Responding to "Mr. Media Matters," Savage claimed his "vermin" comment referred to "the communist Marxist bloc of International ANSWER," not illegal immigrantsApril 13, 2006 1:20 PM EDT ››› BEN FISHEL
On the April 11 edition of The Savage Nation, conservative radio host Michael Savage responded to a Media Matters for America item posted earlier that day by claiming that he had not referred to illegal immigrants as "vermin" as Media Matters contended, but rather "the leadership behind" the illegal immigrants, whom Savage described as "the communist Marxist bloc of International ANSWER [Act Now to Stop War and End Racism]." Under that reasoning, Savage declared: "[Y]eah, I would say that 'vermin' is an accurate description, Mr. Media Matters." His April 11 explanation to the contrary notwithstanding, however, on his April 10 show Savage used the pronoun "they" -- who are "not even entitled to vote or be here" -- whose antecedent was unmistakably "vermin."
From the April 10 edition of Talk Radio Network's The Savage Nation:
SAVAGE: If you take to the streets with the vermin who are trying to dictate to us how we should run America, even though they're not even entitled to vote or be here, you're going to be thrown out of office.
In the same April 10 broadcast, he also said that politicians who continue to support the "vermin" may be "picking the vegetables."
On April 11, Savage appeared to refer to Media Matters President and CEO David Brock as "Mr. Media Matters," adding, "I don't know who this guy is but I hear that he was a conservative gay who came out of the closet and suddenly became a liberal, and I would say to you, sir, that Mr. [William] Blake, the poet of the 19th century, said it best when he said, '[T]he eye that alters, alters all.' " The line -- actually, "For the Eye altering alters all" -- comes from the Blake poem "The Mental Traveller."
As Media Matters noted, during the recent immigration protests Savage encouraged listeners to "burn the Mexican flag" to show their opposition to illegal immigration.
From the April 11 edition of Talk Radio Network's The Savage Nation:
SAVAGE: I want to read something here. There's a company called Media Matters -- I don't know who they are, I have no idea who they are, but they hate me. And so, they listen to my show and they take selective outtakes and they publish them on their -- in their thing called Media Matters, and it says -- here is what they said about me. They said, "Savage warned U.S. politicians not to, quote, 'take to the streets,' quote, to support illegal immigrant vermin. During the April 10 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio program," they say, "conservative talk show host Michael Savage warned political leaders not to sympathize with illegal immigrants, whom he described as 'vermin.' " Well, let me just pause right there. I described the leadership behind them as vermin, and I have described to you who they are. They are the communist Marxist bloc of International ANSWER. They are [former attorney general in the Johnson administration] Ramsey Clark, they're this guy [ANSWER national coordinator Brian] Becker, they support [North Korean dictator] Kim Jong Il, they support -- they supported Saddam Hussein, they support the communist government when they drove their tanks in Tiananmen Square -- yeah, I would say that "vermin" is an accurate description, Mr. Media Matters. But then again -- I don't know who this guy is, but I hear that he was a conservative gay who came out of the closet and suddenly became a liberal. And I would say to you, sir, that Mr. Blake, the poet of the 19th century, said it best when he said, "[T]he eye that alters, alters all." I would suspect that your eye is altered and all altered at that, and I'll be right back.