Banning Michael Savage

From NRO’s The Corner:

…The British Home Secretary thinks that by making public the ban on Michael Savage she’s “naming and shaming” him. But she’s shaming only herself and her country. This kind of stuff is very weird from a senior cabinet minister of a G7 nation:

I think it’s important that people understand the sorts of values and sorts of standards that we have here, the fact that it’s a privilege to come and the sort of things that mean you won’t be welcome in this country,” Ms Smith told GMTV.

“Coming to this country is a privilege. If you can’t live by the rules that we live by, the standards and the values that we live by, we should exclude you from this country and, what’s more, now we will make public those people that we have excluded.”

How many members of King Abdullah’s entourage at the G20 summit the other week live by Jacqui Smith’s “standards and values”? Come to that, how many British subjects live by the “standards and values” of the countries they visit and trade with? The idea of ideological enforcement at the border is repugnant to a free society…

Flicking through the radio dial I have, from time to time, come across Savage’s show – usually much to my regret. Perhaps long-term listening would put a different perspective on it, but what I’ve gleaned is a clear lack of understanding of the issues facing our nation coupled with a bullying attitude towards callers who disagree. I’m a big fan of hard-hitting polemics – I like it very much when people go at it with gusto…provided one doesn’t slide down in to the gutter and, especially, provided one doesn’t lose a good sense of humor about the whole thing. People like Medved, Rush and Ingraham manage to finesse this very well…Savage doesn’t.

Be that as it may, Savage has a show which has attained a level of popularity and thus he’s not likely to be going away any time soon – and all banning him from Britain does is simultaneously grant him massive, new publicity as well as violate the very concept of freedom. As long as Savage isn’t actively inciting people to criminal acts, he should be allowed to say whatever he pleases without let or hindrance…and as long as his advertisers are willing to shell out for spots on his show there is no reason for anyone to in any way, shape or form attempt to boot him out of the public square.

He is what he is – and I pray he’ll learn to gentle his tongue, but it is not my business to do it for him. Britain has placed a stain upon its honor as well as upon its tradition of free speech.