Howard Stern Slams Jay Leno, NBC Responds
Well that didn't take long. Now that shock jock and newly christened judge of NBC's America's Got Talent Howard Stern has landed his new job, he is learning the hard way that you can't always say exactly what you think, even about a longtime rival like Jay Leno, when you represent a major network … especially a network that also employs your famous rival.
Last week, when NBC's The Tonight Show had to lay off around 20 employees as part of a "major budget-restructuring plan," according to E! Online (also owned by NBCUniversal), Leno claimed to have taken a pay cut in order to save whatever jobs he could.
When Stern heard about the heroic move, however, he wasn't convinced. "It's all horses–t. It's bulls–it. It's a smokescreen," Stern said on his Sirius XM radio show. "Here's what it really means, and you can take this to the bank: Jay Leno is a scumbag. That's what it means. He's a spineless maggot. Jay wanted to cut staff. He's embarrassed to do it. He didn't want to come off as a bad guy."
After Stern expressed his thoughts, he reportedly got a call from someone at NBC saying that he was "uninformed" about the job cuts and therefore had no place to talk about them. "Yeah, I did hear from them actually. I got sort of a threatening kind of comment from one of the executives. I said … 'Do not tell me not to talk about Jay Leno, I will talk about Jay Leno for four f–king hours if you tell me not to. I was done with Jay Leno, now I'm all fired up again. F–k Jay. Take my job away from me. Who cares?'"
At the same time, Stern also praised NBC higher-ups and his new job as an America's Got Talent judge, and admitted that he didn't know any details about the job cuts or alleged salary cuts. "Of course I don't [know]," Stern said. "I have theories. F–k it. So what if I don't know about the budget cuts? I'll make it like I do know about it … I don't answer to anybody."
Stern also made it clear that, though he likes working for NBC, he won't let the network influence his behavior on his radio show, which is reportedly consistent with the terms under which NBC hired him. "Please don't tell me what to say … I'd rather leave the job than not talk about Jay Leno. It's fine — fire me too. Please."
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