Coral Gables-based attorney/indecency crusader Jack Thompson has issued a statement regarding last night's Howard Stern appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman. In the letter, titled Howard Stern: Liar, Thompson dissected the conversation and pointed out what he thought were inaccuracies stated by both Stern and Letterman.
"Viacom’s Howard Stern went on Viacom’s Late Night with David Letterman to whine about how he can’t exercise his First Amendment rights," said Thompson, before detailing the individual "whoppers" relayed during the show, listed below.
"I have been fined millions of dollars." Stern has never been fined a single penny. Broadcasters such as Clear Channel have had to pick up the tab for his violations of 18 USC 1464. In fact, Stern has been rewarded financially because of the levying of these fines. His current contract with Viacom’s Infinity is so huge because the large number of room temperature morons who listen to the show delight in his scofflaw content.
"I was taken off Clear Channel the very day I expressed disagreement with their support of Bush and the war in Iraq." This is a complete lie. Stern was removed from Clear Channel within hours of his airing of this comment: "Ever bang any famous nigger chicks? What do they smell like? Watermelons?" Clear Channel cited that comment as the precise reason in its news release.
"There is a conspiracy between Clear Channel and the Bush Administration." This is such a contrivance it is hard to know where to begin. The chief proponent of fines, and heavier ones, against Stern broadcasts is Michael Copps, a Democrat on the FCC. Further, Bush has been MIA on this issue. He told the nation he "fell asleep" during the 2004 Super Bowl half-time show. Bush has been MIA on this issue during all four years of his first term. Further, why would Bush engineer a $500,000 fine (which I got as the FCC complainant) against Clear Channel execs, who are supposedly Bush’s political allies? Do you typical fine your friends? Viacom, Bush’s political opponents (See CBS and Dan Rather flap) have not been fined for the same April 2003 Stern show aired on more Infinity stations than Clear Channel stations.
"Michael Powell got his job with the FCC because he was appointed by the Bush Administration because of his daddy, Colin Powell." Michael Powell was put on the FCC by President Clinton. Before that he was head of the Antitrust Division of the Justice Department. Michael Powell can actually earn an honest living.
"President Bush is going to sign into law a bill passed by both the House and the Senate that will allow fines against individual broadcasters." This bill died in conference committee, largely because of Democrat Senator Byron Dorgan of North Dakota. It has absolutely no chance of passage in this Congress. All the momentum created by the response to the Super Bowl planned disrobing was lost, because of absolutely no leadership on this issue by President Bush. There is no law coming. None.
"I have a First Amendment right to broadcast my show." A liberal US Supreme Court decided that to the contrary in 1978 in the Pacifica case. The Court, not George Bush, ruled that the public airwaves are to be regulated to protect children from pornographic content broadcast during daytime hours. Nobody in his right mind thinks that the public airwaves belong to Howard Stern. They belong to the public, and they can regulate them. The First Amendment protects "the right of the people to petition their government for a redress of grievances." We did that. We passed laws. The problem pornographer Stern has is with the operation of the First Amendment, not its shredding.
"If I had not been taken off the Clear Channel stations, then I would have been syndicated to even more stations, and we would have been able to promote John Kerry, and he would have won the White House." The Howard Stern Show was on in all three major media markets in Ohio—Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland—uninterruptedly in the run-up to the November election. The entire state of Ohio was blanketed with Stern’s propaganda for Kerry. Kerry lost Ohio, the last time I checked, and he lost it by a larger margin than did Al Gore in 2000. It appears Kerry’s endorsement by Stern is a lot like Kerry’s endorsement by the American Communist Party, which he got and didn’t want.
"I’m muzzled." Really, what are you doing on Letterman, then? Stern, who claims to serve the First Amendment, has refused to debate "the lunatic lawyer in Miami," even on his show, largely because I have the facts to rebut his lies. He is a typical bully. He is a coward who won’t defend himself in a fair discussion because he cannot.
Thompson concluded his letter by saying, "If Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels told whoppers like the above, he would probably blush, and he’s dead — as dead at Stern will be about one year after he jumps to Sirius. Stern’s avid listeners don’t have cars into which to put the Sirius radios. They live in Mom and Dad’s basement, playing Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, talking to their blow-up dolls. One of Stern’s lawyers yesterday admitted that I drove Stern to Sirius. Good. It will be his career coffin, into which it should have been placed ten years ago.