Michael Savage (San Francisco Chronicle)
Radio talk show host and best-selling author Michael Savage celebrates 15 years on the air this month.
According to Inside Radio, Savage’s Talk Radio Network syndicated program, “The Savage Nation”, has grown to reach over 10 million listeners each week. Talkers magazine, which bills itself as the leading trade publication for talk media industries in America, ranked Savage the third most important talk show host in the country for 2009.
“They said I wouldn’t last 15 hours, but I’ve lasted 15 years,” says Savage in an audio clip posted on the Inside Radio website.
“It’s because America has awaited a voice like mine forever,” Savage explains. “I’m one of a kind. I’m an original, and there’s never been anyone like me. There never will be anyone like me again. And I want to thank everybody in the industry for supporting Michael Savage.”
Born Michael Alan Weiner, Savage is trained as a scientist, holding master’s degrees in medical botany and medical anthropology and earning a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in epidemiology and nutrition science.
Savage is also the author of 20 books, including four New York Times best-sellers.
On March 21, 1994, under the pseudonym Michael Savage, he began his radio career as a fill-in host at KGO radio in San Francisco. Less than a year later he was given his own show on KGO’s sister station, KSFO.
“The Savage Nation” now broadcasts weekdays from 3-6 p.m. Pacific Time and can be heard on more than 300 stations across the country.
With an outspoken voice and such a prominent position on America’s airwaves, Savage has also found himself in the middle of several of the nation’s biggest news issues.
As WND reported, a non-profit legal group representing Marine Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani against government allegations related to a firefight in Haditha, Iraq, credited Savage and his audience with helping bring about Chessani’s victory.
“Michael Savage has given a national forum to the law center so that we could show the government’s persecution of one of our bravest combat leaders,” said Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Law Center.
“The law center is receiving donations from patriotic Americans all across America to support the cost of their defense of Lt. Col. Chessani,” the law center said. “One of Lt. Col. Chessani’s greatest supporters is conservative radio talk show commentator, Dr. Michael Savage. Dr. Savage personally donated upwards of $20,000 to the law center to assist in Lt. Col. Chessani’s defense. It is estimated that because of his encouragement, Savage listeners donated tens of thousands of dollars to Lt. Col. Chessani’s defense as well.”
Savage has also joined forces with the law center to protect free speech by fighting the return of the so-called “Fairness Doctrine.”
As WND has reported, the Fairness Doctrine, originally introduced in 1949, required that radio and television stations with a broadcast license air contrasting views on matters of public importance. The policy made it practically impossible for talk radio to make a profit, because the market would not bear a lineup with an equal number of programs from the left and right. Since the Fairness Doctrine was abandoned in 1987, more than 2,000 radio stations – the vast majority identified as politically conservative – have adopted a talk radio format.
Various Democrats, however, including former President Bill Clinton, Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa, Sen. Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico, Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan and House Speaker Nanci Polosi, have expressed support for reinstating the so-called Fairness Doctrine.
“A regulation of speech motivated by nothing more than a desire to silence political opposition on controversial issues of public interest is the purest example of a law abridging the freedom of speech,” the law center’s Thompson.
“Michael Savage is the personification of what the liberals hate about conservative talk radio,” he continued, “and we’re proud to represent him in this crucial battle to preserve the grand purpose of political speech protected by the First Amendment.”