Thursday, February 26, 2004

Howard Stern: Is This The End?

"This is the end, Beautiful friend
This is the end, My only friend, the end
Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end
No safety or surprise, the end
I'll never look into your eyes...again"
The Doors, The End

It looks like we are witnessing the slow and bloody demise of Howard Stern's immensely successful radio show. First his sidekick Jackie "the Joke Man" Martling left the show, ostensibly to "punch up scripts" for tv and film. Then, just last week Stuttering John Melendez. Then the feud with Jay Leno. And now, just yesterday, six stations unceremoniously dropped Stern, caving in to FCC pressure as a result of Janet Jackson's tit. Which, incidentally, are not remotely as interesting as Monica Belucci's sumptuous breasts (thanks for the link, Uncle Grambo)

Again, summarizes the discussions this morning:

"Howard said he knows the story is big if he ever sees himself on the cover of the NY Times. He told Robin that he heard from his agent last night that he was suspended from the San Diego station last night. He didn't know it was going to be all 6 of the Clear Channel stations. He said he saw himself on the front page of a paper right next to Jesus from Mel Gibson's movie. He said that he thinks he looks better than Jesus. He said that's all he cared about when he saw the Daily News. Then he saw the awful picture that the NY Post used. He said they hate him over there and use the worst picture they can find.

"Howard said he got a call from Robert Schimmel yesterday while all of this was going on. He said he did't even know he was under attack at the time. After talking to Bob he found out about the suspension. Howard heard that the head of Clear Channel has to testify in front of congress so that might be why all of this was going on. Since Clear Channel is in breach of contract they may not even have rights to the show anymore. He also heard that he should stop talking about this congresswoman who was getting upset about the things he was saying about her. Howard said she's not going to stop talking about him so he doesn't know why he has to stop talking about her.

"Howard said after he found out all of that he watched ''American Idol.'' He told Robin about the people who got voted in and discussed that show for a couple of minutes. Howard went on to talk about how crazy this censorship stuff is and how they're saying that it was racist comments that got him removed from these stations. He said it was a phone caller who made a racist comment though, not him.

"Howard said he really doesn't know what's going on and he's not sure why he's being taken off of these radio stations. He said he had to read the paper to get his information. He said that the papers are reporting that he was taken off because of a ''vulgar'' show he did. Howard also said they're claiming it was an ''indecent'' show he did but he doesn't understand that because he hasn't been accused of doing anything indecent.

"Robin told Howard that in USA Today they said that he was yanked but the syndicator stood by him. Howard said that would be Mel (Karmazin). Howard read some of the articles that were written and the comments that the Clear Channel people were saying. Howard said that he's going to be the sacrificial lamb in all of this indecency stuff. Artie said it's pretty scary that they're not allowed to talk about a politician. He said that it's frightening."

Under attack from Jay Leno and now the FCC. Stay tuned for how this little contretemps resolves itself.

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