December 28, 2005, - 6:42 am

What Howard Stern Will Learn: Satellite Radio Has Censors, Too–The Left

By Debbie Schlussel
When Howard Stern begins his satellite radio career on January 9th, he may learn that he hasn’t escaped the censors.
Where terrestrial radio is sometimes disciplined by the FCC, satellite radio is governed by something far more malignant: The Orthodox Liberal-Left.
At least, that was my experience with XM–the number one satellite radio service and rival to Stern’s Sirius. I was aggressively sought by XM to do a show. But XM’s left-wing programming officials’ idea of what my views should be were far more restrictive than a governmental body properly trying to enforce decency in extreme cases. At XM, they were obsessed with Cindy Sheehan and Jane Fonda, vegetable-infused bus tour fantasies, rigidly pro-choice, and opposed to Justice Roberts’ nomination.

xm.jpg

XM Stands for Far Left Programming for Chicks

Over the past year, XM leadership courted me for a new women’s programming channel–the only original programming they were investing money in. Men are generally the leaders in using technology. But women are the majority of new car buyers–where XM and Sirius get their main exposure through temporary free satellite offerings as part of the package when buying a new car. That’s why XM was focusing its dollars on trying to provide programming “for women.”
But I don’t do “women’s programming.” I make fun of it. To me, the idea that different plumbing means I need any special programming–a la the Damsel-in-Distress Network (a/k/a “Lifetime”) or Oprah’s atrocious failure called the “Oxygen Network”–is absurd. But that’s not the way the left sees it, as I found out when I visited XM studios in Washington.
I turned down the offer to do XM’s women’s programming several times, but finally gave in as a way to get in the door. XM has a conservative talk radio channel, but like Sirius, it doesn’t offer any original conservative talk programming that you can’t hear on regular, free terrestrial radio (so why buy it?).
I had a successful conservative talk radio show on Detroit’s Infinity Broadcasting FM talk station (on which Stern’s show was running). While #1 in its late-night time slot, my show was replaced by “O’Reilly Radio Factor”–a free, company-owned show. The station could save money by not paying me (or Bill O’Reilly). My audience was mostly men–and the select group of smart women who don’t need tampon and Chico’s ads, a Jaclyn Smith he-cheated-on-me movie of the week, and a steady diet of Oprah-style feminism to pique their interest.
When I agreed to do a pilot for XM, I had a conference call with XM’s top programming official and Amy Reyer, the program director for the women’s channel, now called “Take Five.” (Taking more than five seconds of it could be hazardous to your health.) Both had listened to tapes of my show and both told me to ignore the fact that it was a “women’s” channel. I could do my show the way I did it on terrestrial radio, they insisted. They even discussed rating the show “extreme language,” which I assured them was NOT necessary. I’m a conservative, not a porn star.
“We don’t bite,” Reyer assured me. But once I got to XM studios, my experience was otherwise. Everything I said or did was too offensive, too un-P.C. for the privileged liberal women’s programming director, Reyer.
She told me she was looking for a conservative and had auditioned another one, who was too “mousy” (her word). But it soon became clear that she wasn’t looking for a conservative at all–mousy or otherwise. She was looking for an Alan Colmes-style buffoon to be a foil, the conservative bete-noire.
I recorded my pilot the day after Peter Jennings died, and my comments about his liberal and pro-Palestinian bias offended her. So did my comments about women with tattoos, fat women, and pretty much everything else.
Hillary Clinton made a comment in the news about supermodels and what a negative influence they are on “our daughters,” causing them to become anorexic. (Not like Chelsea is exactly rail-thin, but whatever.) I said I found that odd, given that so many Americans (over 60%) are obese–an epidemic in this country, while anorexia is a small issue in comparison. I thought that stores like “Torrid,” featuring super-sized thongs (the length of the Golden Gate Bridge), low-rise jeans in Size 18 (perfect for muffin-top over-exposure), and hammock-esque halter tops were the problem. Maybe Americans need to get more anorexic, not less, I said at a lunch-time conversation.
Oops, I blew the lid off ultra-liberal Amy Reyer. “That’s very irresponsible,” she said, visibly irked. “I hope you will be more responsible than that on the air,” implying that my comments would immediately hypnotize millions of girls not listening to her women’s channel to become skin and bones. Right.
Then, there were tattoos. A&E was just premiering its new reality show about tattoo artists, at the time. I talked about women with tattoos and how, when I see a woman with a tattoo, I see a woman who’s probably easy. If she makes a decision to permanently deface her body so quickly–probably by going to some low-rent needle den in a drunken stupor, getting a metal implement repeatedly stabbed into her body–she’ll probably make other split-second decisions to insert other things into her body in a drunken stupor. When I see a woman with tattoos, I generally see a skank, a whore.
Oops! I offended the left-wing Ms. Reyer again. “You can’t say ‘skank’ on the radio,” she protested. “It will offend our listeners. You need to be more like PBS.” How many PBS-watching 68-year-old cat-ladies–who stay home watching tax-subsidized specials on neo-feminist, pro-Palestinian, lesbian art from Antarctica–do you think get satellite radio? Not many. But it’s not like the liberal Reyer was in touch with that.
It’s not like Reyer had any experience in actual radio. She didn’t, coming from doing “women’s” shows on community access cable. Community access cable–Didn’t Wayne and Garth do that?
In the end, the women’s channel, Take Five, ended up choosing audio of TV’s “The Ellen Degeneres Show” and “The Tyra Banks Show” for its “flagship” programming. I suppose Banks’ Oprah-light, Jerry Springer-esque White minstrel show is more acceptable than my use of the word “skank.” Ditto for the Tyra episode on which her male doctor felt her up to prove to the world that her breasts are real. This is XM’s idea of what upscale, satellite-radio-consuming women want.
When I got to Ms. Reyer’s cubicle at XM headquarters, all was explained to me by the postings on the wall. Other than her son’s drawing, there were just two items, but they told me everything I needed to know. First, there was a notice about Cindy Sheehan’s bus tour, complete with Jane Fonda and vegetable fuel. I asked her why she had that up on her wall. “We’re going to broadcast the tour on our channel,” she told me. I asked her if she really thought women would be interested in hearing daily rantings by Hanoi Jane and Jihad Cindy. “Definitely. That’s what our listeners, that’s what a lot of women, want to hear.”
The other posting on Reyer’s wall was an article about Bush’s then Supreme Court nominee, Judge John Roberts, how women are rabidly pro-choice, and see abortion as the most important issue in his nomination. Which women? Not the ones I know. (Maybe the ones who attended Chelsea Clinton’s and Reyer’s alma mater, Sidwell Friends–the fancy, private Quaker school for rich, white liberals in Washington, who wouldn’t dare send their kids to public school to “mix with the Black folk”; all while they insist on busing your kids in.) I suppose XM’s women’s channel is not aimed at the millions of women who voted for a pro-life candidate in 2004, George W. Bush.
Fortunately, Roberts was confirmed, and the bus tour to nowhere never got off the ground. But XM’s misguided idea–that women want to hear these raving lefty lunatics attack our country and soldiers on a daily basis–should tell you something. That XM was investing money primarily in this channel, programmed by a woman possessed with left-wing orthodoxy, is elucidating.
I learned what Howard Stern and other satellite neo-groupies will soon find out. Satellite radio is gripped by censors far worse than legitimate decency standards: the liberal-left.
Satellite radio is an innovative technology. But its steady diet of the same old mainstream media agenda is anachronistic. You can get the same thing reading the front page of The New York Times–minus Tyra Banks’ classy breast “examination.”

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29 Responses

Your ability to express what I believe to be true is wonderful…and I’m an old retired KCMOPD sergeant, whom could be more cynical.
I found your perspective on the radio station interview about the same as I often encounter in everyday life. people are brainwashed.
Keep up the good work.

linc12 on December 28, 2005 at 8:33 am

You just explained why they call a tattoo on the lower back of a woman a “tramp stamp”.

jse on December 28, 2005 at 9:06 am

Having listened to Stern from the WNBC days, i’m sure he’s cognizant that the PC-left will be on his tail…who can forget all those memorable moments with Meg Griffin??? XM missed a golden opportunity, but everyone can e-mail Howard and petition to get her a spot on his stations…enough interest and i’m sure she’ll be on Stern 100.

EminemsRevenge on December 28, 2005 at 9:17 am

Outstanding post Debbie! You continue to amaze.

Digger on December 28, 2005 at 9:29 am

Ms. Reyer wants all the shows to be left wing, why did they ask you to pilot a show? That makes no sense. Wouldn’t they want to pick up both sides of any viewpoint? I am surprised and disappointed that XM would do that. Stern won’t run into that from Mel Karmazin. At least, I don’t think so, but I am always surprised by decisions media companies make.

John Sobieski on December 28, 2005 at 9:49 am

Reminds me of Vince Vaughn’s line from “Wedding Crashers” spotting the woman with the lower back tattoo, “Might as well be a bullseye.”
Your experience is why mainstream media is basically so boring these days. It’s controlled by too many lefties who want to tell everyone what to think. It’s funny that you and Ann Coulter, supposedly part of the staid conservative right, are now the radicals and two of the most interesting women in the media.
I don’t think they’ll bother Stern much, though. They have too much invested in him. I still say interest in his show will decrease significantly over time. As much as he hates the FCC and conservatives, they were doing him a big favor.

Jeff_W on December 28, 2005 at 10:33 am

I have been thinking about buying stock in XM. Your experiences with them are not encouraging me in that direction.
Media companies really need to decide whether they are business enterprises or political advocacy organizations.

photoncourier.blogspot.com on December 28, 2005 at 11:20 am

Thanks Debbie!
XM came with my car, and I have been having a
hard time finding anything worth listening to, I
thought because I have not spent much time
searching the channels. There is a nice
discount for 3 year subscriptions, so I wrote a
check…
Fortunately I had not mailed that check yet!

thraknar on December 28, 2005 at 1:23 pm

Right on again Debbie. I was up in the air whether to get XM or Sirius. Thanks for helping me make my decision.

JoeGOP on December 28, 2005 at 2:45 pm

I am a XM subscriber and I wish that XM would have given you the time to do your thing. Miss (and I do mean miss) Reyer needs to switch to decafe. The last thing women want is “get even with men” programming. She worried about offending people. She offending people went she claims that she knows what folks want to hear better than they do. A lot of the comedy stations on XM should be cancelled, going on Miss Reyer’s thinking. The majority of the comics played on the stations (there are 4 or 5 of them) do more to offend every group, ethnic, sexual, and otherwise, than anything you could say. And as a Black American, I love the xLxCOMEDY stations. It’s a laugh a minute riot. A friend of mine, whos a woman, almost rolled out of my car from laughing so hysterically at the x rated comedy. The comic made a joke about beggars and drug addicts. She a recovering drug addict!!! And she was laughing herself sick!!! Miss Reyer and all these liberals on the left need to take a chill pill, live in the real world, and see what real people like and are like. Debbie when you finally do get your show on XM, after Miss Reyer is fired, I will tune in. Howard Stern can’t hold a candle to you. but at least “we the people” will decide if Howard is worth our money to listen to him and his ranttings. And unless he’s going to air his satelite strippers on satelite television as well without the distorted picture, it won’t be worth it.

Ironman Hondo on December 28, 2005 at 10:34 am

Debbie,
You’re wrong about Sirius not having any original conservative talk programming. Sirius has Mike Church. http://www.mikechurch.com He is only heard on Sirius M-F 3p-7p PST. His show is NOT CENSORED by any means. He will say whatever he needs to say to make his point and not have it sugar-coated or dumbed down for anyone. You should listen to him, or, better yet, you should be in negotiations with Sirius for your own show. There’s plenty of room for you on either of their conservative stations (Patriot 144 or Right 145). Forget about XM. XM BLOWS!! Their music selection pales in comparison, they have a couple of Howard rip-offs in Opie & Anthony, and their conservative talk programming is better than what’s available on XM any day.

Yiddish Steel on December 28, 2005 at 3:55 pm

Debbie,great thoughts .Stern did ,and has continued to (Jump The Shark)with his strong use of Artie L.the (3rd.rate comic ex felon drug user drunk),and most all the rest of his yes-men.He will be needing to fill lots and lots of airtime and will beg you .But also Xm has lots of time to fill and the ‘foot in the door’will be no problem.As you say,”it doesn’t offer any original conservative….”.etc.But I’d like to hear and see you all the time.It will take another attack on U.S. soil to where people will seek your thought’s out.But then,that seems to last but a short time.Just look how they(Stern’s-group) treats you like shit.But right after 9/11 he was talking a different tune,but that ended.People will seek out guidance and undrestanding with regard to the one’s that hate america,even the people paying for radio.KOAJap’s+M+Ms’rev.can have Artie.I gave up my loyalty to Stern because of his treatment of you Debbie,and I was a very very long time fan.After the next attack Beth O-and the rest will not bug you about a makeover or not let you be heard even when they invited you to come on.

danny on December 28, 2005 at 5:58 pm

Stern is a has been, I have been listening since his nbc days. now he is a classic liberal, the man is out get him and nothing is his fault. His show has been horrible the last two years, remember when had michael moore on and gave him a platform to run down this country and promote his crappy film. Michael Moore is the white spike lee, his movies get lots of hype, they are controversial, and they suck. (sorry for going off on a tangent) Mr. Freedom of speech shut down his chat room because he didn’t like what people were saying about him and his celebrity friends, what a hypocrite. Sirius is losing money every day, and when they can’t pay stern he will blow his brains out with his 38 special. This is similar to what i have been saying, if somebody like hillary clinton gets elected president, she will hire one of her bull dyke friends to head the FCC, and she will attack stern for exploiting women and other things.

smokey on December 28, 2005 at 9:36 pm

Debbie, screw the obscure pay radio gigs. You should be getting a TV talk show, and it should have lots of Jewish and Israel related topics. This type of show could be huge if done right. A lot of people find Jews interesting, particularly the ones advertisers want.

shleppy on December 28, 2005 at 10:02 pm

I just installed Sirius in my car. Debbie, please get a gig with Sirius. I’ll listen to you every day during my drive to/from downtown Detroit.

Paul on December 29, 2005 at 5:17 am

Tough crowd here. I surely doubt Stern will blow his brains out and I hope not. I’ve lost interest in him and I think he’s a hypocritical egomaniac, but I wish him no harm. I think deep down he and the rest of his crew like Debbie and they know she sparks interest on his show. Stern’s just like Bill Clinton, he’ll be on the side that benefits him just like all lefties, except he has more common sense than most liberals. As soon as the Hillary types come down on him he will swing back to the conservative side.
I partly agree with Shleppy as I’ve said all along the lovely Debbie should have a TV show, but I don’t see why it should be limited to Jewish issues, unless he was being sarcastic. Just me, I don’t see why Debbie being a Jew is such a big deal with others. I just think she’s a smart, nice lady period whose viewpoints I am usually in agreement with.

Jeff_W on December 29, 2005 at 9:19 am

To Jeff-w;Did you even listen to the last two times Debbie was on the -stern n’ artie show- ?I hope your answer is no, “Tough crowd” not me Jeff. there was a time he was creative enough to have the info.+insight of a Debbie S.for me while still being a crack_up.But to just have Artie blast like air raid siren shows what a 3rd rate comic he uses now.I resent any of Debbie’s bloggers that think it’s ok or no big deal.And I resent Stern for not having,..forget it

danny on December 29, 2005 at 1:15 pm

It?s already happening in Canada. Sirius Canada, which is 40% owned by our ultra left wing state owned broadcaster, the CBC, has removed the Howard Stern channel from their service. The CRTC, Canada?s version of the FCC, has told both Sirius Canada and XM Canada that they must conform to the same spoken word content rules that the free terrestrial radio broadcasters must follow in order to not have their license revoked.
Sirius Canada will provide 6 CBC controlled channels, 4 of which are just their national stations on satellite. These include CBC Radio One Channel 137 and Radio 3 Channel 94, Radio-Canada (the French CBC) provides PremiË?• Plus Channel 138, Bande a part Channel 93, Infoplus Channel 187 and RCI Plus Channel 188.
Most Canadians that like Howard Stern but are not allowed by the government here to listen to him are going to the states to buy Sirius systems there to avoid Canadian censorship laws.

lovefm on December 29, 2005 at 4:04 pm

Many thanks for the info, Debbie. It’s an education each day reading your blog. I learned more about XM here, in ten minutes, than in all the published articles before yours. Your experiences, and the comments of your readers, further reinforce my decision to have nothing to do with any satellite/pay radio. If nothing worthwhile is on free stations, plenty of music, books on tape and poetry CDs are there for the listening. In the car, walking, biking, exercising or at home in the La-Z-Boy.

Bachbone on December 29, 2005 at 6:39 pm

Somehow I doubt “the Liberal Left” will censor Howard Stern on satellite radio… that being the premise of Debbie’s article (just read the headline).
Clearly Debbie wants her own radio program. She’s obviously upset at XM Satellite for not hiring her. She blames the left for her not getting the job… she was told she can’t say “skank” on the radio. Trust me, the word “skank” and whole host of other provocative words will be used the Stern show, as well as other shows.
Debbie will get her own radio show when the powers that be feel it will be a money making success.
Liberals haven’t stopped Limbaugh, Savage or O’Reilly from getting on the air and saying what they like… they certainly aren’t keeping Debbie from getting a show.
Debbie had best get into a series of debates with Artie Lang if she wants to provide entertaining radio.

James Scearce on December 29, 2005 at 8:34 pm

Yea Debbie; debate Arite(the felon ‘Bank- robber.coke head,drunk,3rd rate comic) and that’s only what he got caught at- looser Lang. Great radio,and at the same time you can sit in a make_up chair while Beth-O or (her help) works on you and stern will help pick the right bra with his (new)true love. But you know what Debbie,James Scearce, M+M’srev,King of all japs(koAjaps)+ the rest that have a good time ragging while stroking each other will want more.Just give them anything not to deal or think to hard about the non-christian arabs and what they have in store for the U.S.A.I know you already know all this and more.

danny on December 29, 2005 at 9:12 pm

Howard Stern is a waste of air time. Just get a TV (so that we guys can ogle while we agree with you and women can get jealous) or a radio show (so we cannot get distracted) to espouse your views. Don’t waste any breath on Howard Stern: hsi show is a waste of air time. He has no class. When Kathie Lee Gifford offered him condolences for his wife divorcing him, he attacked her on air. Ignore him and he will go away.

Loser on December 30, 2005 at 12:16 am

H.stern treats Debbie like crap.

danny on December 30, 2005 at 9:35 pm

Debbie – Since we weren’t there to hear both sides of your conversation with the XM program director, there is only your account to go by. You shouldn’t condemn an entire medium because things didn’t go your way. XM, like anything else offers choices, and whether you like it or not is a personal decision. Everyone needs to judge for themselves and not let someone else tell them what to think. I like to hear all sides, and find a lot of original programming on XM and Take Five that I like and appreciate. What I don’t like, I turn off, I don’t need any individual (or gov’t agency, for that matter) making those decisions for me. I’m sure Howard will find room for you on one of his Sirius stations, Debbie, if that’s what you want, and you can continue your harangue, with harrassment from Artie. Now THAT’S good old fashioned radio fun!

mardon on December 30, 2005 at 11:05 pm

Hey Danny, for someone who’s married, loves Deb, hates Artie, must’ve flipped when you saw the pics of Debbie. I would feel that way if I were infatuated with Deb. Oh and speaking about Sirius? Stern wants her on the show and I plan to call her too ;) Or maybe it’s just a goof and you’re just pulling our chains

KOAJaps on December 31, 2005 at 4:19 pm

Taking a Pass on Satellite Radio

I love the idea of satellite radio. The idea. Not the product in its current form. I seriously considered getting it recently and was going to spend some Christmas gift card money on the XM version (has hockey and better -imho- music stations) that …

The Meatriarchy on January 1, 2006 at 12:56 pm

King Of All Japs(as you like to call yourself):Don’t you remember you flashed the same picture the day it was taken.As a good learning tool for you.Punch up some of the archives -Both Debbie’s + Stern’s”- remember what you’ve tried to pass off as not being hatred and 3rd rate jokes by a hung over ass toward Debbie .And if that’s the best tobe expected then for sure no one’s really listening anyway and theyll give you lots of phone time. because

danny on January 1, 2006 at 7:48 pm

King Of All Japs(as you like to call yourself):Don’t you remember you flashed the same picture the day it was taken.As a good learning tool for you.Punch up some of the archives -Both Debbie’s + Stern’s”- remember what you’ve tried to pass off as not being hatred and 3rd rate jokes by a hung over ass toward Debbie .And if that’s the best tobe expected then for sure no one’s really listening anyway and theyll give you lots of phone time. because
Posted by: danny at January 1, 2006 07:48 PM
Are you trying to protect Deb from the perversion and vile of the Howard Stern Show? Jesus, I laughed my ass off when Artie goofs around, he goofs on everybody equally. I hope Deb goes on Sirius and spreads her word around, she’ll be a great asset to the Howard Stern Show. Kick ass Deb!

KOAJaps on January 2, 2006 at 4:01 am

King Of All Japs:Saying Artie (The coke-head ex-felon(Attempted Bank Heist) drunk ,3rd rate comic)goofs on Debbie equally is a false and just lame statement.I’ve certainlly pointed them out in the past,as have others even Robin Q.I don’t laugh my ass off when Artie is talking.I’m Spoiled by the many years of great times without his, whatever you call it, input.Schlussel doesn’t need my protection.As far as a guy that goes by the name of King Of All Japs and is always saying what his relations did while not able to speak of his own.I’m a fool for even the waste of time with you.

danny on January 2, 2006 at 7:42 pm

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