Rightwing radio takes a page from Hitler

Media Matters' latest has right wing radio's Michael Savage saying: "Liberalism is, in essence, the HIV virus." The rest of his tin-foil-hat-tinged rant has the ACLU and Barbara Boxer wrecking the police and the Catholic Church.

The man's obviously mentally ill. He's advocated for the killing of 100 million Muslims, called immigrants "vermin" and compared Jimmy Carter to Hitler. Which is ironic, to say the least.

The Jewish-born Savage, actually a homeopathy expert known to his parents as Michael Alan Weiner, has succeeded in co-opting Adolph Hitler's metaphors and language in his rants.

Holocaust scholar Richard Koenigsberg wrote this passage in a paper on imagery and genocide, eery in light of Savage's comments:

I found that Hitler's ideology revolved around the metaphor of the German nation as an actual body or "living organism." The Jew was identified as a force within this body working toward its destruction. In his writings and speeches, Hitler continually referred to the Jew as a force of disintegration or decomposition; as the cause of Germany's disease (a bacteria or virus); and as a "parasite on the body of the people." The nature of these recurring images and metaphors constitute data revealing the fantasies contained within Nazi ideology.
Yeah, creepy.

Later, in the same paper, he works "vermin" into the equation:
The presentation of Jews as "corroding and poisonous parasites, as vermin, as bacteria and bacilli, everywhere infesting and striving to destroy the body of the German people as a whole and each individual German with a demonic power paralyzed to a large extent any internal resistance on the part of the masses." Lagarde's metaphor, Bein observes, of the Jews as "bacilli not to be negotiated with but to be exterminated" could, in the atmosphere of Bio-Mythology, become a horrible reality.
The fact that Savage says the things he says makes him a paranoid bigoted shitheel. The fact that MSNBC gave him a show, that he has the third most popular talk show in the nation with at least 8 million listeners, and that he's a big supporter of the Republican Party is what's scary.

Some, like Savage himself, will claim that he's a big critic of the Republicans, "an independent-minded individualist." This is something of a ruse. Sure, he'll gripe when the Republicans fall short on his racist wishlist, and champion animal rights and the environment, but make no mistake about it, he's a Republican. From his Paul Revere Society, post 2002 midterm elections...

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.