Howard Stern Has Bad 'Air' Day

Howard Stern tore into the Federal Communications Commission yesterday and accused Infinity Broadcasting of "setting me up for the fall" if the FCC escalates its anti-indecency campaign against the radio giant that employs him.

"Let the FCC take me off the air, I don't care," Stern railed.

"Foul language is all around us; porno is rampant and, you know what? The country's running fine.

"Bleep the whole goddam show and get rid of me. My time has passed.

"I was part of, like, the disco-era past," he moaned. "Let's take me off the air for three years and see if America changes. Let's see if America gets cleaner."

The tirade came as the FCC, the government agency that licenses broadcasting stations, announced this month it was going to crack down on shock jocks who go too far.

Radio-station owners argue that they are simply exercising their right of free speech, but more off-color stunts and blue language seem to be making it onto the radio every year.

Now the FCC wants to put a halt to it -- that has set Stern off.

"Bush put in some maniac on the FCC who's super-conservative and here we go all over again because Clinton's out of office and he didn't care about stuff like this - 'course not, he was busy getting oral.

"But the FCC's worried if we talk about oral," Stern ranted.

Stern accused K-Rock manager Tom Chiusano and Infinity lawyers of trying to preempt another FCC attack.

"Tom goes: 'It wouldn't be a bad idea if you got on the air and said I talked to you about the concern of the FCC,' " Stern said, recounting a meeting he had with the station's manager.

"This way, [Stern's bosses can say] 'We got proof [that] we told him. We warned him, he didn't listen . . . We covered our ass,' " Stern said.

"I'll tell you what, Tom, here's a big relief to you and your lawyers: you warned me, OK? Good."

Chiusano and Infinity declined comment yesterday.