Howard Stern Should Feature Undiscovered Musicians


Howard Stern’s star has never shined brighter. The man’s “shock jock” status has slowly morphed into a one-stop-shop for career cleanup interviews whose long-form format is unprecedented in the business. Gone are the days of the small club of cool kids or loyalists who understand his appeal. In fact, those who poo-poo the radio titan are now considered old school, up tight outsiders.

In the last few years, Stern has dialed down his on-air time to just about twelve hours per week, which means that he must be extremely judicious about his interviews. And though he’s still loyal to the comedians whose careers he helped launch, there’s a large space for something more, and it lies in music. Though Stern often interviews the musicians who perform live on his show, that space only leaves room for huge acts, and there’s an opportunity to feature up-and-coming talent at the end of each show. He should follow in David Letterman’s footsteps and hire a talent scout to find rising stars. It’s simply ten minutes at the end of each show and it would keep in current.

Get on it, Stern. We’re all waiting.

The Hulk Hogan Case — Everything You Need to Know


Terry “Hulk Hogan” Bollea was awarded $115 million for emotional distress ($60 million) and economic damages ($55 million) in his case against Gawker Media, and he stands to gain even more when the jury decides on punitive damages. Punitive damages can total three times the award, which nets out at $345 million. Though unlikely, punitive means “punishment,” and if the jury wants to send a message, that’s where they’ll do it. According to the Los Angeles Times, Judge Pamela A.M. Campbell of the Sixth Judicial Circuit Court in Pinellas County advised the jury that the damages should not devastate the defendants, which include founder Nick Denton and Albert J. Daulerio, who was editor-in-chief of at the time the sex video was published. Denton is worth $121 million, and Gawker made nearly $50 million last year alone. As for Albert J. Daulerio, he’s insolvent. One thing is clear; however, and it’s that Daulerio deserves punishment.

While on trial, Daulerio was asked about whether he could imagine a situation in which a celebrity sex tape would not be “newsworthy,” and he said “if they were a child.” He then said that the only banned age would be “four.” He later back off his testimony insisting it was a joke, though the damage was likely done. It was also revealed during trial that he ignored desperate pleas from a college student to remove a video of her having drunken sex on the floor of a bathroom stall, claiming again that it was “newsworthy.” When asked whether he investigated the tape to determine if the sex was consensual, he admitted that he did not. In fact, he responded to the victim’s email plea by saying “Blah, blah, blah” followed by “advice” to “keep [her] head up.” In an interview with GQ Magazine, he admitted that the video in question might have in fact been a rape.

Because so many people misunderstand what “Freedom of Speech” means according to the First Amendment, this case provides the perfect opportunity to explain it. We’ve all heard “you can’t yell fire in a crowded theater” as a limitation on free speech, but what exactly does that mean, and how does it apply to the Hulk case? For starters, Hulk is suing for Invasion of Privacy, and Gawker’s entire defense revolves around the First Amendment. Our right to privacy means that one can not publicly disclose private information if it would offend a reasonable person, and if that information is not “NEWSWORTHY.” To sum this up in a nutshell in relation to Hogan, “the jury balanced privacy and press rights, and privacy won.” Because courts have traditionally upheld press rights, this case is monumental, and it will certainly send a message. As for Hogan, he’s aware, tweeting “Told ya I was gonna slam another giant” immediately after the verdict.

As a lawyer and a blogger that has long vowed to never post paparazzi pictures or invade the privacy of celebrities, this is especially interesting from a legal standpoint. Having said that, I’m getting more questions about the backstory of this sex tape than the lawsuit, so in an effort to satisfy that curiosity, here goes.

Hogan and Bubba “the Love Sponge” Clem were longtime friends, and the Sirius radio “shock jock” claimed to have helped Hogan heal from his tempestuous divorce with then-wife Linda. The pain of his divorce also came on the heels of his son’s arrest and some alleged financial issues. Needless to say, Hogan was not in the best place, and what does a good friend do when you’re grieving the loss of your family as you knew it? Well . . . he offers his wife, of course. Bubba told Hogan to have sex with his wife Heather, though their stories vary as to who initiated this idea. Bubba did not watch the act itself but seemed completely fine with sharing his wife. According to Hogan, he had no idea he was being filmed. When asked by Howard Stern what kind of marital arrangement they had, Bubba would not elaborate. Stern asked if Bubba suffered from some type of erectile disfunction, but Bubba remained coy. Clem and his wife later divorced. The sex tape in question was allegedly stolen by a former, disgruntled employee of Bubba’s, though he was not prosecuted for the theft. Gawker got wind of the tape and posted a minute long snippet. That was enough, and Hogan sued. The rest is history. Bubba and Hogan are no longer friends.

There are a lot of lessons to be learned from this case. First, if you are a blood-sucking maggot, you will get your due, and it’s nice to know a jury of our peers has a conscience. Second, though friends might let friends fu-k their wife, they certainly don’t tape it. Third, if your wife wants to f-ck other dudes and you’re not watching, she’s either selfish or your sex drive needs a serious evaluation. And lastly, don’t leave your secret sex tapes in your office for your employees to steal. If you do, label them “easy diet tricks.”

Howard Stern Moves Show to 3 Days a Week — Devastation Ensues

Howard Stern broke my heart today and I’m not sure I will fully recover.  He announced that, starting next week, he will reduce his show from four days per week to three days per week.  When Stern re-signed with Sirius, he warned listeners that he’d change his schedule, which means this arrangement was negotiated months ago.  My guess is that Stern wanted to keep this announcement a secret until the dust settled on his contract re-negotiation.  I understand that Howard Stern is the only entertainer of his caliber that has to produce this much original content.  Letterman, for example, is on the air for one hour per day, and he has an entire machine behind him. Stern has a much smaller machine, and he’s producing 16 hours of original content per week.  That being said, I’m still devastated.  According to Stern,  “The option was either leave or work a few less days, and I thought it was better to stay on the air.” Yes — I’d prefer to have some of Stern than none of Stern.  But I want all of Stern.  Is that too much to ask?

Howard Stern Sues Sirius — Should he Mention it on the Air?

Can someone please explain to me how you sue the company you work for and still churn out a great product for that company every day?  Such is the case with Howard Stern, who recently sued Sirius for not delivering his stock grants.  Stern’s contract provided stock awards based on increased subscriber growth, and he only received those awards in 2006 and 2007.  Sirius and XM merged in 2008, and apparently Sirius doesn’t think the increased subscribers from the merger warrant Stern’s stock awards.  According to Stern, his presence at Sirius facilitated the merger, and he’s therefore responsible for the increased subscribers.  Translation?  It’s arguable.  I’m not sure why Stern resigned with Sirius if he felt so wronged by the company, but perhaps they cajoled him into resigning by promising the previous stock awards and then didn’t deliver.  It’s unclear.  What is clear; however, is that Howard Stern is nothing if not honest on his radio show, which means, at the very least, this should be brought up on the air.  There is absolutely no legal consequence of simply saying, “yes, I’ve sued the company, but I cannot discuss it on the air.”  That way he kills the elephant in the room.

Howard Stern on Jimmy Fallon: Plays ‘Louie Louie’

Stern fans everywhere likely know why it’s so hilarious that he played Louie Louie on Jimmy Fallon.  For those that don’t listen to his show, aside from being ashamed of yourself, you should know that  Jimmy Kimmel threw Howard Stern a party the last time Stern visited Los Angeles, and Stern took great pride in playing Louie Louie with the other musicians at the party.  It’s apparently the only thing he can play, so it only makes sense that he’d break out his best hit for his Fallon appearance. Stern revealed during his interview that he’s only there to promote the new Sirius phone app, and he’s finished with talk show appearances altogether.  “It’s a lot of pressure to come out here, he said.  What, I gotta prove  myself to you?  I mean come on, really”  Since Jimmy Fallon is such a huge Howard Stern fan, he didn’t take offense.   I’m absolutely positive that we’ll see Stern on again, despite his retirement declaration.  His curmudgeon proclamations are always temporary.

Sirius Launches Charlie Sheen Channel — Ripping off Howard Stern’s Ideas?

Sirius announced a station exclusively dedicated to Charlie Sheen’s antics, and they clearly stole the idea from Howard Stern’s radio show.  The new station will have interviews with some of Sheen’s porn stars, and just last week Howard Stern did the exact same thing while holding a porn star beauty pageant.  Also, if you’re a Stern fan then you know that Stern has a news team exclusively dedicated to the antics surrounding Howard Stern’s radio show, which is precisely what the Charlie Sheen station will do.  This is obviously how they thought of the idea.  You might be wondering what the problem is, especially considering that Howard Stern works for Sirius, so any Sirius popularity indirectly benefits Stern.  Because I’m a massive Howard Stern fan, I’m fully confident that Stern is furious about this.  First, Stern recently said that he’d like to give Sheen a radio show on one of Stern’s two channels, so it’s obviously troubling that Sirius will put similar content elsewhere.  Second, when Sirius offered Rosie O’Donnell a show, Stern was pissed because he wanted her on one of his channels.  He publicly exposed his anger, saying that Sirius basically stole his idea without consulting him.  It’s completely irrelevant that Stern and Sirius play on the same team.  They are still ripping off Stern’s original content, which is unacceptable.

Howard Stern on David Letterman — Proves He’s a Legend

There’s no entertainer that I respect or love more than Howard Stern.  I listen to him daily, and if we weren’t alive at the same time, I would insist I was a reincarnated version of him.  He’s an angst-ridden, neurotic Jew with overbearing parents, and he always says what’s on his mind no matter how controversial.  I often watch his old interviews, and his David Letterman appearances are legendary.  He recently appeared on Letterman to promote the new Sirius phone app, and true to form, he hijacked Letterman’s show.  Because Stern is the greatest interviewer on the planet, he’s incapable of being interviewed himself, and he basically turns every appearance into an extended version of his own radio show.  In the interview below, he told Letterman that his staff needs to stop writing books and producing movies and start focusing on how to beat Jay Leno in the ratings.  He also said that no one gets fired at CBS except for him, and he cited Letterman’s staff member “shenanigans” as an example.  Stern said he asked all the women backstage if they’ve slept with Letterman.  Watch below.  It starts at minute five.

Howard Stern Admits Why He Won’t Discuss Artie Lange

Howard Stern fans everywhere have consistently complained about how Stern blatantly dodges the Artie Lange topic.  Since Lange’s suicide attempt, Stern suspiciously changes the subject every time Lange’s name is mentioned, which outrages fans.  On today’s Show, Stern finally addressed the elephant in the room (no pun in intended).  He said that he remembers how he felt when he first heard about Lange, and he “did a lot of self examination” about whether he contributed to his demise.  He therefore tries to “be extremely careful” when mentioning Lange.  Though Stern didn’t blatantly say this, I think he takes a lot of responsibility for Lange, because he continued to employ him and make fun of him at the height of his drug abuse.  Stern still insists that he had no idea Artie was using drugs, but I’m not sure I believe it.  First, Artie admitted to using drugs, and though he said he was getting clean, Stern always questioned his sobriety on the air.  The staff even called Stern a hypocrite for letting Artie show up late or not at all, while holding the rest of the staff to a higher standard.  In fact, Norm MacDonald called Stern an enabler on the air, and Stern said he liked Artie and wouldn’t fire him over his drug abuse.  Artie ultimately left the show because Sirius kicked him out — not Stern.  They basically forced Stern’s hand.  I’m not blaming Stern, though I do think he should have fired Artie long before Sirius did.

Is Robin Quivers Leaving Howard Stern?

Everyone knows that there’s no Howard Stern without Robin Quivers, so her announcement today that she might not return to the show was particularly disturbing.  Apparently, Howard Stern signed his deal for another five years, but Robin has yet to sign her own deal.  I found this confusing, especially because my understanding of Howard Stern’s contract is that Sirius pays his company a lump sum and then Stern uses that money to pay his staff.  That would explain why he’s repeatedly said that he didn’t actually pocket $100 million per year.  According to Robin, she “hasn’t even been made an offer.”  Does this mean that Howard hasn’t made her an offer or that Sirius hasn’t made her an offer?  I demand an explanation.

Howard Stern Renews With Sirius — YAY!!!

I’m going to keep this short and sweet.  Howard Stern renewed his deal with Sirius, and will be on the radio for another five years.  That not only means that he won’t abandon his staff in this terrible economy, but also that I don’t have to cry every morning in memory of the radio show that makes each of my days a little brighter.  On yesterday’s show he said there was one major sticking point left in his negotiations, but he would not reveal what it was, only admitting that it made him feel disrespected.  I assume that Sirius folded, because Stern doesn’t seem like the concession kind of guy.  Did I mention that I love Howard Stern?! Also, I’d like to get some credit for predicting this.