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?