Friday, February 18, 2005

NY Press' Jeff Koyen takes on Howard's "martyrdom"

The 50-year-old Stern is no martyr. He's a corporate cog who paints a passion play of his overlords' acquiescence. Did Stern publicly urge his bosses not to pay? Yes. Did he publicly urge them to fight in court? Absolutely. But did he walk away when they refused to take on a court battle in the name of free speech?

Threats must be dangerous to be effective, and Stern is a good 20 years past dangerous. He's just another comic on the decline, a pampered celebrity with wealth but little countercultural legacy, a tired mainstream star whose frat-boy routine is as dated as his wardrobe. These days, he's interesting only for his increasing resemblance to Joey Ramone's corpse—albeit with a liquid tan.

What's worse, Stern doesn't see—or, maybe, acknowledge—the connection between corporate pocket-monsters like Giuliani and Bloomberg (both of whom he has supported) and the current media landscape. He fails to connect the endorsement dots that float in his career like so many turds in a cesspool. Stern panders to the lowest common denominator with fake tits and conservative politics crafted to appeal to the morning-drive everyman. He campaigned for the very people who now seek media restrictions, curry White House favor and invite ad agencies to bid on our public space.



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