radio free america

If you have access to a radio this morning, you might want to tune in to Howard Sterns show. First, Clear Channel dropped him, and now it looks like the FCC is preparing to file charges and stick Infinity Broadcasting with a hefty fine. Taken together, it would appear that theres a coordinated attack underway.

Stern predicts that the show wont be on the air a month from now.

Personally, I think Stern jumped the shark when he left his wife and took a desperate turn toward hardcore. That doesnt change the fact, however, that hes got a First Amendment right to say what it is that hes saying. (And he’s still occasionally witty, between porn segments, when talking about his life or politics.)

So, Janet Jacksons nipple was the tipping point Now the religious right feels emboldened to go after him. Hes not going down without a fight though. Tune in if you can. It might be your last chance to hear him this political, talking about a Bush administration that he clearly sees as fascist.

Sure, you have to take everything he says with a grain of salt – his $18 million per year livelihood is being threatened but this is something that we should all be concerned about.

If you cant listen, do the next best thing and read the piece, entitled The Passion of Howard Stern, that ran on Salon yesterday. Heres a clip:

Stern’s loyal listeners, Clear Channel foes and many Bush administration critics immediately reached the same conclusion: The notorious jock was yanked off the air because he had recently begun trashing Bush, and Bush-friendly Clear Channel used the guise of “indecency” to shut him up. That the content of Stern’s crude show hadn’t suddenly changed, but his stance on Bush had, gave the theory more heft. That, plus his being pulled off the air in key electoral swing states such as Florida and Pennsylvania.

This week, Stern himself went on the warpath, weaving in among his familiar monologues about breasts and porn actresses accusations that Texas-based Clear Channel — whose Republican CEO, Lowry Mays, is extremely close to both George W. Bush and Bush’s father — canned him because he deviated from the company’s pro-Bush line. “I gotta tell you something,” Stern told his listeners. “There’s a lot of people saying that the second that I started saying, ‘I think we gotta get Bush out of the presidency,’ that’s when Clear Channel banged my ass outta here.

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