Unfortunately you're right about Mr.Stern and his dishonest approach to gathering dishonest votes toward the continuing of the worst singer. There is also a site in voting for the worst that has done a great deal of damage to American Idol in promoting unethical voting as well. And even though Sanjaya is now gone, they have continued their efforts to the next worst Idol whoever that is they deem worthy.
Where does the madness end?
Personally, I thought the Vote For The Worst movement was brilliant. I love subversive countercultural rebellion. I thought it was a poignant way to illustrate what it really means to tell the public to vote for essentially mediocre karaoke singers. Publicly putting people's careers in the hands of a faceless mob and turning it into such a spectacle - frankly, they were asking for it.
It's important not to take TV too seriously, because that's what gives it commercial power over you.
I love certain reality shows, like America's Next Top Model or Search for the Next Doll, or even Project Runway, because in those shows, contestants are selected by a panel of expert judges. The results have already been taped. It's interesting to hear the judges deliberate over real factors about the modelling or entertainment businesses. It's actually educational to hear what elements are important to making a good model or performer or fashion designer. I might have actually been a loyal fan of American Idol if Simon were the one who decided who became American Idol instead of the collective of callers. He's the only one truthful enough to say how bad most of the contestants really are. (I mean really, it's a matter of choosing the least awful/boring singer rather than the most talented.)
I don't trust the musical ear of the general population. Even if everybody voted honestly, I don't think the most talented individual would win American Idol. But the truth is in the name: the show is about creating an Idol, not a musician, and that's about mass popular appeal, not musical integrity.