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Rolling Stone: Stern puts the um in tedium


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#1 of 32 OFFLINE   Ronn.W

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Posted January 30 2006 - 11:00 AM

Howard's End
Stern's show puts the "um" in "tedium"

Like most people who aren't from New York, I have always found it hard to pry my eyes open while Howard Stern is talking. In theory, I approve of the whole offensive/obscene/outrageous shock-radio shtick, but the only thing that's ever offended me about his show is how slow it is -- the guy sure does like to take his time between punch lines. When he was the king of terrestrial radio, he was more fun to catch on E!, with the hours of chitchat boiled down to a half-hour's worth of dick/fart/stripper jokes. Everybody assumed that he'd go wild on Sirius, since now he could swear all he wanted with no FCC or corporate suits butting in. Yet after just a couple of weeks on the air, his show already puts the "um" in "tedium." He sounds like he no longer has to deal with anybody who doesn't kiss his ass, and as a result he sounds like a bored, gloomy fifty-two-year-old man. How did this happen?

The bright spot of the show's opening week was Star Trek's George Takei, hired as the new announcer, sharing his gay-Hollywood memories with a constant "oh my" giggle. But he was live in the studio for just one week -- maybe not the shrewdest move, since he was the best new idea the Stern crew came up with in their holiday vacation. Howard spends most of the mornings talking about how famous he is, how loyal his listeners are, how many millions of people are running out to buy Sirius radios, while his studio monkey-boys crowd around the mike to say, "Right on, Howard. You still the king." Fans call in to remind him he's still got it. Howard shares fun facts about his personal life (he wears gloves to industry functions because he's nervous about shaking hands; he's had a nose job and liposuction under his chin). He tries to play Allman Brothers songs on guitar (they're too hard) and has phone sex with Jessica Hahn (he doesn't enjoy it). He talks a lot about how bad his New York replacement, David Lee Roth, is. If you thought his sidekicks were useless suck-ups before, get a load of them now. Robin compares him to Martin Luther King Jr. Artie says the main reason he wishes his father were still alive is so he could hear him on The Howard Stern Show. "We're making history," he gushes. And this was the first seven days. By next month, Howard will only be able to keep himself awake ordering the staff to do tag-team ass-to-ass action.

No wonder he's bored -- he's got nobody to piss him off anymore. He's on his own network, with two whole stations mainly devoted to "Howard 100 News," including post-show recaps and a "Superfans Round Table." His new bosses have even cleared the way for him to sell off $200 million worth of shares in Sirius stock. But he's already dreaming of the next gig, musing that he should form a supergroup with Bubba the Love Sponge, Rush Limbaugh and other talk-radio giants. "You know, a supergroup," he explained to Robin. "Like Blind Faith -- they were a really great supergroup." But on the first day he was already back to railing against the FCC and corporate censors -- nostalgic for the good old days when he had enemies, reminiscing about how badass he used to be.

Roth's show is more interesting just because it's so skin-crawlingly awful. In these days of bland Clear Channel/Infinity corporate radio, it's bracing to hear a guy who has no idea what he's doing. He can't remember too many of the wild sex and drug stories from his Van Halen days, so instead he talks about being an EMT (he's delivered babies: "I'm on my fourth," he says) and interviews his eighty-eight-year-old Uncle Manny, who used to book Bob Dylan. It's the voice of an archetypal American loser, refusing to admit his eat-'em-and-smile days are over. Listening to Roth, you feel actual physical pain. I bet Howard must be jealous.

ROB SHEFFIELD

http://www.rollingst....ion=6.0.11.847

#2 of 32 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted January 30 2006 - 09:41 PM

Read this article the other day in the magazine. Interesting to read it here.

 

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#3 of 32 OFFLINE   WillG

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Posted January 31 2006 - 02:38 AM

Stern went ballistic over this article the other day and went off for a good amount of time on the writer of the article and Jann Wenner. At least this time he admitted he has real thin skin.
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#4 of 32 OFFLINE   Rich Malloy

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Posted January 31 2006 - 03:36 AM

The XM forum seems oddly preoccupied with Howard. He's on the other service, right? Posted Image
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Two together are always going somewhere."

#5 of 32 OFFLINE   Jeff Gatie

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Posted January 31 2006 - 05:31 AM



Well when your flagship jocks are obsessed, the listeners tend to follow. Posted Image

Time for me to tell an inside story about O&A vs. Howard. While it is true that O&A were disdained by Howard when they came to New York and Infinity, they had a long history of trashing him before this, when they were on other stations. This was part of the reason for Howard's dislike of them when they came to Infinity. Early in their careers, they had said they admired Howard, how he was their idol and then proceeded to trash him left and right at every opportunity.

Compare this with what Howard did with his most influential radio idol, Charles Laquidera of Boston's WBCN, who Howard listened to when he went to college at BU. Howard never had anything bad to say about Laquidera and showered him with praise. When given the chance to take over the morning drive on WBCN, Howard refused the spot and relegated himself to the 6-10 PM slot because of loyalty to Charles. He kept this slot in Boston until Laquidera semi-retired (Charles still did a show from his home in Hawaii, but he was basically retired). It was only then that Howard took over the morning slot at WBCN.

Quite a contrast in how an "idol" was treated, eh?

#6 of 32 OFFLINE   Ronn.W

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Posted February 01 2006 - 03:03 AM



I think if I had posted this in the Sirius forum they would have rioted and burned my house down.

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#7 of 32 OFFLINE   WillG

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Posted February 01 2006 - 03:36 AM

I wasn't an O&A listener until they came to NY from Boston. But even when they were at New York, I don't remember any heavy attacks on Stern from them until he started messing with them behind the scenes. Do you have any examples of them trashing him from before they came to NY? I have never heard any big Stern bashing stories from those days. The only attack I remember from their early days in New York that might have been considered big was when they tooled on him the day he went on the radio and discussed the separation from Alison. But even that could have been after the bad blood started and, not to mention, it was a huge story that day. It's not like the attack came out of nowhere.
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#8 of 32 OFFLINE   Jeff Gatie

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Posted February 01 2006 - 04:13 AM

They were not in Boston, they were in Worcester (WAAF) and they were pitted against Stern's shift at WBCN. WAAF, although sometimes hard to receive in Boston, still competed directly with WBCN for listeners. Thusly, the "rivalry" was borne and given Howard's ownership of the airwaves in Boston, you can be pretty sure on which side it was more prevalent. I didn't even know who O&A were until I heard them on WAAF one day and stopped switching channels because I was fascinated (in a car wreck sort of way) by their obessed, psychotic rants about Howard.

#9 of 32 OFFLINE   WillG

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Posted February 08 2006 - 03:54 AM

So is it true that Howard is now going to the FCC to have them stop stations that pirate the show and people who post the show audio over the web like I have been hearing? If it is true...Wow. I mean, great if he does not want his show pirated (although one has to question why he cares so much that people are listening without a Sirius subscription since "All he ever wanted to do was a good radio show" and that "He never cared about making money") but if he is really now going to the FCC..I can't believe he would do that.
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#10 of 32 OFFLINE   Jeff Gatie

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Posted February 08 2006 - 06:11 AM

And if you were going to report a pirate radio station, what agency would you choose? The ATF? The FDA? The Boy Scouts?

#11 of 32 OFFLINE   WillG

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Posted February 08 2006 - 07:25 AM

Of course you would go to the FCC. But this is an agency that Howard pretty much equates to the Antichrist and it seems very hypocritical that he is willing to go to them when he has a problem (if true)
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#12 of 32 OFFLINE   Jeff Gatie

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Posted February 08 2006 - 08:39 AM



You may hate cops because they write you tickets for speeding, but are you not going to call them when your house gets robbed? One job of the FCC is to fine for indecency, which Howard hates. The other job is to enforce the laws against unlicensed transmissions, which is OK with Howard. Where's the hypocracy?

Besides, name one radio/TV/movie/music production studio that does not protect its copyrighted material? They'd be fools not to and there are a bunch of production studios that have billions more than Howard/Sirius.

This is just another one of the lame obsessions with Howard that goes on.Posted Image

#13 of 32 OFFLINE   WillG

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Posted February 08 2006 - 09:01 AM

Yes, but I have never heard Howard Stern "Fuck the part of the FCC that fines for indecency, but not for the part that does not" All I ever heard was "Fuck the FCC" (the message, not exactly the same words) He bashes the FCC for things that have nothing to do with indecency too such as the incident he kept bringing up about squandering funds that were supposed to supply computers to under-privledged public schools. I'm just saying that for him to go to a organization for help that he has such open disgust for seems hypocritical. As for the above analogy. I might not like getting tickets from cops, but when I have, I did not spend day after day railing and crusading against the cops. I may not like getting tickets, but on a whole, I am supportive of the duties of the police. That is not Howard's attitude concerning the FCC. If I had nothing but disgust for the cops but had to resort to them for help for something, I would feel like a hypocrate. Howard certainly has a right to protect his material. I'm not saying he is wrong for being against the piracy of his show. But I find it funny that he is seeking help from the agency that used to be the very bane of his existance.
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#14 of 32 OFFLINE   Brent T

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Posted February 08 2006 - 11:21 AM

Howard isn't going to the FCC, Sirius is. #1 - The FCC has a job to do and Sirius( or Stern if you want to say its him) must ask them to do just that. #2 - All Stern has ever asked of the FCC was to explain in writing what is decent or indecent for our airwaves, so that he could do his show in a legal manor. However the FCC would never do this. Why ? Because if it was ever taken to court they would lose in a court of law. Thats Sterns gripe with the FCC, nothing more. Set the guideline's and he would have followed them. But they never did. If you don't know where the line is or isn't its awful tough to walk it. And that goes for any broadcaster.

#15 of 32 OFFLINE   Jeff Gatie

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Posted February 08 2006 - 01:38 PM

Something tells me you'd find something to complain about in just about anything Howard does. Sorry, but this one is just a stretch. Tell me, just how many Opie and Anthony threads have been started in the Sirius Forum? JMHO, but there is way too much Howard obsession by those who claim to not like him.

#16 of 32 OFFLINE   WillG

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Posted February 09 2006 - 01:40 AM

Once again, here is a riddle that I still have not heard a solution to from Stern fans. Why was it ok when Howard spent a large part of his career trying to destroy Imus, DeBella, Mark and Brian, Mancow etc. But when O&A or O&A fans talk about Stern, they are "Obsessed" and "Jealous"
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#17 of 32 OFFLINE   Jeff Gatie

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Posted February 09 2006 - 02:02 AM

No one ever said Stern was not "obsessed and jealous" when he went after those guys, but he was attacking them from a point of weakness because he was new to the markets they were in and trying to get ratings. But that was a different time. Aside from subcriptions, satellite has no ratings and XM (hence O&A) are well on top in subs. Stern is once again the new guy in town and O&A are the established satellite veterans, so what exactly are they worried about? If they are that good, they should just do their show. The only thing I hear in their (and the posters here) daily rants is fear and desperation and frankly, it simply reinforces Howard's analysis that they are peeing their pants scared that people will now choose Sirius over them. When you are behind the leader, you can be desperate all you like; when you are well on top and you show signs of desperation, it's not very encouraging to those who may have to choose between you and your competition. PS, I'd agree with your thoughts on the "Howard asking the FCC to investigate pirates is hypocritical" if you substitute the word "ironic" for "hypocritical". But somehow I think "ironic" does not carry quite the personal attack you were going for. It is however, the more appropriate term.

#18 of 32 OFFLINE   WillG

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Posted February 09 2006 - 02:30 AM

Now that, my friend, is a stretch. No matter how much the big Stern fans like to believe this, talking about Howard is not all O&A do. I think most of the time, they do just do their show. How much of Howard's show in the last couple of years was spent railing against George Bush, the Government, the FCC, Infinity and Viacom. Is that "just doing his show" Howard is guilty of many of the same things that Stern fans criticize O&A for.
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#19 of 32 OFFLINE   Jeff Gatie

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Posted February 09 2006 - 02:48 AM



And when he is lame, I'll criticize him for being lame. What you won't see me ever do is start an O&A thread in the Sirius section because (a) they are not on Sirius and (b) they just do not matter because your post above about the 800 pound Gorilla is the most honesty I've seen in all these Stern threads. Yes, the Gorilla is coming and frankly, the stench of fear is very unappealing to me.Posted Image

#20 of 32 OFFLINE   WillG

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Posted February 09 2006 - 03:46 AM

Yes, I apologize, I did misinterpret your quote. But my disagreement that the rants are just fear and desparation still stand. O&A know that Howard is huge in the business and they never denied that. Like I said somewhere else, I'm sure they would like to be beating Howard but if they don't, I don't think it's going to be a devastating thing for them. I just don't like it when O&A get criticized by Stern fans for things that Stern has done himself in a similar manner.
STOP HIM! He's supposed to die!