If You're Not With Us... You're Off The Air
The Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts and the economy aren't winning issues for Bush. But a manufactured culture war about how raunchy America is has become a hot button.Test it. Please test it. Make our day.
And it makes Stern an easy target.
"That's how the whole thing started," Stern said. "I mistakenly opened my mouth about my political views that didn't agree with [those of] the president of Clear Channel."
That would be John Hogan, head of the company that is the largest owner of radio properties in the United States, with thousands of stations across the country.
When Stern became critical of Bush in the aftermath of the Janet Jackson incident, it didn't sit well with Hogan or the owners of Clear Channel, the Mays family, who are also major Bush supporters.
So, when Clear Channel was fined a record amount last month for the sins of another shock jock, Bubba the Love Sponge of Tampa, the company showed how seriously it took its penance and adherence to the "new standards." In a preemptive move, Clear Channel pulled Stern's income-producing show off the air in the six cities in which it aired the program. (Infinity continues to broadcast the program on many other radio stations.)
"There's only one thing you can do," said Stern. "Remember me in November when you're in the voting booth. I'm asking you to do me one favor. Vote against Bush. That's it."
Can Stern become that powerful a force to sway an electorate? In the era of Arnold Schwarzenegger and disgruntled electorates, if I were Bush, I wouldn't want to test it.