Howard Stern

From Libertarian Wiki

Howard Allan Stern (born January 12, (like Rush Limbaugh) 1954 in Roosevelt, New York) is an American radio personality. Known for his use of scatological and sexist humor, he has been dubbed a shock jock for his highly controversial comments that have included bigoted remarks about various religious and ethnic groups and misogynistic commoents about women. Stern refers to himself as the "King Of All Media," a parody of Michael Jackson's claiming of the title "King of Pop."

Biography

Stern received his Bachelor's degree in 1976 from Boston University, where he had worked as a volunteer at the college radio station. After graduation, he worked as a disc jockey for an obscure station in Westchester County, New York playing rock music. He moved to FM radio stations in Detroit, Michigan and Washington, D.C., and returned to New York in 1982 to work at NBC's flagship AM radio station WNBC-AM. Also working at NBC was David Letterman, who became a fan of Stern's radio show. Stern's guest appearance on Late Night with David Letterman on June 19, 1984, launched Stern into the national spotlight and gave his radio show unprecedented exposure.

Stern and his crew were fired from NBC in 1985 in response to a particularly outrageous sketch — "Bestiality Dial-A-Date" — and returned to the FM band by joining local rival station WXRK, premiering on November 18, 1985 and returning permanently to morning drive in February 1986. Stern's show was syndicated nationwide in the 1990s by Infinity Broadcasting.

Although both his parents are Jewish, Stern claims on his show to be "a half-Jew". His paternal grandparents, Froim and Anna (Gallar) Stern, and maternal grandparents, Sol and Esther (Reich) Schiffman, were Jews from Austria-Hungary who emigrated to America at about the same time.

On June 4, 1978, Stern married his college girlfriend, Alison Berns, at Temple Ohabei Shalom in Brookline, Massachusetts; they have three daughters. In October of 1999, Stern announced that Alison had left him. Alison remarried in 2001 to David Lobosco. Since early 2000 Stern has been dating model Beth Ostrosky, who is 19 years younger than him. Ostrosky has appeared in the men's magazine FHM several times, and in early June of 2005, the editor-at-large of the magazine, Jake Bronstein, was fired after he commented that Ostrosky is only famous because she dates Stern. Many sources have said that Stern pressured FHM to fire him.

In one typical example of his radio show, he persuaded a female caller to have phone sex with him on the air. He made deep buzzing noises into his microphone, and had her sit on a speaker with the volume turned up until she reached an on-the-air orgasm. Another notable episode was on WWDC-FM (DC101 Radio) in Washington D.C. in which Stern called Air Florida Airlines and asked what the fare was for a one-way ticket from Washington National Airport to the 14th Street Bridge (on the Potomac River less than 1 mile from the airport). He was making fund of the crash of Air Florida Flight 90 one day earlier, on January 13, 1982, which had killed 78 persons (both onboard the airplane and in vehicles stopped in traffic on the bridge). That June 29, Stern was fired from DC-101 radio.

In 1994, Stern embarked on a political campaign for Governor of New York, formally announcing his candidacy under the Libertarian Party ticket. Although he legally qualified for the office and campaigned for a time after his nomination, most people viewed the run for office as nothing more than a publicity stunt. He subsequently withdrew his candidacy because he did not want to comply with the financial disclosure requirements for candidates, leading many to suspect that he might have been involved in some illegal business transaction.

In March of 1995, one day before the funeral of slain Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla, Stern played the sounds of gunshots in the background over some of her music. He also made several racist comments, such as "Alvin and the Chipmunks have more soul", and "Spanish people have the worst taste in music...they have no depth." After much pressure from his radio station, Stern gave an on-air apology a week later in Spanish.

In 1997, Stern's autobiographical book, Private Parts, was adapted to film. The movie did moderately well at box offices and in video release, garnering a total of $60 million. However, this take was far below expectations. He had also announced plans for a film provisionally titled The Adventures of Fartman based on a character created for his appearance at the 1992 MTV Video/Music Awards. However this project never even began pre-production.

His April 21, 1999 show drew angry criticism and official "censure" from the Colorado State Legislature for his comment regarding the motives of the two male students who murdered 12 classmates and one teacher in the Columbine High School massacre in Colorado:

"There were some really good-looking girls running out with their hands over their heads. Did those kids try to have sex with any of the good-looking girls? They didn't even do that? At least if you're going to kill yourself and kill all the kids, why wouldn't you have some sex? If I was going to kill some people, I'd take them out with sex."

This incident prompting a Denver radio station to suspend his show.

Also in 1997, Stern's show aired for the first time in Canada, appearing on CILQ in Toronto and CHOM in Montreal. Both stations cancelled Stern's show in 2000 after frequent listener complaints to the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council and the CRTC; for most of the time that the stations did air Stern's program, they were required to monitor the show for offensive content through the use of broadcast delays.

It was officially announced on March 5, 2001 that longtime show regular Jackie "The Jokeman" Martling had left the radio show after failed contract negotiations. Over the next several months, various comedians auditioned in the "Jackie Chair" for the job. After auditioning himself, it was eventually announced that comedian Artie Lange was the permanent replacement.

In 2002, Stern's production company Howard Stern Productions acquired the rights to the 1982 movie Porky's and the 1979 movie Rock 'n' Roll High School. Stern was a producer for the FX TV series Son of the Beach.

On February 25, 2004, Clear Channel Communications "indefinitely suspended" him from six markets because of indecency involving sexual and racist dialogue during his show. The show in question featured Rick Salomon, whose claims to fame include a publicly released home video showing him having sex with heiress Paris Hilton. During this broadcast Stern held a sexually-provocative and racially insensitive interview with Saloman, asking him graphic questions about anal sex and making light of a caller's use of the word "nigger" several times. Clear Channel president John Hogan said, "Clear Channel drew a line in the sand today with regard to protecting our listeners from indecent content, and Howard Stern's show blew right through it...it was vulgar, offensive and insulting, not just to women and African-Americans but to anyone with a sense of common decency." Simply because some of Clear Channel's employees have donated money to the Republican Party, Stern claims the company was trying to penalize him for his harsh verbal attacks on President George W. Bush.

A liberal Democrat Stern endorsed John Kerry in the 2004 U.S. presidential campaign, and urged his listeners to vote for him. In fact, political and media analyst have said that he is one of the many celebrities that alienated voters into not voting for Kerry.[1]

On February 27 of 2004, long-time Stern show regular John Melendez left the show to become the on-air announcer for The Tonight Show.

On April 8, 2004, Clear Channel Communications announced it would "permanently terminate" its relationship with the shock jock. However, on July 19, Stern returned to four of the six markets Clear Channel removed him from, and added five new ones to the roster — this time on Infinity-owned stations. In late August, he returned to a fifth market, Miami, on an independent station. His return was greeted with controversy as the Miami Dolphins threatened to revoke their broadcast deal with the station in question if the station did not fire him.

On October 6, 2004, Stern announced on his show that he has signed a five year, $500 million deal with the satellite radio service Sirius. This move has been met with much controversy, as Stern has been talking about his move to Sirius on his show, even telling listeners how to purchase Sirius equipment and subscriptions. Stern even held a rally in New York where he gave out coupons for free or discounted Sirius equipment.

Politics

Although Stern used to be a self-proclaimed libertarian, in recent years he has abandoned that philosophy and embraced positions that are in direct opposition to libertarian ideology, such as government regulation of corporations, radical environmentalism, gun control, income redistribution through higher taxation, socialized health care, and using tax payer money for the funding of abortion and embryonic stem cell research that involves the killing and cloning of human embryos. He also considers Ralph Nader to be one of his heroes. He is also a supporter of Michael Moore and was very vocal in his endorsement of Moore's film that was released in June of 2004. Moore was even a guest on Stern's show the week of the film's release and called into the show a day before the 2004 Election. Stern is now considered by many conservatives, libertarians, and moderates/centrists to represent the far-left of the political spectrum.

External Links

  • Howard Stern.com