Friday, January 12, 2007

Michael Savage - A Disgrace to America

Here in Rochester, New York, the old-line clear channel radio station is WHAM, 1180 on the dial. It was purchased by Clear Channel several years ago, and its lineup now includes Rush Limbaugh in the afternoon and Michael Savage at night. I often catch a few minutes of Michael as I get ready for bed. You know the old adage, "know your enemy".

Rush was initially interesting, but he soon became a bought person for the Republican Party and jettisoned any of the evenhandedness he seemed to start out with. His recent confession about "carrying water" confirmed the obvious. Nowadays, hardly anyone will admit they listen to Rush. But Savage has a growing audience.

Savage rages against anyone who is "different" in addition to always ending up in sync with his Republican masters on the national issues. His agenda appears to have evolved out of his rejection for a faculty position at a California university, which rejection he credits to affirmative action. He may be right about that, but that event apparently finished his transformation into one of the most dangerous, vile people I have ever heard. The big risk is that some of his listeners might actually take action based on what they hear from him.

We ought to worry when a really bright person gets twisted. As an intellect, Savage is to Limbaugh what homo sapiens is to a rhesus monkey. He uses his considerable wit in service of what he considers to be traditional American culture, and against what he calls "Islamo-Fascism". That is, he's all about getting rid of the Mexican immigrants and attacking Muslims wherever they may be. People whom he dislikes (including all liberals) are called "traitors", and countries that he dislikes are called out for summary nuking. In between his shouting rants on these topics, he mouths pseudo-religous platitudes and short vignettes about his dog, his restaurant choices, and his mother. The vignettes effectively humanize this truly inhuman person for his audience.

Savage has become rich by peddling his vitriol on the radio and in several books that entranced followers have bought by the millions. He effectively uses the lowest common denominators - fear and hate - to poison the minds of the uneducated and the provincial. Although he is highly intelligent, he never exposes himself to bright people with opposing views, prefering instead to bully poorly prepared callers to his show. And what does he accomplish on the airwaves? He fosters intolerance, racism, rage, and aggressive behaviors in the name of patriotism. He should be hoping there's no just God, because if there is, he'll have a lot to answer for.

Savage's latest crusade is to push for the release of American soldiers who allegedly killed Iraqis in cold blood, either in reprisal actions or as part of gang rapes. To him, these kinds of behaviors are just another part of war - but of course Savage was never a soldier. To him, murder is fine as long as the victims are people he doesn't like. Do you see the commonality between Savage and the terrorists he seems to find behind every tree?

So where does this put Clear Channel, the corporation that allows him to spew his vomit into the ether? Equally guilty. Sometimes freedom of speech is almost too painful to bear, and Michael Savage and Clear Channel are right up against the line. The republicans should repudiate this creep and call Clear Channel to account. They are a disgrace to America.


Dave said...

You have a better memory than I do if you remember Rush Limbaugh as even-handed. I listened to him a bit back in the '90's and can only remember three things: "ditto," paper rattling and him repeating everything he said about three times to fill time.

Atlanta has a resident talk show host, Neal Boortz, who is syndicated. Syndication seemed to change him. He even occasionally rattles paper. He likes to use perjoratives but berates people that do the same, if he doesn't agree with their politics. He never engages in any real discussion or debate. Even when he agrees with what someone is saying, he tends to cut them off to repeat what he has to say about the subject, for the third time.

I've concluded that radio talk is entertainment directed to people that I don't understand. They apparently tune in to Savage, Boortz and Limbaugh for the schtick that has me punching a button to switch channels.

Ron Davison said...

I wish I could remember the exact line this reminds me of ... something like
"I have an idea for ending all prejudice and discrimination. Just get rid of everyone who is different."

I've heard a bit of Savage. Listening to him is like eating great food ... after it's been regurgitated.

1138 said...

Once apon a time Rush had a reasonable aspect.
You're right that vanished long ago.
My neighbor Mr. Boortz used to preface each of his shows were not news or education, but simply "entertainment".
I believe he dropped that disclaimer some time back, when he started buying his own BS.

What we see from Savage is not free speech, what we see is solicitation to violence and criminality.
He;s not honorable and Clear Channel should have licenses pulled.