It’s come to my attention some XGW readers and contributors are displeased with Howard Stern’s Sept. 15 “interview” (I use the term loosely) of Richard Cohen. I was unable to listen to the original broadcast so instead I rely on a 20-minute MP3 posted on The Malcontent. Stern neither confronts Cohen on his trail of bizarre misdeeds and claims, nor invites a guest with an opposing point of view. This is what I assume has people so upset. I, however, came to much the same conclusion as Wayne Besen, who begins his blog post so eloquently:

Former Moonie and naked cult member Richard Cohen was on Howard Stern this morning to make an ass of himself, talking about his bizarre “transformation” from gay to straight. In typical fashion, he was a buffoon and a self-promoting media ho, who plugged his book every six seconds.

Cohen is clearly willing to do anything for publicity when one considers how reviled Stern is by Cohen’s typical supporters, the religious right. As for Stern, why should he be interested in Cohen? Our very own Mike Airhart emailed me:

People go on Stern’s show to make the audience feel the lowest form of pity for them — not to achieve credibility or respect.

And that’s exactly what happened. Aside from repeatedly plugging his books and website, Cohen was able to accomplish little more than getting out a watered down version of his testimony. Stern constantly interrupted him with inappropriate and disruptive questions as one should expect on his show. Examples include Cohen being asked if he was a “power bottom” during his gay years, currently masturbates or lusts after women other than his wife. Sprinkled throughout the broadcast were a stream of pornographic sound effects. I admit I was entertained and consider the comedic highlight to be when Stern brings on a character named “Gay Ramon” wearing assless chaps and asks Stern sidekick Richard Christy to expose his shaved genitalia in hopes of eliciting a reaction from Cohen. Typical exchanges went like this:

Cohen: For me it was I didn’t bond with my dad.
Stern: Right.
Cohen: He and I weren’t… [cut off] Howard: Join the club.
Cohen: Right.
Howard: And I’ll bang any chick in this room.

In case you didn’t notice I think Cohen did a nice job keeping PFOX and himself as well respected as a circus freak-show. Gee wiz, I’m so forlorn some stiff policy analyst from HRC wasn’t there to express the pro-gay point of view on Christy’s hairless cock and otherwise serve as a wet blanket.

I look forward to next week when Cohen will be appearing on Crossing Over with John Edward to channel spirits of the dead fathers of ex-gays to help them resolve their therapeutic issues. Don’t forget your tennis racquet!

Oh and did I mention Stern’s next guest on the show after Cohen was Danny Bonaduce. (Damn! I was hoping for Charo.)

[FYI, the whole Crossing Over thing is a joke but everything else in this post is true.]

Mike’s Addendum: The Howard Stern Show web site summarizes the interview and provides R-rated photographs of Cohen posing with Stern’s male staffers, some of whom are naked from the waist down. Warning: Some images contain pixelated nudity and raunchy gestures.

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