Misc Commentary For Mar 2, 2004

— Frank J. from IMAO interviewed G. Gordon Liddy and it produced one of the funniest exchanges I’ve ever seen in an interview…

Frank: Have you ever considered a soul patch instead?

Liddy: I’m sorry; considered what?

Frank: A soul patch.

Liddy: I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Frank: It’s a little bit of hair under your lower lip.

Liddy: You mean a goatee?

Frank: No, it’s just under your lower lip. A soul patch is a little hippy thing.

Liddy: Alright, I have no idea what you are talking about.

Jonah Goldberg, who is ambivalent about the FMA, nevertheless makes a point I’ve been trying to get across…

“What I don’t understand is why it’s a great thing for unaccountable judges to change the meaning of the Constitution without a public debate while it is some form of tyranny for the House, Senate and fifty states to debate the issue over the course of months or years under the glaring spotlight of the media.”

When it comes down to radically altering the definition of marriage via judicial fiat or protecting marriage via Constitutional process, and that’s what it comes down to on this issue, there is absolutely no question which path is more democratic and in line with what the Founding Fathers would have wanted.

— Back when Howard Stern was on in Charlotte, I used to enjoy his show when I headed into work. Furthermore, I’ve read both of his books, liked his movie, and generally thought he was a funny, creative, and talented entertainer. That being said, there has been way too much complaining about Stern being suspended by Clear Channel for being offensive.

Clear Channel is a private company and they have every right to drop Stern if that’s what they want to do to clean up their image. It’s not a First Amendment issue, the government didn’t make them do it, and there is no “chill wind blowing”. In fact, the decency standards on radio are actually fairly lax (which suits me fine by the way). If they weren’t, Stern and many of his imitators would have been fined off the air long, long, ago.

You also have to remember that there’s nothing new about this in the radio world or even for Howard Stern. In fact, I suspect that all of Stern’s carping on air about being censored is just shtick. Heck, Stern’s movie, “Private Parts” was in part about this same sort of situation. Stern was on the air, his bosses decided he was too offensive, and then he was eventually fired because of it — although I don’t remember the movie actually showing that part.

Stern’s a controversialist. He knows exactly where the line is and he deliberately dances back and forth across it to get ratings. For example, if the only thing you absolutely, positively, couldn’t do on radio was say the word “moo”…this is what you’d hear from Stern every day…

Stern: Let’s go to a caller…
Caller: Moo, MOO, MOOOOOOOO!
Stern: Did we beep all those out? We missed one?
Robin: That’s terrible..hahahahahah!
Stern: Yeah, couldn’t that guy just go to the MOOOOvies instead of calling my show?
Robin: Howard! You can’t say that!
Stern: Why, it’s a Mooooot point isn’t it?
Robin: Oh Howard!

That helps Stern build and retain an audience, but every so often he gets fined or fired over it. That’s just part of the price of doing business. But as long as Stern brings in the ratings, he’ll be back. There are plenty of radio stations out there who’ll be happy to bring him on board just as long as he can still make them money.

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