Controversial Radio Host Michael Savage Still on the Air in Grand Rapids

Michael Savage is Still on the Radio in Grand Rapids Despite History of Offensive Remarks

A little over a year ago, MediaMouse.org reported on an effort aimed at pressuring advertisers to pull their financial support for conservative talk radio show host Michael Savage. The campaign specifically targeted Savage’s racist comments against Muslims.

That campaign–initiated by Brave New Films’ NoSavage.org and the Council on American-Islamic Relations–resulted in several advertisers pulling ads from Michael Savage’s show. These included ITT Technical Institute, Chattem, Inc. (owners of Gold Bond, Icy Hot, and Selsun Blue), Union Bank of California, Intuit (parent company of TurboTax and QuickBooks), and GEICO Insurance, along with US Cellular, Sprint Nextel, Sears, Universal Orlando Resorts, AutoZone, Citrix, TrustedID, JCPenney, OfficeMax, Wal-Mart, and AT&T.

Michael Savage on the Air in Grand Rapids

At the time, we also looked at Michael Savage’s show in West Michigan, which aired–and continues to air–on WOOD Radio. MediaMouse.org prepared an online letter writing campaign that called on the station to stop airing Savage’s show. Unfortunately, it still is being aired at 9:00pm on WOOD 1300 AM (and elsewhere in Michigan).

WOOD Radio writes that Savage is:

“An independent-minded individualist, Michael Savage fits no stereotype. He attacks big government and liberal media bias, but champions the environment and animal rights.”

Aside from Savage’s supposedly unique insights, WOOD writes that the show is lucrative for advertisers:

“Give your audience a chance to hear why for the past two years Talkers Magazine named Savage as one of America’s top talk radio hosts. He knows how to explore issues, entertain, stimulate, and promote in ways that boost the ratings and profits of every station lucky enough to carry him.”

Big Dollars and Big Ratings

Money might be the real reason Michael Savage stays on air. According to WOOD Radio’s website, Savage’s show can boost ratings and profits.

Michael Savage’s show is syndicated by Talk Radio Network, with whom he has had a nine-year relationship. His contract was given a multi-year extension in November of 2008 and his show airs on over 300 stations nationwide in 42 of the top 50 radio markets.

Ratings Come with a Price: Offensive and Hateful Comments

Last year when we looked at Savage’s show, the focus was on racist comments Savage had made about Muslim people. Over the years, critics have documented examples of Michael Savage’s racism, misogyny, and homophobia.

One of the biggest controversies since we last looked at Michael Savage were his comments on autism over the summer of 2008. Savage said that autism is a “fraud, a racket” and that many suffering disease are “brats” who doesn’t have a father around to tell them to “cut the act out.” Savage’s comments were criticized by Autism United for being both ignorant and belligerent.

In response to the comments, AFLAC, Budweiser, Cisco, Direct Buy, Home Depot, Sears, Radio Shack announced they would stop advertising on Savage’s show.

Since the controversy over autism, Savage has continued to make incredibly offensive statements. These have included statements that undocumented immigrants are taking over the United States, that Muslim immigrants are terrorists, that immigrants don’t know proper hygiene techniques, that all terrorists are Muslims, and that welfare recipients should not be allowed to vote.

The media watchdog group Media Matters has a continually updated list of offensive comments by Michael Savage.

What Can Be Done

Comments can be sent to WOOD Radio expressing frustration that the station continues to air Michael Savage’s show. Comments can be addressed to:

  • Tim Feagan, General Manager – timfeagan@clearchannel.com
  • Angela Vuyst, Program Director – avuyst@woodradio.com
  • Michael Breimayer, Assistant Program Director – mbreimayer@woodradio.com
  • WOOD Radio’s phone number is 616-459-1919

It is worth noting that comments delivered via email or in writing will be logged in the station’s “public file” which is used by the FCC when deciding whether or not to renew the station’s license.

Michael Savage’s show can be contacted at:

  • Email: michaelsavage@savage-productions.com
  • Phone: 1-800-449-TALK (8255)

Another possible avenue could be targeting Michael Savage’s advertisers, but finding an updated list of advertisers is difficult. Moreover, given his ratings, he seems to be able to find new advertisers with relative ease.

It’s also important to remember that Savage’s show is one example–albeit a particularly egregious one–of the kind of hate that is regularly found on rightwing talk radio. For those wishing to learn more, we strongly encourage you to check out Rory O’Connor’s Shock Jocks: Hate Speech & Talk Radio.

Advertisements

Author: mediamouse

Grand Rapids independent media // mediamouse.org

5 thoughts on “Controversial Radio Host Michael Savage Still on the Air in Grand Rapids”

  1. Hypocrites,

    Mr. Savage is one of very few that has the courage to stand up and speak the truth. He is Pro America, no anti Muslim. If you have never read the Koran, maybe you should. It might just scare the hell out of you. Now I know it will be easy for you to discount my comments like I’m sure you have done from so many others. But, like the ostrich who buries his head in the sand, he sets his butt up for a clear and easy shot. Are you that blind? Become a patriot for America. You know the country that gave you everything you have.

    An American Patriot

    PS I only send this without my personal info not because I’m afraid, I do this you in the media cannot make me the center of the discussion thereby keeping the attention off the real problem…The Democrat party and their support system, the media.

  2. Bah. Let ’em yap. Just ignore them, as I do. Find new outlets and let them preach to their choir, such as the unable-to-debate, let’s-just-call-you-names-and-blame-the-democrats-again poster above.

    Fighting these people has gotten old and not even worth the hassle and high blood pressure anymore. I just tune them out now. Like (love) and hate are emotions that illicit responses; I’ll stay indifferent, shrug, and listen to something else.

  3. @Joe America:

    A hypocrite is someone who professes certain beliefs or opinions that he/she does not actually hold in order to hide his/her true feelings or motives. By that definition, I’d say that Ed Cutlip must be the least hypocritical person I’ve ever encountered. So your insult (like your racist comments about Islam) are not only missing the mark, but openly display your ignorance.

    Here’s a wonderful quote for you on the reality of being a patriot, by Leo Tolstoy:

    “The time is fast approaching when to call a man a patriot will be the deepest insult you can offer him. Patriotism now means advocating plunder in the interest of the privileged classes of the particular State system into which we have happened to be born.”

    P.S. I have read the Koran. Have you?

  4. Hype sells. So called left wing radio stations can be just as nauseating. I listen to both to try to get a balanced view. Sometimes I feel like we are the recipients of the classic divide and conquer tactic. Most people I know just want to get through the day and improve the lot of their loved ones. Trying to block free speech is a dangerous path. I am leery of silencing debate.

  5. Hello Dr. Savage,

    How are you?

    When asked that polite question by a nervous caller, why do you react like such a PUTZ? All you have to do is say “I’m fine, now what’s on your mind?” Your reaction of cutting off the call has you appearing as a poor man’s Bob Grant. His rude handling of that introductory line might have helped to get him canned.

    Wishing you well,

    Mike Handelsman

    Brooklyn NY

Comments are closed.