Dr. Peter Breggin
Posted: September 12, 2009 06:01 PM
Michael Savage, an independent syndicated radio commentator, has been severed from KNEW, the important San Francisco outlet for his Savage Nation. The station issued a terse statement: "Here's your no-spin direct answer; we have decided to go in a different philosophical and ideological direction, featuring more contemporary content and more local information. The Savage Nation does not fit into that vision."
Notice that the decision was based on a combination of philosophy and ideology with the need for greater local community focus. As everyone should know, this is the latest incarnation of the Fairness Doctrine. This station has voluntarily taken the kind of suppressive action that some would enforce through the federal government.
Michael's popularity is not at issue. He's on 250 stations and his audience continues to grow larger as conservative talk radio grows in strength and popularity.
Not long ago, Michael was excluded from Great Britain as a terrorist threat. Michael is an independent man. He's a rugged individualist at a time when many people would like to turn such a person into an anachronism. He is independent and extremely outspoken, at times offending both the left and the right. He is being targeted because he, perhaps above all others, stands for independence in talk radio; and because neither progressives nor conservatives are likely to come to his defense. In 2007 Michael was named the recipient of the TALKERS Magazine Freedom of Speech Award for 2007 "For being the first major conservative radio talk show host to criticize President George W. Bush on his policies and encourage hosts of all political ideologies to remain independent of partisan loyalties." We need this kind of man on the air.
Although their politics are very divergent, both Arianna Huffington and Michael Savage have given me a voice -- Arianna as a founding blogger on Huffington Post and Michael as a regularly scheduled participant on his syndicated radio talk radio show. How is it that such politically contrasting individuals have invited me to join their media projects? Arianna and Michael share many of my views that are critical of the psychopharmaceutical complex, especially the widespread diagnosing and drugging of America's children. But many public figures express sympathy for my concerns without daring to invite me in their public activities. As a psychiatric reformer, I've made powerful enemies in the pharmaceutical industry, the government, and organized psychiatry. Arianna and Michael not only want to stop the psychiatric abuse of our children, they are among the most independent and fearless leaders in public discourse in America. Both believe in individualism and both refuse to cow tow to the kind of powerful interest groups that would like to silence me.
The attack on Michael is the cutting edge assault on freedom of speech for independent and courageous political analysts. As a psychiatrist who has spoken truth to authority, I know firsthand the effects of intimidation and have seen the spread of effect resulting from attacks on me. When other individuals see a leader being attacked, it has a chilling effect on them. Even if the leader isn't knocked off, others nonetheless feel frightened into submission. They get wind of the attack and it sinks right into that place in the unconscious where so many folks feel frightened and helpless about their lives. Those who might otherwise speak up for the first time will remain silent. They will rationalize and they will make excuses for shutting up, and will not realize that they are responding to the sight of one of their fellow creature under assault. We must get this tactic of psychological intimidation out into the open and resist it whenever it surfaces.
Michael is blowing the whistle on the obliteration of individualism in America. Michael is a very loud canary freedom's mineshaft. Michael is David against the Goliath state. Whatever metaphor we use, Michael Savage is the first big fish to be snagged in the fairness doctrine net that masquerades as expanding local coverage.
In additional to political or ideological considerations, Michael was allegedly thrown off the station on the grounds of providing more local coverage. But the people have voted and continued to vote on their preferences by turning to nationally syndicated radio broadcasters for their entertainment and information. Especially at this time of conflict and crisis, Americans want much more than local information. The left and the right, as well as independents, are displaying renewed interest in the future of our nation. More and more, people identify their personal fate with the fate of the nation. People are no longer satisfied with the top of the hour news report.
Everyone across the political spectrum should stand up for Michael and for freedom in the media. For some, he's a thorn in the side. Some will feel more comfortable without him. But if we let this happen to Michael savage, eventually it can happen to any one of us -- they will come for you and me. If not now, then in the future, all of us will be at risk.
Perhaps you think the world would be a better place without Michael Savage. You are entitled to your opinion. His ten million listeners on 250 stations indicate that many others have a different opinion. Perhaps you identify with current efforts to stifle the vigor of rightwing talk radio. But keep in mind what America is about -- freedom. Remember the First Amendment that guarantees freedom of speech. And if these seemingly abstract principles don't move you to stand up for Michael Savage, consider this practical consequence. As demonstrated by today's rally in Washington, DC, we are already in the midst of a conservative revival in response to President Obama's progressive policies. What if conservatives take over the Congress and the presidency, even for a short time in the future? Do you want to set a precedent for federal control over talk radio and eventually over television and the Internet as well? Do you want to establish a precedent and the apparatus whereby whoever holds political power also dominates the media?
Let's not abandon freedom at this critical time. Support Michael Savage and freedom of speech!
Dr. Breggin's website is http://www.breggin.com. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
His latest book, now in paperback, is Medication Madness: The Role of Psychiatric Drugs in Cases of Violence, Suicide and Murder (St. Martin's Press, 2008).
A new book documenting more than 50 years of Dr. Breggin's reform work will be published this fall. Edited by the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology, it is titled The Conscience of Psychiatry: the Reform Work of Peter R. Breggin, MD. Advance copies with a bonus audio can be purchased only on http://www.breggin.com.
By: Thallium 213
In: News, Other
Tags: fairness doctrine, michael, savage, liberals, democrats, conservatives, republicans, free speech, freedom, hypocrisy, fascists, socialism, liberal agenda
Location: San Francisco, California, United States (load item map)
Marked as: approved
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