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Savage Attack - March 5, 2003

By James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
contributor to

Some lefty organizations are on another mission. They're trying to make sure that radio talk show phenom Michael Savage doesn't get his own cable TV program.

MSNBC has slotted Savage for a one-hour weekly spot. As a result, the usual gang of libs is busy organizing boycotts, protests and all-around whining sessions.

One of the shriller groups is reportedly planning to meet with NBC chairman Robert Wright. The idea is to cement a Savage cancellation before the show even airs.

These agents of all things left call Savage a misogynist, homophobe and white supremacist. Like we haven't heard that load of lard before.

Meanwhile, we really do have radio stations that are filling the airwaves with hatred. They're called rap music stations. They're lefty approved, though, so apparently that makes them okay.

Like any good literary satirist, Savage engages in a subtle art of communication that relies upon exaggerated imagery. Unfortunately, this makes him vulnerable to having his material clipped and quoted out of context.

A sampling of Savage-speech keeps turning up in literature and on Web sites. The only problem is it's being "edited" by those hoping to brand him with the clichés that are routinely used to marginalize conservatives.

In a recent appearance on CNN's "Talk Back Live," I was asked about the case of a high school student who wasn't allowed to wear a T-shirt because it implied that President Bush was a terrorist.

Some of the people in the audience were surprised at my take on the issue. In my opinion, the question of whether ideas should be censored or aired must be answered, whenever possible, by favoring freedom.

The free marketplace of ideas demands that we protect speech we don't like. Sometimes freedom requires that we put up with things that offend us. That's why the Nazis were allowed to march in a suburb where survivors of the Holocaust lived. That's the stuff of true tolerance.

Left-wingers today talk a good game when it comes to speech that they favor. Then they turn around and try to muzzle expressions of faith, patriotism or the original intent of the Constitution. This reflects a blatant lack of appreciation for the necessity of free speech as well as a politically lopsided mindset.

But in this case, the bilge brigade may as well give it up now. Anyone who knows anything about Michael Savage knows there's no way they're going to stop America from hearing this guy.

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James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.

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