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Letters to the Editor 

Week of Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Botany, Beatniks, and Bloviating

Talk loudly and carry a big schtick: After hearing about Ron Russell's article ["Inside the Savage Nation," July 19] from Michael Savage himself on his show on 7/21, I took it upon myself to read it, since he described it as a "hit" piece. Given that he said he thought you were going to attack him before he agreed to the interview, I knew that he was probably flattered by the attention anyway.

Having been a listener of Mr. Savage's for over six years, I can say I am a loyal listener, but very often want to throw the radio against the wall myself. And as a fellow columnist I always thoroughly research any of his over-the-top statements he utters as being facts.

I must say that of any of the few "hit" pieces written on him in the past few years, which are very few given his lack of access, Russell's piece was well researched and fairly accurate.

Savage went crazy regarding the quotes Russell acquired from Savage's past friends, which were not so judgmental as they revealed these guys just don't quite get what happened to their friend.

I think I can agree with the premise that he craves approval while at the same time making it impossible sometimes to even like him. But that is his schtick.

At the same time that he yells that he doesn't care that he gets no media attention or acceptance amongst his peers, he is furious that those on national TV and radio who he believes are less talented get a free pass and public acceptance. So Russell was correct in exposing that part of his personality.

But finally, I think all of us, those who find him entertaining as well as those cringing about his comments, believe that his delivery and the topics he chooses to tackle keep him on the air. It's just a little unfortunate that you feel for him. Kind of like the freak of the family who is accepted but so eccentric you don't want to march him out to attend the church picnic.

Diane M. Grassi
Las Vegas

From Russia with gratitude: As I no longer live in the U.S. I am truly blessed with not stumbling into the likes of Michael Weiner (a.k.a. Savage), Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, etc. when I surf the radio dial. However, in the case of Mr. Savage I must wonder if his psychiatrist knows that he is no longer taking his medication? The man is obviously a paranoid schizophrenic.

Tom Hamlyn
Kyiv, Ukraine

What do you have against hard-core donkey porn?: Much like Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and other members of the right-wing bloviating classes, Michael Savage is a political porn star. His titillating, superficial, and simplistic rants cater to a self-selecting audience with a strong need for this type of crass entertainment, which has about as much to do with political discourse as hard-core donkey porn has to do with well-reasoned, empathetic relationship advice.

As a small-government liberal, however, I say we should let him peddle his mental smut as long as he can find a willing audience and doesn't cause harm to others beyond the cringing that will inevitably ensue when anybody with an IQ above that of a poodle listens to his swill. If his incendiary speech causes someone to act out violently, then let the courts decide the appropriate damages.

[Name withheld]
San Mateo

Can't beat a freak: There is no mystery to the popularity of Michael Savage. Freak shows have always been popular, even if they feature nothing more than a low, paranoid bigot with a microphone.

Carl Russo
San Francisco

Riding High

Another doping scandal on wheels: As a member of Cyclecide I must say we are very grateful for the press [Night & Day, July 26]! Despite my agreement with the adage "All press is good press," I'm forced to wonder why Michael Leaverton chose to say the following: "And, like a proper bike club, Cyclecide surely knows how to avoid a drug scandal. (One way is to not run out of drugs.)"?

While we do drink more beer than the average person, I don't think it is accurate to say that drugs are a staple amongst our members. Overall I think our pleasure over the press surpasses any bad feelings associated with being accused of habitual drug use ... really just very confused.

[Name withheld]
San Francisco


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