After the Parents Television Council (PTC) denounced NBC's appointment of shock jock Howard Stern as a judge on "America's Got Talent," Stern issued his response on Thursday's Piers Morgan Tonight.
"I guess they get their printer out and they make a letterhead and they start to complain that I'm some sort of weird pervert who's going to convert Americans into some kind of zombie sex fiends," Stern mocked the PTC. The ever-controversial entertainer assured viewers that he would be a "good judge" on NBC's prime-time performance show. [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]
"And I think they [NBC] became sort of enamored with the idea of me becoming the judge because they knew I was honest," he bragged. "Whatever you think of me, I'm honest and I will give you an honest opinion. And my -- and really my goal is to find real talent and to actually find someone who can become a major superstar."
The PTC's opposition to Stern's hiring stemmed not from his lack of honesty, but rather that he is "synonymous with shock, profanity and obscenity" as a performer and could carry his foul-mouthed antics to prime-time network television.
"The once proud broadcast network has lost its way and has made it clear it holds no concern whatsoever for children and families," the PTC ripped NBC in a statement released Thursday. "Whatever principles NBC had in the past while the network was successful have clearly gone out of the window."
CNN host Piers Morgan was simply amused at the PTC's statement. "Howard, it doesn't get better than that, does it?" he asked the entertainer after reading the statement.
A transcript of the segment from Piers Morgan Tonight, which aired on December 15 at 9:02 p.m. EST, is as follows:
PIERS MORGAN: I think there have been two reactions to the appointment, which I've particularly enjoyed. One is the Washington Post which has described you as the new Piers Morgan. Could you give me your thoughts on that?
HOWARD STERN: That was always my – that was always my intention to become the new Piers Morgan.
MORGAN: Secondly and perhaps more amusingly, I have a statement from Tim Winter, president of the Parents Television Council, who has reacted as follows. Now I'll read this in full because I think you'll find it quite entertaining.
"In an act of desperation for a flailing network, NBC has hired Howard Stern – a performer synonymous with shock, profanity and obscenity – as a judge on a prime-time talent competition. Not coincidentally in just over three weeks the network will be standing before the United States Supreme Court arguing for the right to use the F-word at any time of the day, even in front of children. The once proud broadcast network has lost its way and has made it clear it holds no concern whatsoever for children and families. It also risks losing millions of advertising dollars. Whatever principles NBC had in the past while the network was successful have clearly gone out of the window."
Howard, it doesn't get better than that, does it?
STERN: First of all, your read was impeccable. I don't know why you're not anchoring the news. Secondly, I can outdo you. I'm seeing here, someone just sent me one. One of my guys sent me an article because these articles are coming out fast and furiously.
STERN: One of them "Gawker," a guy says "NBC pins hopes on rich pervert."
STERN: I like that one. I think part of my fascination in taking this job at "America's Got Talent" was the idea of seeing my face on network television prime-time. It became fascinating to me. I certainly had kind of decided about two years ago to slow down my workload. And then all of a sudden this opportunity came up with you leaving "America's Got Talent." And when they flew in and they approached me about it, and I was very honored because as you know they agreed to move the show to New York. It's the only way I could have done it.
STERN: So I felt very honored and certainly flattered. But I was anticipating all of this because especially the article you read from these guys, you know – what is the name of it? Parents, Teacher Council or something?
MORGAN: The Parents Television Council. I didn't know it existed.
STERN: You know, these are the same guys who actually disappeared when I went off Terrestrial Radio. Their entire sort of fundraising and their sort of being -- the reason they're in existence is to get me off the air. And then I went to satellite, and I think their fundraising went down.
And you know I came to explode this organization with their 1800 Twitter followers. It's pretty much nonexistent. But networks shudder from people like this. They buy a letterhead – I guess they get their printer out and they make a letterhead and they start to complain that I'm some sort of weird pervert who's going to convert Americans into some kind of zombie sex fiends.
STERN: But I can assure you and the rest of America what I'm looking at here is to be a very good judge. To sit there – I take it seriously, you know I watch the show.
MORGAN: Yeah, I know. You're a big fan.
STERN: Yeah. I love this type of television. And the idea that they're coming to me I think first got started because I've had a rather long and illustrious radio career. And I've had -- you know, I've had films, I've had books, I've had music sound tracks. And I think they became sort of enamored with the idea of me becoming the judge because they knew I was honest.
Whatever you think of me, I'm honest and I will give you an honest opinion. And my -- and really my goal is to find real talent and to actually find someone who can become a major superstar.