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Profile: Michael Savage

Michael Savage in California, December 2007
Michael Savage is a popular US radio "shock jock"

US radio presenter Michael Savage, who has been placed on a list of people banned from entering the UK, describes himself as an "explosive conservative radio talk show host".

A so-called "shock jock", Savage hosts a nationally-syndicated right-wing talk show, The Savage Nation, reaching an estimated eight million US listeners a week.

That makes Savage - real name Michael Alan Weiner - the third most popular radio host in the US.

Savage's self-described "brash commentary and unapologetic solutions" are carried across US airwaves by hundreds of radio channels from his home station, KNEW in San Francisco.

Brash commentary

In his 10 years at the helm of The Savage Nation show, he has offended groups including gays, Muslims, women and immigrants - to name a few.

The 67-year-old has urged Americans to "burn the Mexican flag on your street corner" and attacked autistic children as "brats" in need of discipline.

He has also described the Islamic holy book the Koran as "a book of hate" and told Muslims: "Take your religion and shove it up your behind."

He later defended the remarks on autism and Muslims as having been taken out of context.

He was fired in 2003 after a brief stint at US cable TV channel MSNBC for saying on air to a caller: "You should only get Aids and die, you pig!" He later apologised.

The remarks have sparked angry protests from rights groups on several occasions, and even prompted some advertisers and radio stations to pull out of his shows.

Hitting back

The conservative political commentator has lashed out at his critics in the past, setting his lawyers on the US-based Islamic advocacy group the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), and suing the University of California for rejecting a job application. Both cases were later dropped.

Now that he has been included in a list of 22 people banned from the UK for fostering extremism and hate, he has threatened to sue the British government for defamation.

A scientist by training, Savage holds two Masters degrees in botany and anthropology. He also got a doctorate in nutritional ethno-medicine from the University of California at Berkeley in 1978.

Savage has authored some 18 books - both as Michael Weiner and Michael Savage - on topics that range from nutrition and alternative medicine to beer and politics.

His political book, The Savage Nation: Saving America from the Liberal Assault on Our Borders, Language and Culture, reached the top of the New York Times best-seller list.

Savage, who grew up in the Bronx in New York, now lives in San Francisco with his second wife. They have two children.



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