The Savage Banning of an American Talk Show Host
During the past month the British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has been embroiled in a scandal involving the purchase by her husband of pornographic films; the media have grabbed onto this story with glee because it is an engaging distraction from the horrendous credit crisis and other world calamities. Because the films were acquired on an expense account, she promised to repay the government. Back in March she had been accused of double-charging said government for her accommodation; this story, which also related to other politicians, dominated the news cycle for several weeks.
Unfortunately Jacqui Smith seems unable to avoid being news because her very own men and women of Scotland Yard (the British Home Office has governance over the police force) have come under unprecedented fire over beatings and even one fatality at the April G20 protests during the visit of American President Barack Obama. She and the operatives at her department are also under scrutiny for deporting maverick Dutch MP Geert Wilders, who produced the film Fitna about the sadistic excesses of extreme Islam, whilst allowing questionable characters into the country to give speeches about the evils of the Zionist empire.
Now she has banned American radio host Michael Savage from the shores of Great Britain. The Home Office thinks he will foment public unrest and even violence.
Those who are unfamiliar with Savage need to know that at his very worst he has wished AIDS on a 2003 caller criticizing his homophobic views (he was fired for this by MSNBC but later was restored to the airwaves by Talk Radio Network), has pooh-poohed autism as the result of a spoiled child's exposure to parental permissiveness, and displayed virulent antagonism towards Muslims.
But then again in Britain there are scores of extremists spouting loathsome views in every corner of the country. Aside from the fact that England was the location for the very first European blood libel and expulsion of Jews after the York Massacre, the stomping ground of the neo-Nazi Dowager Lady Birdwood and Oswald Mosley, not to mention the birthplace of Holocaust denier David Irving, Britain has in recent years nurtured all manner of extremist. Dr. Azzam al-Tamimi, whom I witnessed rousing an audience of young Muslims to chants of "Jihad!" at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London and who has expressed a desire to be a martyr, was used as a "series advisor" by the BBC on The Power of Nightmares, a BAFTA award-winning series by Adam Curtis about the foolishness of the war on terror. By the same token, and as Michael Savage has said as this story unfolds, Britain is also the home of the Magna Carta. Lest one forget Winston Churchill, who stood alone against the Third Reich in the Wilderness Years.
In previous columns I have mentioned a rally I attended in December 2005 at Canary Wharf in London that was supposed to be a "Global Peace and Unity Conference"; it turned out to be an all-day battle cry for thousands of young Muslim men and women that culminated in an incendiary speech by former cricketer Imran Khan, who had flown in unhindered from Pakistan to City Airport for the rally. The young men involved in the July 7, 2005, London transit system bombings were born in the UK but were influenced by imams who somehow managed to get in with ease, as were the many young men suspected of the recent liquid bomb threats, fertilizer plots, and mass terror attacks. Jacqui Smith's investigative team is of such crack form that Bob Quick, its head, had to resign in April after revealing the top-secret names of operatives to photographers.
Michael Savage may be hated by many in the United States and around the world, but when I appeared on Press TV last month alongside Syrian envoy Jihad Makdissi and he repeatedly called the Jewish settlers in the Holy Land a "cancer on the Middle East," he was not deported. I assume that if Michael Savage had entered the United Kingdom and then said on live television that Muslim settlers in Britain are a "cancer on Europe" he would have been expelled.
As repellent as some may find Savage's pronouncements and views, would his presence here have caused violence? When George Galloway goes into a paroxysm of rage at Zionists telephoning in to his radio show, are Jews then pouring onto the streets of London, Manchester, and Glasgow smashing the city's sights? Lest we forget that as I reported in Pajamas Media last month, angry, violent, pro-Palestinian demonstrators attacked four branches of Starbucks, but was Michael Savage anywhere to be seen? Who stirred their ire? More likely white, British, anti-Israel spokespeople accusing the tiny nation, under attack from Gazan rockets, of genocide and ethnic cleansing. When Respect Party activist Yvonne Ridley rails against "that vile little nation" Israel, that is okay, but if Savage wants to rant over here he is stopped.
This is the nation of Speakers' Corner and of a dynamic press. Notwithstanding the fact that the Guardian's Michael White has declared a "wholesome glee" over the Savage ban, I have to laugh when Jacqui Smith says coming to Britain is a "privilege" and that folks who do not aspire to our values should be excluded. Zowie! What about the thousands of radicals roaming the streets making life a misery for Jewish students across the UK and the death-worshipping extremists preaching in mosques and filling up British jails at taxpayer expense?
This is a sorry day for British democracy. Just as Geert Wilders should have been allowed in to show his film so should Michael Savage be admitted to debate with George Galloway, Peter Tatchell, Yasmin Alibhai Brown, and anyone else who would likely detest his views. Banning him is a cowardly move that is a shameful act by a country that once cherished free expression.
And as I pass the Tesco and Sainsbury supermarket shelves filled with freshly flown-over Mexican produce, I suggest we think about banning those transatlantic berries, not Michael Savage.