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British government maintains ban on conservative commenter Michael Savage

By Stephen C. Webster
Monday, July 12, 2010 22:00 EDT
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Right-wing U.S. shock jock Michael Savage is still Britain’s least wanted man.

That’s the word from London, where a new coalition government led by Prime Minister David Cameron has decided to continue preventing the conservative radio host and author from entering the country, over comments the prior government felt were violent and threatening. His name appears on a list of 16 individuals the government considers to be a threat to public safety.

Others banned from entering the island nation include Nazi sympathizers, a grand wizard in the Ku Klux Klan, “God hates fags” preacher Fred Phelps and an array of radical Muslims.

In a recent interview with right-wing conspiracy site World Net Daily, Savage claims his ban was due to U.S.-based watchdog group Media Matters, which has for years taken snippets of Savage’s offensive and many times inaccurate commentaries and made them readily available online. The site also focuses heavily on mainstream television news outlets and conservative media figures like radio host Rush Limbaugh, Fox News personalities Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity and blogger Michelle Malkin.

Speaking to WND, Savage called his battle to visit England “one straight year of legal hell”. He further told the conservative-leaning Washington Times newspaper that the British are merely “pandering” to Muslims by banning him.

Savage has long been a fierce critic of Muslims, calling them Nazis and terrorists and insisting that women wearing burqas do it because they want to kill white people. Speaking of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in 2006, Savage actually suggested that Islam is a “bloodthirsty religion” with followers who should be wiped out by U.S. forces. He further called a Muslim prayer leader, otherwise known as an Imam, “another code word for trouble-making bum who should have been thrown out of the country.”

The British contend that such pronouncements qualify as “unacceptable behavior” that seeks to “provoke others to serious criminal acts” by “fostering hatred which might lead to inter-community violence.”

A prime example of the “behavior” which appears to have so tweaked the British would be the clip that got Savage fired from MSNBC in 2003. Just weeks into his contract, Savage told a gay caller to “get AIDS and die,” then called him a “pig” and a “sausage” who did not matter at all. His terse commentary was completely unprovoked and studio hands off-camera could be heard howling at the host’s remarks.

The network immediately released Savage from his contract.

Watch:

As Esquire explained in 2009:

In the years since, as Savage called Jimmy Carter “an anti-Semitic bastard,” accused Hillary Clinton of hating white people, beckoned for the deportation of Muslims, and written books with titles like Liberalism Is a Mental Disorder and The Death of the White Male, he has expanded his show to 400 radio stations and eight million listeners, growing along with Levin and Rush Limbaugh and Laura Ingraham and all the other right-wing radio haters.

Say what you will about Michael Moore, but there is no one or nothing even remotely comparable to this man or his antics on the left.

Savage has since joked that he may go to Ireland and broadcast his show into Briton, just to irk officials. He’s also published a book titled “Banned in Britain: Beating the Liberal Blacklist,” and badgered Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to petition for his access to the U.S. ally.

Still, it would seem a far cry, asking for help from a woman so frequently targeted in hateful rhetoric carried by one’s own program and literature.

Aattorneys for Savage insist he has never explicitly provoked listeners or readers to commit violent acts. Furthermore, his campaign to be readmitted to Britain is even backed by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which Savage himself sued for using his excerpts in leading a boycott against him.

Whether the Brits will undergo a change of heart remains to be seen.

Updated from an original version.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
 
 
 
 
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