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Politics: Howard Stern Lost Any Remaining Edge With Joe Biden

POLITICS: Howard Stern lost any remaining edge with Joe Biden interview

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What if I told you the safest place for struggling presidential incumbent Joe Biden — a man with historically low approval ratings, a son fighting federal charges, a border crisis and a diminished capacity to know where he is at most times — was seated across from Howard Stern?

Yes, that Howard Stern.

The same Stern who, seemingly undeterred by status, beauty or fame, made a career of ruthlessly abstracting racy revelations from people usually not inclined to give them.

On Friday, the once almighty “King of All Media” proved he is now simply a left-wing court jester.

A toothless political shill.

“I’m nervous. I really am,” a starstruck Stern told Biden, whose biggest accomplishment of late has been evading journalists.

The shock jock turned sycophant kicked off the hour-long chat with a dubious list of Biden’s “greatest hits”: Standing up to Putin, something about insurance rates, low unemployment and being a “good father” to his family and his country.

Last week, Howard Stern sat down with Joe Biden. who has been criticized for evading the media, for a fawning softball interview. The Howard Stern Show/YouTube
During the interview, Biden spoke about being a pool lifeguard and his high-school football career. The Howard Stern Show/YouTube

Nothing about any issues dogging his campaign. No talk of the border and migrant crises. Not a word about antisemitism on college campuses, or the price of gas and groceries.

Nary a peep about his son Hunter’s legal or addiction troubles.

Instead, Stern offered listeners a soggy buffet of warmed-up Biden leftovers: tales of love, tragic losses and the president’s daring exploits as a pool lifeguard.

You’re the kind of leader I love because we’re lucky to have you in the Oval Office,” Stern said.

Down, boy.

Stern and co-host Robin Quivers (center) have been a part of madcap events and sketches for decades. Here, they join film critic Roger Roeper for the Howard Stern Film Festival in 2006. ASSOCIATED PRESS

He thanked Biden for “providing a calming influence, an organized administration post-covid, getting that vaccine out. I remember what the world was like at that point.”

Admittedly, it was weird for Stern, who entered a self-imposed exile — in his $20 million Southampton home, guarded by a moat of germophobia — when the pandemic struck.

While the rest of us actually went on with our lives, he emerged two years later. For a dinner with Jennifer Aniston, Jimmy Kimmel and Jon Hamm.

If only the jock had privately broken bread with the president, too, and spared us the fawning broadcast.

“Was law a passion of yours?” a breathless Stern asked.

He then marveled over Biden’s high-school football career — reverence not given to a former teen athlete since Al Bundy talked about, well, himself. “You were a star receiver in high school,” Stern gushed, “wow.”

“You’re the kind of leader I love … ,” Stern told Biden during the interview. The Howard Stern Show/YouTube

It was grotesque and masturbatory even for Stern who, in recent years, has undergone a rebirth thanks to therapy. He’s copped to being “woke” and, in 2019, embarked on an apology tour.

“I was an absolute maniac,” he told Page Six of his earlier years on air. “My narcissism was so strong that I was incapable of appreciating what somebody else might be feeling.”

He regretted pressing Robin Williams on an affair with his kids’ nanny, grilling Gilda Radner about Gene Wilder’s manhood, and bringing up rumors of homosexuality with a closeted George Michael.

But that unpredictability once made for good radio.

In 2019, Howard Stern told Page Six that he didn’t even have his earlier memoirs, including “Private Parts,” displayed in his home because he is a different man. WireImage

Like many, I grew up on Stern — a habit that started as a toddler, thanks to my mother blasting his show from the AM dial. When my college-aged brother brought home the shock jock’s box set of too-hot-for-radio clips, “Crucified by the FCC,” I happily bootlegged and distributed the contraband to my 8th-grade classmates.

The chaotic Stern universe with Robin Quivers and the “wack pack” was a proto reality show that made unlikely stars of people who’d be social roadkill in most circles.

He parodied the rich and powerful, mocking politicians’ foibles and scandals.

The Stern show was an edgy bulwark against establishment stuffiness.

Now Stern — who, in 2020, signed a five-year contract extension reportedly worth $100 million per year — is the establishment. Another Hamptons A-lister obsessed with wellness and pet adoption. His channel features musical performances and softball chats with friends like Kimmel, Billy Joel, Sarah Silverman, Jake Gyllenhaal.

No madcap segments or worthy revelations.

A friend of mine who had been a lifelong fan until tuning out in 2020 put it best: Stern became the “worst part of his own show.”

During a vintage Stern interview, the subject emerged flawed yet human: filled with the good, the bad and all the stuff in between.

At one point, Biden would have been like catnip for Stern. A serial fabulist. A known plagiarist who wouldn’t acknowledge his granddaughter until a NYTimes columnist bullied him into it.

In 1993, rabid fans of Howard Stern gathered outside Barnes and Noble for his “Private Parts” book signing. Getty Images

Instead, it was the veneration of a fictional saint.

The president is not worthy of this fawning adoration. Or of the kid-gloves treatment just because he’s old.

Or because Stern is afraid of Trump.

The embarrassing interview was a sign: We should move on from Biden and Stern.

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