The Corner

Howard Stern, Fighting The Man

The big media story today is that CBS is suing its former star radio host, Howard Stern, who decamped for satellite radio in January. Despite receiving a salary well in excess of $20 million a year, Stern assumed the affect of a tormented, tortured and ill-treated working-class guy being hassled and harrassed by The Boss — either his bosses at the radio station, the corporate guys or the Federal Communications Commission. Stern’s insistence that he was a victim just like his working-stiff audience was a fantastic ruse, something only a sucker could fall for, and his audience’s willingness to believe him just showed there’s a (porn-addled) sucker born every minute.

For jumping to satellite radio, Stern received what may be the biggest payday in show-business history — a $500 million contract for five years’ work and stock options worth another $200 million. With money like that and complete freedom to do whateve he wanted, how on earth could Stern function? Whom would he rant against?

Well, now, his former boss Les Moonves has done Stern the inestimable favor of suing him on the ludicrous grounds that he somehow illegally enriched himself by talking about his new job while he was still doing his old job. There’s no way Moonves can win this case — Stern remained the #1 morning-show host in the country before his contract ran out and made CBS tens of millions of dollars as he was doing it. Now Stern can spend an hour every day ranting and raving about Les Moonves tormenting and torturing him.

So here’s my theory. Stern is actually paying Moonves. He is now far richer than the CBS chieftan, and has hired him on the side because he knows he needs a Man to rebel against, even as he grows richer than Oprah Winfrey. If that’s not the reason, then Les Moonves is just a schmuck.

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