so everyone knows by now that michael savage got banned from entering the UK. when i first heard about this, i honestly didn’t give a damn. but now there’s this:
Conservative radio host Michael Savage of San Francisco has had some very tough words for Hillary Clinton in the past. But now he’s appealing to the U.S. Secretary of State to take up his case as a human rights violation after the the United Kingdom’s Home Secretary Jacqui Smith banned him from the U.K.
Savage told The Chronicle in an interview this morning that “I’ve been very harsh on Hillary and Bill (Clinton) over the years. But precisely for this reason, she should take my case. It would show that she can rise above partisan politics … because Jacqui Smith is in violation of the European Union’s laws themselves.”
Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Michigan-based Thomas More Law Center is representing Savage on the matter and made the formal appeal in a letter to Clinton today. The letter urges her to immediately “call upon the government of the United Kingdom to rescind the artibrary and capricious decison” to put the outspoken right wing host on a “least-wanted list” with militant Muslim clerics, convicted Russian skinhead murderers, terrorists, and neo-Nazi organizers.
Thompson told the secretary of state that the banning of Savage — whose radio show reaches nearly 400 stations in the United States and an estimated audience of 8-10 million, according to industry publications — is both “arbitrary” and “suspicious” given that his show is not even broadcast in the U.K.
now, there is a semi-reasonable point in the midst of all this stupidity, and it’s why i didn’t really care when this story broke – savage’s show isn’t even broadcast in the UK, so why should they be so concerned about banning him from visiting? and why should we care? and, as john richardson points out, why single savage out? he’s hardly the only hate-filled rightwing pundit on american airwaves these days.
and then there’s the real stupidity here: this might be weird, and it might be questionable, and it should maybe make us think about issues of censorship and when is free speech too free, etc. however, i don’t see how the UK’s actions could possibly be construed as violating savage’s human rights. they’re a sovereign nation, and they are can allow or disallow whoever the fuck they want into their country. they don’t want some crazy loud-mouthed american visiting them, it’s totally within their rights to forbid him entry. he is not affected at all. he is not being censored, not really. i’m sure any interested britons could find him easily enough online. his human rights are not in peril; i’m not even totally convinced his civil rights are in peril.
which leads me to only one conclusion: i have just written 500 words on shameful famewhoring. i probably should have found a better way to spend my time.