First of all, Savage was not asking to enter the U.K.
Second of all, while Savage is a big fish in the U.S., his program is not widely known across the pond.
What would possess Home Secretary Jacqui Smith to single out Savage on a short list of 16 people worldwide who would not be welcome?
I think I know the answer.
But first, you have to understand the backdrop to this story.
Barack Obama and the Democrat-controlled Congress are conducting a scorched-earth war on the First Amendment. The Federal Communications Commission will soon be headed and controlled by an appointee who thinks government, not the free market, should control broadcast programming. The appointee to be regulatory czar for the administration has flirted with ideas like a “Fairness Doctrine” for the Internet and mandatory 24-hour, cooling-off periods before sending angry e-mails. As we speak, local “commissar commissions” are being established in every radio market to monitor programming and challenge broadcast licenses on the basis of content. Hate-crimes legislation has passed the House and is headed for the Senate – a bill that would punish thoughts and speech and provide, for the first time, special protections to a new “victim class” of pedophiles.
There is little question for any serious and objective observer that the new Washington power structure is targeting the most significant voice of dissent left in America – talk radio.
I believe with near 100 percent certainty, though I admit I can’t prove it, that the initiative for this symbolic effort to ban Michael Savage from a country he had no intention of visiting came not from London, but from Washington.
Savage commands the third-largest audience of all talk shows in the country. He is also the most critical of Obama and the Democrat-dominated Congress. He is the edgiest. He pushes the envelope. He has been falsely accused of being a “hater” and engaging in “hate speech” plenty of times.
That’s why he was the perfect target for a pre-emptive and insidious attack on his character. Here’s the way I imagine it going down. Someone in Washington with good connections to the socialist government in the U.K. made a call one day.
“Listen, you could really help us out there,” that someone likely said. “We’ve got this talk-show host who is really poisoning the minds of the American people – saying unspeakable things about our president and other officials in Washington. Next time you put out a list of people unwelcome in the U.K., why don’t you include this guy? His name is Michael Savage.”
It was an easy favor for Jacqui Smith to fulfill.
She has a long track record of hating free speech, embracing the fascist code of “political correctness” and promoting Big Brother ideas and regulations.
How would this help Savage’s foes in Washington?
When they up the ante in their campaign against talk radio, it will be Savage they point to as an example of all that is dangerous and irresponsible on the broadcast airwaves.
“Look,” they’ll say, “this guy spews so much hatred, the U.K. banned him from even visiting the country. Our greatest ally in Europe won’t even allow him entry into the country. It is just plain wrong to allow people like this unfettered access to the public airwaves.”
That’s the game plan.
Mark my words.
And this move will, once again, have a “chilling effect” on other hosts, on other radio programs, on syndicators, on radio stations that air controversial talk.
Like Savage or hate him – and I like him – it’s time for all people of conscience and goodwill to stand behind him and his right to air his views, views that represent many millions of Americans.
If we don’t all hang together, as they say, we’ll all hang separately.