On the July 9 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio program, Michael Savage responded to a caller who described former Vice President Al Gore's efforts to raise awareness of global warming as "passionate" by saying, "Oh, I'm sure he's also passionate. There are many passionate individuals in history. Mussolini was passionate about bringing back fascism to Italy." He added: "[O]f all of the dictators in the past, you know the one Al Gore strikes me as [being] closest [to] is Mussolini -- sort of a non-racist, benign demagogue using global warming in an attempt to take over the world's economy and put it in his own hands and the hands of his cronies."
In fact, Benito Mussolini instituted a series of laws in 1938 targeting Jews during his time as Italy's dictator. As BBC News noted, "All Jewish students were expelled from schools, Jews were banned from public office and forbidden to marry outside their race. The laws led to the eventual deportation of Italian Jews, many of whom died in concentration camps."
Savage made his comments during a discussion about the July 7 Live Earth concerts, a series of performances promoted by Gore and held worldwide to call attention to climate change. The caller said, "I thought Al Gore sounded pretty sincere on the Live Earth concert this Saturday" and stated that Gore "seemed pretty passionate."
As Media Matters for America has noted, Savage frequently compares Democrats and progressives to fascists. On the June 12 broadcast of The Savage Nation, Savage called the progressive movement "the same rabble that brought Hitler to power," and on April 23, he called a speech by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) "Hitler dialogue."
The Savage Nation reaches more than 8 million listeners each week, according to Talkers Magazine, making it the third most-listened-to talk radio show in the nation, behind only The Rush Limbaugh Show and The Sean Hannity Show.
From the July 9 broadcast of Talk Radio Network's The Savage Nation:
SAVAGE: We're talking about the fact that Gore-leone's con is over. I wouldn't say it's over, but Gore-leone's con took a beating. My headline says, "Live Earth Dead, Gore Bombs," and it says "Live Earth has been branded a foul-mouth flop." That's what the Brits are saying. Of course, you wouldn't expect that here in America, where the politicians are convinced that Al Gore is correct. Houston, Texas. [Caller], you're on The Savage Nation. Go ahead, please.
CALLER: Yes, sir, I just had a comment. I wanted to say that I thought Al Gore sounded pretty sincere on the Live Earth concert this Saturday.
SAVAGE: Well, sir, the -- sir, you say Al Gore was "pretty sincere." I'm sure he is. He's as sincere as you can get, but the chasm between sincerity and knowledge is immense.
CALLER: That's true. I mean, I know --
SAVAGE: I mean, there are many people who are sincere and don't know what the heck they're talking about.
CALLER: Yeah, I mean, he seemed pretty passionate, though. I mean --
SAVAGE: Oh, I'm sure he's also passionate. There are many passionate individuals in history. Mussolini was passionate about bringing back fascism to Italy. He was very passionate in his speeches. You know, of all of the dictators in the past, you know the one Al Gore strikes me as [being] closest [to] is Mussolini -- sort of a non-racist, benign demagogue using global warming in an attempt to take over the world's economy and put it in his own hands and the hands of his cronies. Do you have any idea what these people are proposing, [caller], based upon a premise that hasn't been proven?