In the growing saga between CBS Radio and Howard Stern, support for The King Of All Media has come from an unlikely source -- Florida-based attorney and decency crusader Jack Thompson.
This morning (3/1), Thompson appeared on Clear Channel’s WFLA-AM in Orlando to voice his support for Stern's side of this dispute. In a release after his appearance, Thompson addressed three specifics that he called "huge factual and legal problems with CBS’s argument."
"CBS had every opportunity to 'dump' anything Stern had to say about Sirius," wrote Thompson, pointing to the rules set in place after Viacom/Infinity and the FCC agreed to the $3.5 million Consent Decree. "Infinity promised to put into place and did install new and better technology to edit the Howard Stern Show in real time as it was being aired. Thus, Viacom/Infinity/CBS had in place the enhanced 'dumping' capability to utilize the time delay to remove all references to Sirius and his announced move. CBS chose not to do that. CBS then chose not to remove Stern from the air for the promotion of Sirius, except for a paid one-day suspension last November."
Thompson also contends that CBS chose not to edit Stern's program so that "Arbitron ratings remained high and were arguably even enhanced by people tuning in to hear daily about Stern’s running feud with CBS and his move to Sirius. In other words, CBS actually used Stern’s discussion of the move to Sirius to make more money for CBS. CBS, however, now claims that Stern’s discussion of Sirius cost it money. Just the opposite is the case."
Thompson's third point addresses the stock payment Stern received, stating that "CBS is proceeding in this lawsuit under the bizarre notion that because Stern has made money -- $200 million in accelerated payment of Sirius stock -- that CBS is entitled to the extra money Stern has cleverly made. The measure of damages, however, in a lawsuit is based upon what the plaintiff has lost not what the defendant has made."
Thompson sums up his missive by saying, "CBS used Stern and the 'Sirius issue' to make money, not lose money, and because Stern personally made money in the process as well, the CBS suit looks like exactly what Stern says it is: 'a personal vendetta by CBS’ Les Moonves.'"
Thompson also summed the situation up this way: "Put another way, a pimp is more culpable than his prostitute. CBS pimped Howard Stern for two decades for all he was worth to them, and now they’re shocked to find he is a prostitute who has sold his wares to the highest bidder? Please."