Posted by: on Apr 15, 2004 | No Comments

I’ve been listening to Howard Stern lately while driving to work. It’s been a few years since I’ve tuned in on a regular basis, but his recent run-ins with the FCC and subsequent anti-right stances have, obviously, been appealing. It’s funny — with all the vitriol, lying, and conniving that surrounds our public “discourse” and policy today, I find Stern almost wholesome. He is what he is, and nothing more.

Yesterday, he had Arianna Huffington on, pushing her new book Fanatics & Fools. She was surprisingly effective against the typical Stern guttural assault. She rolled with the punches, played along, and really did herself justice. Then they asked if she had ever been with a black man. She had. The flood gates opened.

Later, they called the Gubernator and got him to come on the air not knowing Arianna was the guest. That went surprisingly well, given the viciousness of their exchanges during the gubernatorial race, with Arnold being very respectful and complimentary of her… until Stern posed the “have you been with a black person” question to Arnold. His response? “Yes, Howard, but lots of guys were with that woman that night.” Well, at least he didn’t use the “N” word.

Arianna departed with these words: “Don’t ever have on [the program] a hooker who isn’t registered [to vote].” Funny.

Stern has the potential for driving a serious wedge into the presidential race. The GOP consists of two elements, which don’t necessarily have any interest in each other: the fundamentalist Christians and the fiscal conservatives. Historical ties have brought them together, but Bush clearly panders to the former. Someone who has mass appeal like Stern can really throw a wrench into the crazy fundie regime we’re now living under and steer many casual non-politicos away from voting for the Chimperor. I think many on the left are realizing this may be just what we needed. Stern has a huge audience and isn’t passive like the mainstream news outlets. The Stern Factor should not be dismissed or ignored. Quite the opposite.

Check out for more info on his battle with the FCC. Whether you like him or not, he is getting a raw deal.