Michael Savage: Always in a Fight
Michael Savage angrily barked back at a caller one evening who supported the president declaring, “He is the worst leader in the history of our country. He’s inarticulate and he’s incompetent. … The man has shown he is incompetent as commander-in-chief.” On other occasions, Savage repeatedly called the president a “fiscal socialist.”
That would not seem unusual for a conservative radio show except the president he was talking about was not Barack Obama but George W. Bush.
While Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Laura Ingraham and especially Glenn Beck have all found times to critique Bush, no conservative talk show host has made it as personal as Savage, the former herbalist living in the liberal bastion of San Francisco.
Further ranting against Bush’s policy in Iraq, Savage implied it was run by his political advisors.
“What is he talking about? The same strategy of letting them get shot before they can shoot? Uh oh. Incoming. Now you can fire back. George said it’s OK. He just called from the fundraiser. He asked Karl Rove,” Savage said. “I don’t want to see another body bag coming back. Every death didn’t have to happen. Every one of them.
Every injury didn’t have to happen. I never heard of this in my lifetime.
We have the most powerful weaponry in the world and we rarely use it. Instead we send boys into hand-to-hand combat. Why?
Why? Why? You don’t know the answer? You can’t figure it out? No bid contracts.”
To be sure, Savage let Obama have it even worse, but during the Obama administration, he never let up on the legacy of Bush. He also regularly lambasts other conservative talk radio hosts for defending Bush. “He’s nothing but a checked pants, country club, Rockefeller Republican, a compromiser and a phony through and through,” an irate Savage said to one caller trying to defend Bush. “The man expanded the government more so than his previous four presidents. Are you aware of any of that or have you taken the Kool-Aid for so long from Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about?”
After the 2008 bank bailout, he even called for impeachment— which only the most fringe left activist had called for and Democratic leaders in Congress had rejected.
“If you love your country, why do you let George Bush get away with this? I’m going to tell you something, and I’ll say it right now,
I would welcome an impeachment investigation of George W. Bush,” Savage said. “You can put me on record for that. I would welcome
an impeachment investigation of George W. Bush and Hank Paulson.”
Michael Savage does not want to be part of any clique, and has been as much an annoyance to many conservatives as a scourge to many liberals.
Michael Weiner, his non-radio name, grew up in New York, living in Manhattan, the Bronx and in Queens. His grandfather Sam Weiner was a Russian Jewish immigrant that came to the United States during World War I, bringing his wife and children, including Savage’s father. His father was an antiques dealer.
After earning a bachelor’s at Queens College, Michael Weiner worked as a school teacher and social worker before going to the University of Hawaii, where he earned two master’s degrees, one in one in medical botany and one in medical anthropology in 1972.
By 1978, he earned a doctorate at University of California Berkeley in Epidemiology and Nutritional Ethno-Medicine in 1978. He said
he sought professorships “but I received ‘drop dead’ letters from universities because I was not black, or Hispanic, or a woman.”
Still, he wrote 18 books on homeopathic medicine and folk remedy books, in his field.760 After promoting his books on many radio shows, he launched his own show. His radio career began on KSFO in 1994 as a local Bay Area host, and he went from being known as Dr. Michael Weiner to Michael Savage. He went into national syndication in 2000 through Talk Radio Network.
His family has kept up the previous career with a family business in Southern California called Rockstar, an herbal energy soft drink firm.
To make a point, Savage applied to be the dean of UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, after taking on his radio position.
When the school gave the job to Orville Schell, an author and journalist, Savage sued. But he later dropped the case.
He was not always so dour on Bush.
He was a major cheerleader for going to war in Iraq in 2002 and 2003. He once said, “If it’s all about the oil, and seizing the oil for America, then so what?” he said. “If we permit those Arab cutthroat murderers to keep all the oil, we’ll be down on all fours in 20 years.”
Savage claimed to love his adopted hometown, but rarely missed a chance to denounce its leftism and political correctness, in his book “The Savage Nation,” he wrote, “San Francisco is filled with human plague like this because of the ultraliberalism that is killing the city. I’m convinced it’s the only city left in America that permits eels like this to crawl around. It’s the city of, well, not tolerance, but of hatred. Hatred for anything normal. Hatred for Law and Order.
Hatred for decency. Hatred for mama and apple pie and the roses in your hand.”
Before MSNBC became the San Francisco of cable news channels, it hired him to do a one-hour show. The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), the National Organization for Women and other liberal groups immediately opposed the network giving him the show. Savage explained they should not be opposed. “On a sexual level I’m a libertarian,” he said, and added, as a way to show he does not discriminate, he said he hired “a nice big strapping lesbian” as his personal security guard. That hardly defused GLAD’s protest, but then again, that was probably never the intent.
“Michael Savage is brash, passionate and smart,” MSNBC President Erik Sorenson said at the time. “His conservative point of view adds to the kaleidoscope of perspectives already heard on MSNBC—a place where a range of voices have their say, without any one dominating the channel itself.”