Jul 15 2003

Savage Anti-Semitism

Radio host Michael Savage, whose MSNBC cable show was cancelled on July 7 after the host dubbed a caller “a sodomite” and told him to “get AIDS and die,” has amassed a lavish record of on-air bigotry of many kinds: dismissing child victims of gunfire as “ghetto slime,” referring to non-white countries as “turd world nations,” calling homosexuality “perversion” and remarking that Latinos “breed like rabbits.” (See FAIR Action Alert, 2/12/03; http://www.fair.org/activism/msnbc-savage.html .) Less well publicized is Savage’s penchant for applying ugly ethnic stereotypes and slurs to Jews he perceives to be political enemies.

An article to be published in the August 2003 issue of FAIR’s magazine Extra! documents numerous cases where Savage rails against the Jewishness of his political opponents:

Remarking that the “degenerate” Jerry Springer uses his “hooked nose” to make a living from talk shows.

Singling out progressives with Jewish-sounding names for mockery with an exaggerated New York accent; Savage even rails against an imaginary ACLU lawyer named “Mark Nobodyberg.”

Routinely using Jewish ethnic references when criticizing Jewish public figures; Sen. Joe Lieberman is “throwing his bagel into the ring,” Madeleine Albright was given a “Bat Mitzvah party” by North Korea, senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer are “yentas” and Dustin Hoffman talks like he has “matzah” in his mouth.

Contrasting George W. Bush’s “high-powered WASPy lawyers” (12/10/03) with Al Gore’s “curly-haired boys from NYU” (12/24/02): “I don’t like little guys from NYU with big glasses…. You know what I’m saying?”

Savage himself was born into a Jewish family (and originally named Michael Weiner), but on-air and elsewhere, “his Jewish upbringing is strictly taboo,” according to a Salon profile (3/5/03). Mark Potok, the editor of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Report, told Extra!, “Whatever is in his head, he clearly makes statements that are anti-Semitic…. Savage operates in a milieu where it pays to be provocative and where his messages can reach Christian nationalists and anti-Semites.”

An advance copy of the article is available at: http://www.fair.org/extra/0307/savage-anti-semitism.html