Stern Feels Bush-Whacked End Is Near
March 3, 2004

Howard Stern

Howard Stern says the end of his career is closer than the two years left on his contract. "I know that it's over for me," Stern said Wednesday morning. "I have been really good at predicting my career and I know when I'm outmatched. It's over for me as a broadcaster. I'm checkmated. All they gotta do is fine us and then we're gone. And there's nothing we can do about it."

But even with comments like that, Stern is not going down without a fight. For the past two days the syndicated morning man has been attacking those he feels are his oppressors - Clear Channel, the FCC and the Bush Administration. Yesterday (3/2), he was pondering the idea of a Million Moron March on Washington with a legion of his faithful fans. "Can you imagine CNN having to cover this and putting the Million Moron March up on the screen?" he joked when the idea was hatched.

Stern has also started to question ties between Clear Channel and the Bush Administration and now suggests his change in heart about his support for President Bush is the real reason for him being suspended by Clear Channel. "If you don' t think me going after Bush got me thrown off those stations, you got another thing coming," said Stern. "This has nothing to do with anything I said."

Stern laughed and was miffed at the perception by the mainstream media that he wasn't on Clear Channel stations because of indecent content on his show. Discussing a clip from The Sharon Osbourne Show where she said "Apparently the talk got very raunchy when Paris Hilton's boyfriend was on," Stern stammered: "Wrong! It wasn't that raunchy. I mean, I asked some questions. I said, 'Did you ever have anal sex?' But that's nothing out of the ordinary."

"Nothing that hasn't happened here every day for the last ten years," added Robin Quivers.

"My days here are numbered because I dared to speak out against the Bush administration and say that the religious agenda of George W. Bush concerning stem cell research and gay marriage is wrong," Stern continued. "And that what he is doing with the FCC is pushing this religious agenda. And also the fact that the guy takes more vacation than any President ever. It's time for him to leave. Having said that pushed me off the air in six markets."

Stern says the end game of him being thrown off the air is already set, predicting "the FCC in a matter of weeks will come out with a trumped up list of things I said that they find offensive that Infinity will have to fire me." Later in the show Stern said he was "tempted to shut my mouth about all of it, because it will go away." He then added "I don't think we can stop it, short of me calling up President Bush and saying 'Look man, I'm going to support you, so don't do this.'"

Supporting President Bush's Democratic opponent isn't attractive to Stern either. "Unfortunately, when they asked [John Kerry] about it, he completely skirted the issue, so it leaves me little recourse in terms of going to him." 

As for celebrity and media support of his free speech rights, Stern doesn't expect it. "Most of Hollywood and most of the media will be happy to see me gone. They will not fight for my First Amendment rights, because they don't like me. I make fun of them. I goof on them. I'm dangerous to them. Everyone wants me to go down. They've been praying for this for 20 years."

Stern lit into Clear Channel on a couple of occasions. For two days now he has been questioning why he was suspended over a caller using the N-word, and asking why the new zero tolerance policy wasn't used on Ryan Seacrest.  "How come the F-word and the S-word are going out on other shows? Don't they own KIIS-FM in Los Angeles? Didn't Ryan Seacrest's first day have the F-word and the S-word? Why was the guy not fired?"

Stern also brought up the hiring of Michael Savage at CC's KPRC/Houston. Savage was fired from MSNBC for saying a caller was a sodomite who should "get AIDS and die." "Clear Channel had no problem hiring him after comments like that, because he's pro-Bush," Stern alleged.


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Jon Zellner
EVP/Programming Operations

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