Howard Stern hits Trump for bragging about ratings of coronavirus briefings
Howard Stern is calling President Trump’s boasting about his coronavirus briefing ratings “mind-boggling,” saying the reason so many viewers are tuning in is because Americans are “scared shitless.”
“Do I pull my hair out of my head when I see my buddy Donald Trump standing there talking about how can people not look at his ratings and his ratings are higher than ‘The Bachelor?'” the SiriusXM host said on his eponymous show Tuesday, adding that “the reason his ratings are higher” is “because people are scared shitless.”
“It’s not your incredible reality TV show that you’re putting on for the country,” Stern said of Trump, who as a New York real estate developer was a frequent guest on his radio show. “It’s because we’re in crisis and we’re tuning in to see what the president has to say. We’re looking for leadership, motherf—ers!”
Earlier this week, Trump tweeted a portion of a New York Times story that questioned whether TV networks should carry the White House coronavirus press briefings live while pointing out that millions of Americans are tuning in.
“President Trump is a ratings hit. Since reviving the daily White House briefing Mr. Trump and his coronavirus updates have attracted an average audience of 8.5 million on cable news, roughly the viewership of the season finale of ‘The Bachelor.’ Numbers are continuing to rise…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 29, 2020
Stern’s remarks Tuesday, he said, were in response to his listeners, who he said questioned why he doesn’t spend more time ranting about the commander in chief.
“It’s like a no-win situation,” Stern lamented, saying he gets criticized on both sides of the aisle.
“Me yelling about Trump, in my mind, doesn’t do a damn bit of good. It’s not going to get Donald to be a better, compassionate president,” he said.
“I can’t change Donald Trump,” added the 66-year-old former “America’s Got Talent” judge, who frequently touts the benefits of therapy.
“You think I’m going to change a 70-something-year-old man who’s never been in therapy?” Stern continued. “Do you think I’m going to change a man who’s never been introspective? First time I met him, he spoke about himself for an hour, didn’t ask me one question. I mean, that’s Donald. I can’t yell at a turtle to run faster.”
Stern, who’s broadcasting his SiriusXM show remotely from his home amid the coronavirus pandemic, said, “Let me tell you about Donald because I know Donald. He’s really sensitive for himself.”
“As far as Donald’s concerned, Donald thinks he’s the best president there ever was,” he added.
“I can honestly tell you that Donald doesn’t give one shit about public service,” Stern told listeners before praising New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) response to the coronavirus crisis in the Empire State.
“But I’m not angry with Donald. Donald is who Donald is, and he’s not going to change,” Stern added.
“Would you be angry with Sanjaya if he won ‘American Idol?’ No,” Stern said, referring to former contestant Sanjaya Malakar’s advancement through the 2007 season of the reality TV singing competition, despite critics and judges panning his musical performances.
“He’s a flawed guy,” Stern said of the president. “But me sitting and yelling about Trump for two hours isn’t going to do any good.”
Stern and SiriusXM announced earlier Tuesday that all of the satellite radio provider’s streaming content would be available free to nonsubscribers through May 15 amid the pandemic.
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