Sunday, June 19, 2016

Michael Savage and Mark Levin

Lately I've been listening to right-wing talk radio, to try to understand its attractions. In particular, I've been listening to Michael Savage and Mark Levin. These men are both conservative radio hosts with millions of weekly listeners. I have to admit, after more than a month of listening, I find it really hard to understand their appeal.

In some ways, Savage and Levin are very similar. They both use extensive call screening, so that practically no dissenting voices are ever allowed on the air. During the past month, I think I haven't heard a single liberal caller on either program. If they do manage to get on somehow, they typically get shouted down and cut off.

They both shill for their own books, with Levin pushing Plunder and Deceit and Savage pushing Government Zero. They both advertise their books about dogs, with Savage pushing Teddy and Me, and Levin pushing a book written by his father, My Dog Spot. They both shill for companies that sell precious metals as investments, with Levin pushing Goldline and Savage pushing Swiss America. Levin also shills for AMAC (which bills itself as the conservative alternative to AARP) and Dollar Shave Club.

For radio professionals, they both seem to have trouble pronouncing certain words. Levin once referred to Mallorca as "Mall-er-ka", and Savage pronounced "fiefdom" as "fife-dum".

They both always refer to the "Democrat party", a typical epithet of the far right.

They both love to name-call. Levin constantly uses terms like "puke", "hack", "jerk", and "punk" to describe anybody he disagrees with. Sometimes he calls people "subhuman". If there exists a single person in the world who is both personally honorable and disagrees with Levin on some substantive issue, you would not know about it by listening to him. For example, he called Elizabeth Warren "one of the biggest idiots", "a complete freak" and a "dimwitted buffoon". (He has a particular dislike for university professors.) Levin routinely refers to the New York Times as the "New York Slimes", the Washington Post as the "Washington Compost", MSNBC as "MSLSD", Associated Press as "Associated Depressed", Hillary Clinton as "Hillary Rotten Clinton". I guess he thinks he's being clever. Savage, on the other hand, routinely refers to people he disagrees with as "garbage" or "vermin". He particularly dislikes Muslims, which he enjoys calling "Moose-lims". He calls Rachel Maddow "Rachel Madcow".

Both Savage and Levin like to portray themselves as brave, honest commentators who say what others dare not. When Levin says, "There! I said it!" you know for sure that something particularly ignorant has just preceded it.

Probably the most important commonality between Levin and Savage is they both lie. Unrelentingly. Repeatedly. In listening for a month or so, there were so many lies that I often had trouble recording them all. They're not lying about things whose truth is hard to determine, either. Here are just a few:

  • Mark Levin claimed "nobody watches CBS News". In fact, in 2015, viewership was 6.8 million, up 4% from previously, or about the same as Levin's own audience size.
  • Michael Savage lied about what Mark Tushnet said here, claiming Tushnet advocated treating conservatives like Nazis.
  • Mark Levin claimed Marx and Engels invented the term "middle class". Not true, of course: it was James Bradshaw in 1745.
  • Michael Savage claimed Japan never apologized for the Bataan death march. But they did, 6 years ago.
  • Mark Levin twice claimed that "gun shows are the safest place on earth", despite being informed that this is simply not the case: accidental shootings at gun shows are routine.
Many more examples can be found on my twitter feed. Despite these lies, in my listening for more than a month I never heard either host issue a correction or retraction about anything. (In contrast, Rachel Maddow issues corrections all the time.)

Both hosts have their obsessions. Levin is completely obsessed with Barack Obama; nearly every show is on the same theme, about how Obama is destroying America. Obama, Levin claims, is "sick" and "hates America". Similarly, Savage is obsessed with Obama, calling him a "psychopath", but his obsessions also include George Soros, Google, Hollywood, and Facebook, frequently insulting Mark Zuckerberg (often with exaggerated Jewish accent) and Jeff Bezos. Indeed, although Savage is Jewish (his real name is Michael Weiner), many of his comments seem either overtly or covertly anti-Semitic.

Both hosts have extremely high opinions of themselves. Savage has a doctorate from Berkeley in ethnomedicine, which he frequently likes to mention (callers often call him "Dr. Savage"), and likes to boast for minutes at a time about how smart he is compared to everyone else. He says, "I'm far more creative, inventive, entertaining, informative, educated than everyone else in the history of radio." However, he's not as smart as he thinks: for example, Savage frequently uses the term "coelenterate" and says it means the same as "worm". (Coelenterates are not worms or even closely related to them. They are creatures like jellyfish and sea anemones.) Here Savage quotes Hillel's famous questions, but attributes them wrongly to Maimonides. On the other hand, Levin's website describes him as "The Great One" or "Denali", terms which Levin embraces with enthusiasm. He frequently turns testy, telling callers that he is going to "educate" them.

Despite their great similarities, both hosts apparently dislike the other one. Indeed, it seems that both are quite reluctant to mention the other by name. Levin has called Savage "a real cancer" and a "phony, fake conservative".

Nevertheless, there are some differences between them. Savage, by far, has the stranger life story, whereas Levin had a more conventional career at the fringes of American right. Savage supports Donald Trump and Levin was a strong supporter of Ted Cruz. (Whether Levin will eventually back Trump is hard to tell, although I suspect he will eventually cave.) Savage seems to have no coherent political philosophy at all, other than his dislike of various minorities. For example, he seems to hate gay people, once telling a caller that he "should get AIDS and die ... eat a sausage and choke on it". Like his hero Trump, Savage seems to be a fascist in training; he admires Vladimir Putin and thinks bringing back the House Un-American Activities Committee would be a good idea. Levin is somewhat more consistent philosophically, claiming to be a "constitutional conservative". However, his idea of the constitution is extremely narrow; it never seems to occur to him that there might be two or more different ways of interpreting constitutional provisions. Levin used to work under Ed Meese, whom he calls a "great man". But remember that Meese did not believe in the principle of "innocent until proven guilty"; he once said, "If a person is innocent of a crime, then he is not a suspect." Levin also buys into the typical craziness of the right, denying man-made global warming and claiming that environmentalists are responsible for the deaths of millions of people from malaria.

Savage seems genuinely unbalanced to me. For example, he thinks seltzer water is dangerous and claims that seltzer water has damaged Bernie Sanders' sanity. He says things like, "I am a prophet. I have been a prophet. I was appointed to be a prophet since birth." Levin is better, but his sanity is also not so clear to me. He once claimed violating transgender guidelines will get you put in "Leavenworth Prison" and once agreed with a caller that if Obama had been president during US Civil War "he would have continued slavery". But perhaps these are just wild hyperbole as opposed to being actually crazy.

After a month of listening, I still don't quite understand their appeal. Savage is an ignorant narcissist who is filled with hate. Levin is a boring partisan and ideologue with a single theme that he repeats with hardly any variation. Neither host is much concerned with the truth. Both like to hear themselves rant, and, despite praising their audience, rarely genuinely engage with any caller.

If these are the minds that the American right listens to on a daily basis, it's no wonder that the right is so badly misinformed.


JimV said...

Al Franken did a similar study and wrote the book "Lies: And the Lying Liars Who Tell Them". (Maybe it's time for you to write a sequel!) I thought it was a great book, funny and well-documented, and bought an extra copy to give to my conservative friend Mario. He returned it, unread, a couple days later. They (conservatives) do not want their world view challenged. (Generalizations are always suspect of course, but that one seems to me to be almost mathematically true - if they do accept challenges to their world view, they soon cease to be conservatives.)

Part of the problem for me personally is that to take the time (ranging from 30 seconds to a half-hour) to check the facts on the Internet to challenge every other sentence people like Limbaugh, Hannity, O'Reilly, and all the rest generate endlessly is too much of a commitment, so I avoid listening to them. When I do hear one of their outrageous statements repeated in casual conversation I challenge it, but it is usually a half-day or day later that I email a substantive, researched rebuttal, and in the meantime they have said dozens more similar things - like the Gish Gallop.

My generation tended to grow up with the belief that if you heard something on the radio or TV "it must be true or they wouldn't be allowed to say it." That has never been true and least of all now, but I still hear it from my conservative friends and relatives.

Bert Brouwer said...

Regarding taking Genesis literally, an interesting question for me would be:
Who were all these people in Genesis 4,14-15 that threatened to kill Cain?
And if I was allowed to ask a second question:
Where did Mrs. Cain in Genesis 4,17 come from?

CDP said...

Michael Alan Weiner's 1978 U.C. Berkeley Ph.D. thesis, "Nutritional Ethnomedicine in Fiji," contains the following summary:

By isolating various elements of several disciplines--notably medical anthropology, ethnobotany, nutrition and epidemiology--an interdisciplinary approach to nutritional ethnomedicine in the Fiji Islands has been constructed. Beginning with an overview of the physical characteristics of Oceania, especially the geography of island types as they affect ethnobotanical practices, the work proceeds through an overview of the people and their health including vital statistics. Food and nutrition as health-related phenomena are next presented, including a description of a current research project into the causes of infant malnutrition. Infectious diseases, cases and deaths, for the years 1972 through 1975 are presented in tabular form.

Since the "tools" used to gather and order much of these data are largely anthropological, a review of the literature in cognitive anthropology is included, followed by a lexicon of Fijian disease terms including names of islands where local names were recorded. To attempt an understanding of the genesis of herbal remedies in Fiji the materia medica of a celebrated practitioner, including an edited transcript of field interviews, follows. The next section consists of a detailed socio-botanic essay on the single most important plant species from a cultural perspective, kavakava or yangona (Piper methysticum). A chapter on nutritional considerations in the islands is further subdivided into (A) an appraisal of the vitamin and mineral content of edible leaves, (B) a speculative review of the possible relationship between cyanogenetic glycosides and neurological disorders, and (C) the agricultural considerations of a hypothetical migrant Melanesian people.

Finally, the medicinal applications of 188 plant species are enumerated. Included are the plant parts used, Fijian names, the illnesses, and the preparations of the remedies.

Nothing that would lead you to expect him to know anything about coelenterates or Hillel or world affairs.

Silvio Frank said...

I am listening to Michael Savage right now and as you said he hates Obama, Democrats, Jews, and so on, but the preponderance of the evidence points to the fact that he simply hates. How anyone can hate so much, be so filled with hate ( Why?) is beyond my understanding. You'd imagine a man filled with so much hate would simply self destruct, but no, he continues to hate and hate and hate, so it must all be playacting? I have no idea. These right wing guys are ready for the loony bin.


Daniel Rogers said...

At What point will you non logicall obvious all libtards understand reality. The author of this is writing a review on these two men who apparently just hate hate hate well in reality all this author is doing is putting both these men down. Inbevery part of this essay lol. How dumb can can u progressives be to be writing about hate when your own writings show the same lol. From the bottom of my heart i truly feel bad for u guys amd what ot must feel like to literally think in your minds you guys are truly intelligent and think your tryinh to help but truth be told when facts and when any type of logical awareness is presented yall crumble and retreat to safe zones lol. Last point i want to try and put it into perspective on how any rational person with any decent common sense views u guys when yall speak. Its like me tryimg to explsin to u 2+2=4 everbody knows who i just mentioned logical thinkers knows its 4 but u libersls are convinced itz another number becaise your little libersl tv shows and papers and blah blah blah has told.u so amd thay all u geeks talk abkut whem around each other. Like blind sheep following but in your heads u think your coorect but in reakity your dumber then shit. Skrry fkr terrible grammar i know u geeks are already reading this saying this dude calling us out he cant evem spell hahahahahahaab fucking tools im driving amd care less bout ykur shit and ps ALL LIVES MATTER

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Dear Daniel:

I'm not sure where you got your education, but perhaps it's not too late to demand a refund.

CDP said...

I'm afraid Trump "University" does not offer refunds. But they will be more than happy to provide information on how to max out your credit card to pay their tuition.

Unknown said...

Such a great comparison. I've been listening to them for quite a while and always had a great laugh, well as well as from Alex Jones, great clowns they all are!

But recently I got tierd from the repetitions and here I am reading this amazing and funny post, it's funny coz it's great comparison, especially for those who have been listening those dudes for a while! For me all this politics crap has become a pure entertainment!

Now I understood that all the parties and all the systems are the same, better sooner than later!

Cheers to all, be neutral, then hop the right train at the right time, best advice I can give you so far! 😃

Unknown said...

This seems like a pretty narrow assessment on these radio programs. I listen to Michael Savage for years maybe like an hour a week and have enjoyed talks about literature, Ayurveda, Eastern Philosophy, food, and health. You don't have to be into his politics and still find a lot of substance in his show.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Savage does not talk about any of those topics any more. It's all screeching about how Obama is a "maniac in the White House".

By the way, he's a bit of a nutcase on food, too. He thinks seltzer water is a poison of the brain.

Tate Andersen said...

Dear Jeffrey Shallit
I'm not sure where YOU got your education but I'm sure it was another institution of indoctrination. Are you a burn out or just simply ignorant and living in denial? There are ALWAYS liberal callers, they pretty much welcome them because they're usually ignorant of facts entirely (A good lesson in education for the caller and the listeners.) It's highly remarkable how platitudinous your leftist "argument" is! This is telling because you haven't cited any of their arguments or made any to counter them! Mark Levin in particular is very good at letting ANYBODY on the program, anybody can just youtube either of them and see that you're lying.. Typical liberal behavior. Levin is very intelligent, and I haven't seen ONE post or call or liberal to prove that assertion otherwise. You see every post on here are just watered down unintelligent Aesop attacks on these two conservative talk show hosts. You see what is prominent in the liberal collective temperament... you cannot stand it when ANYBODY questions or criticizes your views, leaders, or positions. This entire blog is not a shocker, it's lacking in individualism and emotion entirely There's a reason Levin calls you Drones, and Savage reminds us repeatedly how Liberalism is a mental disorder. Just youtube the calls if you disagree, but you won't.. because leftists refuse humility outright, and will NOT admit when they're wrong. By the way, these "bloggers" more than likely drop-outs not even studying the hard sciences are devoid of any sense when it comes to their criticisms of your collective mindset. Obama has been proven to be a petty dictator time and time again... These leftists defend big government to their dying breath and allow failed ideas such as disarming the populace (because that worked for the Socialist, Communist, and National SOCIALIST fascist states right?) History has proven your mentality is retrograde, regressive, hypocritical, devoid of intelligence and this blog is no different. In conclusion sir, I am a self-taught individual whose hard working, determined, and willing to accept HUMILITY into my life. Humility opens many doors my left-wing doltish friends.. it is a pathway to furthering your intelligence! I don't agree with either of them on EVERYTHING, unlike the collective conscience a mouthpiece is not the sole contributor of knowledge.. and it's listeners will disagree even among others like us. I big you all farewell, and just remember that you might love hearing yourselves talk a little too much, take the government provided cotton out of your ears and listen to others and articulate that into some kind of sense.

Tate Andersen said...

Also isn't it funny, how you have to accept comments and censor any opposition yet that is one of the first points you attack these hosts for? You've already proven the hypocrisy of the left, this is almost too easy. You won't accept my comments, especially this one exposing the truth.. but it is futile regardless. The people are smartening up, they understand your spiel. The people are tired of your mind games and Aesop double talk, you can't fool the masses forever, and history has proven this time and time again. For an "intellectual" you're certainly ignorant of many things that should be common knowledge sir. If you post my comments , that will be the first step in humility my leftist friend. Your opinions and views are subject to be scrutinized and your "facts" will be validated. You cannot fool everybody, and I'm one of the few you come across that actually challenge you. You're not used to a challenge, this is why the hosts in question are obviously a threat to individuals like yourself. I have a question, now I know simple questions are a liberal's kryptonite but please just focus... Have you called either or both of these hosts and was put in your place? There must a reason for your callousness, are you jealous or just so anti-anything but the leftist derivative? Please do respond, thank you for reading if you even got this far without foaming at the mouth because somebody actually challenged your stance on this.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Dear sad angry uneducated crackpot: if you would bother to read the sidebar on my blog you would see that all comments usually get approved within 24 hours. It has only been 9 hours since your posted your incoherent ravings, and yet there they are.

There are ALWAYS liberal callers Not true. I listened for a month and didn't hear a single one. All the recordings are online, so post exact time of liberal callers in each of the last 7 shows, so anyone can check.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Tate: I have a challenge for you. If you can go to Levin's "Audio Rewind" and find 4 liberal callers in the last 7 days (identified by show date and time they called in on the recording), I'll donate $100 to the conservative candidate of your choice.

Chase Tenny said...


You seem to point out Savage and Levin frequently calling names. I find it really interesting some of your responses back to the people who disagree with you. Perhaps you should pick up a job with either one of these hosts? Calling people a "Crack Pot", and asking where they got their education... Dude, it's like you wrote a blog about yourself and contrasted it with the likes of these radio host. Do yourself a favor next time, and hold your composure and opinions. You made yourself look very hypocritical and naive.


A concerned reader

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Chase: Look up "concern troll".

Jeffrey Shallit said...

More seriously: I have no problem with people calling other people idiots or dishonest or whatever, if it's backed up. But Levin just calls everybody he disagrees with these names, irrespective of their merits. I mean, he called Elizabeth Warren, one of the brightest people in the Senate, an idiot. That's just silly.

I also think calling silly names like "Hillary Rotten Clinton" is just childish, and not even to the level of calling someone "dumb" or "dishonest".

Chase Tenny said...

Possibly, but there's the entertainment value of the show. If you can coin an insult for someone well, that means you doing it right. Point being these people are just entertainment/mixed news. They are both entertaining shows.

I use to listen to them both. I found Savages angel to be very angry driven. To me, that is a work of someone who did their homework in journalism. There is a reason why these two men have so many listeners. It certainly isn't because they are dumb. I would argue they offer more credible information than anything broadcasted on television- when it comes to politics.

Overall, I do agree with some of your findings of the show. I personally stopped listening to them for the last two years , only to recently tune in because of the election. I do like to hear their opinions, but as you learn in College you don't ever take one source as credible. I think we can both agree on that.


Joseph Carlson said...

These hosts are for pure entertainment. I like to listen because its better than Bieber but It makes me laugh so hard at Internet Right wing memes.

Chase Tenny said...

It's unfortunate both sides of the aisle are filled with their share of crooked mouthpieces. However, that's the game of politics in this country. Personally, I'd be for any candidate if they cut government down by 25%. ( I say 25% because I'm being generous with such a low number)

Unfortunately, it's not going to happen. The government will continue to get larger and infiltrate more and more of our freedoms as time goes on. There will always be a left and a right ,and people like Savage and Levin making millions off of Americans. Course, they will always justify their earnings as honest, the fact is without the "left", these people wouldn't be in radio.

So in essence, they should be thanking the liberals. It's kinda comical to think these liberals created a job for them. I'm sure if you called in and suggested this you would be treated with tantrums and a slew of insults. But alas, this is America and if you can make money off people's ignorance, well you might just as well call yourself a politician or patriot.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

The ironic thing is that if ordinary citizens, randomly selected, are given the Federal budget and asked to balance it, they have no problem doing it. I remember a study where they did just that (can't find it now).

This is another point in favor of replacing the current method of electing representatives with random representation, or sortition.

Chase Tenny said...

I think I did read something on that a long time ago. I sure believe it, but the hard reality is it won't come to pass. I don't think it's necessarily an accident the debt keeps getting larger. The government itself has plenty of tools at their disposal to accomplish this. I find it hard to believe that the elected officials are in fact as dumb as people proclaim them to be. There is definitely more than what appears. We have fat cats such as Soros and Rockefeller that influence a lot of the decisions being made. Along with plenty of other investors (namely foreign) that coincide with the current agenda.

I personally think it will ultimately end up in more war at some point. Whether or not we initiate it, there's plenty of material now after 911. This country has defined and painted an enemy really well and overall has convinced people to believe so.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

For the record, Tate is so far unable to answer my challenge and provide evidence that Levin takes liberal callers.

JimV said...

Right now the interest rate on government bonds is so low in the USA that it makes sense to have budget deficits if the borrowed money is used to improve infrastructure and fund more research, because these things can add a lot of future value (e.g., DARPA--> Internet). Similarly, businesses often take loans to expand and modernize.

If interest rates are increased, the budget can be balanced by restoring marginal tax rates to what they were in the (Bill) Clinton administration. At those rates we were on the road to "surpluses as far as the eye can see" - and then GWB cut top marginal rates so as to produce large deficits again and make the rich richer and the poor poorer.

I personally have never felt over-taxed by the federal government. Sales taxes (up around 8% where I live) bother me more, but I can afford them too. Minor inefficiencies of government don't bother me much either. Having worked for a large company (GE) I know that to be inefficient is part of the human condition, and in for-profit companies there is always corruption as well.

Chase Tenny said...

I personally don't believe in higher tax rates for people with larger incomes. I'd like a fair tax rate all across the board. Since I don't make over six figures yet I don't have to worry about it, as I am in school full time so my tax rate is 15%. However, as time goes on I can only imagine what it would feel like to be in the larger tax bracket. Not getting into tax law (Since there are plenty of ways to avoid paying taxes legally)I just personally feel it isn't entirely fair to tax people higher percentages based on income. When I get more time (Midterms coming up) I'll post some information regarding opposite sides of the spectrum in terms of budgets, and taxes. Perhaps then we can collaborate and argue our sides and see some opinions from both sides of the isle.

Cat Stevenson said...

The answer to both of those is that it's never mentioned because it's not really part of the narrative, but anyone with Google can find several feasible theories. Some people have almost created a hobby or lifestyle in speculating, but most people just don't care that much

Cat Stevenson said...

I listen to Mark Levin's show, but I can't deal with Savage because that kind of humor, or whatever it is, doesn't make any sense to me
. Now, I have used most of the terms this reviewer is horrified by in my head more than once. "Weasel", "dirtbag", and "puke" for example, are some words that come to mind when I saw Harry Reid or Pelosi just doing a pointless charade in their ideological crusade over the past few years, and even though I would never actually call anyone those things or even rant in public in those terms, I'm kind of surprised anyone would find such things so offensive, since they're not exactly obscenities but admittedly, pretty juvenile. The reason Levin does this, as someone mentioned, is that he's obligated to not bore his millions of listeners since one aspect of the show has to have entertainment value and this persona, or routine or formula has served him well. I can understand not everyone thinking it's funny, but millions do. If screaming "puke" is as bad as it gets, I'm underwhelmed.
Levin's service in the Reagan campaigns and administrations as well as the amount of books he's sold while topping the BUT bestseller list hardly seems like a fringe background, as the writer of the review describes Levin's reputation. His books really do show that he knows the constitution extraordinarily well, which is an easy thing to verify as a reader goes through his work like "Liberty and Tyranny" or "Plunder and Deceit". I've been led to read things by people like Frederic Bastiate, the French statesman and philosopher, and been reacquainted with a lot of the classical Greek philosophy I thought was so boring in high school as Levin applies it to our politics.
His critics usually complain, as the author does above, that because a person won't read a book handed to them in a couple of days by Al Franken, they can't handle having their worldview challenged. The problem is that after having been exposed to Franken's treatment of people he disagrees with already, I'd personally rather talk to someone who might disagree with me, but isn't so condescending face to face. After all, I don't have to impersonate Mark Levin when I'm just talking to someone. These conversations seem difficult to find, but it's not hard to find someone who will demand you read a book and form an opinion from it that could change their entire belief system. It seems like the laziest way for a Franken fan or liberal Democrat, or whatever persuasion to presume superiority. Most of us read things that are appealing to us already, and can articulate our views pretty well, so dumping a book on me in a bit and run style isn't going to get anyone anywhere.
The things listed as lies in this article aren't exactly that. Calling a deliberate exxageration like "no one watches CBS" a lie seems like a pretty desperate move. And if it's true, the author lists a factual error about the origins of a term which everyone associates with Marx, class warfare. That's not really deceit, but being mistaken. Marx is who I would have guessed coined it, but being proved wrong, does it matter at all when debating the pros and cons of communism etc.? Who cares?
And finally, another open exaggeration no one is supposed to interpret as a statistic "gun shows are the safest place on earth"...of course the point is that relative to how gun shows are portrayed by people who have a problem with private gun ownership, a right not open for debate, they are about as safe as you can hope to be anywhere. Anyone using a url to some stats to refute a statement meant as hyperbole is really nitpicking, and there are a host of url to stats and reports holding the contrary opinion, so internet facts arent very useful.

Chase Tenny said...

Liberty and Tyranny was a good book. =)

ted v said...

First remember all talk shows, be it Savage, Levin, Rachael Madow, etc. are all about ratings, advertising and revenue. They are a distinct form of mass media entertainment. They are designed to attract and build as large an audience as possible.

That being said they present information, discussions, opinions, style, etc. that are designed to attract and retain an audience. Much of the points raised by Jeffery are assessments of superficial comments made by Savage and Levin. Some of their comments are rude, possibly offensive to some, and certainly egocentric many times. But you have to get past the superficiality of their styles and evaluate their core beliefs - which are conservative beliefs.

Levin is a strong constitutionalist and those beliefs are the foundation of virtually everything he says (when you look below the surface and really try to understand what he is saying). Levin gets downright apoplectic on some of his rants when he feels so strongly that the constitution and its intent has been violated. Levin's biggest fault is his unending focus on constitutional, economic and conservative theory - especially as of late as it relates to global trade and tariffs. He needs a reality check now and then to get his head out of the theoretical realm.

Savage is a moderate conservative, probably not as conservative as Levin. His mantra for many many years has been: "borders, language and culture." This is a core belief he has that drives so much of his comments and perspectives. Looking at the EU you can see this belief of his is very applicable to the problems they are facing. He is extremely egotistical in his commentary, but hey so was Obama. He brings many non-political dimensions to his show which is educational and refreshing.

Bottom line is everyone needs to be skeptical and not accept everything they hear, read or see (be it talks shows, newspapers, TV, internet, etc.). You need to intelligently ingest what you hear and decide what fits with your own belief system, what makes sense, and what is potentially a crock of BS. Do not become blindly attached to any particular source or belief system. Question everything, think about everything and then decide what you want to represent in your beliefs. Everyone in the media has a bias, a spin and untold, unobservable biases that drive what they present. Frequently money, politics and power are the main influencers to what you are offered. Don't forget mass media ultimately is about ratings and revenue. Don't take too much of this stuff too seriously. Cleanse your mind occasionally of all the agitation, friction and anger that is delivered by the media on a second-by-second basis. And don't forget to wear sunscreen!

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Levin is a strong constitutionalist

Only when it suits him. He reacts completely differently to the same things, depending on whether they are done by liberals or conservatives.

He is extremely egotistical in his commentary, but hey so was Obama.

No, Obama was not egotistical. That is conservative spin. To claim that he was anything at all like Savage is insane.

32b699a8-c690-11e5-82e9-a75d162e6553 said...

Michael Savage is an old troll with an annoying voice. Savage also likes to lie about his past with Alan Ginsburg and that Savage experimented with homosexuality with Ginsburg and possibly other. Savage is also a hyprocrite talking out of his ass on issues and flip flops a lot.

Unknown said...

And voters on the left don't even know the party in power! Look back at 2008 and 2012.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Dear Unknown:

Your comment is so incoherent, I don't know what you're trying to say. Try again.

Max K said...

I'm a Trump supporter yet couldn't act we more. Savage is a very insecure & neurotic, angry little man. While he may praise his listeners on occasion he regularly belittles them as simpletons saying things like 'none of you will know this'(I pretty much always do)...I could go on and on Yet I hate typing on my phone.

Frank said...

I would like the author of this original post to, instead of pontificating on how smartER HE is, debate one of the two and in particular Mark Levin. Instead of being judgmental, grow some *alls, pick up he phone ans ask for a debate to prove "their ignorance". I don't recall any liberal radio host not screening their phone calls as well! Watch Maher..occasionally he has conservative hosts in his show and, when they are not outnumbered 5-1, they are constantly ridiculed and/or silenced by a ALL liberal clapping audience. Watched Colbert lately...his nasty comments n Trump? Name calling and profanities are not exclusive of conservative radio hosts Mr genius! AND how many times left wing commentators have it wrong and NOT correct themselves? least..try to be impartial in your articles

Frank said...

and...just go on You Tube and search Mark Levin vs liberal'll have plenty. So quit lying Mr. Shallit. It's a conservative show..mostly conservatives call Mark, but he seeks liberals sometimes to give a "reasonable" point of view on a subject. Usually doesn't end up well for the liberal. But in a 2 minutes conversation...that's all you can get. Again, grow a pair and ask for a debate....

Jeffrey Shallit said...


Mark Levin used to take more non-conservative callers. However, in the time I listened to him, there were very, very few, and those that did call were cut off right away.

BTW, you don't get to accuse me of "lying" on my own blog. This is your first warning. Two warnings and you're gone from here.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

" least..try to be impartial in your articles."

Why? It's my blog, and I can do whatever I want. If you don't like it, just go somewhere else.

Frank said...

I know it's you blog nincompoop..and i am GLAD you recognize that you are NOT being impartial..AKA a dishonest leftit kook. Thanks.

Frank said...

AND I listen to Mark Levin constantly..he does take leftist callers, not often and depending from the subject he talks about. That is HIS show like this is YOUR blog. AND who gives a f@@k about you banning me from the blog!! LMAO....i stumbled upon the article and read the stupidity transpiring from it therefore i commented. Your IQ probably is not even 1/10 of any of the who you criticized...grow some balls, call them up and debate them. Grow up...

Jeffrey Shallit said...

"AKA a dishonest leftit kook".

That's it, you're banned.,, for being a bad speller.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

AND I listen to Mark Levin constantly..

Well, that explains a lot. Do you enjoy constantly being lied to?

joseph spinali said...

Listen to him all the time. You can't even tell when he is pulling your leg or tilling the truth.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Isn't a more plausible explanation that he is simply deranged?

stephen honig said...

To succinct it, i agree with Tate Anderson. Yes, Savage is a narcissist and bragger, but an extremely intelligent one. I enjoy him because of his analogy, humor, versatility and knowledge on most subjects. I also admire his thought process in evaluating a subject. He reminds me of Scheherazade and One Thousand Nights (I can't wait to his next show). I like his honesty because he constantly says he has few friends, therefore he owes nothing to anyone. Although, Levin is also very bright, he is boring and always seems angry. He does not have an array of subjects and lacks humor. They stopped talking about each other, because I believe their boss told them to.

Since you criticized the two, what talk show(s)do you like?

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Savage is not that bright; he's a pseudo-intellectual, constantly mispronouncing words (where anyone actually familiar with the subject would know how to pronounce them correctly) and making basic mistakes.

Generally speaking, I don't listen to any talk shows because there are much, much better ways to use my time.

Aristotle said...

" accidental shootings at gun shows are routine"
First of all, no they are not. Yes there are accidents but they almost always involve superficial injuries if any. You make it sound like every gun show is like walking into an old western movie with bullets zinging past your ears and people ducking for cover.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Aristotle, look up "straw man".

I maintain my description was completely correct. Did you follow the link?

Jeffrey Shallit said...

My comment was to rebut the claim that gun shows are "the safest place on earth". Did you not understand that?

Frank said...

Tell me about the last time someone has been murdered at a gun show..Mr "rebutter"

Jeffrey Shallit said...

So, your standard for "the safest place on earth" is that no one has been murdered there? That's insane.

Jeffrey Shallit said...

Yup, the "safest place on earth".