chicago and Fox Sports Net Chicago. It still exists, despite the major team sports contracts being taken by Comcast for its new Comcast Sports Net Chicago (the Philly branch of CSN arose out of the ashes of Prism in Philadelphia).
    And I’m no fan of Stern, but the guy still has only 10 million listeners with only one-sixth the number of stations that carry Limbaugh’s show (and one-fourth the number of NPR member stations that carry the drive time news shows that average 11 to 13 million listners). Like him or not, there are a lot of people who do–and would listen to him if he was available to them. Sure, he’s not going to get meganumbers initially, but he is going to be a big drawing card for satellite radio–and remember all those people who said that cable would not be successful?

  • Jeff, it’s not that you don’t matter or that you do matter. It’s simply a fact that the guy doesn’t know who’s out there fighting on his behalf. That’s just ignorant. I’m not asking for worship — just attribution — a little link love, if you will.

  • Tom O.

    What’s more important – the message or the messenger? Guess it depends on the one in the relation to the other. Jarvis says his message is of greater importance than who’s saying it. Stern has always made it clear that no matter what he says, he himself is more important.
    What I really wanna know is: what is the future of freedom of speech on cable and satellite media? So far everyone is assuming they will continue to be a panacea of free expression out of the FCC’s range. Is this really true, or are we setting ourselves up for greater disappointment if the powers that be expand FCC’s range to include cable, satellite, even the internet and … ?

  • John S.

    I just wish more people could see past the FCC versus Howard image and realize that this is just the beginning of the end of free speech in this country–at least until we get some real poilitical change.
    It is time the “mainstream” media picks up the ball and holds Bush and the FCC accountable for their actions.

  • kkl

    Congratulations on learning of, and submitting, a FOIA request. I’ve been on the receiving end of a few. They are pretty straightforward.
    Stern? I live in the South. He doesn’t play where I live. Having said that, if we got him here, I think Bush would have taken the state by a larger margin than he did.

  • SSG B

    Well, Howard Stern justmake sattelite raido one more customer closer to profitability. My wife asked me what I’d like for Christmas and I told her I’d love to get a satellite radio system for my truck. She asked me which provider I’d want. I didn’t hesitate a second. Knowing that Howard was going to hit Sirius I told her XM. I wish Stern the best of luck, but I’m not going to spend one cent which couldhelp line his pockets.
    He’s way past his time. His contract is going to be a drag on Sirius for years to come. Between his books, TV show, and movie you’d think it’s have been shown that Stern and a medium other than broadcast radio are death to expected profits.

  • Great post. Where can I find a full transcript of the Stern interview?