Sunday, August 02, 2009

More on the Michael Savage article

And this (emphasis added by me in red):

The New Yorker Magazine, whose cover illustration last summer depicted Barack Obama dressed as a Muslim and his wife as a terrorist, has decided to run a sickening "tribute" to hate radio personality Michael Savage in its forthcoming August issue. African-American journalist Kelefa Sanneh, apparently oblivious to the talk show host's long history of racist comments, heaps gushing accolades on the far-right commentator. This is a bromance made in publishing hell, and just one more example of the New Yorker's ever desperate attempts to boost sales by stirring controversy. (Honestly, why don't they just merge with National Enquirer and be done with it?)

Sanneh's puff piece is called "A Party of One: Michael Savage, Unexpurgated." Peter at Right Wing Watch collars the hound: While Savage loves to hate the media and Media Matters, he’s found a friend in Kelefa Sanneh, author of the New Yorker profile (subscription required), which feels like a many-thousand word promo for Savage’s radio show. Sanneh is smitten with Savage, "more days than not, a marvelous storyteller, a quirky thinker, and an incorrigible free-associator." He calls Savage’s show "one of the most addictive programs on radio, and one of the least predictable." Sanneh doesn’t ignore that Savage has a well-documented hatred of gays and that his central thesis is "that lefties are ruining the world, or trying to," and quotes some of Savage’s memorable moments, such as the one that got him thrown off MSNBC, when he told a caller "Oh, you’re one of the sodomites. You should only get AIDS and die, you pig." But Sanneh finds Savage so weirdly charming and entertaining (he ruminates about death!) that he is quick to dismiss the host’s virulent rhetoric... Sanneh seems uninterested in considering whether the kind of political rhetoric Savage specializes in has the potential to fuel hatred and violence. Savage’s liberal-hating books were among those found on the shelves of the Tennessee man who opened fire in a Unitarian Universalist church last year to vent his hatred of liberals who he said were destroying the country. Sanneh says that Savage’s best-selling books are "political polemics" but says "none capture the freewheeling sensibility of the show or the complicated personality of the man."

"Freewheeling sensibility" isn't the first phrase I'd apply to Michael Savage's obnoxious brand of hate entertainment. In fact, any descriptor with "sense," "sensible," or "sensibility" in it should never be assigned to the man who says this about LGBT Americans: "When you hear 'human rights,' think only one thing: someone who wants to rape your son. And you'll get it just right. OK, you got it, right? When you hear 'human rights,' think only someone who wants to molest your son, and send you to jail if you defend him."

It's nice that Kelefa Sanneh has made a new BFF, but he should remember that folks are judged by the company they keep and the people they admire. Do loud-mouthed homobigots appeal to Sanneh? I can hardly wait for his follow-up articles: The Misunderstood Compassion of Fred Phelps; and Sally Kern's Persuasive Fabulosity.

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