Former President Donald Trump took to social media on Saturday with a tirade against radio host and one-time friend Howard Stern, who in recent years has been critical of Trump’s political influence.
Stern is among the most popular radio hosts in the country, beginning his career in the 1970s and having been nationally syndicated since 1986. At his peak of popularity, his broadcasts were known for their outlandish content, praised as boundary-pushing by fans and decried as tasteless by critics, though in recent years, he has made a concerted push to moderate his output and his image. Throughout his years as a host based in New York City, he also developed a friendship with Trump, who appeared on Stern’s show over 20 times since the 1990s.
Along with a push into less purposefully offensive content, Stern has also recently become more outspokenly political, with most of his stances being firmly left-leaning. This has included frequent criticisms of Trump’s actions as president and his influence on the political landscape, leading to the end of their friendship.
In a Saturday post to his social media platform, Truth Social, the former president decried Stern as “disloyal,” shortly after the radio host made headlines by describing himself as proudly “woke” and anti-Trump.
“The real Howard Stern is a weak, pathetic, and disloyal guy, who lost his friends and MUCH of his audience,” Trump wrote. “Until just recently, I haven’t heard his name mentioned in years. I did his show many times in the good old days, and then he went Woke, and nobody cares about him any longer. I don’t know what they (really!) pay him, but it shouldn’t be much. His influence is gone, and without that, he’s got NOTHING – Just a broken weirdo, unattractive both inside and out, trying like hell to be relevant!”
Stern’s most recent comments came on Monday and were made in response to criticism he had heard that his show was “not good anymore” because he had become “woke.” The host countered, saying that he found the common right-wing pejorative to be a compliment.
“By the way, I kind of take that as a compliment, that I’m woke,” Stern said. “I’ll tell you how I feel about it. To me, the opposite of woke is being asleep. And if woke means I can’t get behind Trump, which is what I think it means, or that I support people who want to be transgender or I’m for the vaccine, dude call me woke as you f***ing want.”
He continued: “I’m not for stupidity. I ran out Friday morning. I was over at CVS. Thank you, CVS. I went over there 9 a.m. and got myself that new vaccine for COVID…I am woke, motherf*****, and I love it. I want to be awake. I want to read legitimate news sources. Here’s how woke I am. I believe the election was not rigged. I am woke. I think that’s a compliment.”
Newsweek attempted to reach Stern’s office via email for comment.