"Stern…Out?" Source Tips Howard To Impending Indecency Fines
March 5, 2004
Mocking Ryan Seacrest’s catch phrase for the end of another edition of American Idol, Howard Stern has one of his own: "Free Speech…Out!"
Signing on this morning (3/5), Stern said he was going to drop a bombshell. "I’m going to reveal information to you that is going to be very disturbing. So disturbing that I woke up at 3 o’clock in the morning. I couldn’t sleep, because I am preparing myself to become Jesus himself. A sacrificial lamb. My friends who listen to this show on a daily basis, some of you for 20 odd years – and they have been odd – I’m telling you, it is the end of an era. This country is so dangerously close to being absolutely no different than Iran. The religious right is winning. We are losing. Despite a Constitution that says separate religion from state, it’s not happening anymore. There’s a religious agenda. They are winning. They control the media. Clear Channel, Fox, all of them, all part of the religious right. We’ve lost. We’ve lost our airwaves. We’ve lost our freedoms. We will be a religious state within 20 years."
The bombshell weighing on Stern’s mind was a call from "somebody who feeds me information about what goes on behind the scenes at the FCC," tipping him that the FCC was going to fine Infinity today over alleged indecent segments of his show from three years ago. "I can’t tell you who called me. If I told you they would lose their livelihood," explained Stern. "When I got the call from my friend who gave me the heads up, I said ‘How sure are you?’ He said, ‘99% sure.’ Stupid me thought, ‘Well, he could be wrong.’"
Stern then read from a Wall Street Journal report about the FCC finalizing new indecency fines against major radio companies (see separate story). "The government is going to do weird odd tricks, like they did ten years ago to pressure [Viacom] to throw me off the air," Stern concluded after reading the article. "That’s why I am saying my goodbyes now. It is inevitable. It is unavoidable. There is nothing you can do about it."
"Payback has to be a bitch," Stern quickly added. "I ask any fan of mine to vote George W. Bush out of office. That’s the payback. He suffers. He’s got to lose. He’s gotta go back home to his dad and say, ‘I’m a loser like you. I only served one term.’ That’s all I ask. Remember me when you go in the voting booth. There is going to be a lot of spin out there. They are going to try and make you forget what they said about me and what happened to your freedom."
If he is thrown off the air, Stern said, "I would support [John] Kerry." When Robin Quivers questioned the extent of his support, Stern said he would campaign and mount a movement for Kerry. "I will devote myself to it. Let me tell you this, I’ve done it before. I did it for Governor [George] Pataki, who I still think is a great guy and a great Governor. The guy was 20 points below in the polls up until three days before the election. I said to Governor Pataki, ‘My audience will get you in office. You will go up in the polls dramatically.’ Three days before the election. That’s when it counts, last minute, that’s when people do most of their thinking. And, sure enough, he’s now the Governor."