I Warned You that Ancient Jewish Wisdom Discouraged Investing in Sirius Satellite Radio

Don’t you just hate it when people proudly proclaim-“I told you so!” Don’t you hate it even more when they were right? Well, I told you so! Two years ago I said Howard Stern’s move from free radio to subscription-based satellite radio was going to bomb for Sirius which paid Stern about half a billion dollars to get him to move his show to Sirius.

Let’s go back to the beginning. When it came out last year, I wrote a review of Streisand’s movie, “Meet the Fockers.” In my review which I called “Our Worst Enemy,” I indicated that indeed, the worst enemy of the Jews is the Jews. It was the second time I wrote about Stern.

Here is an excerpt of what I wrote:

It is not only in movies that Jews besmirch Jews as sexualizing the culture. Ruth Westheimer told The New York Times of her love for Judaism, Israel, and the Jewish people. Meanwhile, as Dr. Ruth, with her grandmotherly appearance and her high-pitched Jewish accent, she titillates her audiences with shockingly explicit sexual advice.

Radio shock-jock Howard Stern intersperses his displays of dehumanizing depravity with a constant stream of “Oy veys” as if subconsciously compelled to highlight his Jewish ethnicity.

Jerry Springer, widely known as the Jewish former mayor of Cincinnati, normalizes depravity by projecting a deviant sub-culture and its cheering hooligans right into America’s living room.

A few years ago, the Los Angeles Jewish Journal gushingly profiled a Jewish pornographer whose stage name is Ron Jeremy. The piece praised the huge sums he’s been paid to “bed more gorgeous women than James Bond.” Jeremy, who proudly admits to have acted in or directed over 1,500 porn videos, cited the preponderance of Jewish men in porn and explained, “Jewish families tend to be more liberal than Christian ones, they aren’t obsessed by the fear of the devil or going to hell.” As if to eliminate any lingering doubt about Ron Jeremy’s Jewishness, the Jewish Journal breathlessly assures us that Ron Jeremy plans to marry in a synagogue.

The first time I wrote about Stern was when I predicted that Sirius would take a financial hit for paying so much for Stern’s notoriously raunchy radio show. Now the reports are in.

On his syndicated radio show Stern used to enjoy a daily audience of about 12 million Americans. On satellite he probably has fewer than 2 million listeners. On November 27th Forbes Magazine reported that after having become disconnected from most of his vast audience, Stern’s media mentions in 2005 were down 23% from 2004.

Since signing Stern, Sirius shares are down 44% though Stern probably did help Sirius gain new subscribers. Those subscribers number a little over 5 million right now but, and it is a great big, gigantic, monumental BUT, many of them do not listen to the Howard Stern Radio Show.

Reason: Simple. On good old fashioned free radio, Howard had an ally—the Federal Communications Commission. They gave Stern so much free publicity. They also granted him a unique niche in radio. For many in his demographic (adolescents of all ages) Stern was an irresistible attraction. Howard was willing to push the limits of drooling concupiscence beyond the point that all other radio hosts gave up. His show constantly earned the ire of the good commissioners and stations running his show were often fined for indecency. Howard didn’t mind. Those were his friends. They kept away the competition that lacked the stomach for confrontation with the government that Howard relished. Fans tuned in to each day to hear Stern escalate the scatology.

But there is one big problem with hosting shock radio. No matter what you do, each day you are only upping the ante for the next. Shock your audience today with breathtaking prurience, and tomorrow they expect better. Under the watchful eye of the FCC, Stern pushed the limit like nobody else. On satellite radio, there is no FCC. There are no limits and Howard enjoys no unique niche. There are plenty of hosts on the hundreds of channels who are selling shock and who are willing and eager to escalate it each day. But without the FCC, it’s just no fun. That is why so few of Sirius subscribers listen to Stern. On free radio they listened to him taunt the FCC like nobody else could or would. On satellite there is no shortage of shock jocks. Many are younger and edgier than Stern and they grab audience share.

It was not a hard call to predict that once Stern was out of reach
of the FCC his competitive edge would erode. It would be like a circus tight rope walker who suddenly lowered his rope walking act to three feet off the ground. Without the risk there is no thrill. There is no risk for Stern on satellite and there certainly is no thrill. And to tell you the truth, if there is one less Jew out there purveying filth, I am happy. And I am happy I told you.

I may be Rabbi Daniel Lapin, but this post gets signed—

Ayatolah Youso.

3 thoughts on “I Warned You that Ancient Jewish Wisdom Discouraged Investing in Sirius Satellite Radio”

  1. Dear Rabbi,

    I love what you wrote about Meet the Fokkers. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find a full rendition of that review anywhere. Unfortunately, though, it looks like Howard has thrived on satellite radio in the 13 years since you wrote this piece.



  2. Dear Rabbi and Mrs. Lapin:

    I am humbled by your commentary, but believe that acts like Howard Stern will meet with the inevitable Biblical consequences of cause and effect. It is your scholarship and exemplary life that bridge the gap between so many Balkanized groups, where the crude comments of others widen that divide. I am reading your wise tome, “Thou Shall Prosper” now, and will assign it to all my daughters. I am hopeful that we can all live together, realizing the need for a return toward traditional values, no matter our religion.

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