Tuesday, March 04, 2003

Michael Savage - the New Face of NBC?

From Signorile:

One Wonders what Tom Brokaw and NBC News—not to mention some of the suits up at parent company GE—think about getting in bed with a guy who rails against "the degenerates on the left who want to sell Americans on the idea that homosexuality, bisexuality, transsexuality, even sex with animals is normal" and thinks that America "is being taken over by the freaks, the cripples, the perverts and the mental defectives."

Those are the words of Michael Savage—right-wing San Francisco talk-radio assassin and author of the New York Times number-one bestseller The Savage Nation—who will soon begin his own show on MSNBC. I connect him so closely to Brokaw and NBC because NBC recently announced that it was rebranding MSNBC, making the ties between the two news networks closer. (NBC News’ publicist, Barbara Levin, offered a "no comment" when I inquired about what Brokaw thinks of Savage’s controversial arrival.) The same desperation that led to that move—trying to make the cable news channel even remotely competitive with number-one Fox News—led MSNBC to give Savage his own Saturday afternoon show.

Savage makes Fox’s Bill O’Reilly, to quote Cathy Renna at the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, "look like the next grand marshal of the Gay Pride parade." Renna believes Savage is such far-right gutter trash that even Fox’s Roger Ailes would have passed on him. That may or may not be true, but Savage does cast Sean Hannity as a moderate, spewing the kind of hate-filled rants that sound, literally, like white supremacist screeds.

"You open the door to them," he has said about immigrants, for example, "and the next thing you know, they are defecating on your country and breeding out of control."

There’s lots more where that came from.

MSNBC fired Phil Donohue last week—though his ratings were higher than Chris Matthews’—and hired Savage as well as former right-wing Republican House members Joe Scarborough and Dick Armey. You may recall that Armey had a supposed slip of the tongue and called openly gay Congressman Barney Frank "Barney Fag." (I can’t wait to hear the slips of the tongue he has on live television.)

Send an email to nightly@nbc.com and ask them if they're happy that Michael Savage is joning the NBC news team.