Tag Archives: Howard Stern

Sirius setback for Stern Suit

17 Apr

New York City Supreme Court Justice Barbara Kapnick rendered a decision yesterday on a motion for summary judgment brought by SiriusXM against Howard Stern’s production company and agent. Stern listeners will know that he took SiriusXM to court alleging that they are in breach of his first 2006 – 2011 contract with Sirius. He alleged that, under the contract, the post-merger influx of XM subscribers into the merged company should count towards his performance bonus, which dealt with how many subscribers Stern had attracted to the service. Listeners will be aware of his recent comments mocking the fact that SiriusXM claims to be one company, or two, depending on how it might convenient for it. 

The judge, however, sided with SiriusXM, pointing out that the contract had a specific clause providing for a $25 million bonus in the event of a merger with XM, which was honored. The judge interprets the contract to not count incoming XM subscribers – only 1 million of whom opted to actually listen to Stern via the “Best of Sirius” add-on package – as part of the bonus structure. 

I fully expect that Stern and Buchwald will appeal this ruling, but it makes for interesting reading and a unique glimpse into Stern’s business dealings. 

Stern Dismissal

Glenn Beck, Political Shock Jock

3 Sep

In these times, what does the growing popularity of Glenn Beck mean?  I’ve been thinking about this for months; how did Glenn Beck and “movement conservatives” take the lead out of the wilderness in which Republicans found themselves after the Democrats won a sweeping mandate to govern in 2006 and 2008?  By any measurement, he brought a whole lot of people to the Washington Mall last weekend for what amounted to a prayer service with an underlayment of political messaging…not many media personalities could do the same.


Beck’s anti-intellectualism, cultural and ideological xenophobia and revival tent style proselytizing represent an insurgency into the American politic.  It’s an insurgency of insincerity, quasi libertarian kabuki theater and purposeful pandering that is dumbing down our national debate.  Certainly, there have been many like him before and there will be more like him in the future.  However, Beck is becoming the leader of a movement he helped to create.  The merging of spirituality, fear, purposeful ignorance, revisionism, and propaganda to create a media empire to confuse the masses and profit from becoming their sole voice of reason in the ideological storm of his creation.

Never before has a person of this ilk had so many outlets to reach so many people near instantaneously.  Beck hosts a four hour long, nationally syndicated daily radio show, spends an hour live (with a replay later!) on Fox News, writes blog posts, publishes bestsellers, posts frequent Twitter updates and friends all his fellow cultural warriors on Facebook.  His reach exceeds that of most major news organizations and the narrative he’s selling is being lapped up by a Parsons-like populace so subsumed with media choices that they are looking for any harbor in a storm.  This is what he has wrought:


He has enormous power and his partnership with Fox News, Sarah Palin, the cultural tea party and movement conservatives grows monthly.  He has fomented in many a fear that our nation is on a steady march to socialism, stalinism, fascism, nazism, and/or communism.  That the only way to stop this creeping tide of totalitarianism is to watch his shows, listen to his radio program, read his books, attend his university (even though he never attended one himself), and follow him to freedom.  He has staked out ground to say he’s neither supportive of Republicans nor Democrats, so he has the high water safety regardless of who holds official power.  He is the classic Charlatan and Americans are lapping it up.  How has the sane portion of America ceded so much ground to such a deliberate opportunist?  How has his narrative and that of the ultra-right taken over the agenda of the Republican Party?  Where do we go from here?

In this clip, he compares U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius to Kim Jong Il and Mao, all while comparing universities to dictatorial re-education camps.


I mean, really.  This is not a responsible discussion or debate.  It’s the political version of being a radio shock jock on some morning zoo program in a podunk town…just like Beck was before he became the voice of the new right.


King of the Shock Jocks, Howard Stern, breaks down the Glenn Beck phenomenon in his own inimitable way.  In a sign of the upside down times we find ourselves, Howard has morphed into a voice of reason in America.  Seriously.