Discussing purported "questions about" President-elect Barack Obama "that the media won't answer," Michael Savage revived discredited rumors about Obama's birth certificate and asked: "Why in the world did he take time off from the campaign to visit the grandmother who then suddenly and suspiciously died virtually the night before the election?" Additionally, after a caller said that "[h]omosexuals and homosexual marriage is a choice," Savage declared: "[I]t's a lifestyle or a death-style choice, depending upon how you look at it."
During the November 10 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Michael Savage said that President-elect Barack Obama's late grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, "suspiciously died virtually the night before the election." Savage made the remark while again reviving discredited rumors about Obama's birth certificate and questioning why Obama went to visit his grandmother in Hawaii shortly before her death on November 3.
Additionally, earlier in the program, after a caller said that "[h]omosexuals and homosexual marriage is a choice," Savage declared: "[I]t's a lifestyle or a death-style choice, depending upon how you look at it."
Discussing purported "questions about" Obama "that the media won't answer," Savage stated:
Well, we don't even know where Obama was born. His grandmother died the night before the election. There's a lot of questions around this character that the media won't answer. Let's start with what country he's from. Why was the birth certificate never produced? Why in the world did he take time off from the campaign to visit the grandmother who then suddenly and suspiciously died virtually the night before the election? Tell me about that.
As Media Matters for America documented, Savage and other conservative commentators had suggested prior to Dunham's death that the true purpose of Obama's October 25 trip to Hawaii was not to visit his ailing grandmother, as Obama stated, but rather to address charges -- widely debunked -- that Obama has failed to produce a valid U.S. birth certificate. Savage continued to do so shortly after Dunham had died. As Media Matters noted, well before Savage invoked the discredited birth certificate rumors, the Obama campaign posted a copy of Obama's birth certificate on its Fight the Smears website and reportedly provided the original document to FactCheck.org, whose staff concluded in an August 21 post that it "meets all of the requirements from the State Department for proving U.S. citizenship." Even the right-wing website WorldNetDaily reported in an August 23 article that a "WND investigation into Obama's birth certificate utilizing forgery experts also found the document to be authentic."
A Hawaii Health Department official also reportedly confirmed to PolitiFact.com in June that Obama's birth certificate is valid. However, following numerous references to the birth certificate rumors by conservative media figures such as Obama Nation author Jerome Corsi -- who said he was traveling to Hawaii to do some "digging" on the issue and requested a copy of Obama's original birth certificate -- the Hawaii Department of Health released the following statement on October 31 by Health Department director Chiyome Fukino:
"There have been numerous requests for Sen. Barack Hussein Obama's official birth certificate. State law (Hawai'i Revised Statutes §338-18) prohibits the release of a certified birth certificate to persons who do not have a tangible interest in the vital record.
"Therefore, I as Director of Health for the State of Hawai'i, along with the Registrar of Vital Statistics who has statutory authority to oversee and maintain these type of vital records, have personally seen and verified that the Hawai'i State Department of Health has Sen. Obama's original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures.
"No state official, including Governor Linda Lingle, has ever instructed that this vital record be handled in a manner different from any other vital record in the possession of the State of Hawai'i."
Earlier in the November 10 Savage Nation broadcast, Savage discussed the passage of a California ballot initiative to amend the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage. Responding to a caller who asserted that "[h]omosexuals and homosexual marriage is a choice," rather than "a gender or racial issue," Savage said: "No, it's a lifestyle or a death-style choice, depending on how you look at it." Savage added moments later, "There are many bigger problems at the moment, but the gays are out of control, in my opinion."
As Media Matters noted, on October 29, Savage said of the California ballot initiative, "If you're insane, hate the family, hate man and woman, hate your mother and father, hate the Bible, hate the church, and hate the synagogue, of course you're in favor of 'no' on Proposition 8." The next day, Savage said that "people who don't have families ... don't understand what the family unit is. It's the strongest bond on Earth, which is why homosexual marriage is such a threat to civilization itself."
Talk Radio Network, which syndicates Savage's show, claims that Savage is heard on more than 350 radio stations. The Savage Nation reaches at least 8.25 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 November 10 broadcast of Talk Radio Network's The Savage Nation:
SAVAGE: Dan in San Francisco, welcome to the Savage Nation.
CALLER: Michael, I'm a Hispanic male, and it doesn't take a lot to prove that. Homosexuals and homosexual marriage is a choice, and until it's proven otherwise, they should not be given any special rights.
SAVAGE: We all know that, and we voted on it, and I'm sick and tired of hearing about gays and their marriage, and their this and their that -- I'm sick of it. I am sick of it. And I'm sick of their terror tactics, and I'm sick of them attacking Mormon women. And I want to know where my government is to protect people from these gangs.
CALLER: They're basing their arguments on this is a racial issue -- it's not. It's not a gender or racial issue at all.
SAVAGE: No, it's a lifestyle or a death-style choice, depending upon how you look at it. I will repeat again -- society at large has an obligation to survive. The rules of a society are written for the survival of a society. You cannot enshrine a behavior which is at best neutral, but in most cases not neutral, with regard to the survival of the nation. Do you agree with me?
CALLER: I do, absolutely.
SAVAGE: So, therefore, why would a society -- a sane society say that we enshrine heterosexual marriage because that will ensure the procreation of children and the advancement of society with regard to birth? How can you enshrine marriages which are neutral at best, and negative at worst?
Thanks for the call. There are many bigger problems right now, but the gays are out of control, in my opinion.
CALLER: I have an answer to Dustin Hoffman -- a quote from a far greater man, Robert Browning, who I believe sums up the events of the past week far better. It's from his Dramatis Personae, and here it is: "To suppose one cheat can gull all these, were more miraculous."
SAVAGE: I haven't any idea what that means.
CALLER: You don't?
CALLER: Well, I mean, if you think of this election with Barack Obama, and to suppose one cheat can gull all these, were more miraculous.
SAVAGE: It sounds to me like he had a bad acid trip when he wrote it -- what does he mean, "one sheet?"
CALLER: Cheat. A cheat. C-H-E-A-T.
SAVAGE: Well, we don't even know where Obama was born. His grandmother died the night before the election. There's a lot of questions around this character that the media won't answer. Let's start with what country he's from. Why was the birth certificate never produced? Why in the world did he take time off from the campaign to visit the grandmother who then suddenly and suspiciously died virtually the night before the election? Tell me about that.
CALLER: We don't know and we're probably never gonna know.