While some may find Savage's opinions offensive -- for example, he often acidly comments on what he refers to as his hometown of San Francisco's obsession with gay and lesbian issues -- he to my knowledge has never urged listeners to incite riots, harm other humans, commit terrorism or advocate other acts of hatred. Indeed, more often than not he bemoans the ineffectiveness of both Republicans and Democrats. He often drifts from political and social issues altogether to discuss everything from the food he ate the night before to some funny story from his childhood.
My purpose here is not to defend all of Michael Savage's opinions. Like many, there are times when I both agree and disagree with his views. Sometimes he makes me laugh, and sometimes he makes me cringe. But I will defend his right to speak freely, and I will passionately vouch for Savage that he is no threat to either America or Britain -- or to the nearest fly, for that matter.
I'm not alone in this opinion. Even prominent members of the American Civil Liberties Union bemoan the situation. They compare Britain's action with our own Patriot Act, under which the ACLU claims that the United States has banned some foreign nationals from America because of their ideologies and not because they are threats to our security.
As for Savage, he seems more interested in living a quiet personal life and spending time with his dog than he does with agitating for rallies and protests, much less to do physical harm to anyone.
Even if my judgment of Savage is off, the question remains: What does this British list say about a longtime allied nation to America when it decides to take unjustified measures based on expressions of free speech made in another country? Are we treading now on a slippery slope? Will there come a day when those who opine for a living find their words of commentary labeled "hate speech" by their own government? Talk of lists compiled by our own Department of Homeland Security suggests a hint of just such a risk.
It pains me to say this, but it appears that in this unfortunate instance, the true Savage Nation isn't Dr. Savage, but the United Kingdom, for its equating of a talk-show host with killers and advocates of terrorism.
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