Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Howard Stern makes Sirius debut, sans profanity

The genius of Howard Stern can't be overstated.

Although I didn't personally hear Howard's debut on Sirius (not avalable in Guam...dammit), CNET reports that he didn't leverage the unregulated, uncensored nature of his new satellite radio program and launch a barrage of s- and f-bombs upon the network's more than 3 million subscribers. In fact, evidently Stern himself didn't curse even once, but he did scold and question the motives of those that did. He even went so far as to make a solemn promise that he wouldn't do so. That's damn smart.
"I have a personal rule that I'm not going to curse," Stern said, despite uttering a handful of words that would no doubt have brought government fines on his former medium of broadcast radio and using a term normally not heard outside of a men's locker room to describe Martha Stewart's daughter, Alexis.

The few times an off-color word did leave Stern's mouth, he was quick to say that he was trying not to curse liberally and scolded others for turning to profanity for profanity's sake.
First of all, we'll always be waiting with bated breath for the day he actually slips up or drops a litle profanity just to get the point across. What a momentous occasion that'll be. But the larger value is in that he won't be vulgar just to be vulgar. That his show will probably have liberal uses of strong language just because it can, as is one of the hallmarks of Adam Curry's "Daily Source Code" podcast, makes him an even better broadcaster for holding back. It's already become a running gag that Howard, the king of the shock jocks, won't dive into the profanity pool. His cast and other who interact with him may, but he'll ironically refrain. That's incredibly strategic.

Stern rules.


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