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Ralph Nader > In the Public Interest > Rush Limbaugh and Howard Stern

As compared with portrayals of virtue, depictions of vice are more likely to stimulate attentiveness on the part of radio and television audiences. But Howard Stern and Rush Limbaugh have taken this craven pit to new depths.

Howard Stern, in case you’ve never heard him, is the multimillionaire radio “shock jock” with long flowing hair, who daily uses your public air waves for flagellation, self-flagellation, and pornographic renditions about hypogastric regions of erotica.

Due to his outbursts and vocabulary, he has managed the impossible. He has startled the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from its stupor and provoked it to fine his company large sums.

Always pushing the envelope, Stern seems to have no more envelope to push, having turned down an opportunity for a late night television show (imagine that spectacle!) So, he’s running for Governor of New York State.

You think he is fooling. Well, folks, a few days ago he received the overwhelming nomination for Governor by the New York Libertarian Party at their convention. (“Our best dream and our worst nightmares,” said one Libertarian). Stern said that he would not finish his full term if elected, conceded he knew nothing about budgets and that he would quit once his death penalty bill passed and something was done about highway tolls.

Politics always had a smell of theatre, but prepare for bawdy theatre, Stern-style. Howard, refreshingly, is a unique hypocrite. He does not let his own children watch his show and his family is quite straight-laced.

Next comes Rush Limbaugh and his seventeen and one half hours a week (15 on radio and 2 1/2 hours on television) of insipid egotism. On television sitting in front of bookshelves filled with his book, Limbaugh delivers his nightly ditto disinfomercial in the form of a soliloquy that permits no guests and no audience questions. Behind his desk, he regularly refers to himself as “America’s number one talk show host” and as the “voice of truth.” He once told his viewers that he picks up attractive women in his studio audience who catch his eye.

Limbaugh, he of the Snapple mind, goes after Democrats, Liberals and government. Never does he challenge his paymasters, the corporations who feed off Washington’s welfare’s billions and who have been known to defraud and harm consumers and workers.

Limbaugh, the electronic coward, believes in one-way diatribes, thereby incurring the contempt of more than one genuine talk show host who believes in dialogues, however spicy and argumentative.

Inside Edition recently portrayed another scene of coarseness just outside the Congress. Spotting House Ways and Means Chairman, Dan Rostenkowski’s stretch limousine parked right next to a fire hydrant, reporter Steve Wilson asked a Capitol police sergeant standing nearby why he was not giving the vehicle a ticket. No answer.

A few minutes later, the Sergeant cited Wilson’s film crew for “walking so as to create a hazard.” Whereupon Rostenkowski’s driver appeared taking pictures of the film crew with one hand and repeatedly giving them the middle finger with the other hand. This prompted the show’s anchor, Bill O’Reilly to remark wryly that the driver “was reminding us all that Inside Edition is still number one.”

Such role models, all these personages. The tide has turned so raunchy that the traditional custodians of morality and virtue don’t even bother to comment.

By the way, who are those custodians these days?