February 26, 2004
Clear Channel drops Howard Stern

There are a number of interesting things to contemplate in Clear Channel's announcement that they would drop Howard Stern from their member stations, but before I get into that, I have to marvel at their official statement.

"Clear Channel drew a line in the sand today with regard to protecting our listeners from indecent content and Howard Stern's show blew right through it," John Hogan, president and CEO of Clear Channel Radio, said in a news release. "It was vulgar, offensive, and insulting, not just to women and African Americans but to anyone with a sense of common decency."

You're telling me that you've just now noticed that Howard Stern, the guy who was doing Lesbian Dial-A-Date back in the 80s and whose TV show often features women competing for free breast implants, is vulgar? Wow. We may have to retire the Claude Award now. You just can't make this stuff up.

A diarist on Kos notes that Stern is now firmly in the John Kerry camp, which I'm glad to hear. Stern has always been an antiestablishment libertarian type, in the Dave Barry mold, and his support of Christie Whitman is credited in part for her initial election as Governor of New Jersey. I agree with the Kos commenter that Stern speaks to a mostly apolitical audience, so having him hammer on Bush and defend Kerry on a regular basis will be the kind of thing that can influence swing voters. Every little bit helps.

On a local note, Howard Stern has never been on the radio in Houston. KLOL, the station whose demographics best fit Stern, has always had its own wacky morning DJs, and like them or not, the explanation I always heard as to why Houston was a Stern-free zone was that KLOL was sufficiently happy with Stevens and Pruett's ratings to pony up for imported talent. I don't know how well the witless mouthbreathers they have on now are doing, but they're still in no danger of being bumped for Stern, as KLOL is part of the evil Clear Channel empire. Alas.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on February 26, 2004 to Music | TrackBack

The "witless mouthbreathers" on KLOL these days (I don't recall their names) are continuing the grand tradition of unlistenable Houston morning radio. And while I've always disliked Stern, this latest move is - to quote Banky Edwards - bullshit posturing.

I thank Jebus every morning and afternoon drive-time for my CD player.

Posted by: Pete on February 26, 2004 9:40 AM

Well, it's pretty obvious that Clear Channel doesn't have a problem with Stern being "vulgar, offensive, and insulting." That's just a patently transparent excuse.

You and that Kos diarist, of course, have hit on the real reason. Just as with Natalie Maines:

Stern is now firmly in the John Kerry camp...

...and we can't let anyone who's openly anti-Bush have any airtime now, can we?

Posted by: Mathwiz on February 26, 2004 9:41 AM

You do not love my Claude award any more?


Posted by: julia on February 26, 2004 11:37 AM

Shhhh, Mathwiz, don't give away all of Michael Powell's secrets. Next, we'll hear Janet Jackson is in the Kerry camp and it was all just a Powell plot to silence her voice.... That's our evil conservative motto -- Silence Heathen & Independent Talk (yes, I am aware of the acronym).

Charles: You believe Howard Stern will steer independents TOWARDS Kerry? I would think just the opposite. There's a reason why seemingly sympathetic political figures have their "Sister Souljah" moments. It's not because controversial lightning rods are popular with the moderate middle!

Posted by: kevin whited on February 26, 2004 11:43 AM

As I mentioned in another post, I saw Joe Barton on TV this morning ranting about Stern. I ampressed that Texas has elected a Mutant-american to Congress, regardless of what planet he is really from.

No offense, Texas, but this guy could be a poster child for Jackass.

Posted by: Brenda Helverson on February 26, 2004 2:23 PM