Brad & Britt Defend the Indefensible

Another journey into the land of hypocrisy (on both sides of the issue) this morning on the Brad & Britt show on FM Talk 101.1. You see, some people have had enough of the hate-spewing rhetoric of Michael Savage and have decided to contact his advertisers to try and get them to yank support of his show. The plan seems to be working and Savage has lost at least 4 major sponsors to date.

Into the fold, once again, comes our local radio talk radio hosts, Brad Kranz & Britt Whitmire who did a segment on Savage this morning. Unsurprisingly both hosts take the position that while some of the things Savage broadcasts to millions of people each day are offensive, and even in some cases as Britt said “indefensible”, if people don’t like it, they can turn the dial and simply not listen.

It’s interesting because I actually do turn the dial as soon as Alan Handleman goes off the air. I’ve tried to listen to Savage several times, but find myself becoming nauseous very quickly. I agree he does make some interesting points from time to time on issues of the day. But then he goes and says stuff like this:

“90 percent of the people on the Nobel Committee are into child pornography and molestation.” – 12/12/07

Madeline Albright is “a traitor. In my opinion, she should be tried for treason, and when she’s found guilty, she should be hung.” – 10/9/06

“Liberalism is, in essence, the HIV virus, and it weakens the defense cells of a nation.” – 7/6/06

and the one that got him rightfully fired from MSNBC:

“Oh, you’re one of the sodomites,” Savage said. “You should only get AIDS and die, you pig. How’s that? Why don’t you see if you can sue me, you pig. You got nothing better than to put me down, you piece of garbage. You have got nothing to do today, go eat a sausage and choke on it.”

Being the “liberal” that I am, I fully support free speech and the First Amendment. I have a problem however when someone’s rhetoric goes from being simply one of opinion (no matter how difficult that opinion might be to take) to one of hate. Michael Savage is a purveyor of hate, pure and simple. Britt would tell you that’s all “part of his act”. As if that makes everything he says acceptable somehow. I find it interesting how they’ll spend 2 or 3 minutes berating Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh, but Neal Boortz and Michael Savage, for some reason, get treated a little differently.

So my questions to Brad & Britt are these: Is there anything a radio talk show host (particularly one on your own station) could say that you think would merit them being either fired or boycotted? Why is it unacceptable for groups of citizens to try and get a person who fills our airwaves with hate, fear and intolerance, off the air? And finally, are we all just expected to let talk radio hosts say whatever they want, no matter how hurtful and offensive it is, all the time?


  1. I always turn the dial off when Clark Howard comes on 101.1 in the afternoon, or when Alan Colmes comes on in the evening.

  2. Answers:

    1. Yes

    2. It is not illegal for self-appointed groups of the offended to try to get guys like Savage fired or boycotted. This is the United States’ version of the worldwide Muslim explosion over those cartoons of Muhammad a few years ago. No rioting or actual deaths, just death threats to guys like Savage and economic threats to large companies, many of whom fold easily when the pressure’s on.

    3. Yes. I’ve always thought the classic answer to offensive speech in this country was MORE speech, not an attempt to silence or shut down those who offend you or disagree with you. Apparently those days are long gone. That was what liberals USED to think. I learned outdated, liberal pap back at Ohio State in the 70’s like Voltaire’s famous “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”


    You say you change the dial at 7pm each night. Good for you. That’s your freedom of choice But why should you be allowed to impose your personal tastes over the choice of thousands of others around here (or millions, nationwide)? Who made you the Arbiter of Taste and Suitability? I know…”EVERYBODY I know agrees with me.” Get out a little more and talk to some people who don’t agree with your every thought. Get a little diVER….sity in your life.


    If you really listen you will not hear us always defending Boortz and Savage. On occasion, we have taken each to task on various issues… Boortz on his insane hatred of the poor and his always predictable response after a mass shooting..”if everyone all the time just had
    a gun these incidents wouldn’t ever happen….”


    To me, this is the lefty version of Focus On the Family’s attempted (and failed) boycott of Ford a few years back because Ford had the nerve to market to gays. Don’t buy a Ford if you’re dumb enough to be offended by an ad appealing to homosexuals. And don’t listen to Savage if he offends you. It should end there. But it won’t.

  3. Brad thanks for dropping by and responding. Here are some thoughts to your reply:

    1) Like what? I’m not talking about obscenity here, I’m talking hate. Evidently there is stuff that you think crosses the line, but evidently Savage’s intolerance isn’t it. It also wasn’t Imus’ “nappy headed hoes” line. Would it be the “N” word? Is that the only thing these days that deserves the boot in your opinion?

    2) I didn’t say “illegal”, I said “unacceptable. There is a big difference. You seem to take the position that it’s wrong for people who are disgusted by Savage to try and make their displeasure known to the radio station and their advertisers. Just how else is a radio listener supposed to voice his/her opinion on the matter? Turning the dial doesn’t mean anything because unless you guys are lo-jacked into my car stereo, you don’t know I’m not listening. I’d love to know how radio ratings are measured in terms *other* than advertising dollars.

    3) So why are there no KKK radio stations in North Carolina then? Why don’t we hear white supremacist speech every night on the drive home? Why isn’t there a “fags go home!” station broadcasting to the masses if they can say whatever ever they want? The reason is simple, and you know it. Some speech doesn’t belong on public airwaves. Like gay bashing. Denigrating someone based on their race, religion or sexual orientation just doesn’t fly. You know this to be true, otherwise you wouldn’t be as successful as you are today.

    Further, I’m not the one to dictate what I like and don’t like to everyone. That wouldn’t be American and wouldn’t be liberal. What you seem to be missing is that not every word out of someone’s mouth is protected. This is why there are laws against hate crimes. This is why you can’t stand in the public square and shout the “N” word hour on end and not expect to get dragged away.

    Re: Bortz. Yep, you are right. From time to time you guys do criticize him on his stance, which is great. I’ve even said so here, so if that comment was unfair, I apologize.

    Again, thanks for stopping by, it speaks a great deal about you and Britt. As a loyal listener, I appreciate it.

  4. When Savage says “Liberalism is, in essence, the HIV virus, and it weakens the defense cells of a nation.” – 7/6/06

    This is his opinion. He’s using a metaphor to define a point. You and others may disagree or even take offense but it’s free speech and he has every right to say it. It’s easy to try to lump stuff under the banner of “Hate” and then call for it to be silenced.

    Who determines where the line demarcation is when it comes to defining what classifies as hate?

    You’re right about the advertising. It is the measure that determines success. So let the free market determine if he is truly being hateful and not the mind police on the left enforcing a nanny state. This process worked for Air America and if the majority don’t like Savages opinion then the advertising will suffer and he’ll go off the air.

    Don’t get me wrong I think the guy acts like a nutter at times and says some very stupid things but I’d still defend his right to do so.

  5. Von,

    You’re absolutely right about the quote regarding liberalism and that being his opinion. He can express it to high heaven all he wants. Perhaps that is a bad example.

    As for what is “hate” and what is not, here is one possible definition:

    “Hate crimes differ from conventional crime because they are not directed simply at an individual, but are meant to cause fear and intimidation in an entire group or class of people. Hate crimes can take many forms. Incidents may involve physical assault, damage to property, bullying, harassment, verbal abuse or insults, or offensive graffiti or letters.”

    Note the last section regarding harassment, verbal abuse or insults. I’m not saying that this covers what Savage does all the time, and yes, you can change the channel if you are offended, but if this is so, I’d challenge you and ask why MSNBC fired him for his AIDS comment if it wasn’t hateful.

    Also, just because something is popular doesn’t make it right. Slavery was once so and we all know what happened regarding that. I suspect that the only reason why Savage gets away with his speech is because he attacks gays, Islamics, hispanics, etc. If he was yelling the same things each night about African Americans, you and I wouldn’t be having this discussion because he’d be off the air. Sadly, it’s still acceptable in this country to attack, defame and degrade many types of people.

  6. This week, Brad and Britt were blaming Bush for what Obama won’t be able to accomplish in the next administration. This is taking their Bush-bashing to a new level. I think they’re the ones leaving a stinking pile of s— when they sign off at 10:00 a.m.

  7. Love your show, keep up the good work. I wish more people could read the complete sermon given by Rev. Wright. I noticed how one caller refered to Rev Hagger as a Rev. but Rev Wright as Jeremia Wright.Racism and hate run very deep in this country even among liberals if it were not so exit polls in Pennsylvania would would have had a differant result. After calling in on Thursday I agree there are a lot of issues that our next President will face that will affect our country for decades to come, ie. court appointments and we will be better of with Sen Obama or Sen Clinton making those appointments.

  8. I knew Savage messed up with those remarks, however it is a total crock to try to get someone off the air just because you don’t like what they have to say. By the way, Brad and Britt have a great show. They don’t carry water for anyone, they did for Obama for a while.

  9. You guys are definitely in the tank for Obama, but I still like listening to you guys and will continue too. I think you have one of the best radio programs going in this area.
    I could understand being afraid to be pro-MCcain if you boss is a big Obama supporter.

    Brad, I have to compliment you on your brains and good common sense.

    I hear you call yourself a Christian and that you go to church. Many of your stances on things are not anywhere close to Christian. Your status as a Christian is sorely lacking in my opinion. This is a very dangerous place to be if you believe in Jesus Christ and the God of the Bible. Read below. Judas Escariot went to church with Jesus…

    Luke 6:46; 13:25-27)
    21“Not everyone who keeps saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will get into the kingdom of heaven, but only the person who keeps doing the will of my Father in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, we prophesied in your name, drove out demons in your name, and performed many miracles in your name, didn’t we?’ 23Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you evildoers!’”

  10. So, We all want to impose our views on someone else. We really do. If they don’t believe the way we do, need to omit them from society. We really do. We speak of racism, hate speech, bush bashing, gay bashing, etc. Those that are doing it should be shipped to Siberia and left for dead. If you can’t agree with us and our kind you should not be here. If your not like us we should eliminate you from society. You can’t think like us. Your not smart like us. You don’t know what is best for you. We will decide what is best. You can’t put that on the air it does not fall in line with our thinking. We will decide when you are offended. We will decide when to rejoice and when to cry. We will decide who to forgive and who not. If your thoughts are not like our we will be rid of you…

    That is all i hear nowadays… I am sick of both sides. You can decide what you do and do not hear, see, touch and smell. It is your choice, don’t make mine for me.

  11. Dark,

    So I’ll ask you the same question I asked Brad. Do you think you should be able to turn on the radio in your car and listen to KKK hate speech? Do you think you have a right to listen to some white supremacist shout “N word” this and “N word” that over public airwaves that you and I both pay for?

    Should I be able to listen to Michael Savage call homosexuals “fags” and cock suckers and tell them to contract HIV and go die over and over every night from 7-10pm est?

    Just curious about your stance on that.

  12. Ged,
    I do not know you and you do not know me but the fact is I don’t like to listen to Mr. Savage, I think he is egotistical, delusional, self-absorbed, and a pantheon of other things so I turn him off. No I don’t like the idea of a KKK radio station. The difference is the KKK try to start riots, murders, etc. Savage doesn’t have that much power, even though he thinks he does. But if the KKK were allowed a station I would not listen to it either. I spent 12 years, 3 combat tours in the Army in defense of this nation and the freedom of the people in it. You have the right to disagree and not listen but you don’t have the right to decide who can and can’t say what they want. I believe that if the KKK or Black Panthers had a radio station it would not last because the market place would not support it. That is how our society works. Like it or not it works, it may not work the way some of us want but it is better than what some in other nations have. There are mornings when B&B get to blathering on about something and I don’t want to here it, so I turn them off. My choice. Your choice. They don’t have a monopoly, there are other stations out there. Still, your choice. I know hate speech when I hear it, I know the code words used by the white, right and uptight, when they use them. Most people who meet me for the first time think I’m just you friendly neighborhood white guy. I hear their opinion of issues, I hear them talk about those F(*&^%$ Mexicans, or those N@&^$#* down the street, or any other ‘someone who is not like them’. I hear them say it right up to the minute they see that I’m married a black women and I have 2 mixed children. Yea I hear it and I see it too. I see it in their faces as they realize what they have been saying around me or to me. The point being I don’t like hate speech from anyone. But it is their right to feel that way and it is my right to not have it shoved down my throat either. We have the choice. We have always had the choice. If we respected each other more regardless of opinions maybe the world would be a little better off. Our worlds are completely different and that is OK but it does not make you or me any more right or wrong than the other.

  13. Ged,
    Oh by the way… Gays,lesbians, etc. I disagree with completely. I don’t believe your born that way. I believe it is a choice, for good or bad. But at the same time, it is not my place to judge them. Even though I disagree they have a right to life as they see it. But again I disagree with the G/L/H community shoving acceptance down my throat. I don’t have to accept their lifestyle at all. I only have to respect them as a human being. There is no difference between a racist trying to shove his view on me that the minorities in this country are the bane of American existence and a lesbian tying to make me accept the fact that what they do is OK. No difference. No difference at all. I don’t think it is fair we have a “Diversity” month promoting G/L/H acceptance. Nor do I find it necessary to have a Hispanic or Black history month. The point being if we do it for one we do it for all or none at all. What one does in life and with their life is between them and their God or whatever deity they choose to worship. I could rant on this all day but I won’t, for now I will leave you be.
    Peace be with you and yours. Cheers!

  14. Sounds like B&B stepped in something brown and smelly. I used to listen regularly until they got too gushing on the Anointed One (cue the harps). I caught a fragment today as I was swapping CD’s.

    So what the story? Was a mention of 600 letters which I assume weren’t positive.

  15. Dark,

    Yeah, I heard that this morning. Not sure what to say. I thought it was fake at the start, but the more they went on about it, the more I believed it. They did a great job “selling” it as it were, very Orson Wells of them.

    I’m glad that so many people phoned in to voice their support though. Sometimes when the people that bitch and moan are the only ones being heard, you start to loose heart. I think they needed a reminder that overall, people enjoy their show.

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