Wednesday, May 12, 2004

F*cked by the F*CC by Jeff Jarvis

Howard Stern is suffering in the claws of the FCC for the use of offensive language in the media. Jeff Jarvis in a recent Nation article argues that Democrats should take Stern's side in this row because a) censorship is wrong, b) Stern could deliver as many as eight million angry white male viewers to the Democratic Party and c) Jarvis likes to listen to Stern's shows.

All this is perfectly ok, even part c). We all have our little peccadilloes, though we usually don't advertize them in public. But Jarvis can't stop when the going is good; no, he has to try to prove to the reader that Stern is actually a really nice guy:

Let's be honest: We don't all talk like Hallmark cards and human resources directors. When we sit in the bar with friends, we gossip about people we hate; we joke about sex. And on our couches, when we watch the news, we think thoughts we won't admit. Stern admits them. Is he sexist? By many definitions, sure. But unlike many a wolf in sensitive-man clothing, he's straightforward about it. Is he racist? No. He has racists on the show, and he ridicules them because idiots are entertaining. Admit it: When you watch reality shows, you love to make fun of the fools on them, and that's not necessarily something to be proud of--but making fun of racist bozos is. Stern gives us credit for knowing they're offensive; he doesn't have to explain that to us or protect us from it. The nannies and the PC police only insult our intelligence when they think they need to save us.

Yep. Howard is a very nice guy. He's a sexist, ok, but at least he isn't a closet sexist: a pretend-sensitive new age guy. Howard's stuff hangs out in the open. And he isn't a racist, either. If you think so you are not very smart, not as smart as Jarvis is. And what a relief to know that the nannies and the PC police don't have to save "us". If only I knew who the "us" in the article might be: women? minorities?

Nope. I'm not going to lead a liberation army for Howard Stern, however many voters he might be able to deliver. Even if I was the Lady Liberty herself, Howard would only want to know about my cup size.