Discussing an Associated Press article about presidential candidates and their first cars, nationally syndicated radio host Michael Savage referred falsely to Sen. Barack Obama as “Barack Madrassas Obama.” As Media Matters for America has documented, the allegation that Obama was educated in a madrassa has been thoroughly disproved.
On the January 10 edition of his nationally syndicated radio show, host Michael Savage referred falsely to Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) as “Senator Barack Madrassas Obama.” Savage made the comment while discussing a December 10 Associated Press article headlined, "Presidential hopefuls and first cars" that “asked candidates to name their first cars” and also “look[ed] at some of their personal vehicles now.” Savage said of Obama: “Illinois Senator Barack Madrassas Obama. His first car was his grandfather's Ford Granada. Now he owns a Chrysler 300C.” As Media Matters for America noted, on the June 25, 2007, broadcast of The Savage Nation, Savage falsely claimed that Obama was “indoctrinated” by a “Muslim madrassa in Indonesia.”
His comments on Obama followed remarks he made about the article's reference to cars owned by Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and John Edwards. He then added: “What bad taste these people have.”
“Madrassas” is not Obama's middle name. Media Matters has documented that the false allegation that Obama was educated in a madrassa has been disproved by CNN, the AP, and the Chicago Tribune. On January 23, 2007, CNN reported that "[a]llegations that Sen. Barack Obama was educated in a radical Muslim school known as a 'madrassa' are not accurate." The AP reported on January 24, 2007, that the elementary school Obama attended as a child in Jakarta was “a public and secular institution that has been open to students of all faiths since before the White House hopeful attended in the late 1960s.”
Talk Radio Network, which syndicates Savage's show, says that Savage is heard on more than 350 radio stations. The Savage Nation reaches more than 8 million listeners each week, according to Talkers Magazine, making it one of the most listened-to talk radio shows in the nation, behind only The Rush Limbaugh Show and The Sean Hannity Show.
From the January 10 edition of Talk Radio Network's The Savage Nation:
SAVAGE: Here's a puff piece from the Associated Press: “Presidential hopefuls and first cars.” And so they went to all the candidates, and asked them to list their first cars and some of their personal vehicles. Now, when I read this to you, you'll see the puff piece written by the Associated Press, even a simple question like what was your first car can't be answered directly by Hillary Clinton. Even this she has to lie about or tell a little stupid story that you know is a lie.
Democrats. New York Senator Hillary Rotten Clinton: “She owned a 1963 Oldsmobile Cutlass with a battery she kept in her law school dorm on cold nights so the car would start when she needed it.” Oh, get out the violin. That's like hearing that Al Gore lived in a trailer when he was young. “She now drives a Ford hybrid and Secret Service vehicles as former first lady.” John Edwards, the shyster lawyer, started with a Plymouth Duster. Now owns a Ford Escape hybrid. Yeah, all right. Illinois Senator Barack Madrassas Obama. His first car was his grandfather's Ford Granada. Now he owns a Chrysler 300C. What bad taste these people have. New Mexico Governor Bill the Roadrunner Richardson: Secondhand Ford Mustang. Now he owns an official state vehicle and a Jeep Wrangler.
Trevor Zimmer is an intern at Media Matters for America.