The news media, including conservative radio commentators, should be “ashamed” of themselves for largely failing to report on the United Kingdom’s banning of radio star Michael Savage, charged WABC radio host Aaron Klein today.
“The ban is an appalling assault on press freedom and yet those who claim to champion the First Amendment, from the liberal media to many right-wing hosts, haven’t had much to say about the issue,” Klein told VIN News.
Savage is scheduled to appear on Klein’s WABC show today to discuss the UK’s reaffirming the ban this past week. Klein’s show airs from 2-4 PM Eastern. (link: www.wabcradio.com/listen).
Stated Klein: “This isn’t about Savage. When the UK puts an American radio host on a list with murderers and terrorists just for expressing his legitimate political views, including views against Islamic terrorism, it’s an act of aggression against all of us, whether you’re on the left or the right.”
The WABC host pointed to the famous statement attributed to Pastor Martin Niemöller about the inactivity of German intellectuals following the Nazi rise to power. The text of the quotation is usually presented as follows:
“First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.
“Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
“Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.
“Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.”
Added Klein: “Well, they’re coming for Michael Savage and I’m speaking out!”
“Where’s the ACLU, where’s the Obama administration?” asked Klein. “Why aren’t they fighting this?”
Last week, an attorney for the British government reaffirmed the country’s decision to ban Savage from entry.
In May 2009, then–British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith announced that Savage was on a list of 16 people banned from entry because the government believed their views might provoke violence.
Smith said it was “important that people understand the sorts of values and sorts of standards that we have here, the fact that it’s a privilege to come and the sort of things that mean you won’t be welcome in this country.”
In the latest communiqué from the British government, Michael Atkins, writing on behalf of the U.K.’s treasury solicitor, told Savage’s London-based attorney, “Your client has not provided any evidence to show that he did not commit the unacceptable behaviour” that prompted the “decision to exclude him, nor has your client provided any acceptable evidence to show his repudiation of those unacceptable behaviours.”
Atkins said Savage can do nothing at the moment to affect his status and must wait until December, when the decision is scheduled for review.
Responding to the lastest development, Savage pointed to Cameron and President Obama, during his current trip to the U.K., comparing themselves with President Reagan and Prime Minister Thatcher, “blathering about ‘democracy’ in the Arab world.”
“How about democracy in the U.K.?” asked Savage, referring to his case. “The freedom to a trial? The freedom of appeal? The freedom to set the record straight?
“Why does the Cameron government protect Muslim terrorists and Muslim hate-preachers who espouse the overthrow of the British government, democracy itself, while banning Michael Savage from entering the land of their better forefathers?” he asked.
Savage has received support from Reps. Allen West, R-Fla., and John Culberson, R-Texas, who sent letters to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, urging her to review Britain’s ban.