Howard Stern won’t replay his goldmine of Donald Trump interviews for two reasons. One, Stern says it would be a “betrayal.” Two, Stern doesn’t need the ratings. Almost anybody else in possession of this valuable media currency right now — a true goldmine — would give in to the temptation to play it. But Stern doesn’t need the money, and he doesn’t need to build his audience that way.
Stern didn’t get to be the “King of All Media” by looking out for himself alone. He’s a famously loyal guy, keeping his crew together throughout thick and thin. Stern doesn’t burn bridges — and it’s one of the reasons he’s enjoyed so much goodwill among fellow celebs and among his many acolytes in entertainment. Consider that both Jimmy Kimmel and Sarah Silverman gave Stern memes shout-outs recently on huge primetime telecasts. Staying power in our fickle age requires loyalty, which Stern powerfully displays by not replaying the tapes. Stern has interviewed Trump dozens of times — it’s a treasure trove of blatantly “unpresidential” dialogue. But he won’t play them, even as an avowed Hillary Clinton supporter. If only more of our politics had Howard Stern’s standards. And whoever thought anyone would say that?