I was in a B. Dalton Booksellers the other day checking out the remains of their after-Christmas clearance sale. I saw a book called Letting Go Of Anger, and right next to it on the shelf was Michael Savage's The Savage Nation. Savage happens to be among the angriest of the "angry white men" who dominate conservative talk radio. I started cracking up--the side-by-side placement couldn't have been an accident.
I have listened to Savage a few times while wandering the vast, empty red states on vacation, trolling AM radio for signs of life. To put it bluntly, the guy is a nut. He exists so that listeners think guys like Limbaugh sound reasonable. "Well, at least Rush isn't saying that gays deserve AIDS," they might reason. Unlike Sean Hannity, Savage isn't a shill for the GOP, either. I've heard him sharply criticize Bush. Of course, that's because to Savage, Bush is too much of a centrist. I'm not kidding. But there is something to respect about a nut like Savage. While Hannity simply hates Democrats and everything they support, Savage at least has a creed, "The Paul Revere Society 8-Point Program," the gist of which is "protecting our borders, language, and culture." Granted, I don't agree with any of those points (although I'm neutral on a couple of them), but at least you know where he stands. In fact, he's too far off the deep end for much of his audience. A lot of Savage Nation listeners say they don't really agree with him (here's one). I guess it's just entertaining to listen to a raving right-wing lunatic. But I don't recommend listening for too long, or some of that vitriol is bound to stick.
Incidentally, I recently learned that Michael Savage's given name is Michael Weiner. We'll call it wiener, as in The Wiener Nation. Sounds like an Oscar Mayer slogan. So the next time you hear Savage utter some over-the-top, hateful words, feel free to shout out, "What a wiener!"