On Saturday, cable station MSNBC went ahead with the launch of the controversial new program by arch-conservative talk-radio star Michael Savage. This came despite protests from the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and other advocacy groups.
Savage heads the Paul Revere Society, an organization which advocates closing borders, deporting illegal immigrants, mandating health tests for immigrants, eliminating entitlement programs and making tax cuts permanent.
Savage’s debut comes less than two weeks after MSNBC fired Phil Donahue at a time when his show was the network’s top rated program.
A leaked internal NBC study indicates Donahue was fired because of his anti-war views. Media analyst Rick Ellis obtained a copy of the study and outlined portions on his website, AllYourTV.com.
The study found Donahue presented a "difficult public face for NBC in a time of war . . . He seems to delight in presenting guests who are anti-war, anti-Bush and skeptical of the administration’s motives." The report goes on to outline a possible nightmare scenario where the show becomes "a home for the liberal antiwar agenda at the same time that our competitors are waving the flag at every opportunity."
Donahue has not spoken publicly about his dismissal but issued a statement that indicated MSNBC was trying to silence anti-war voices in favor of new conservative hosts.
He wrote, "The hiring of Mike Savage, Dick Armey and Joe Scarborough suggest a strategy to out-Fox FOX."
- Steve Rendall, senior analyst at FAIR, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting.