Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Friday, August 10, 2007

San Francisco off the deep end again

While we're not fans or even listeners to Michael Savage's syndicated show, we think this is a tad reactionary to formally condemn him:

San Francisco city officials are trying to force taxpayers to pay for immigrants' green cards and citizenship – and to bolster their case for the new tax, they've introduced a resolution condemning national radio talk-show host Michael Savage for what they call his "defamatory language ... against immigrants."

Supervisor Chris Daly, reacting to the new and significantly higher federal fee structure for immigrants seeking citizenship, imposed last week by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, complained that the fee hikes raise concerns that immigrants "cannot obtain safe pathways to legal immigrant status and citizenship" and "further exacerbates pressures on families, increasing stress," according to the San Francisco Examiner.

Under the new fee structure, the cost to apply for a green card is now $930, up $605 from the old fee. Citizenship applications went from $330 to $595. On Tuesday, Daly asked the city attorney to draw up legislation that would subsidize immigrants applying for citizenship, green cards and petitions for relatives and workers.

On the same day, apparently to further generate sympathy for immigrants and bolster Daly's bailout effort, Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval introduced a resolution condemning popular radio talk-show host Michael Savage, a mainstay of the San Francisco airways for years. Since he was syndicated nationally by Talk Radio Network, Savage has become one of the nation's most-listened-to radio talkers.

Condemning the "defamatory language used by radio personality Michael Savage against immigrants," Sandoval's resolution is apparently in response to Savage's July 5 broadcast, when the talker commented on a group of students who had announced they were fasting in support of changes in immigration policy.

"I would say, let them fast until they starve to death," quipped Savage, "then that solves the problem."

Sandoval's resolution calls Savage's comments "symbolic of hatred and racism," according to the Examiner.

"I really for the life of me cannot understand why there is not more media outrage to what Michael Savage said," Sandoval said in the Examiner report, which added that Sandoval plans to hold a press conference on the steps of City Hall Tuesday just before the entire Board of Supervisors votes on his resolution against Savage.

While we'd never say such a thing about those protesting (despite the fact that they're not citizens and therefore don't possess the rights that we have, or they shouldn't have those right, I should say) he is a talk show host, and he gets paid by his bosses to be controversial. that is part of the appeal to his show, and to his listeners.

Like I said, neither Marcie or myself have listened to him. We can't. We've tuned in once, and it was a full-throated tirade against other talk show hosts. Truth be told, let him rant. the other hosts he mentioned have more listeners, sponsors, and insight in one three hour block than Savage can rack up in a week. We actually know a few of his listeners from our nightly adventures in the AOL chat rooms. Needless to say, some of them take his mantras to the extreme.

Michael Savage is not the sort of person we want identified with the conservative movement. He is far too extreme for the mainstream base, and his diatribes do nothing to bring more into his circle. He turns off far too many logical, common sense people that hear the shrieks and bellowing, and then turn the channel. And that would be my advice to the city of San Francisco. If you don't like what he says, if you think what he says goes beyond the normal levels of "nuanced" thought, then turn the channel. Or protest the station that has him in an effort to remove him from the air. It'll never happen because of the people he attracts. They listen. They give him ratings, and those ratings translate to advertisers.

Radio is a business. Trust me, I work in it. If you suck on the radio, you won't get listeners; no listeners equals no ratings, and no ratings gets you no advertisers. Radio stations won't employ you if you can't command an audience. He does, so that's why he's still on the air. The same can be said of any of the "extreme" hosts of the past. People like Howard Stern and "Man Cow" Muller used shtick and old-fashioned bits to garner attention and listeners. Hell, even today's DJs on FM radio use similar techniques to get people to listen. But we don't hear cities condemning them, now do we?

Personally, this is a non-issue for us except in regard to the fact that he is a talk show host, and he has a First Amendment right to speak. As a matter of fact, he's exercising his First Amendment rights better than most because it is political opinion -- the very ideal the Founders had in the First Amendment. The city of San Francisco isn't yanking him off the air (that would equate to censorship if they took any steps other than to protest his presence on the airwaves). They're condemning him. Fine. Let them do it. Let them condemn him, and drive more people to him rather than convince people that he's not good for political thoughts. Some think he is, and some think he's spot-on in his assessment on certain issues. We, however, aren't counted among them. We have the hosts we listen to, and it's because they do two very important things:

They provoke us to think.

The interviews they conduct are the sort we want to hear.

People like Michael Savage don't even usually pop up on our radar. This is the sort of instance that does bring him into our view. Frankly, it's pathetic for San Francisco to pull this. They want attention, and they're making Savage the target of their ire. Problem is,in doing so, they're only making things worse for themselves. Had they simply ignored him, this wouldn't be an issue.

Well, except for the whole taxpayers-to-pay-for-green-card garbage San Francisco is trying. And if the city elders of San Francisco think that Michael Savage is their only problem., think again. the nation spoke up rather loudly over shamnesty, which would have forced the nation to pay close to 5.2 trillion in fees and services provided to illegal aliens. The fact they would have been give a de facto pass was irritating enough, but once the Heritage Foundation broke down the numbers, voters were ticked beyond belief.

Do the city elders of San Francisco think the reaction will be any different for those than inhabit their city when they're handed this bill? If they think it will be, they're deluding themselves.

Publius II


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