An impromptu telephone call yesterday from director Clint Eastwood shows Hollywood is concerned about the impact of millions of patriotic Americans who listen to talk radio, says Michael Savage, who engaged in the surprise conversation on his nationally syndicated show.

In an interview with WorldNetDaily, Savage noted the call came amid furor over the upcoming CBS miniseries “The Reagans” which apparently has prompted network chief Les Moonves to order some changes.

Clint Eastwood

“They’re terrified of the boycott that is rolling along like a snowball,” Savage said. “And Clint is a wise enough businessman to understand that movies build by word of mouth. They can also die by word of mouth.”

The call was prompted by Savage’s suggestion people might be ignoring Eastwood’s new film “Mystic River” because it features two of Hollywood’s most outspoken critics of the U.S. and its policies, Sean Penn and Tim Robbins.

Penn made a controversial three-day “fact finding” trip to Baghdad last winter. He then paid to have a massive, rambling essay published in the New York Times defending his visit after he was accused of being a tool for Iraqi propaganda. Robbins, in a speech to the National Press Club in April, said the United States is now viewed by much of the world as the Soviet Union once was, “as a rogue state.”

“When [Eastwood] heard me bashing his movie he probably got afraid that I might keep a million or two million people away from the theater and could keep another million or two away who might otherwise make a discretionary decision,” Savage said.

The talk host said Eastwood was very courteous and insisted the film was doing much better than it was being portrayed.

“I thought it was a very good interchange, and it indicated Hollywood is listening to conservative talk radio,” he said. “They understand that we are conservative and that we go to the movies.”

Savage said the point he was making before Eastwood called was “maybe the people are finally waking up, and they are not going to the movies of these anti-American, anti-war actors who shoot their mouths off and then think people are too stupid to remember when their movies come out.”

The radio host said he told Eastwood, “Irrespective of the fact that I like every movie you’ve ever made, I will not bring myself to go to a movie with Sean Penn, after what he’s done to our troops.”

According to Savage, the director replied, “Well that’s certainly your prerogative.”

Eastwood said he just happened to tune in the show yesterday as he was driving around, but Savage, citing a mutual friend, says the Hollywood icon is a regular listener.

“As I understand … he loves it,” Savage said. “But he can’t admit that. He’s a good politician, a very wise politician.”

Among Eastwood’s first words when he called were “Arnold didn’t call you, but I will,” Savage related.

The reference indicated Eastwood’s knowledge of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s willingness to come on nearly every radio show in California during his gubernatorial campaign, except for the Michael Savage Show.

Savage said Eastwood, who served a two-year term as mayor of Carmel, Calif., in the 1980s, gave no indication of his political leanings, however.

“He’s a director, has a lot at stake here,” Savage said. “He’s just trying to protect his investment. I tried to treat him with dignity, because he treated me with dignity.”

Related stories:

Sean Penn breaks his silence … sort of

Baghdad using Penn as propaganda tool?

Sean Penn visits Baghdad for ‘insight’

Text of Tim Robbins speech

Costas: ‘Bull Durham’ event back on

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