WASHINGTON – Michael Savage’s talk-radio colleagues and competitors reacted in horror today to news that the No. 3 host in the U.S. was banned from entering
the United Kingdom
“As a host who witnessed first hand the hate speech not only tolerated but encouraged by the U.K., I am appalled and amused at the suggestion that Michael Savage is banned from the U.K. for his speech,” said Rusty Humphries of Talk Radio Network. “Thank God we broke away from that cowardly country.”
Lars Larson, a Pacific Northwest talker with national distribution, sees the action by the U.K. as a warning to all who exercise their First Amendment rights in the U.S.
“I often disagree with the WAY that Michael Savage says things,” said Larson. “I think he’s often rude and crude unnecessarily. But isn’t that precisely the point? That is exactly the kind of speech the founders of our country meant to protect with the First Amendment. England says a lot about itself and the government’s attitude toward its subjects when it forbids a man from coming to Great Britain because he presents challenging ideas presented in a challenging way. And it should send a cold chill through the heart of any man who loves freedom when he asks himself, ‘whose ideas and speech will be banned by government next?'”
Steve Malzberg, a New York talker on WOR, had this to say: “Although I am sorry to see the depths to which a once great nation like the U.K. has fallen, I cannot say that I am surprised. I don’t think Michael will lose any sleep over the fact that a country which cares more about protecting and appeasing radical Muslims than it does about protecting its people and promoting free speech and free thought has targeted him. However, I fear that this will now be added to the arsenal of the free speech fascists in the United States who are about to unleash their unprecedented attack on all of us. I look for Obama himself to eventually make note of it, in support of the action of course. All of us who do what Michael does, need to make this issue number one.”
Roger Hedgecock, whose nationally syndicated radio show airs at the same time as “The Savage Nation” and who recently accepted the chairmanship of the American Radio Free Speech Coalition, warned that it is a preview of what is to come:
“The British government action barring Michael Savage is a frightening preview of what we can expect in our own country as the PC police shut down the voices of dissent.”
Miami host Joyce Kaufman responded with rage and disgust.
“When I learned that Dr. Michael Savage had been banned from entering the U.K. I had two reactions. The first one was visceral, ‘I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore.’ … The second reaction was disgust. What happened to our great British allies? When did they abdicate the very principles on which great countries have led the world? When did they decide that the truth was irrelevant and the enemies of freedom needed to be placated?” she asked.
“And more importantly, when did we become so tolerant of the politically incorrect cabal worldwide? Not on my watch, not in my country!” she continued. “There is a great scene in the movie ‘Spartacus’ where the Roman Legion asks the revolting gladiators to identify and turn over their leader, Spartacus. And one by one they stood to their feet and denied the authorities a chance to easily identify him.”
“So today I declare, I am Michael Savage. Do you stand with us for freedom of speech, or is this the end of the free world as we know it?”
“It is bizarre that Michael Savage would be banned from the U.K. for denouncing the acts of terrorism committed and promoted by other individuals on the same ‘unwelcome’ list,” added Steve Gill.
“If his commentary against those who promote violence in the name of a ‘particular belief’ is worthy of being banned from the U.K., shouldn’t those who compiled the list and denounced the promotion of violence in the name of the ‘particular belief’
be banished from the U.K.?” Gill asked.
“The fact that Savage’s ‘talk’ – which neither tolerates or encourages acts of violence – is placed on the same level as those who have committed murder and acts of terrorism shows how far the British Home Office has roamed away from basic common sense,” he said.
“It is also fascinating that the promoters of violence in the name of radical Islam, who make up much of the list of banned individuals and presumably many of those who remain ‘unnamed,’ are only identified as promoting a ‘particular belief’ rather than identifying the common ‘particular belief’ – radical Islam. The only reference to Islam comes in reference to Michael Savage – who has vocally denounced radical Islam,” Gill said.
“This is a blatant attack on free speech. Since when did Western nations ban talk show hosts for exercising politically incorrect speech? Instead of banning conservative American talk show hosts, U.K. officials should pay closer attention to the radical Muslims living within their borders. So what’s next, will Obama follow the U.K.’s lead and ban politically incorrect speech? Based on his administrations left-wing agenda and the recent attack on Rush Limbaugh it’s highly likely that the administration will follow suit,” warned Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, host “The Jesse Lee Peterson Radio Show.”
“Considering the historical position of past liberal British administrations, radio personality Michael Savage finds himself in the best of historical company with Winston Churchill, based on the position that the Gordon Brown government has taken towards Savage today,” said a spokesman for Talk Radio Network. “Winston Churchill claimed that in the years leading up to World War II, he was banned from the BBC for a period of up to eight years. He was put into political exile where he was labeled ‘an extremist’ at a time his voice and free speech was needed most. This attempt at marginalizing Savage and Savage’s free speech is no less egregious than what Churchill experienced in the hands of Chamberlain’s government. It simply validates how history does repeat itself when history’s lessons are not learned by leaders of the modern age.
“The American way is sustained by the lynch pin of freedom of speech. TRN’s position towards all of its hosts is that of the classical liberal who says, ‘even though I might disagree with you completely, I will fight to the last breath to defend your right to speak freely.’ Sadly, the Brown government veers away from this, abandoning Britain’s principles and departing from the position of its own people,” the spokesman said.
Humphries recalled a trip to the U.K. with WND Jerusalem bureau chief Aaron Klein in which he said the two experienced a growing “tolerance” of Islamic hate speech.
“I was lied about to the police by a member of Parliament, nearly arrested, held against my will and banned from Parliament because of my questioning of MP George Galloway about his support for terrorists and communists,” Humphries said. “I was shocked to hear, in front of the London Central Mosque, that Islam will dominate the world and the White House will be overtaken and destroyed.
“I heard chants of ‘death to Tony Blair,’ ‘death to the queen’ and ‘death to George W. Bush.'”