Of two minds

Listening to the radio a couple of days ago, I heard a report from the BBC about a recent decision by the British Home Secretary (whose job, if I understand correctly, is something akin to a combination of the duties of our Secretaries of the Interior and Homeland Security... readers are free to correct me if I am wrong) Jacqui Smith to ban Michael Savage from visiting the country.

Who is Michael Savage? This guy:
The popular radio talk show host who did a weekend TV show for the cable channel referred to an unidentified caller to his show Saturday as a "sodomite" and said he should "get AIDS and die."
Also this:
On the June 7 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Michael Savage called gay parenting, "child abuse," echoing remarks he made during the February 26 edition of Talk Radio Network's The Savage Nation.
And this:
On his radio show, Savage told listeners that "intelligent people, wealthy people ... are very depressed by the weakness that America is showing to these psychotics in the Muslim world. They say, 'Oh, there's a billion of them.' " Savage continued: "I said, 'So, kill 100 million of them, then there'd be 900 million of them.' I mean ... would you rather us die than them?" Savage added: "Would you rather we disappear or we die? Or would you rather they disappear and they die? Because you're going to have to make that choice sooner rather than later."
With all of this in mind, it is perhaps unsurprising that Ms. Smith would including Mr. Savage on her list of undesirables.
The 16 names were people who "fomented hatred, of such extreme views and expressing them in such a way" as to cause violence if they were allowed into the country, she told the BBC.


Savage, whom detractors say has long been driven by a desire for fame, attention and money, has been invoking the First Amendment and portraying himself as the victim of censorship, even if he admits he had no plans to visit Britain. Suddenly, free speech advocates who would normally recoil at his show have rallied behind him.
Oh, good. Larry Flynt all over again.

I celebrated a relatively recent decision of a similar nature when it applied to the sub-human Fred Phelps. And I am inclined to do the same in this case. On the one hand, I support Mr. Savage's right to say all manner of utterly horrid things. We live in a country where the right to do so is given to all of us, no matter how odious.

However, there is no reason the British should feel compelled to let this pustule of a man into their country. I am entitled to do all manner of disturbing things in the privacy of my own home, but my neighbors are equally entitled to bar me from their homes if they suspect I will behave similarly there. American law allows Savage to say what he wants, but the British are hardly obligated to invite him to engage in the same behaviors on their shores.

The downside, of course, is that now this ugly little person gets to play the martyr.
A US radio talk show host says he will sue the British government for defamation after being placed on a list of people banned from entering the UK.


He told his radio audience that he was intending to sue British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, who he described as the "lunatic ... Home Secretary of England".
That last quote makes me think of pots and kettles, and seems an ineffective way of getting back on England's invitation list.

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