Dateline: September 3, 1997
Stern Blasts French as Scumbags, Cowards!
By PETER RAY
MONTREAL (CP) -- French-Canadians are cowards and among the "biggest
scumbags" around, shock jock Howard Stern announced Tuesday as he hit
The bad boy of American radio waited only 15 minutes into his Canadian debut
before launching into a hate-filled diatribe against Francophones.
The "biggest scumbags on the planet, as I've said all along, are not
only the French in France but the French in Canada," listeners heard
Stern proclaim on Toronto's Q-107 and Montreal's CHOM-FM.
"Toronto and Montreal created problems, Montreal in particular because
of the French there, who are complete pussies, who think that somehow speaking
French is like the most important thing in the world," Stern said.
"All people in Montreal should speak English," he added.
Stern also accused the French of collaborating with their German occupiers
in the Second World War. "Anyone who speaks French is a scumbag ...
it turns you into a coward."
Quebec Justice Minister Serge Menard called the comments "garbage"
and said Stern could be prosecuted for hate-mongering.
"If after looking at the details ... we figure there's an infraction
of the Criminal Code, it's obvious there will be prosecutions but I'll let
the judicial process follow its course."
Stern's four-hour debut had barely wrapped up than the Canadian Radio-television
and Telecommunications Commission confirmed it had received between five
and 10 complaints.
Ian MacLean, CHOM's program director, didn't appear too concerned when he
met reporters while Stern was giving a live news conference by satellite.
"I think that what he's doing is a very entertaining morning broadcast
and I think that he's managed to push a few buttons," MacLean said.
"You don't get to have 20 million listeners without having to push
a few buttons," he added.
Lee Hambleton, the radio station's general manager, admitted there might
be some complaints "but ... as the saying goes in Quebec, take a Valium
before you get too excited about this."
A high proportion of the classic rock station's listeners are French-speaking.
Richard Martineau, editor of Voir, a French-language alternative newspaper
in Montreal, doubted anyone would get too upset about Stern. "If you
take Howard Stern seriously, you have a problem," he said. "Howard
Stern is a clown, he's a joker. He's offensive against everybody."
Stern said in the news conference he was aware of the controversy involving
his entry into the Canadian radio market. "There are a lot of people
who don't want me there (in Canada), because they say that Canada should
be pure Canadian, which is a load of crap. "What's the difference?
People are people. Why shouldn't Canada have this program?"
Stern admitted he may be pushing the buttons to improve CHOM's ratings.
"As a matter of fact, most stations we go on are usually in the toilet.
"No one in their right mind would have a successful station and put
Stern's only visit to Montreal was an unhappy one -- he got chickenpox as
a teenager and had to be flown home.
©1997 The K.O.A.M.
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©1997 The Canadian Press.
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