Howard Stern Cheers Deaths of Radio Hosts Who Died of Covid
9 Sep 2021
CLAY: Howard Stern is a radio legend and certainly Buck Sexton and I know having taken over for a radio legend about how much talent you have to have over decades in order to build up a big audience. But is now 67 years old, and he made his name for himself by being wildly anti-convention, by being willing to say and do outrageous things to point out the hypocrisies that exist in our society.
And there were many people who appreciated the fact that he was outlandish, that he was a crusader for First Amendment freedoms. And certainly, that is my experience with audience. But over time, that is what I respected about him. But now that he’s in his sixties — and maybe this will happen to us one day, Buck, when we’re older and we’ve been doing this for a lot longer than we have now.
But he has turned into The Man. It’s really kind of crazy, Buck. I listened to the show every now and then because my wife had enjoyed listening to it. But he’s really lost his mind during covid. And he has become Dr. Fauci-like in his covid fear porn sharing, in his constant hiding in his basement — I guess it’s a penthouse — that he has somewhere in New York City.
He’s become the exact opposite of a revolutionary. He has become the Man, and there’s a particular level… We talked about this earlier this week, Buck, with Joe Rogan. there’s a particular type of left winger now, a person who not only is constantly morally righteous and hectoring and lecturing you over their choices, but also wanting other people who don’t make those same choices to die.
This is really where we are and exulting when someone dies. And this is… I want to play this clip, Buck. You get this feeling, right, I mean, that this is very commonplace; but most people are not being as explicit in rooting for people who don’t get the vaccine to die as Howard Stern was. This was on his show I believe yesterday. Let’s play cut 1.
STERN: It’s really funny when these radio… The radio guys are the best, like four of them died, four of them who were, like, ranting on the air they will not get vaccinated. They were on fire, these guys, for it was like day after day, they were all dying (laughing), and then their dying words are, I wish I had been more into the vaccine. I wish I had taken it. And they’re on the radio preaching this (bleep).
I tell you what, as far as I remember, when I went to school you had to get a measles vaccine, you had to get a mumps vaccine, you had to get… It was a ton of ’em you got. When we gonna stop putting up with the idiots in this country and just say you now, “It’s mandatory to get vaccinated.” (Bleep) (bleep) their freedom. I want my freedom to live.
BUCK: Unbelievable, Clay, but this is what’s happening now across the country. You have people who are… Look, Howard Stern is an elite. The guy makes something like $100 million a year to do radio, which is pretty astonishing as a figure. And he is someone who has gotten used to being able to not only say what he wants but also have a certain kind of influence.
And maybe he’s forgotten that there are a lot of people out there for whom there are not big platforms and voices that will make the case for them. But even beyond that, that anybody would celebrate the death of a fellow human being, never mind a fellow radio host, because they disagree with the decision that they made about their health? People do foolish things all the time. By the way? And, by the way, I’m not even saying that vaccine opposition is foolish, but I’m just saying there are things that are clearly bad decisions that result in people losing their lives —
CLAY: Smoking, alcohol, alcoholism.
BUCK: All kinds of things.
CLAY: We could run through obesity.
BUCK: You know when someone —
CLAY: So many things that aid death.
BUCK: When someone died in a drunk driving accident — and they’re the driver, right, they’re the drunk person — yeah, that’s terrible; it’s a tragedy. You don’t celebrate these things unless there’s something morally rotten, unless there’s something truly wrong with you. But this has become… You know, you see this with covid. You see this with Stern saying this stuff.
The number of people that will — and I’m talking about people with platforms and followings. I’m not talking about random people. Of course, there’s random, horrible bile all over the internet. People that have supposedly an obligation to be better on the left who will celebrate the assault on Rand Paul, for example, where he, I believe, lost a piece of his lung, was in horrible pain, because he had a neighbor who hated him.
And the people who say this, they don’t like Rand Paul’s politics; so him almost being beaten to death on his front lawn. Rand Paul is a father, a husband, as well as a U.S. senator. There are blue check journos who think this is funny. I mean, Clay, right now with your Twitter account, if you just said, “Man, I’m glad Rand Paul made it through, and we’re happy to have him on”?
If you went through the comments, you’d probably see some people saying, “Oh, that was so funny what happened to him.” There are even people that are a little more circumspect about this who try to downplay the assault on — the attempted mass murder of — American congressmen, conservative members of Congress at that baseball field in Alexandria.
‘Cause they say, “Oh, well, this is what happens when you oppose policies to give people health care.” This stuff exists on the left in a way that I think people are uncomfortable the more they think about it because not only is it grotesque, it just exists; it’s allowed to continue on.
CLAY: Yeah. And what’s interesting about this to me from the Stern perspective is, let’s say somebody was driving drunk, right? Would you celebrate if they died while they were driving drunk and be like, “I’m so glad that drunk driver died! I’m glad they hit a telephone pole. Serves them right for driving drunk. Ha-ha. Look at those idiots.
“They thought they could get behind the wheel after having a drink, too many drinks, and now they’re dead, and I’m happy about it. I’m gonna be gleeful about it.” No. I mean, that’s really strange behavior. And what we’ve created — and Stern just said it explicitly, because there’s a lot of people out there that have been cheering anytime somebody gets sick. Look, the reality, Buck, is we’ve both had covid.
BUCK: Did people ask you, Clay, as if you did something wrong? People ask me. Random people would be like, “Hey, what’d you do? Did you go to some anti-mask, anti-Fauci party and make out with a bunch of strangers? Why’d you get covid?” I’m like, I just was living my life and got covid.
CLAY: What I would point out here is — and I would love to hear somebody like Howard Stern try to discuss this. It reminds me of… You remember Eddie Murphy? It’s either Raw or one of the first ones he did where he had all of the anti-AIDS jokes about gay people. Look, Eddie Murphy’s stand-up back in the day, the 1980s stuff was phenomenal, but that didn’t age well, right?
Because the idea was, “Oh, ha-ha! Look at you! You got AIDS because you’re gay! You got AIDS because you were using intravenous drugs with other people,” and there was this argument, “Hey, maybe you deserved it,” right? Do you remember that?
If you’re old enough to remember when AIDS and HIV running rampant much through the gay community, but also a lot of discussions for heterosexuals getting if you didn’t practice “safe sex” when I was a kid growing up we felt like we had an HIV/AIDS assembly every week where they’re like, “If you have sex, basically you’re gonna die.”
BUCK: I remember watching Beverly Hills 90210 and the whole episode was about some young high school girl who was saying that she got HIV from her boyfriend.
BUCK: This was a thing a story that you would hear.
CLAY: And there was an underpinning early on of anti-AIDS morality, right? Where, hey, if you got this virus you deserved it because of the choices you were making. And in retrospect, as AIDS spread and HIV became more and more of a disease and we understood it better, the idea that you would what I call blame the victim, the victim of this virus became a very foreign thing to do.
It seems to me — and I would love the Howard Sterns of the world who are making this argument to reflect upon this — if they had said and if they were saying the same thing about HIV and AIDS victims, basically they deserve it, years later/decades later, you realized how bad that sounded and how bad you looked for saying it.
And since there’s this obsession with being on the right side of history now, Buck, how is this not the exact same thing with covid when you’re cheering and celebrating people who get a virus that they didn’t choose to get, partly because of choices that they may have made in their life and say, “Hey, this is divine retribution for the choices that you’re making.”
It’s a really poor position as it ages, and I think that’s what’s gonna happen here, and I would think that people like Stern — who fancy themselves to be rebellious, thoughtful, and we thought thinkers — would look at this and say, “Man, I’m now making the same bachelor of arts covid that people made about HIV in — I don’t know — 1984, 1986, and 1988, and that’s gonna look really bad in 20 years.”
Maybe I don’t care, but it’s something that I would love to hear an analysis of from an intelligent, thoughtful perspective. I don’t know we’ll ever get it, but it’s worth contemplating.
BUCK: It's all so arbitrary, and they pretend it's not judgment calls when it clearly is.
BUCK: I've seen some people trying to politicize, in some way, the fact that he was double vaccinated.
CLAY: I was on talking about the importance of the First Amendment and why freedom of speech mattered in media circles.
CLAY: Man, we are making a big difference in the way that we are talking, and even other media are starting to follow our lead.
CLAY: I wonder what it’s like — and I hope I never know, and some people might say it’s already happened — to be past your mental faculties and end up with a big job.