On the July 13 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio program, Michael Savage responded to controversy surrounding remarks he made on his July 5 broadcast about a hunger strike by a group of California students that was highlighted in an item by Media Matters for America. The hunger strike was in support of a federal provision in the recently defeated immigration reform bill (S.1639) called the DREAM Act, which would provide a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children. After playing an audio clip of a student stating that some of the illegal immigrant students were studying engineering, Savage said, "[L]et them fast until they starve to death" and "Go make a bomb where you came from." The San Francisco Chronicle reported July 13 that more than 30 demonstrators appeared outside San Jose City Hall and called for local radio stations that air Savage's program to apologize for Savage's comments. Savage responded to the article, which quoted Media Matters Media Relations Director Karl Frisch, by describing Media Matters as "a radical homosexual group that continuously tries to get me fired, and they're never going to succeed. The noose will wind up around their neck, not mine."
Savage played the audio clip of his original remarks from the Media Matters website, saying, "I'm actually going to play what I said because it was recorded by a hate group that records much of my show and distorts it. But I want to thank this hate group run by homosexual radical activists for recording it because we wouldn't have it otherwise." Later, Savage responded to a caller who mentioned the quote from Frisch that appeared in the Chronicle article by saying, "[T]his character that they quote is from a radical homosexual group that continuously tries to get me fired, and they're never going to succeed. The noose will wind up around their neck, not mine." Savage has previously referred to Media Matters as "a group of gay Mafioso" and "a gay smear sheet."
The Savage Nation reaches more than 8 million listeners each week, according to Talkers Magazine, making it the third-most-listened-to talk radio show in the nation, behind only The Rush Limbaugh Show and The Sean Hannity Show.
From the July 13 edition of Talk Radio Network's The Savage Nation:
SAVAGE: A couple of weeks ago, on July whatever, 3rd, 4th, 5th -- I don't remember what -- a group of illegal alien students were protesting. They wanted something for nothing. They wanted something they're not entitled to. They wanted us to cater to them, and they went on a hunger strike. Well, hunger strikes -- I don't know how many -- have any people ever died from a hunger strike that you know of? As far as I can tell, the very same people who wanted us to be shocked by their hunger strike are nicely fed right now and protesting, demanding that Michael Savage be fired after saying on the air about fasting supporters of an immigration reform bill, "Let them fast till they starve to death." Now, I didn't actually say that they should be killed. I never said we should starve them to death. I said that if they want to martyr themselves by fasting, let them martyr themselves by fasting. They're on their own self-destructive path. They were starving themselves, I wasn't starving them, and they have every right to starve themselves to death. And apparently that got the illegal alien community stirred up because Mark Silverman, the so-called attorney who is behind all of this, as far as I can tell, has told them that I'm scheduled -- I should be fired.
SAVAGE: Well, I'll tell you what I'm going to have to do. I'm actually going to play what I said because it was recorded by a hate group that records much of my show and distorts it. But I want to thank this hate group run by homosexual radical activists for recording it because we wouldn't have it otherwise.
SAVAGE: Now we're going to actually play the statement that I made on July 5th. Let me think -- tell you what: You listen to it. I play, you decide. Go ahead.
SAVAGE [audio clip]: Then there's the story of college students who are fasting out here in the Bay Area. They're illegal aliens and they want green cards simply because they're students. I don't understand what -- how this two and two adds up. I would say, let them fast until they starve to death, then that solves the problem. Because then we won't have a problem about giving them green cards because they're illegal aliens; they don't belong here to begin with. They broke into the country; they're criminals. Why do I owe them a green card? Because they're going to my colleges for free? This makes no sense at all.
SAVAGE: All right, well there it is. So -- oh, there's more? Go ahead, listen to this.
[begin audio clip]
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: -- want Congress to pass an immigration reform bill that includes the DREAM Act, a clause that would give undocumented college graduates the opportunity to become legal. They are fasting for four days to show solidarity.
UNIDENTIFIED STUDENT: We have engineers who are still waiters. And they are just waiting for the DREAM Act to be enacted --
[end audio clip]
SAVAGE: All right, we've heard enough of the sob-sister stuff.
CALLER: Dr. Savage, I'm completely outraged today, the Silverman thing aside, that in the Chronicle, they failed to -- well, they allowed the distortion of your view when they're quoting Karl Frisch in that you are known as a person for his anti-immigration views. It doesn't even -- they don't even take the time to note that it's illegal immigration, and the clue that it's illegal immigration --
SAVAGE: Yeah, this character that they quote is from a radical homosexual group that continuously tries to get me fired, and they're never going to succeed. The noose will wind up around their neck, not mine, I can guarantee you. If they keep trying this, that train is going to go in the tunnel, they're going to come out, and the noose will be on their neck, not mine.
CALLER: Well, I appreciate your outrage today, because when read that, I was hoping that you would hit the wire as live and as hot as you are today. I appreciate it.
SAVAGE: Well, who's going to defend me if I don't? Tell me who's going to stand up for me, my representative Barbara Boxer?