In the wake of Wednesday's shooting of a Republican congressman, conservative talk-radio host Michael Savage on Wednesday suggested something he wouldn't have dreamed of doing a few months ago. He said the government should take control of the media.
In between references to Rachel Maddow (whom he mockingly referred to as Rachel Madcow), Savage wondered if "the haters [should] be removed from the airwaves by the federal government for their constant drumbeat of hatred against [Donald] Trump and Republicans." Turns out, he thought, Yes, they should be, because of "their constant drumbeat of hatred against Trump and Republicans, calling for, amongst other things resistance, with their sneers every night."
Savage's theory came at the end of a long monologue in which he sprinkled in his hatred of liberals while coming to the conclusion that angry liberals are going to kill everyone. Watch the segment via Media Matters:
We know that the coming civil war that Nancy Pelosi, Bernie Sanders, Barack Obama, Eric Holder — I would even say Rachel Maddow — have been screaming for. You know the words like "resist." You know resist means something. It means kill, it means shoot, doesn’t it?
Am I allowed to ask the question: Who do you blame for this? We know that the baseball gunman was a Trump-hating, white, male Bernie supporter.
And communism has consequences. Socialism has consequences. Screaming about hatred, hatred, hatred and hate and hate and hate, like that sneering, creature on MSNBC does every night, with that filthy sneer on her face. Every night hating Trump. Every night calling for resistance.
Well, he (James Hodgkinson) went off like a rocket, as I feared would happen. James T. Hodgkinson from Belleville, Illinois, went on a rampage. Staunch Democrat threatened to destroy Trump and company on social media before the shooting, coinciding with President Trump’s 71st Birthday. He campaigned of course for the communist Bernie Sanders — who says he is not a communist — but he is a communist. Communism is violence and death. Well he opened fired on a group of guys playing baseball.
I predicted this would happen, but it’s not about me; it’s about you.
This message would come as a shock to none other than conservative radio host Michael Savage, who, in the late 1990s, created a manifesto of sorts called "Beware the government-media complex," which is pretty popular in right-wing circles. Savage said at that time the relationship between the government and media was "too cozy," adding that "in order to keep the government relatively honest, you need a media that's constantly poking at them."
Until Wednesday Savage has been consistent in adhering to the idea that free speech should be protected.
In 2009 he criticized British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, who banned Savage from entering the U.K. because he was "fomenting hatred."
Savage fired back at Smith, saying, "She wanted communications gathered by the government. She wanted emails and phone calls guarded by the government . . . including those from social networking sites such as Facebook." He added that "any liberal listening to the show should be quite alarmed by this movement in England because perhaps you will be next."
In Savage's book, "Trump's War," published in March, he declared, "The First Amendment will be safe under Trump. No matter what else he does or does not do."
But there's one point Savage made on Wednesday that may not be completely off base:
Should Trump take control of Twitter for not monitoring haters? You heard me. Is it time for the government to take control of the — out of control — pirates on social media like Facebook and Twitter.
That would be quite a feat, assuming the government would be able to silence the biggest Twitter troll of them all.