Thursday, May 28, 2009

Howard Stern, Mancow, Opie and Anthony talk politics: Waterboarding, Obama supporters and Pete Dominick

People often picture talkers like Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage when thinking of influential radio personalities in politics. There is another breed of talkers separate from political talk, who command equally formidable audience who also tackle the subject of politics.

Sometimes referred to as "shock jocks", Radio personalities like Howard Stern, Mancow and duo 'Opie & Anthony' are wildly popular talkers who appeal to a broader and younger audience. Their shows deal with topics ranging from sex to politics with a format more risque and juvenile than regular political talk.

The talkers less likely to be politically partisan, most consider themselves "libertarians" as reflected in their very liberal content which include guests like strippers, comedians and rockstars. It's also worth noting that this category of talkers are more likely to appeal to the wrestling fan demographic.

To demonstrate the reach of these "shock jock" talkers compared to regular political talkers, consider "America's Anchorman" Rush Limbaugh's 20 million listeners and reported $400 million paycheck. 'King of all Media' Howard Stern commands an estimated 5 million listeners and a paycheck nearing $500 million as a pioneer for Satellite Radio. In terms of political influence however the "shock jock" talkers are considered to have less sway as they appeal to a younger hence arguably apathetic or more casual political listener base.

I will highlight each of these "shocks jocks" and feature a relevant political episode

Matthew Erich "Mancow" Muller
Mancow made headlines by volunteering to be waterboarded live for his radio show, following in the footseps of Christopher Hitchens amongst other journalists. Colin Powell referenced the stunt in an interview illustrating how well the video was circulated.

Keith Olbermann who had earlier dared conservative talker Sean Hannity to follow through with his own boast of volunteering to be waterboarded interviews Mancow on the experience.

VIDEO: Mancow tells Olbermann "Waterboarding is torture"
KEITH OLBERMANN: Let's stipulate at the beginning, you and I are not gonna agree about anything politically...
MANCOW: Let's find some comon ground. First of all Sean Hannity called me and said, "It’s still not torture." I said, "Sean" — he is a friend of mine — "it is torture." All right. But look, you are giving 10,000 dollars to the So I think you are stand-up guy for doing that. That's why I'm sitting here.
OLBERMANN: That's are common ground...
MANCOW: Now let's fight
Conservative blogger speculates that Mancow's waterboarding stunt was well planned hoax, Mancow denies it.
Lefty blogs punked by Mancow "torture" stunt(?); Updated
Now, there’s a paper trail that suggests the glaringly obvious — that it was all an elaborate hoax, reportedly orchestrated with the help of Jerry Springer’s publicist.

Time for B.S. detector tune-ups, people. Next time, libs, don’t be so eager to hype a veteran radio entertainer crying “torture.”

You’re the ones who end up all wet.
Opie (Gregg Hughes) and Anthony (Anthony Cumia)
Opie and Anthony regularly welcomes wrestlers and comedians. APF pundits Marc Maron and Pete Dominick have both appeared on their show, talking politics with a looseness and vulgarity that typical of their act but otherwise stifled on their own programming. Demonstrated in Pete's last appearance on the show here -
Pete offering a disclaimer for his appearance with Opie & Anthony
Pete on Opie and Anthony this Morning
This is the audio of Pete’s appearance on Opie and Anthony this morning. Topics include stand-up comedy, guns, and torture. This is NOT a POTUS-style chit-chat, so if you’re easily offended, don’t listen.
Listen to audio of Pete Dominick as guest on The Opie & Anthony show

Howard Stern
Howard Stern's associate producer 'Sal', conducted an experiment during the 08' Presidential election where he would ask self confessed Obama supporters misleading questions. Sal would credit campaign policies that were originally John McCain's to Barack Obama, the test was to see if Obama's supporters would support views based on Obama's endorsement rather than on their individual merit.

VIDEO: Howard Stern - Sal Interviews "Obama Supporters" in Harlem
HOWARD STERN: It's so ridiculous for people to argue politics with anyone because most -- I'd say 99% of people don't know what the fu@ck they're talking about. So Sal went to Harlem yesterday and he questioned black people on who they were voting for. Obama pretty much they all said in Harlem... He'd list all McCain's policies but attribute them to Obama and they [black people] were all for McCain's policies


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