Howard Stern’s White Supremacist Interview Suddenly Doesn’t Look So Funny

Howard Stern’s White Supremacist Interview Suddenly

Howard Stern was just being Howard Stern when he booked accused Jewish center shooter Frazier Glenn Miller on his show a few years ago. And therein lies a cautionary tale, for clowns and serious news organizations alike.

Part of Stern’s shtick has long included bringing on freaks, for wont of a better term, in order to goof on them, whether that was Miller – a guest in 2010 – or frequent guest Daniel Carver (a Ku Klux Klan member known for saying, “Wake up, white people!”). In theory, it’s all good fun, a way to treat Stern’s radio audience to out-there voices.

Yet the problem with booking people who hold such views is that they are, by their nature, unpredictable. And if they do something terrible – or even just embarrassing – you are linked to them in perpetuity.

To be clear, this doesn’t mean you are responsible for them, and certainly not for their actions. But by giving them a forum, you have associated yourself with them – even if it’s as a source of comedy, or an object of derision. (According to the Daily Beast, Miller was happy enough with the Stern bit to link to it on his Website.)

This obviously goes well beyond Howard Stern. Cable news and talkradio have untold hours to fill, and the screening system for who gets on the air is hardly ironclad. Moreover, the talk programs on both Fox News and MSNBC relish bringing on partisan voices that don’t agree with them, often the more strident, the better.

Small wonder, then, that Miller’s media exposure went beyond Stern to, according to press accounts, Alan Colmes’ radio show and Sacha Baron Cohen’s movie “Bruno” – despite the fact it appears crystal clear that Miller saw the threat from Jews as very, very real.

Stern’s fans will no doubt dismiss the idea that he “associated himself” with Miller, and it’s easy to argue that the host merely exposes the absurdity of extreme views by bringing such people on to ridicule them — assuming that any sane person, particularly one familiar with the show, gets the joke.

Fair enough. But before this story completely fades, here’s a question every booking producer should ask themselves: When the next Frazier Glenn Miller, or some other ideological extremist, acts out in horrible fashion and journalists begin Googling them for whatever information they can find, do you really want the first clip that comes up to be one of yours?

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  1. Anthony says:

    I wonder why I continue to see what I understand to be a specific grammatical flaw of the subject-verb agreement variety in so many publications of skilled writers such as yourself. I took an excerpt from your article here to illustrate my point: “But before this story completely fades, here’s a question every booking producer should ask themselves:” In this sentence, the word “every” which in the derived context is equal to “each” or singular, does not agree when combined with “themselves” which indicates more than one or plural. Would the statement not be more appropriately written this way?: “But before this story completely fades, here’s a question all booking producers should ask themselves:”

  2. Michael M says:

    I agree. I listened to this show with my grandson Rusty. He had a filthy mouth. I had to turn it off and put on Swap Shop.

  3. “Howard Stern was just being Howard Stern when he booked accused Jewish center shooter Frazier Glenn Miller on his show a few years ago.” Let me get this straight. First, what does accused mean? He either shot the people or he didn’t and if he did what is he doing walking around! And who would give him a platform. He is a murderer first. The anti Semitic view has no baring on this situation. It is about murder not religion at this level. .

  4. Robert S Moulds says:

    The confederate flag is just a piece of cloth true the confederate states had slaves 2,100,000 but so did the union states 400,000. The flag is now just crass commercialism last year they sold off as cheap knock offs with Git er done printed on them along side Bob Marley Lion of Zion in county fairs like the Kingston Ontario fair. In Brazil the great grand children of confederates who moved to Brazil have muti racial antebellum balls. Further more the biggest complainers are the biggest hypocrites like Jimmy Cater, Al Gore, John Mc Cain, Sarah Palin, Bill and Hillary Clinton even Barack Obama they all used it.

  5. Robert says:

    What did the flag have on it, the words “White Power” or something to that effect? If not, and it was only an “in” sign for those who already knew (or thought they knew, or had their own interpret’n of) its meaning, then you’re giving it more publicity explaining it here than it got originally.

    What actions did it incite? People egged his house?

    • Debra says:

      Robert — Thanks for reply — your point is well taken. The flags, there were three, a KKK, hangmans noose and a confederate flag flown together. I did not mention the town, name of person, issues or outcomes in an attempt to ‘not’ provide extra publicity to the specific individual. You are quite right however, anything written will of course bring on the curious and publicity can/will follow – what I respond here will most likely get some folks interested. My feeling is, these things are going to happen in our open ‘democratic’ culture. That man – (as long as not pornographic perhaps) I believe has the right to fly any flag he wants on his own yard, do I find it offensive? Yes, might I have fought him on it? I do not see how I would have had the right. What occurred because of the flags; did disrupt some of my life however, I don’t know the man, (I know who he is from the news, the neighborhood etc) had no comment, and went about my business – still — I had a shouting ring of haters and had to have police escort to go pray (local police kept a perimeter at the synagogue and stayed by by the entryway). YES. Stern has the right to interview and bring up outrageous subjects for whatever purpose he sees fit. Obvious enough, the gentleman in my town – got enough publicity to rally some folks to shout vulgarities, trespass and harass people who had nothing to do with any of this…. hateful signs etc… Positives: The Catholic Church membership across the street offered us safer parking and camaraderie — we have had joint services with them in the name of goodwill and common ground in treating fellow man with respect and getting to better understand each others belief systems. If this man had not flown these flags– etc… these things still would have happened – but perhaps the immediacy of action and recognition of the true spirit and activation of ‘tolerance’ may not have shined so bright. We love the Catholic Church across from our synagogue and we have mutual respect and show tolerance and help each others congregations often.

      Sir, I do not discount what you say — I do see the logic in it — and again – I do not have an answer, only observation. You are right — any attention brings on more attention.
      The actions incited on the mans property too was Im sure annoying to some of his neighbors — most of all his wife– many people arriving all hours of day and night as a show of support. Interestingly enough — it was his wife who ultimately demanded the flags come down – the flags pretty much got everyone involved — supportive and vehemently against — it was wiping out any chance she had to have a peaceful home life, though from what I understand she held same beliefs. It just got to be too much for her to have her home as a symbol.

      As for Lowrys article — I do think he brought this to light more to show what can become of harmless entertainment and/or a showing of blatant lunacy even for the purpose of informing an intelligent listenership the range of insanity in our everyday lives. Some lunatics will follow suit. Does Stern have a responsibility to this end? No, I don’t believe he does — I think the question is more — ‘so you really want to give someone that spits that much hate any kind of platform? If you do – when/if shootings or bad outcomes happen to innocents — you are cool with perhaps being part of the overall plan — by default? Also – are you going to recollect and reflect on whatever warning signs ere indicated at the time?

      Again – no answer – only supporting Lowrys point — that choices have consequences – and the more radical the choice – perhaps the more chance of illicit outcome?

      Sorry I wrote so much — i need to be a better editor — but I did want to respect your retort – for I do see your point.
      regards
      D

  6. Debra Robert says:

    The context of Sterns’ interview – and the outrageousness of the interviewee and his ambitions is not what Lowry is contesting. What I gather from this article – (and I happen to enjoy a lot, not all, of what H Stern puts out on the airwaves), is that gaining national notoriety on a show such as Sterns only encourages loose cannons to act. Any press is good press, works both ways. Im sure Miller saw this interview as a major boost to his cause – because he knew some out there were not laughing – some agreed with his madness. I dont know what the answer is here — I believe in Constitutional freedom of speech – I applaud it. However — three blocks from my synagogue and individual flew a White Power flag in his front yard — inciting a great deal of havoc for Jewish residents. Yes, this man had a right to fly a flag — but it did incite actions by others that were not legal. It is a slippery slope – and an argument I believe that cannot be won or lost. I daresay that Lowry having even heard the interview is not the point. Providing platforms for radicals – this is an article that looks at what can happen and manifest over time when attention is given to questionable agendas. Even in the spirit of dorky and light radio entertainment, I believe there was an essence of agreement out there in the fan-base. To not have a diffuser or moderator (I would not expect this nor would I demand any such thing) – bringing a semblance of balance to the picture — well, the cumulative result is not surprising. Some pebbles in a pond are more like boulders in a puddle.

  7. Joseph says:

    such a stupid article. he was interviewing him to point out his racism running for political office. did you even listen to this? and also is variety hiring? because i would love to do a half-assed job and get paid for it.

  8. john says:

    truly sad to entertain individuals like this for ratings

  9. Lm says:

    Dick. Howard never said it was funny, he was doing an interview.

  10. michael goldberg says:

    brother, with Anthony Iadanza I was a very close friend, like a brother, with Anthony Iadanza (Tony Danza) who, on Halloween night, 1975 scared me more than the nazi skin-heads in my Florida Dept. of Corrections classroom for 17 years! (1983-2000)… I worked in rural, KKK territory, a Jew from the N.Y.C. area totally isolated in a state prison, despite daily threats from BOTH sides of the law! I can not really say here exactly what Tony said to me except this (which was said to me as we watched Happy Days and the Fonz at Tony’s Mother’s house on Long Island)) : “I could be on T.V. like that”…”Really, how?” I responded…”I would do ANYTHING to be on T.V.”, Tony said. I responded, “What do you mean ANYTHING?”…”What are you, a moron, you don’t know what ANYTHING means?” Tony then went on to explain what ANYTHING meant to him, which is unprintable here, but if you use your imagination, think of what ANYTHING could mean, the worst possible things a person could do, OK? Anyone interested in revealing and provocative quotes from my former friend, just give me a way to contact you, like maybe do an interview with Howard Stern, which I promise would be VERY interesting, provocative, and controversial nation-wide! Why am I doing this? Tony INSULTED and EMBARRASSED me in front of everyone at a school reunion, for no good reason, before I even said a word at all, and because his wife and children were there, I let it go and did not respond at all…I just disappeared, left the reunion and drove the 1500 miles back to my Florida prison classroom to deal with, confront, and overcome my fear of the nazi skin-heads, and now, NOT afraid of the mean spirited, cold hearted Tony Danza! I went from one side of the law to the other, and even was asked by Florida prison officials to become a Life Member of the Florida Peace Officers Association! If Howard Stern can interview a nazi like Miller-Cross, and interview Tony Danza right before Danza’s 1st airing of his “Tony Danza Show”, then why not interview me? I can be just as provocative, entertaining, even more so as I think about it…EVERYONE would certainly remember what I have to say…keep in mind the GREAT RISK that I am taking, and what could HAPPEN to me, but FINALLY I got up the NERVE to do this, because I have FAITH in the ALMIGHTY G-D!!!…Sincerely and Very Grateful, Michael Goldberg…SHALOM and HAPPY PASSOVER!

  11. Jarred says:

    Howard Stern is probably the greatest interviewer in the game. You must not have listened to the interview. What kind of lazy journalists are employed at your magazine? Stern interviewed him because his campaign commercials were so outrageous that you couldn’t help but laugh. What isn’t funny is your lazy attempt at journalism. Relax, your peers are just as bad.

  12. kevinmdeegan says:

    haha yeah according to your logic you’re out of a career while sterns sittin on 800 mil

  13. arcanum55 says:

    You clearly did not listen to the interview. Their was nothing funny about it. Stern showed the world the man for what he was. If you listened, you would understand the absurdity of this article. Sheer bafoonery.

  14. Mr Me says:

    Brian Lowry You are now linked to Frazier Glenn Miller in perpetuity by your logic.

  15. Nobody says:

    Um, yeah. So where was this article before any tragedies happened? Oh I forgot, “media” only forces the issue post incident. Perhaps you should try your hand at writing an article on the search for black box signals from the Malaysian flight.

  16. Patrick says:

    Better for Howard Stern to illuminate this guy’s fanaticism, then to have this clown fly under the radar……the guy was a congressional candidate. This is a hack piece from a dope taking a petty shot at a radio host he obviously doesn’t like without mentioning all the other news outlets and personalities that gave Miller airtime.

  17. Robert says:

    It says, “I had this guy before you ever heard of him. Watch this space and see tomorrow’s headline.”

  18. A Manno says:

    Why do you even have a job as a so-called journalist? You are a complete embarassment to the profession. Did you call out Oprah and news organizations that have interviewed racists? Shouldn’t you shine a light on the whackos in this country? Or do you prefer to santize what happens in this country?

  19. Jay says:

    Setting aside your obvious dislike of Stern’s show, how is this any different than any other journalist or talk show host interviewing a controversial – or evil, or criminal – person?

  20. John says:

    Brian Lowrey better write an article condemning Variety Magazines interview of Rapist Roman Polanski.

  21. Larry Thomas says:

    Mr. Lowry would jump at the chance to interview Charles Manson. Is that a bad thing? No. So don’t throw stones Brian…..this kind of article belongs on the National Enquirer. Howard was the first to admit that this sicko called the show.

  22. Los says:

    Nice job with this. You highlight your ignorance. Howard doesn’t need your publicity, but since you must find a way to attack him, why don’t you concentrate on something that makes sense.

  23. karma says:

    So then interviewers should never interview anybody because they may be unpredictable? Charlie Rose and Dianne Sawyer have interviewed Charles Manson and the only predictable thing about him is he will probably never get out of prison and repeat what he did!

  24. Deez Ayes says:

    Brian Lowry, you’re obviously out of your professional comfort zone here. Perhaps you should stick to covering the softer celebrity-friendly fare that comprises most entertainment “journalism.” I think this social commentary stuff is a little confusing for you. Good luck figuring it out.

  25. lorrinf says:

    Did you even listen to the interview. There was nothing funny about it. This is lazy journalism. Another journalist not doing his home work.

  26. Rocko says:

    Didn’t Mike Wallace interview Bin Laden? Didn’t Edward R Murrow interview Castro? Dan Rather, Sadam Hussain. Wolf Blitzer, David Duke? Man they really ruined their credibility being associated with these guys.

  27. E Gardetto says:

    your an idiot, stern exposed this idiot for what he is. did variety expose Polanski for the pedophile rapist he is? or what about Woody?

  28. Mike Rezac says:

    Howard Stern is one of the best interviewer out there (Mike Tyson, Dan Rather, etc). Interviewing a racist doesn’t make one a racist. I get actual info from Howard. Brian is just bad entertainment.

  29. Franko says:

    This is a hackish and embarrassing essay. Not only does the author fail to support his half-baked ideas, he barely even makes a point to begin with. And to single out Stern in the headline is nothing more than a shameless attempt to fish for views. I hope the powers-that-be at Variety realize that this clown is hurting them more than he’s helping.

  30. kd says:

    uh-oh buchwald sycophants out in full force

  31. Scott Hallock says:

    How long will Variety keep this hack on staff? This worthless article plus the misogynistic article about Sarah Silverman are not a good track record. Talk about shock value – Lowry operates in the same arena that he seems to disdain. The difference is he’s not original, funny, or entertaining.

  32. Richard says:

    So Brian did you actually listen to the interview or just take Snippets and make an uninformed decision to get you name on the map? Variety stick to doing movie reviews that requires no research.

  33. BRIAN LOWRY…YOU SIR ARE AN IDIOT!!…Is this the level of journalism that Variety produces!?..If Variety had any sense, they’d fire this idiot for his ridiculous article. This is not BRIAN LOWRY’s first dumb ass article. Get rid of this idiot. So Stern cannot interview a racist, but Oprah, Donahue, and other shows can. Get out of here you moron! Not to mention that Variety ran an article about Polanski, as mentioned on other comments. Did Variety expose Polanski and talk about him rapping a 13 year old?..NO. So Stern exposes racist and make fun of him, and that’s wrong. But writing an article praising what a rapist is ‘up to’ is OK? Idiot, do some research first you moron, and actually listen to the interview you’re writing about.

  34. leon says:

    After this article, i will never read variety again. This is a foolish and uninformed article. What is said is taking that interview out of context and im not convinced brian listened to it. Brian is a poor opinion article writing, non journalist and if variety employs him, they are obviously a farce. If variety is ever mentioned in front of me, as long as brian works there, i will say the truth, that variety is full of s#!t.

  35. baba booey says:

    The author writes as if he is bringing up a valid point. Are producers supposed to hire psychics to determine whether their guests will commit some heinous crime in the future? Isn’t that the point of having a free media? That we hear all points of view no matter how much we disagree with them. By Lowry’s own logic his editor should have known that this article was contradictory and baseless and dismissed it from being printed.

  36. Mike says:

    Variety posted an interview of Roman Polanski six days ago and not one mention of raping children. Brian, are you going to attack your own company?

  37. Mike says:

    Typical lazy journalism.

  38. Awch says:

    Shouldn’t we be praising Stern for exposing this man’s views? I think Stern should be proud to have his name associated with shining a spotlight on this hatred. Hatred thrives in the shadows. More media should be making racists an object of derision. If we’ve learned anything in the 20th century its that we can not stay quiet in the face of hatred. How can you argue anything else?

  39. Variety Headline “Roman Polanski Talks His Life and Career, ‘Venus in Fur’ and Retirement” I guess it’s OK to interview, and praise, a child rapist.

  40. Did Miller also interview on other networks around this time period?

    • zac says:

      Yup, but this guys an idiot and just wants to pick on an easy target. How about instead of condemning stern condemn the feds for not listening to the interview and not at the very least watch this moron

  41. Herby says:

    Stern brings these people on air and gives them enough rope to hang themselves while at the same time entertaining his audience. He does not give them a platform to spread their message but rather to expose just how wrong they are. His listeners are smart enough to figure that out.

  42. FrankM says:

    When you interview someone on a show like this, you do it for entertainment value, not for endorsing the opinions of the interviewee.

    If tv and radio producers vetted every guest before putting them on air, there would be very few guests at all, if any.

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