With the conservative Fox News dominating the cable news ratings, channels
like MSNBC and CNN are diving to the right in an effort to pick up viewers. It's
a scary phenomenon -- channels whose mandate used to be balanced and objective
reporting are relying more and more on right-wing commentators.
Among these, few use rhetoric as hateful and violent as MSNBC's recent hire,
Michael Savage. Here are a few of his most pungent quotes (dozens more follow at
the end of this message):
"We need racist stereotypes right now of our enemy in order to encourage our
warriors to kill the enemy," (San Francisco Chronicle, 2/6/03)
Speaking about kids killed by guns, he said, "They're not kids, they're
ghetto slime... they're the same kids that are in Sierra Leone toting AK47s."
(Savage World, 5/15/00)
Savage's comments are atrocious. But the real problem is that he's a trial
balloon for MSNBC's rightward shift. If viewers respond well to folks like
Savage, we can expect MSNBC to be little more than Fox News II.
Please take five minutes to call MSNBC and let them know -- speaking from the
heart -- exactly how this kind of talk makes you feel about the network. Explain
that we'd like them to be alternative to Fox News -- not another right-wing
You can reach the office of MSNBC's President, Erik Sorenson, at:
you write, CC: the general feedback address:
After you've written,
please let us know by filling out
the form at:
form mentions phone calls, but you're welcome to use it to report emails as
well. You can also let us know what you wrote by putting your text in
the "Comment" field.)
Remember, the problem isn't Savage himself, it's
MSNBC's rightward dive, of which Savage is a prime example. Ask for
MSNBC to be an alternative to Fox, not a clone. That way our message will
resonate even if Savage is taken off the air.
When you speak with a staff member, take a minute or two to tell them who you
are, what you're calling about, and why it concerns or upsets you. If you watch
MSNBC, you may want to mention that as well. Remember that the people you'll be
talking to probably aren't personally responsible for putting Savage on the air;
polite and calm comments are always more effective.
Then let us know you've made your call by going to:
Let's ask MSNBC to take the high road and serve the public interest, rather
than pandering to racism and hatred. Thanks for your participation. Reports on
Savage by FAIR and the Minority Media and Telecom Council follow.
April 3, 2003
FAIR ACTION ALERT:
GE, Microsoft Bring Bigotry to Life
host Michael Savage hired by MSNBC
February 12, 2003
The latest hire by the cable news network MSNBC-- co-owned by General
Electric/NBC and Microsoft-- is Michael Savage, a radio talk show host noted for
his unabashed bigotry. Savage is scheduled to have his own weekly one-hour show
on MSNBC beginning in March.
Savage routinely refers to non-white countries as "turd world nations" and
charges that the U.S. "is being taken over by the freaks, the cripples, the
perverts and the mental defectives" (San Francisco Bay Guardian, 9/20/00). In a
recent broadcast he justified ethnic slurs as a national security tool: "We need
racist stereotypes right now of our enemy in order to encourage our warriors to
kill the enemy," he explained (San Francisco Chronicle, 2/6/03).
"Turd world" immigrants are a frequent target of Savage's anger: "You open
the door to them, and the next thing you know, they are defecating on your
country and breeding out of control" (Oregonian, 4/24/02).
At times Savage's arguments echo the conspiratorial scapegoating of the white
supremacist movement: "With the [Latino] population that has emerged, since they
breed like rabbits, in many cases the whites will become a minority in their own
nation... The white people don't breed as often for whatever reason. I guess
many homosexuals are involved. That is also part of the grand plan, to push
homosexuality to cut down on the white race" (San Francisco Bay Guardian,
Commenting on the "Million Mom March" in favor of gun control (which he
dubbed the "Million Dyke March"), he dismissed organizers' reference to American
children killed by guns (5/15/00): "They're not kids, they're ghetto slime...
they're the same kids that are in Sierra Leone toting AK47s."
Misogyny and homophobia are staples of Savage's show as well as racism. In
his book Savage Nation, he argues that Sen. Hillary Clinton and Supreme Court
justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sandra Day O'Connor have "feminized and
homosexualized much of America, to the point where the nation has become
passive, receptive and masochistic."
Discussing student volunteers distributing food to the homeless in San
Francisco, Savage declared that "the girls from Branson [school] can go in and
maybe get raped... because they seem to like the excitement of it. There's
always the thrill and possibility they'll be raped in a dumpster while giving
out a turkey sandwich" (San Francisco Bay Guardian, 9/20/00).
In announcing the hire, MSNBC president Erik Sorenson described Savage as
"brash, passionate and smart," and promised that he would provide "compelling
opinion and analysis with an edge."
From the Minority Media and Telecom Council:
AN AGGREGATION OF WHITE SUPREMACY IN THE PAPER TRAIL OF MICHAEL
* On the day before Yom Kippur in 1999, Savage played tapes of Adolf Hitler's
speeches over German military music.
* Savage suggested that homeless people are "living rats" who should be run
off the streets and put in state hospitals.
* Referring to Asians as "little soy eaters" and Chinese people "little
devils," Savage called for dropping nuclear weapons on China and said that
Chinese-Americans should be put in internment camps if they wouldn't sign
* Savage declared that "the next time you're in your backyard grilling hot
dogs, don't be surprised if your Korean neighbor is actually grilling his dog.
That's the way things are done in Korea."
* Pronouncing Trent Lott's endorsement of Strom Thurmond's 1948 presidential
candidacy "innocent comments," Savage nonetheless labeled the members of the
Congressional Black Caucus who voiced opposition to the comments "a lynch mob"
-- even though it was Thurmond's campaign that opposed antilynching laws.
* Savage referred to the National Council of La Raza as "a racist group," the
Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) as "an Anti-American
racist group," and the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund as "an antiwhite
pressure group." He used the term "radical front group" to attack the League of
Women Voters and the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights.
* Savage is reported to have said that the "liberal media" was covering up the
fact that James Byrd, the black Texan who was murdered and then dragged behind a
truck, was a coke dealer and his murder was an attempted sale gone bad.
* Savage has characterized Mahatma Gandhi as a "diaper-wearing moron" who was
responsible for the 1947 split between India and Pakistan (which Gandhi actually
* On CNN's "Talkback Live," Savage told Charles Barkley, who was considering a
bid for the Republican nomination for Governor of Alabama, "You're a dumb
basketball player. Go dribble a ball. Go dribble a ball. You couldn't shine my
* Discussing the government's use of media during World War II, Savage
declared "we need racist stereotypes right now of our enemy in order to
encourage our warriors to kill the enemy."
* According to Savage, Muslims "created nothing in a thousand years. They cut
throats and blow things up....The women just want to have mustaches and wear
* Savage routinely refers to non-white countries as "turd world nations," and
declared that "[g]eese are like immigrants. You open the door to them and the
next thing you know, they are defecating on your country and breeding out of
* Savage expressed this opinion of nonwhites: "as long as [non-whites] are
uncomfortable in a clean environment run by 'uptight' white people, there's
going to be racism. But as soon as America starts to look and stink like the
Third World, they'll feel more at home."
* Commenting on the May, 2000 "Million Mom March" in favor of gun control
(which he characterized as the "Million Dyke March") he dismissed organizations'
references to American children killed by guns: "They're not kids, they're
ghetto slime...they're the same kids that are in Sierra Leone toting AK47s."
* Savage expressed this opinion of Hispanic Americans: "with the [Latino]
population that has emerged, since they breed like rabbits, in many cases the
whites will become a minority in their own nation...The white people don't breed
as often for whatever reason. I guess many homosexuals are involved. That is
also part of the grand plan, to push homosexuality to cut down on the white
Sources: San Jose Mercury News, the San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles
Times, and Fairness and Accuracy in Media (FAIR).