Has Howard Stern lost his fast ball like Biden?

When word first broke that Joe Biden would be sitting down with Howard Stern for a live interview Friday on his SiriusXM show, it was an absolute guarantee that it would be an embarrassing T-Ball session without anything resembling a challenging question nor anything relating to the major issues that have Biden polling lower than any president since Jimmy Carter. 

And on that front, Stern delivered and then some. 

In what can only be described as the best PR any person in power could possibly ask for, the host went out of his way to repeatedly praise Biden for things like ‘getting the vaccine out’ after COVID hit (that was Trump). Stern also claimed that Biden has ‘cut emissions in half’ (no, he hasn’t). The former shock jock-turned-Democratic activist also falsely accused Republicans of being ‘pro-Putin’ simply because some wanted U.S. border funding to accompany Ukraine aid. And when Biden (again) claimed he was arrested standing alongside a Black family on their porch when he was a youth, a claim that had been thoroughly debunked, Stern stayed silent. 

But that doesn’t mean there weren’t several laugh-out-loud moments, albeit of the unintentional variety: Just take the time about halfway through the hour-long interview when Biden claimed that women used to send him ‘very salacious pictures’ after he was elected to the Senate back in the 1970s. The president claimed he gave the photos to the Secret Service. Any host of a community access station knows that senators don’t have Secret Service protection, and it’s very difficult to believe Biden, a freshman Delaware senator, was some kind of sex symbol. Anyway, that part of the interview was absolutely hilarious, as was Biden’s claim he was once the David Hasselhoff of the Elvis era when he says he saved SIX lives while lifeguarding at his local community pool. 

And what would a Joe Biden interview be without sharing the amount of miles he had flown with another person? Usually in these situations, Biden trots out the line that he had flown more than 17,000 miles with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Numerous fact-checks refute this claim. So instead, for the Stern interview, Biden upped the ante when reminiscing about John McCain during the late Arizona senator’s time as a senate aide. 

‘We flew 100,000 miles together,’ Biden claimed. 

To achieve that kind of distance, Biden and McCain would have had to fly around the world more than four times together. 

The only newsworthy item to come out of the interview was Biden saying he would debate Trump at some point. Until this point, neither the White House nor the president would confirm that intention.

At another point, Biden promised he would have the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade 2022 ruling, the one that sent the abortion issue back to the states, overruled if re-elected. Biden made the same pledge at the State of the Union in March by stating that if he were given a Democrat-controlled Congress, he would sign a bill making abortion legal again in all 50 states. 

My column that predicted how this interview would go almost came precisely to fruition. I wrote that Stern would focus on how horrible he believes Trump is (he did) while bringing up abortion as the only major domestic issue that would be broached during the conversation (also correct on that front). I also predicted the border crisis would be ignored (it was), as would violent crime in major cities (it was) and nothing would be mentioned about the economy by Stern (who only talked about low unemployment but didn’t touch inflation). 

Overall, both men got exactly what they wanted: Stern proved he can kiss butt on a Colbert/Kimmel/Meyers-like level while impressing his A-list celebrity friends in the Hamptons, while Biden came across as a sympathetic figure who loves his family. 

Expect more interviews like this from Biden as we head to Election Day. 

But don’t expect a solo press conference where real questions and follow-up questions would be asked by journalists who still care about holding the powerful accountable. 

Hand-picked lackeys like the once-great Howard Stern are the only people who will be getting access to this president, and that’s a true shame. 

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