10 Questions with ... Michael Savage
April 1, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Master's degrees in ethnobotany and anthropology, University of Hawaii; Ph.D. in nutritional ethnomedicine, Cal-Berkeley; KGO-A and KSFO-A/San Francisco; syndicated, presently by WestwoodOne (Cumulus). Several best-selling books, television work.
1. Your background was in botanical and scientific disciplines, but you ended up a radio star and author on politics. What sent you in the direction of radio? What led you to that career change?
I earned two master's degrees prior to my PHD from the University of California, Berkeley. In fact, my botanical thesis was published in its entirety in a scientific journal from Harvard University. I mention these facts to demonstrate that I try to apply the same skills to my analysis of political issues on my radio program. How i ended up in radio is a confluence of events, notably that on my many book tours a few great old-time radio hosts told me "you belong in radio...You have a great voice and a quick mind". It took me over 20 years to achieve that radio dream. That was 20 years ago.
2. There are plenty of talk hosts out there, but you're among the few who's broken out to national prominence and being a familiar name and voice beyond the core talk radio audience. Why do you think that happened? To what do you attribute your success?
I think people are attracted to my ability to connect with them. They think they are listening to a friend, an uncle, a father, a husband, a brother. I owe this ability to speak to unseen millions to my "silent brother" Jerome. I wrote about him in my semi-autobiography "Train Tracks."
3. You've had your share of widely publicized controversies over the years. Were there ever times you thought either that you were through or that you wanted to walk away from the noise? Have you ever had any self-doubt in your radio career?
Many days i feel it's time to walk away. That iIve said all there is to say. That it's time to take a vow of silence and never be heard from again. But the news is so overwhelming, the corruption in our nation is at a level not seen since the harding administration, that i am pulled back. My three hours on radio are the best hours of my day.
4. It wasn't long ago that pundits were saying that Republicans were in danger of losing their grip on the House, but now the same pundits are predicting the G.O.P. to take the Senate. Whatever happens on Capitol Hill, and with the awareness that two years is a long time, do you think Republicans have a shot at the White House against Hillary Clinton (assuming she's the Democratic candidate) in 2016? What will the Republicans have to do to be competitive in that race?
The Republicans will just as likely lose because of their timidity. Unless they shake themselves free of their country-club mentality and go on the attack, they are done. They have so many real scandals they can use to win, but will they mention IRS-gate, Benghazi-gate, the scandalous weakness of Obama vs. Putin, the many Democrats just indicted by the FBI, Hillary's disastrous tenure as Secretary of State, when she and obama set the arab world aflame and reignited the Cold War?
5. About what are you most passionate these days?
My passions are radio, Teddy my 10 pound poodle, riding my bike, and TV movies.
6. Where do you turn for your show preparation -- where do you turn for news and commentary to help you get your show together?
Show prep consists of the news and what I ate the night before! The many great websites I read supply more material than the audience can absorb. Given my training in science writing, I learned to be succinct - to use as few words as possible to make my points.
7. Who are your heroes and influences?
My heroes are the great men of the military who sacrificed their lives and limbs so I could enjoy the freedom to speak and write freely. And those today who fight the government's attempts to spy on us, frighten us, and steal our constitutional rights.
8. Of what are you most proud?
I am most proud of my family's achievements.
9. Fill in the blank: I can't make it through the day without ______________.
...coffee and organic red grapes.
10. What was the best advice you ever got? The worst?
Best advice: tell the truth. My father drilled me on this. Worst advice: My mother told me, "Never discuss politics or religion."