As I suspected, my favorite home supply store —Home Depot — did have some ads on Michael Savage’s show of which they were unaware. And Home Depot’s connection to the show is over. I just got this gracious and straightforward response from Sarah at Home Depot’s corporate communications department:
Hi Steve – Sarah here again. Yes, we have since learned that a couple stations ran our ads by accident in time slots we did not authorize. Our customers have done a great job keeping us informed where they heard them run, right now we’re aware of NYC and Detroit. If you or your readers hear our ad during this program on any other station/city, please let me know. Also, I provided an email address where I could be contacted before, perhaps you did not get it? I’ll include it right in my message this time.
I rarely fume as ferociously as I have about Michael Savage’s comments. And I do support a boycott of current Savage advertisers who do not sever their relationship.
But I am not a jerk. And part of any boycott, or possible boycott, is to show gratitude to any entity that acts in good faith. And not only is Home Depot off my list, but I am going over to the really well-managed Home Depot #6903 right now for some mulch, batteries, and a wrench.
And just a word to Home Depot that I hope will not sound arrogant: You lost almost two valuable days in a crowded and messy and fast-moving media environment during which you could have quickly confirmed facts, fessed up to any unintended errors, set up a toll-free number for questions, and clearly stated your revulsion at Savage’s remarks.
But I have to go: So help me, I love to buy tools and garden supplies. Not that I always come home and actually use them!
Professors of media, journalism or communication are almost never treated to examples of media idiocy as juicy as Michael Savage’s most recent comments on autism. Unfortunately for us, most media personalities often show just enough coherence to avoid being placed in the “stupid beyond words” category. We can only be grateful that Savage’s courageous assault on disabled children has provided us with a perfect example.
I ask you: What kind of courage and strength of conviction must it have taken for him to speak truth to power with these brilliant observations about autistic children?
I know that some people might argue that by sharing the audio of his mind-bogglingly stupid rant, I am extending his reach. I simply think that, unless you hear his words with all the bile included, you might not fully appreciate how someone with such a tenuous hold on sanity continues on the air.
“What do you mean they scream and they’re silent? They don’t have a father around to tell them, `Don’t act like a moron. You’ll get nowhere in life. Stop acting like a putz. Straighten up. Act like a man. Don’t sit there crying and screaming, you idiot.'”
So here’s the latest:
The completely predictable free speech argument is now being raised by some of Savage’s supporters, or whatever you call someone who listens to him. This reveals a profound misunderstanding of the first amendment that is also seen all across the ideological spectrum.
So let’s get it straight: Savage certainly has the right to say anything he wants and to salivate as much as he wants. That is why I never objected to any of the right-wing boycotts proposed by sundry loony-tunes. It really was Jerry Falwell’s right to express deep and grave concern that the purple Teletubby was actually gay. The man was afraid of being hit on by a stuffed animal and we needed to know that!
But no one in a commercial system of broadcasting is entitled to a permanent, sponsored platform.
Savage: You do get to say what you want. Sponsors, though, get to decide if and when an association with you becomes more of a liability than an asset. AFLAC, as they did yesterday when they jettisoned you, gets to decide that – however large your audience – they will pay more of a price by an affiliation with you. Other sponsors get the same choice. If not enough remain to make your show profitable, you still get to express your views. But not on their dime!Or on their radio network.
This is what kills me about you supposed free-market capitalists: You love a free-market until that free market bites you in the behind. Then you weep about your rights to free speech. Or you want to be able to rob sub-prime borrowers without annoying government interference like taxes, and when you screw up miserably, you are on your pathetic hands and knees begging for a bailout.
A free market and free expression means you can rant without restriction and others can do everything possible to get you off the air. Don’t worry, Mike: If enough sponsors choose to stick with a guy like you who is gutsy enough to ridicule disabled kids, you’ll stay on the air. If not, you are welcome to walk outside and start to babble.
One last thing: You have to see the carefully worded statement on Savage’s web site. One day he is calling autistic kids “idiots” and telling them not to “act like morons” and the next he is saying that “My comments about autism were meant to boldly awaken parents and children to the medical community’s attempt to label too many children or adults as “autistic.”
What canned, hack-written, C.Y.A. nonsense.
I beg you, Savage: Spare us the official“I better be sane and backtrack so my sponsors don’t head for the door” statement.These statements are hilarious in their desperation, illustrating how idiocy and cruelty only works on trash-radio until the sponsors get antsy. Then it’s time for a quick conversion to sanity. If you are going to be astoundingly ignorant, Mike, at least do it proudly and openly.
And Mike: Your attempted last minute conversion to sanity is truly a laugh riot. Just know that we can see through to the phoniness and transparent desperation designed to save the sponsors who finally know the truth: They have been paying to reach an audience who like hearing a nut make fun of disabled kids.
We can only hope that none of the sponsors buy it.
Oh, by the way, here is a list – courtesy of Greg Reich – of some of the sponsors who advertised on Savage’s July 18th broadcast. Greg’s blog, Greg’s Take, has an excellent post on his experience raising a daughter with autism.