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MSNBC fires Michael Savage after he tells caller to "get AIDS and die." Ann Coulter a babe? Posh Spice an actress? Plus: Pete Best's mom was the seventh Beatle!

By Salon Staff
Published July 7, 2003 3:05PM (EDT)

After loads of negative publicity and thorough accounts of his disturbing past, MSNBC finally decided to pull the plug on Michael Savage after he called someone who telephoned into his Saturday TV show a "sodomite" who should "get AIDS and die." When MSNBC announced Savage's show in February, MSNBC president Eric Sorenson hailed the right-wing radio host as "brash, passionate and smart." On Monday, a spokesman for the flailing network, Jeremy Gaines, said of Savage: "His comments were extremely inappropriate and the decision was an easy one."(Associate Press)

The gal that gives blondes a bad name just won't go away, and while our parents always told us to ignore bullies, it's mighty hard to do so when the chick is everywhere -- thanks to her wise and generous publishers. Yes, it's Ann Coulter and her book "Treason," which glorifies Sen. Joe McCarthy and damns all liberals as wimps and traitors.

Here are some highlights of recent reviews: Salon's own Joe Conason weighed in on the Fourth of July: "So how appropriate it is that in the rapidly growing Ann Coulter bibliography, last year's bestselling 'Slander' is now followed by 'Treason,' her new catalog of defamation against every liberal and every Democrat -- indeed, every American who has dared to disagree with her or her spirit guide, Joe McCarthy -- as 'traitors.' And like a criminal who subconsciously wants to be caught, Coulter seems compelled to reveal at last her true role model. (Some of us had figured this out already.)" (Salon Books)

But it isn't only our own scribes who have come down rather hard on little Ann. Why, even the august Wall Street Journal has this, from Dorothy Rabinowitz, today: "At one point a book representing the Democrats as the party of treason, and Sen. McCarthy as one of the greatest heroes of the age, might have given some publishers pause. Not today -- the era that has put its money on outrage merchants and shock jocks." (Wall Street Journal)

But it's Andrew Sullivan who should get the last word, since he chastises her for not being a good conservative: "By making huge and sweeping generalizations about all liberals, Coulter undermines her own arguments and comes close to making them meaningless. If you condemn good and bad liberals alike, how can you be trusted to make any moral distinctions of any kind? And by defending the tactics of Joe McCarthy, she actually plays directly into the hands of the left." But Sullivan's lead is scary: "Few would dispute that she's a babe. Lanky, skinny, with long blonde hair tumbling down to her breasts, Ann Coulter has been photographed in a shiny black latex dress." If Ann's a "babe" then babe-itude has to be redefined. Someone call Austin Powers, quick. (Andrew Sullivan)

Speaking of babes, should we feel sorry for poor Posh Spice? With her hubby, David Beckham, getting all the press lately about his sale to Real Madrid, Victoria is feeling left out. No wallflower she, her next move is to -- where else? -- Hollywood! Rumor is she's being considered for a role in a remake of the 1968 film "The Producers." But watch out, Ms. Posh, there are alligators in them waters. Already reports are saying things like: "Some commentators have suggested that she will be a natural for the film, which is about putting on the worst stage show ever written." Ouch. (ITV)

A new book about the Beatles? This time it's Pete Best's turn. The drummer who lost his job to Ringo Starr just before the lads made it big has a new book, "The Beatles: The True Beginnings," wherein Pete's mom Mona gets her due for creating the first club to host The Beatles -- the Casbah, in the cellar of her house. "She's the unsung hero of the story," says son Pete. "She's the mother of Merseybeat." She was also the mother of Pete's brother Roag, whose father was the Beatles' road manager, Neil Aspinall. Those were the days. (CNN)

--Karen Croft

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Oh, baby. It's been only a few days since Barry White crooned his way into that great lounge in the sky, but his legacy of love is already making its presence known. The smooth-voiced soul singer's ex-wife, Mary, his estranged wife, Glodean, and his common-law wife, Katherine, are all reported to be fighting over his fortune. Somebody call Ally McBeal. (The Melbourne Herald Sun)

Mourned more peacefully: Buddy Ebsen. The 95-year-old actor best known as Barnaby Jones and Beverly Hillbilly Jed Campett died in a Los Angeles hospital on Monday. (Associated Press)

Strom Thrumond: mourned too peacefully? Out of the 225 current and former U.S. senators who worked with the recently deceased South Carolina senator and could have shown up to his memorial service last week only nine bothered to make it. Trent Lott wasn't among them. (N.Y. Daily News)

Don't eulogize Pamela Anderson's engagement to Kid Rock just yet. reports that the poster couple for trash pride is still together, despite rampant rumors to the contrary. Proof that the Kid has stayed in the picture? On July 1, the rocker threw his lady love a surprise 36th birthday party at the Malibu Inn, serenading her with songs by the Allman Brothers, Hank Williams Jr. and Lynyrd Skynyrd, with John Stamos playing drums and David Spade singing backup.

In related news, Anderson's ex, Tommy Lee, is co-producing several tracks on Backstreet Boy Nick Carter's next album. To his critics, the former Motley Crue drummer has this to say via his online journal: "Am I never supposed to write a song for anyone else?...... Am I never to change my style as I and music evolve???....... It just blows my mind how retarded people are!! ... Who gives a flyin fuck who I write with! I only want to work with talented artists! Fuck........I'm not joining the Backstreet Boys, I was asked by Nick after he heard my last 2 CD's production and sound if I would help him get a more aggressive sound for his new CD!!.........And why not?.......That mother fucker can sing his nuts off!!"

-- Amy Reiter

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