Parents TV Council Says Howard Stern Would Ruin 'Idol'

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Howard Stern has been rumored to be a judge on American Idol

Rumors are swirling that Howard Stern could replace Simon Cowell as a judge on "American Idol." Credit: Stephen Lovekin, Getty Images

The Parents Television Council says Howard Stern would ruin "American Idol."

A rumor that the King of all Media could take Simon Cowell's spot on the popular Fox TV singing show prompted PTC President Tim Winter to release this statement: "Unless Stern intends to undergo some sort of moth-to-butterfly metamorphosis -- though in his case the change would be more like rattlesnake-to-Labrador Retriever -- adding him to 'American Idol' would spell immediate death for one of the best franchises in American family entertainment," according to UPI.

The PTC has posted a petition on its Web site, addressed to Fox Entertainment President Kevin Reilly and "Idol" executive producer Simon Fuller, asking them to "immediately repudiate these rumors and commit publicly to keeping American Idol safe for family viewing."
An attempt to reach Stern through his agent, Don Buchwald, was unsuccessful.

On its Web site, the PTC describes itself as "a nonpartisan education organization advocating responsible entertainment" with 1.3 million members. A major part of the PTC's activities is critiquing movies and television shows to determine whether or not they are "family entertainment."

The PTC Web site also is a place where curious viewers can find high-quality video clips of material the Council has deemed offensive. For example, on Jan. 6, 2010, the group issued a news release titled "Fox's 'American Dad' Features Man Masturbating a Horse," which includes dialogue excerpts ("Take the glue out of the factory.") and a link to watch the offending scene.

ParentDish contacted Jeff Jarvis, an experienced media reporter and professor at the City University of New York's Graduate School of Journalism. In an e-mail, Jarvis tells ParentDish the PTC "is, as Stern says, a made-up organization that launches faux campaigns about decency and thus sustains itself. It's laughable that the mere rumor of Stern going to 'American Idol' brings out their protests and petitions; this shows that they aren't for decency but against Stern -- they need an enemy and apparently missed him since he has gone to satellite."

On his media and news blog, Jarvis points out that the PTC issued its press release based solely on a rumor, "even though [Howard Stern] has not appeared on broadcast and has not said one four-letter word." In his e-mail to ParentDish, Jarvis adds that he is "a parent -- and a Stern fan -- and the Parents Television Council doesn't represent me." (Jarvis appeared on Stern's Sirius XM Radio show this morning.)

Stern has been very vocal about the rumor on his radio show, saying recently the only reason anyone watches "Idol" is because of outgoing host Cowell, calling Randy Jackson "irrelevant" and new judge Ellen DeGeneres a "phony" and "a bore."

Related: Fight for Howard Stern Begins; Will He Leave Sirius?

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