This was the week that Howard Stern, the self-proclaimed “King Of All Media,” made the leap from terrestrial radio to the brave new world of Sirius satellite radio. The press attention would make you think that this was a major cultural event. Through the magic of the Internet, I was able to listen to Stern’s first broadcast. I just can’t bring myself to pay money to listen to radio. I haven’t listened to commercial radio since I left the air 16 years ago. To me, when radio is not being employed as a music delivery system, it’s being horribly abused and misused.
So, you’re wondering what I thought of Stern’s first uncensored broadcast. Well, I can’t, for the love of God, understand why people would pay money to listen to this crap for four hours each day. Stern can be funny, in very short bursts, and he’s a top-notch interviewer, when he has a fascinating subject, but this self-involved garbage with Stern talking about his “new venture,” all the while surrounded by sophomoric sycophants is just UNBEARABLE. It just seemed to go on forever.
The changes from his old show are that he isn’t censored, and there are no commercials. Sadly, the censorship was the only reason to listen to his show. It was a kick to see how far he could push the envelope. Now there is no envelope. F-Bombs fly left and right. After a few minutes of that, you don’t care anymore. The shock value is gone. And that was the show’s raison d’etre. My reaction to the show is “eh.”
Once you get past the shock value being gone, you’re left with Howard’s gang of sidekicks, and his shtick of being misogynistic and making fun of the handicapped. Oh, and there are the porn stars and strippers he brings on his show, which, being on the radio, can only titillate the most desperate of listeners.
If you like Stern, now you can get him uncut and unadulterated. You have to pay for it, but maybe you can look at it as a tax on people with horrible taste. I fairly well despise all morning “shock jock” radio, and have no use for radio as long as I have a CD player in my car, so this show ain’t gonna make me run out and buy a satellite radio system. This block of morning misery is not a selling point for me. Maybe I’m not the right person to critique this program, but faced with the prospect of having to listen to the Howard Stern Show every morning, I’d rather chew my right arm off, just below the elbow.