Pat Cooper, First Amendment Hero

Comedian Pat Cooper has a bug up his ass. Mr. Cooper, one of the last of the schtarker stand-ups, called The Transom to say that he is “on the fucking warpath” with Howard Stern because the talk-radio star has allegedly muzzled rival shock jocks Opie and Anthony, forbidding them to poke fun at him.

Referring to press reports that Infinity Broadcasting (which employs both Mr. Stern, on WXRK-FM, and Opie and Anthony, on WNEW-FM) has prohibited the duo from referring to Mr. Stern on-air, Mr. Cooper accused the self-proclaimed “King of All Media” of hypocrisy: using his air time to get personal about celebrities and his radio competition, but bristling when the tables are turned.

“Howard screams at the F.C.C., saying they’re anti-First Amendment,” said Mr. Cooper, who’s been a regular guest on Mr. Stern’s show in the past. “[But] only he can say things. Only he can turn around and say, ‘I’ll talk about anybody I want to, but the minute you talk about me, I’ll cry like a baby. I’ll call up my company, Infinity, and threaten to go off the air if the First Amendment has to be observed here.’

“The First Amendment is only for Howard Stern,” Mr. Cooper added, his voice growing louder on the phone. “It isn’t for anybody else. You know what? That’s how fuckin’ Hitler started. So Howard should start growing a little mustache under his nose. And say, ‘Sieg heil !'”

Mr. Cooper originally took up his cause on Chauncé Hayden’s Internet talk show on, an excerpt of which was picked up by the New York Post ‘s Page Six column.

But Mr. Cooper said he was surprised that his remarks, as well as the alleged silencing of Opie and Anthony, have not been bigger news. Last fall, after Opie and Anthony and Mr. Stern took turns making fun of each other, reports surfaced that the WNEW twosome had been instructed to lay off Mr. Stern.

“That rat bastard. How dare he? How fuckin’ dare he?” Mr. Cooper said. “There are paralyzed veterans in fuckin’ hospitals who fought for the right, and this guy turns around and says, ‘You can’t talk about me.'”

How angry was Mr. Cooper? “I may–I don’t know yet–but I may handcuff myself to his studio,” he said. “And maybe get some paralyzed veterans to come down there. I mean, am I wrong or right?”

The comedian, who has both built a career and lost work because of his penchant for speaking his mind, said that he found it “un-American” that the sponsors of Mr. Stern’s show were allowing him to silence potential competition. “By sponsoring him they’re saying, ‘You can be un-American, Howard, anytime you want to–as long as you get us ratings,’ which goes to show you why our country’s going totally in the toilet,” Mr. Cooper said, adding: “We can tell the President he’s full of shit. We can [say] the President got a blowjob. That we can talk about. But we’re not allowed to talk about Howard or his family. What’s that tell you?” Then Mr. Cooper added a variation on his last refrain: ” Sieg Howard! Sieg Howard!” he chanted.

Not that Mr. Cooper has much empathy for Opie and Anthony, whose real names are Gregg Hughes and Anthony Cumia. “Those two little wimps…. They ain’t got the balls to stand up to this man. If they’da stood up to him, they’d be giants today,” Mr. Cooper said. “They succumbed.” The comedian said he realized that Mr. Hughes and Mr. Cumia, whose drive-time show airs weekdays from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m., would probably lose their jobs if they violated such an edict from their parent company. But given their good ratings, he said, “There have got to be a lot of stations here that would hire them in a minute.” Mr. Cooper said that the two should “stand up to Howard and say, ‘You can’t do this to me. I got a right to make a living. Who are you, you piece of shit?!'” Then Mr. Cooper called Mr. Stern what sounded like “You mother-mustache bastard.”

Rick Delgado, the producer of The Opie & Anthony Show , chose not to follow Mr. Cooper into the breach. “We can’t comment on anything,” he said. He then referred us to WNEW’s program director, who also declined to comment.

Calls to Mr. Stern’s producer, Gary Dell’Abate, were referred to Mr. Stern’s agent, Don Buchwald. At press time, Mr. Buchwald had not returned The Transom’s call.

–Frank DiGiacomo

Snack Daddy’s Soiree

“If you’re looking to get laid tonight, go home,” Al Goldstein growled at The Transom. It was 8 o’clock on Jan. 15, and Mr. Goldstein, the porn-mag magnate, was welcoming guests to his 65th birthday party at the 2nd Avenue Deli. And except for his old pal Robin Byrd, there was nary a porn star to be found. For the most part, Mr. Goldstein’s guests were elderly Jewish professionals–lawyers, professors, politicians and an erotic cake manufacturer.

The urbane crowd didn’t stop Mr. Goldstein from talking dirty. “How you doin’?” he asked a grizzled friend. “I wanna sell your wife … in my whorehouse.” Recently, Mr. Goldstein announced that he is opening a chain of legal brothels beginning this year in St. Maarten. And now that he’s going to be a prostitution mogul, Mr. Goldstein has even adopted a pimp handle: “Snack Daddy.” He looked pleased when he said this, and a little bedraggled in his billowy snakeskin pants and jacket with “Goldstein” spelled in rhinestones on the back. He wore a watch on each wrist. “Why? Because I like watches,” he said.

After almost an hour of Mr. Goldstein propositioning his pals’ wives and hugging former and present girlfriends, dinner was served. Guests were given their choice of a pastrami, corned-beef or turkey sandwich. Mr. Goldstein dined across from Josh Hadar, co-owner of the current reincarnation of Studio 54, and his crimson-haired girlfriend. “We met at a wine-tasting,” Mr. Hadar said, thumbing through the complimentary Screw that featured Mr. Goldstein naked and hog-tied on the cover. “At the W Hotel. Can you believe it?”

Meanwhile, a wild-haired Al (“Grandpa”) Lewis skulked in the corner, munching on mini-knishes. When The Transom told him it was nice to meet him, Mr. Lewis replied: “I wish I could say the same.” Nevertheless, Mr. Lewis took the opportunity to say that he is planning to run for Public Advocate this year. (He has already failed to be elected Governor and Senator.) “I’m going to try,” he said. “But you know, it’s hard to do it without the party machinery.”

How did Mr. Lewis know Mr. Goldstein? “We’ve known each other for 40 years,” the former co-star of The Munsters said. “Al was driving a cab. You know he used to be a cab driver. And he had a fast meter–he cheated me. He cheated me out of four dollars! We got into a big argument.”

And you became friends with this guy? The Transom asked.

“We’re not friends!” Mr. Lewis snapped back. “I’m just trying to get my four dollars! Why do you think I come to all these things? Why don’t you do me a favor and get me the four dollars? I’ll give you a dollar if you can collect.”

But Mr. Goldstein wasn’t paying up. “Yeah, I owe him four dollars. For the blowjob,” he said.

Finally, a small and decidedly unerotic cake was served: chocolate topped with frosted roses and two candles. After Ms. Byrd led the crowd in a rousing chorus of “Snack Daddy! Snack Daddy!”, Mr. Goldstein made a speech. “As a Jew, it’s a pleasure to be in a room with so many people who owe me so much,” he said. “So much money! So many ex-wives! So many girlfriends I’ve destroyed with my dysfunctional dating patterns.” The East Coast’s Aging Prince of Porn thanked them all, but then offered a trademark “fuck you” to all the women who had not indulged his satyriasis.

Mr. Goldstein then took the opportunity to hype his latest project. “Now that I’m 65 … we’re going to open a chain of whorehouses,” he told the boisterous crowd. Yes, beneath that tough exterior beats the heart of an indefatigable self-promoter. When he was done speaking, Mr. Goldstein told his cameraman, “Talk about impromptu. I hope you got that on camera. ‘Cause that was good.”

–Ian Blecher

Brian Williams, Eunuch?

We finally understand why NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw has never seemed threatened by heir-apparent Brian Williams. The answer popped up, so to speak, in a rather unlikely place: the “Answer Fella” column in the February issue of Esquire magazine, a forum in which deep questions that plague men are answered in detail. The question in this case was, “What’s the deal with my morning erections?” After explaining the science behind the phenomenon, Answer Fella (whose real name is not used) broached the subject of Mr. Williams: “In short, all men of normal function wake up with wood, save for MSNBC anchor Brian Williams, whose johnson was severed by a clipboard during oral arguments before the Florida Supreme Court and now resides, bottled in brine, on Tom Brokaw’s desk.”

Mr. Williams, who has shown he can be a cut-up on The Late Show with David Letterman , did not shrink from the chance to respond to Answer Fella’s allegation. Through his spokesman, Mark O’Connor, Mr. Williams said that “Envy is the root of all evil.”

Meanwhile, Answer Fella’s editor, A.J. Jacobs–a former Observer writer–declined to divulge the identity of the columnist, but did relay what he said was a message from him. Mr. Jacobs said that, according to Answer Fella, Mr. Williams’ you-know-what is not the only item “in the Brokaw collection. He’s also in possession of Harry Reasoner’s left kidney and Dan Rather’s frontal lobe.”


The Transom Also Hears ….

So there was Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, supporting filmmaking at the Sarasota Film Festival and finding that the liberal celebrity types who make movies were just a tad reluctant to be photographed with her. At the festival’s keynote event, a black-tie gala at the Crosley Mansion honoring Alan Alda, sources familiar with the situation said that the M*A*S*H star initially declined to be photographed with Ms. Harris because, he said, he doesn’t like to be photographed with any politicians. But Mr. Alda did eventually pose with Ms. Harris, who is on the festival board, and some suspect it had something to do with the flattering speech about the actor that Ms. Harris delivered before Mr. Alda got his award. One festival-goer who ran into Ms. Harris around that time said she seemed “shocked” by Mr. Alda’s foot-dragging. But then that same festival-goer ran into another young actor at the event who confessed that “he was afraid that if he had his picture taken with [Harris], he’d never work in movies again.” By the way, The Transom’s festival-going source said that Ms. Harris looked “radiant” at the Alda event.

–F.D. Pat Cooper, First Amendment Hero