Vince Lombardi. Molly Pitcher. James Fenimore Cooper. Howard Stern? In coming weeks, the radio shock jock was to join a pantheon of New Jersey luminaries who have highway rest areas named after them. The Howard Stern Rest Stop off Interstate 295 near Trenton, complete with plaque, would fulfill a pledge from Governor Christine Todd Whitman, in gratitude for Stern's very vocal support.
Now, the National Organization for Women in New Jersey has asked Whitman to reconsider. "Inappropriate and counterproductive," New Jersey NOW President Myra Terry wrote the governor, citing Stern's attacks on, well, everyone. "The man is very vulgar," says Roosevelt Nesmith, coordinator for the southern region of New Jersey NAACP branches.
Whitman plans to proceed with the dedication. And the rift has given Stern plenty of fodder. "Why would anyone complain about something so ingenuous and frivolous as this?" asks Stern's agent, Don Buchwald. And why risk the inevitable radio rejoinder?