Olbermann: I Nearly Left MSNBC In 2003 Over Michael Savage’s ‘Spattering Invective’

On PBS’ Bill Moyers Journal this past Friday, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann criticized right-wing radio host Michael Savage, who had a show on MSNBC in 2003. Olbermann recounted how he nearly walked off the set of his Countdown show once when MSNBC told him to run a commentary by Savage.

Describing why he was opposed to including the segment, Olbermann said Savage’s show was “basically just spattering invective on people he didn’t like”:

MSNBC hired a guy named Michael Savage. And he came on and did — not only did he do a show once a week that was basically just spattering invective on people he didn’t like and these people change from week to week, but it was terribly produced. I mean, it was an awful show.

Watch it:

The right wing blog Newsbusters, which is a project of the Media Research Center, came to Savage’s defense yesterday, calling Olbermann’s criticism a “hysterical utterance.” “He also had the unmitigated audacity to criticize conservative radio host Michael Savage,” wrote Newsbusters’ Noel Sheppard.


While Newsbusters has every right to disagree with and criticize Olbermann, it is laughable to suggest that someone needs “unmitigated audacity” to criticize Michael Savage. Here are just a few examples of the “spattering invective” that Savage regularly spews on his show:

“90 percent of the people on the Nobel Committee are into child pornography and molestation.” — Michael Savage [12/12/2007]

“Of all of the dictators in the past, you know the one Al Gore strikes me as [being] closest [to] is Mussolini.” — Michael Savage [7/9/2007]

“Notice what this double-talking slut just did, this mind-slut Barbara Walters. And I stick by those words. She’s an empty mind-slut.” — Michael Savage [3/16/2007]

Madeline Albright is “a traitor. In my opinion, she should be tried for treason, and when she’s found guilty, she should be hung.” — Michael Savage [10/9/2006]

“Liberalism is, in essence, the HIV virus, and it weakens the defense cells of a nation.” — Michael Savage [7/6/2006]

In July 2003, MSNBC fired Savage after he referred to a caller as a “sodomite” and said he should “get AIDS and die.”


To Newsbusters, it appears that the problem isn’t Savage’s “hysterical utterances,” but the fact that MSNBC and Keith Olbermann have the “unmitigated audacity” to decide that they don’t want to be associated with it.

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