It’s odd that a man who talks about lesbians, sodomy and bodily excretions can stain his own career simply by talking, but that’s what’s happening on the days Stern is heard live via satellite. Being King must have its perks, since in addition to taking every Friday off Stern’s current vacation schedule would make Carson blush.
The modern version of “The Howard Stern Show” reveals a performer far more concerned with navel gazing than skewering sacred cows. When Stern savages a subject now, it’s more often because he or she dared to cross his path. Today’s Stern seems disinterested in lampooning the powerful. Yes, he still swats Oprah Winfrey whenever the chance appears, but he barely lays a glove on a vulnerable president or the stars in his expanding inner circle.
The young Stern gained our trust because he was one of us, a workaday father and husband who understood what it’s like to sit in traffic, deal with inept co-workers and field complaints from an irate spouse. The modern Stern is part of the media power structure, and he knows it. That air of entitlement seeps into every monologue, distancing himself from us in ways that can’t be mended.