This Girl's Voice

Tuesday, July 08, 2003  

•• Savage Schadenfreude ••

Hey... so, what's coming up on MSNBC's Savage Nation this Saturday?

Nada. Zip. Zero. Take a look for yourself at the show's frontpage on MSNBC. The slate's blank.

That's because MSNBC just fired the show's host, like, oh, on Monday night. Whaaa? (voxpopgirl exclaimed in feigned distress).

Well, before we go there, let's take a moment to stroll down memory lane when things were looking up for the Savage Nation host.

Back on Mar. 8 of this year, "The Savage Nation" debuted on MSNBC; the program's host, Michael Alan Weiner, who now calls himself Michael Savage, was riding high on success as one of America's angriest, most vicious conservative talk radio hosts on his hate-radio show of the same name. His book, conveniently titled "Savage Nation", was No. 1 on the NY Times Bestseller List.

Things were looking up indeed.

Despite protests from organizations such as FAIR, GLAAD and other advocacy groups against Savages' "unabashed bigotry" on his talk radio program which was continually peppered with angry misogynist, homophobic and racist remarks, such as his routinely refering to non-white countries as "turd world nations" and targeting "turd world" immigrants by warning that "You open the door to them, and the next thing you know, they are defecating on your country and breeding out of control", MSNBC President Erik Sorenson, upon announcing his hiring, described Savage as "brash, passionate and smart" and promised that he would provide "compelling opinion and analysis with an edge".

In a Feb. 13, 2003 San Francisco Chronicle piece, Savage was quoted as saying that the network President had told him that "As long as you don't say f---, you can do whatever you want."


MSNBC, and it's parent companies General Electric/NBC and Microsoft's collective feathers were still far from being ruffled when FAIR sited a San Francisco Bay Guardian Sept. 20, 2000 article which quoted Savage as commenting on local student volunteers distributing food to the homeless in San Francisco by declaring that:

"...the girls from Branson (school) can go in and maybe get raped... brecause 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".

However, shortly after the tv show premiered, the U.K. Register reported that advertisers had "voted with their feet, and lurched away from the controversial slot in droves", and that Dell Computers had announced that "no more ads for the computer company will air during the show, Savage Nation". Kraft Foods and Procter & Gamble Company also followed suit, soon after.

Furthermore, it seems that the weekly 1-hour show had an average audience of 347,000, which was actually less than what the average of the nightly 1-hour MSNBC show "Donahue" used to get (average 446,000 viewers); "Donahue" was of course, hosted by Nader supporter and liberal Phil Donahue, and by mid-February, the program had become MSNBC's top-rated show beating out even the highly promoted "Hardball with Chris Matthews" -- however, MSNBC cancelled "Donahue", siting "low ratings".


They signed on Savage shortly thereafter.

But not even the mediocre ratings and the major advertising pullouts stopped MSNBC from sticking with Savage.

So, what on earth could it have been that Michael Savage uttered that could have so throttled MSNBC's threshold, and what caused Mr. Savage to go beyond the bounds of MSNBC's "good" taste?

According to today's NY Times , a man called in on Saturday's show "during a discussion about airline security and told Mr. Savage that he 'should go to the dentist because your teeth are real bad'."

Ooooo. Ouch. Ow. Mr. Savage was told on national live television that he had "real bad" teeth.

Of course, Mr. Savage rebounded tastefully by asking if the man was "one of those sodomists".

The Times reports that "when the man responded that he was", Mr. Savage -- who once barked that women should be denied the vote because "their hormones rage; they are too emotional" -- raised rage to an all-time emotional high and to hormonal levels so off the hook so as to render himself both graceless and disgraced when he spewed out this sewage savagery:

You should only get AIDS and die, you pig. How's that?"

Auf Wiedersehen, Herr Weiner -- Savage -- whatever.

Oh, and a round of Schadenfreude for everyone -- on me!

Go here to view Savage at his best, frame by frame (including the part where an MSNBC crew member can be heard saying "whoa!" in reaction to "you should only get AIDS and die, you pig"), and make sure to then click on "WATCH SAVAGE'S JULY 5 ATTACK ON GAY CALLER" on the right hand side of the page, near the top, or go here to read the full transcript from the Saturday show to read the entire diatribal mess -- pun intended.

I suppose there are those hardcore Savage fans out there that will be crying so hard over the departure of Mr. Savage from the nation's tv airwaves, that the state will be making arrangements to take away their kids; i won't be one of those cry babies; then again, i don't have any kids.

However, somewhere near the streets of San Francisco, a Savage-loving suburban granny is waking up to the bad news;

condolences to your grandma, Dominic. You know i mean it in the best sense, Domi; no one likes to see their nonna's cry -- not even an Italo-American rightwing strict constructionist isolationist nonna.

posted by voxpopgirl | 7/08/2003