Shock jock Howard Stern came out swinging on his radio show Feb. 22 when he discussed the ongoing controversy over the One Million Moms’ statements condemning department store JC Penney’s for choosing popular and openly gay television personality Ellen DeGeneres as their spokesperson.
Early in his show that morning he said DeGeneres had called him and thanked him for his support of her during the last six weeks or so that the group had been putting down JC Penney’s choice of her to represent them. Stern’s response was that he felt bad that he even had to stick up for her in 2012, when gay people should be treated the same as everyone else.
DeGeneres herself spoke out about the One Million Moms protest, saying the group had nowhere near one million moms.
“Not that there’s anyone counting, but for a group that calls themselves the Million Moms, they only have 40,000 members on their page,” she said.
Even Bill O’Reilly, a talk show host known for his conservative values, stood up for DeGeneres. Fans took to Facebook, creating a group called “1 Million People Who Support Ellen for J.C. Penney”. Both One Million Moms and the Facebook group in support of Ellen are growing rapidly with members signing up to support their own side.
On the One Million Moms website, the organization lists the reason for wanting DeGeneres removed from the position is that her being used as a spokesperson will hurt JC Penney’s sales.
“Funny that JC Penney thinks hiring an open homosexual spokesperson will help their business when most of their customers are traditional families,” says the statement on their website. “More sales will be lost than gained unless they replace their spokesperson quickly. Unless JC Penney decides to be neutral in the culture war then their brand transformation will be unsuccessful.”
Also during the broadcast, Stern addressed an e-mail Michele Bachmann, who was formerly running for the Republican Presidential Nomination, distributed to her subscribers, defending herself against a comment Stern made calling her and Republican frontrunner Rick Santorum the “two worst people on earth”. He did so while discussing gay rights after talking about the situation with DeGeneres and JC Penney.
She said to conservatives, the message from Stern was clear:
“Either abandon your beliefs and agree with me, or be dragged through the mud and demonized on national radio.”
Bachmann also said Stern had spent years corrupting the nation’s youth through his radio show.
Stern has criticized both Bachmann and Santorum repeatedly for their views on gay rights. On his Feb. 9 broadcast, earlier in the month, Stern promised his listeners he would address the situation when he returned from his break in the show while he was in LA filming America’s Got Talent.
“Just read Michele Bachman’s comments,” he Tweeted. “Can’t wait to get back on the air. Spoke with the lord a few minutes ago and he is on my side.”
Stern has long been an advocate of gay rights.
“If thinking that gay people have a right to happiness is corrupting America then I will continue corrupting them,” he said. “Time to shun this woman.”